Have you ever sat there at your desk for ages, wasting valuable time trying to think of something to post on your business social media channels? You know that you have to have a presence online, but inspiration doesn’t always strike, and you lose yourself in thought when you could be spending that time on one of the many other important tasks on your list. If so, you need this guide on how to create social media content for 30 days using simple and effective tools like Canva and Asana.
Although many people use their social media to be spontaneous and, in the moment, it does not work as a coherent tactic for businesses. Not only can you find yourself stressed daily, but you can end up without the consistent strategy you need to make the most of your social channels. This guide will help you avoid that overwhelm.
Why is Creating Social Media Content in Advance Important?
Running a business demands a lot of your time, there is only so much time you can dedicate to your social media and online presence. If you do not create social media content in advance you have to start from scratch every day. That’s right, you are going to see it pop up on your to-do list daily. In our experience, every business owner’s nightmare. This means getting yourself into the right frame of mind to conjure up quality content more frequently than you would like. Spending time thinking up great posts means you waste more time than you would if you boxed off a few hours or half a day in your calendar, once a month. The trick is to get into a consistent flow of brainstorming, writing posts and designing graphics to go with them.
By using a graphic design tool like Canva, you make sure your brand looks slick and professional across all your channels. The productivity and time management app Asana helps you to plan and draft posts ensuring you have a healthy balance of content. You can collaborate with other team members, assign tasks, add images and documents, and communicate without leaving this tool. As Asana advocates, we cannot recommend this tool enough for your overall business organisation and management. It is much more than a project management tool in our opinion.
How to Create Social Media Content for 30 Days
This is how we create and schedule social media posts for our channels as well as for our clients, so we know how well this works!
Plot Your Social Media Strategy
We all have our favoured mix of social media content, but you should keep in mind that you have to offer value to your followers or they will quickly unfollow. One rule of thumb we like to follow to keep things balanced is the 3 E’s: Entertain, Educate and Engage.
Work out the mix of content you plan to use. Try and stick to 3-4 content topics, these act as your pillars when creating content so that you have focus. Let’s say you’re a social media manager, here is how your content pillars might look:
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Graphic Design
This will give you an overview of the type of content you need to prepare and gather for the month ahead. Other topics and dates you might include are national dates. Businesses have been using national dates to raise awareness and engage with their ideal audience using clever relevant marketing campaigns for years.
Creating 30 days of content at a time helps you get a better idea of how well you are sticking to your content ratio and allows you to factor things in advance rather than last-minute.
Now you have your content pillars and some focus you can start thinking about how you are going to deliver this and narrow in on the topics you are going to cover. Content pillars tell you what topic to focus on but do not drill down on the details on how it will be delivered. Will you share quotes and reviews, do you plan on creating video content, will you use the content you already have or use curated content? Content mapping is about working out how to deliver information to your audience in a way they will digest.
Before you get started, think about creating your content in batches. This allows you to stay tuned into one content type at a time. Once your creative juices get going, they flow, why keep switching. Use content already available to you making sure it is aligned with your content pillars (as mentioned earlier). Here is some content you can think about creating in batches. We have used a social media manager again for this example:
- Quotes about entrepreneurship.
- Tips about social media using blog post content.
- Testimonials from clients.
- National Dates happening throughout the month.
- Promotions – Promoting new services, giveaway’s etc.
- Open days – A few posts are kept open for timely information.
Start with your most important content first, we recommend blog posts, testimonials, new product/services, any important announcements. Now it is time to start drafting. At this point, you want to be able to note how many posts you need of each, you will of course require 30 posts.
- Quotes about entrepreneurship (8 required)
- Tips about social media using blog post content (10 required)
- Testimonials from clients (4 required)
- National Dates happening throughout the month (3 dates)
- Promotions – Promoting new services, giveaway’s etc (5 required)
BONUS TIP: We create a project in Asana called ‘Content Library’ – here is where we list ideas, timely updates, national dates, and sourced content like quotes etc. This is content gathered throughout the month. We already have a bank of pre-approved content which saves time hunting endlessly for the right content. This is great when working with a team too.
Draft Text in Asana
When you use the social media calendar template from Asana, you are presented with a list view, this is just one of the options. You can toggle between different layouts like board view (like Trello) timelines, calendar and more. Start with a list view, we use this when mapping out content and drafting captions. Use a section labelled ‘unscheduled’ or ‘Drafts’ to start creating your posts, this acts as a ‘work in progress section’.
