Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Time Management Tuesday: Content Marketing Calendars For Social Media

The Time Issue Involved With Social Media Marketing

Content marketing involves getting whatever content you create out before the public. Obviously if you're a writer, content involves your books, short stories, essays, poetry, etc. All marketing takes time.

But content can also be your blog posts. Blogs are valuable not just for marketing yourself in the traditional sense ("I have a new book out!" "I'll be speaking at the White House!") but for keeping an Internet presence, a public face, when you're between publications and appearances. These days blog content needs to be marketed, too. No one has time to read all the blog posts being created, so writer bloggers need to get their content out in front of the many, many people who aren't reading them already.

Since many of us blog regularly, that means marketing of this content regularly. Like, say, all the time. Lots of time. Blogs are a form of social media, anyway, and our best option for marketing individual posts is through social media. Paper publications don't do articles on blogs all that often, and we can't sit and wait for some day in the far off future when they'll choose to feature ours. So social media it is. Social media, which has that reputation for becoming way too big a part of our lives.

Spend Less Time Marketing With A Calendar

Last year, I heard Frances Caballo being interviewed on this subject on a podcast that I am embarrassed to say I lost. However, you can check out her guest post Social Media in 15 Minutes a Day for details on her plan for limiting your social media time. What I've been doing since hearing the Caballo interview: planning a weekly calendar (of sorts) each week.

Since January, I've been formally writing it out. You've been seeing it each Friday in my Friday reports on what I've done. You may remember last week's. It was under my Community Building/General Marketing/Branding goal. 
  • Blackbird Fly post. Promote to Google+, community, Twitter, and Goodreads
  • Book Scavenger post. Promote to Google+, community, Twitter, and Goodreads
  • Blackthorn Key post. Promote to Google+, community, Twitter, and Goodreads
  • Footer Davis post. Promote to Google+, community, Twitter, and Goodreads
  • Listen, Slowly post. Promote to Google+, community, Twitter, and Goodreads
  • Goodreads blog post 
  • Began collecting CCLC material for March. 
  • Worked on Publishers Marketplace post. 
  • Worked on Horn Book post.
I planned on Monday that I'd do these things over the course of the week. It takes only a few minutes to target posts to specific sites. Last week I had a lot of reader response posts because I was covering all the finalists for the middle grade fiction Cybals award. Goodreads was a target for those. However, this week the Connecticut Children's Lit Calendar is on my marketing "calendar." The content marketing calendar plan for that is "CCLC promote to FB, communities, CT Bloggers, Twitter. Find some new librarians to mail to  Distribute newsletter on weekend."

So different posts need different target promotion. It would be difficult to do that without a calendar plan. The promotion to various sites really does take only minutes, once I know what I'm going to do. Having blog post topics on a calendar is helpful in reminding me to get them started. That is far more time consuming than the promotion, and getting them started means I can try to work on them in smaller chunks of time instead of committing a lot of time all at once to each one.

The other thing the calendar plan does is help me make sure I've hit all my spots. When it gets toward the end of the week, if I see I have a number of items on the calendar I haven't done, I start to hurry.

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