Blog posts are always a good one to start with, it makes social media content creation a breeze.
- Create a new task for your first post under the column ‘unscheduled’.
- Select the first blog you would like to promote. Search for a few snippets of value you can use (this should be a small nougat of value so that your audience can benefit from this post immediately but at the same time also be intrigued to learn/read more). Copy the first paragraph into the task description in Asana and add a title like this: Blog post: why social media is vital for small businesses.
- Now complete your custom fields in Asana to provide a more detailed overview. Here are some of the fields we use:
- Hashtags (list of hashtags relevant to the post – 30 max)
- Post Status (Draft, pending approval etc)
- Content-Type (Photo, Carousel, Video etc)
- Social Channel (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc)
- Campaign (National dates, product launch etc
- If you are using a free version of Asana, you can achieve this by using tags or adding the above list into the description box so that the details can be added directly beneath each header.
- Repeat the above as many times as you see fit. Remember to think about how many of these posts you want for 30 days if you have not already.
The above process is the same for each type of content you intend to produce. The key is to work through each one at a time creating content in bulks. You should be left with a long task list in your ‘unscheduled’ or ‘draft’ section.
Now go through and add due dates. Once you have done this you can go to ‘calendar view’ in Asana to get an overview of what content you have mapped out for the month. You can move things around as you see fit (excluding those that have a set published date like national dates).
Create Images for the Posts
Once you have your text in Asana, it is time to use Canva to make the corresponding images. Go to “Create New Design” and you will find the dimensions for all of the most popular social networks. Select the platform you are working on i.e. Instagram.
Now select your template from the left-hand side and update it with your branding or create a bespoke design from scratch.
If you hit “+ Add Page” after you finish each graphic, it will bring up a new blank canvas in the same dimensions, so you can keep all that month’s posts on the same page. We have 12 designs in total for the year (one for each month). At the bottom of the screen, you will see a grid view option, this is where you can see all the posts you have made for that month together on one page.
Download the Images
Once you have finished all 30 social media images, you can download them as jpegs. They download onto your computer in a zip file, which you can then unzip. If you have created video footage you will need to do independent downloads as an mp4 or gif.
Add the Images to Asana
Once you have access to all 30 images, you can drag and drop each into the relevant task on your social media calendar on Asana. Change to board view to see all your designs at a glance. You are now ready to invite your Virtual Assistant to edit, approve and schedule all your posts.
Schedule Your Posts
The last step is to schedule your posts using your tool of choice. This might be Buffer, Sprout Social, Hootsuite or any other social media scheduling app.
Ready to Create Social Media Content?
Taking these steps will help you wrap up your social media creation in no time, allowing you to concentrate on other tasks for the rest of the month. Of course, you can always add in new posts if they occur to you mid-month or based on current events.
Either way, you will not feel the overwhelm of constantly trying to come up with post ideas every day, wasting your valuable time. You can relax in the knowledge that you have a great mix of content scheduled.
If social media graphics is something you struggle with, check out our Business Suite shop. We have created a Theme Creator Social Media Set that will make your posts pop. All you need to do is add your personal touch, a real time saver.
Blog writing is a real skill. Not only do you have to be creative and clear, but you also need to bear in mind the purpose of your blog. Namely, to get your website found by search engines. This Search Engine Optimisation or SEO checklist contains some simple but effective tricks for helping your posts appeal to Google and its rivals. The higher you rank for your chosen search terms, the more people are likely to visit your site.
If you are a small business looking to boost your organic reach, this list is invaluable. It can help you hone the way you write your blogs so that you give search engines the best possible chance of ranking you highly and grabbing the attention of people looking for information about your niche. It can also expand the range of keywords that you rank for, giving you an even better chance of gaining views.
Why is an SEO Checklist Important?
Making the first page of Google is so important for gaining organic search traffic. These are the users who find your site whilst searching for a term to do with your sector, which is why this should be a key element of your marketing strategy. These are people who are interested in what you have to sell or offer. But they rarely stray far from the first page of search results.
SEO giant Moz surveyed 1,400 online searchers to find out about their habits. They reported that
In order to stand a chance with these users, your blog SEO needs to be on point, and that is why the SEO checklist is key. By making sure you include these elements in your blog, you give yourself the best chance of bringing in decent traffic from search.
8 SEO Checklist Items to Get Your Blog Found
1. Have You Found Your Keyword?
Your keyword is a word or phrase that you want to rank for. To choose the right keyword for your post, you should look at a tool such as Ubersuggest to find out search volumes for your sector. Type in terms relating to the topic of your blog and you can find a range of related keywords and how many people look online for that keyword every month.
The trick is to be ambitious, but realistic. There is no point optimising your blog for a term that only ten people a month are bothered about, but choosing a keyphrase with huge competition will be nearly impossible to rank for. For example, you could possibly rank well for the term “Norwegian noseflute music played by a man called Gerald”, but it won’t bring in any traffic. And you will get nowhere near page one for the massively popular keyword “music”. However, optimising for “Norwegian music” seems like a realistic and achievable aim.
2. Have You Included Your Keyword Enough Times?
Once you have your keyword, you need to insert it naturally into the text so that search engines know what the blog is about. You should have the keyword in the title, the blog address, in the first paragraph of the post, in at least one subheading and a couple of times in the body of the post
There was a time when people used to ‘keyword stuff’, and try and repeat the phrase as many times as possible to boost their ranking. However, the search engines got wise to this and factored that into their results. They need to prioritise results that actually inform searchers, not those that have no substance and which are spammy. This means you have to strike a balance between using your keyword enough to be noticed but not too much to raise a red flag.
3. Does Your Blog Inform, Entertain or Add Value to the Reader?
One of the SEO blog elements that search engines look for is how long a user spends on a site they find through search. If they immediately hit the ‘Back’ button, it suggests your post did not help and, if that happens a lot, it can negatively affect your ranking.
If a blog contains interesting information, is entertaining or answers the searcher’s query, they will spend longer on the page, which sends a message to the search engine that this is a good value result. You should make sure your post offers value and grabs their attention right away.
4. Does Your Post Contain Internal Links?
This is another key point for the SEO checklist. Internal links, those that point to somewhere else on your site, can help you look great to search engines. They track the overall session time of users and the number of pages they visit. The longer they spend on your site and the more pages they visit, the more they can be confident that your site is filled with engaging content. This can help boost your rankings.
5. Does Your Post Contain External Links?
These are links to other sites. This is a good habit to get into because, the more people who do it, the more links there are for search engines to follow to find new and interesting content.
However, you are not just doing it for the greater good. As SEO firm Yoast says, if you can back up a point you make by citing a trusted source, that makes your blog more authoritative and might help it rank better. In addition, if you link to a trusted source, you can then follow up and ask them if they would be interested in sharing your article or citing some of your work in the future with a backlink that helps improve your SEO
6. Have You Contacted Industry Leaders?
Following on from the last point, once you post your blog, make sure you contact thought leaders in your niche and ask them to read it. If they like it, you could ask if they will link to it from their site. The more high quality backlinks you get, the more it impresses search engines.
It is worth pointing out that search engines do not like “link for link” swaps. They should be organic and fit naturally into the text, rather than being crowbarred in to try and play the system.
7. Does it Include an Image?
You should have at least one image on your blog post and that should contain your keyword in its alt tag. This is something you can add to all the major blogging platforms, such as WordPress and Squarespace. It simply means that the image has a chance of cropping up in a search for that term, offering more chances to gain users onto your site.
8. Have You Added a Meta Description?
The meta description is usually what appears under the blog title on the search pages of Google and other engines. It should contain your keyword to help search engines understand what it is about and it should be enticing and engaging enough to encourage searchers to want to click that particular result. Without a specified meta description, the search engine might pick any old passage from the article to display and it might not be as tempting to users as one that you write yourself.
Want Help With Your SEO Checklist?
There is a lot to keep in mind when you write a business blog. This makes it a much more nuanced task than merely scribbling down a few thoughts. To truly make the most of this section of your website, your blog SEO needs to be at full strength, which is why we offer blog and content writing as part of our outsourcing service, using the skills and expertise of our experienced professional content team.
One of the key areas of your digital marketing strategy should be your blog. For small businesses, this is a great way of going up against the bigger firms who have larger budgets. A well-written, carefully targeted and SEO-focused blog post can bring in traffic organically, keep people on your site and turn them into customers. But you need someone for the job who knows what they are doing. This is why you should use virtual assistants. With an expert content writer on hand, they can lighten the load when it comes to your blogging helping you become consistent and found.
With a virtual assistant blogger, you only pay for the articles they create. You don’t have to bring in a full-time content specialist, especially if you don’t need a large amount of writing produced every month. You get all the benefits of a professional content writer, but with added convenience. Here’s how to utilise a virtual assistant to help your business grow online.
What Can a VA Content Writer Do?
VA content writers are bloggers and static web copy specialists who you can hire on a one-off basis or as part of a retainer package to provide articles for your website. Whereas your main web content on the informational pages may stay the same or just need minor tweaks every so often, the blog is the place for a stream of fresh content to keep the search engines happy and increase your chances of being seen by new users.
How to Use a VA for Blogging
These are the main ways that a virtual assistant blogger will help your business grow online:
1. Improve Your SEO
SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. This is the art of making a website appealing to Google, Bing and the other search engines so that it ranks higher up and maximises views. A large part of this is to do with the words that you use and how you use them.
Not only will a VA content writer be able to bolster your SEO for your main targeted keywords, but they will also be able to create blogs that help you rank for related terms. This provides more opportunities for users who are interested in your niche to find you by making sure you show up in more of their searches. By ranking for as many keywords as possible within your industry, you stand the best chance of new customers finding your site when they are looking to spend.
2. Provide Fresh Content
Creating fresh content has two main benefits. Firstly, search engines love websites that are being updated and providing new information. This shows that it is a developing project and has not been left to rot with outdated details still on display. Search engines want to find the most relevant results for their users because, if they don’t, they will lose them to an engine that better serves their needs.
The other benefit is new articles and blogs give current customers a reason to return to your website. If they buy into your brand or love your articles about matters that speak to them, they will keep coming back to find out what you have to say next. If you have them on your website, you have the chance to convert them into a customer.
3. Become the Authority
You do not have to be the biggest fish in the pond to be the authority. You just have to be the smartest. Getting VA content writers to produce a series of blogs that exactly target your customers’ pain points and provide them with the solutions they need is the way to be the authority on your subject.
The more people come to your site and find the best answers out there, the more likely they are to return and spend money with you. It also helps more people find you, as concise and clear answers to problems are often highlighted in the results on search engines like Google. This catches the attention of the searcher and gives you the edge over the other results.
4. Save Time Researching
Even though you live and breathe your industry, a good blog needs decent research. As a business owner, you simply do not have the time to put in the hours to look at the most effective keywords, the latest SEO advice, the finer details of the big developments in your sector and all the other elements that make up an effective blog.
A virtual assistant blogger takes on all this work in order to produce the best possible piece that will work wonders on your website.
5. Language Skills
Another reason to outsource to content writers is that they have developed the language skills required to create powerful and persuasive blogs that also hit all of the necessary SEO points. Being a blog writer is not just about knowing the subject, being able to write brilliantly and being a salesperson; it is all three and much more besides.
Being able to outsource this service brings all these many benefits, but without the long term commitment.
Ready to Work with an Expert VA Content Writer?
Blogging for business is one of the many services we offer at Supportal because we understand how vital it is in marketing a business. The many benefits of having a regularly updated blog, with careful research, optimised language and targeted calls to action can help you beat the competition in your niche.
To help you with your online content, we have put together a Resources Portal full of free downloads to make your life much easier. And if you want to talk about providing blogs for your website, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Social media is such a great way to get your product in front of customers’ eyes, but there is so much more to it than simply signing up for a Facebook page or Twitter account. If you want to market your business effectively you need to be able to create compelling, attractive and effective content on a regular basis and when the most eyes are likely to see it. And for that, you need to know the 20 best social media tools for those who mean business.
Keep reading to find out which apps and tools you need to boost your social media marketing to the next level. There is an audience out there waiting to be entertained and informed and it could be your business that does that. However, you need to know how to do it in the most efficient manner possible. That is where these tools come in:
The 20 Best Social Media Tools
1. Adobe Photoshop Mix
Everyone knows about the power of Adobe’s desktop Photoshop and Photoshop Elements programs. However, they can take a bit of getting used to when creating social media images. A great mobile alternative is Adobe Photoshop Mix, which is an intuitive and effective photo editing app for your smartphone. It’s free and you can layer images and text on top of other images to create stunning designs.
If graphic design really isn’t your thing, Canva is your saviour. It starts with a free plan but is worth opting for the paid option to get hold of more stock images, templates for all manner of different types of social posts, the ability to resize images for the various networks and a whole load more too.
Very simply, this app removes the background from your images, allowing you to really jazz up product photos, team pictures or whatever you want to add to a funky background.
When someone has a good idea, others soon imitate. Snapchat’s posts were aped by Instagram for their Stories feature, which has now been followed up with Twitter’s Fleets. If you want to make beautiful images for all of these platforms, Unfold offers templates for creating stunning collages that fit onto them perfectly.
One of the most difficult parts of creating social media content is finding royalty-free images. There are more than three million of them on Pexels, so you should easily find something to fit your post.
Best Social Media Tools For Scheduling
Starting with a free plan that allows you to attach three social channels, Buffer is a simple way to schedule social media posts. You can create a schedule based on the times that your followers are most likely to be online and share the same content in different ways to suit the various networks.
Loomly is known for its simple but effective interface as well as its easy-to-follow calendar workflows for collaborators. It can even create draft posts from RSS feeds to help you share relevant information with your followers.
For posting solely to Twitter, Tweetdeck is an excellent free service. You can manage multiple accounts and create columns to follow hashtags and keywords as well as your mentions and Direct Messages.
Although Later allows you to post to a number of networks, it focuses mainly on Instagram. If Instagram marketing is your priority, this tool manages your grid as well as your stories and you can create a media library with tags and notes that help you search out that perfect image when you need it. You can also add a first comment on a post to stick your hashtags in, as well as being able to manage general comments in the app.
Feedly can categorise blogs that you follow into different themes so that you can easily share and schedule them on your social media channels, all through this single app.
Video Tools for Social Media
Whilst social media is based on visuals, sometimes you need to share audio such as clips from podcasts and the like. Headliner allows you to create slideshows and images with moving waveforms to display your audio. You can add subtitles too for that “sound off” audience.
This tool finds the best bits of your footage to help you display it in the most striking way. It edits your clips with transitions and effects too, all from your smartphone or tablet.
If you have an Apple device, iMovie is a free but extremely powerful program for editing videos to share on social media. You can add backgrounds, themes, voiceovers and more, all whilst you are on the go.
14. Adobe Premiere Clip
If iMovie is Apple’s version of its desktop editing software, Adobe Premiere Clip is a mobile version of its well-known software for use on all platforms. It can even create its own videos from your footage.
One of the problems of sharing video on social media is that all the networks have different requirements for dimensions. Thankfully, Wave.video can take care of that for you. This makes sure your video looks as good as possible across your social media.
Social Media Content Generation
If you want to know the type of content that is trending in any particular niche, Buzzsumo is the place to go. It can give you the heads up on the best type of content to share and analyzes your social performance to help you finetune your content strategy.
17. Google Trends
Whatever type of content you are trying to create, looking at Google Trends helps you plan posts that strike a chord. It tells you what people are searching for online, which translates into the type of content they want to see on social media too.
18. Days of the Year
One great way to generate content is to look at the national days and observances coming up. Days of the Year will help you plan what will trend and so you can jump on it in advance and schedule posts to coincide with National Organising Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day and so on.
19. Instagram’s Search Facility
In the Instagram app, there is one of the most powerful social media tools you can find. Search for hashtags relating to your niche and find a list of similar suggestions that you can add to your posts to boost your reach. Hashtags are how new people find you and the key is right there in the app!
20. Hashtag Expert
For more hashtag help, try Hashtag Expert. You enter a term relevant to your business and the app throws up a collection of related terms. You can copy them all in one go and paste them onto your posts to help grow your profile. Simple!
More Help With Social Media Marketing
Now you know the best social media tools for businesses, you can up your social game. You can also get access to even more helpful tools at our Resources Portal. It features design templates, cheat sheets and more items to help you level up your online presence. Hit the link to sign up for free access to this invaluable collection.
As you grow your small business or start-up, you have to make big decisions. There comes a point where the demands of the job mean you must hand over some of your tasks to someone else. But do you hire a member of staff or do you outsource it to a virtual assistant in London, this is the big question? In uncertain times, outsourcing to a VA makes a lot of sense. There are fewer overheads and much less commitment. At Supportal, our team have many years of combined experience. We don’t just want you to delegate, we want you to delegate effectively, which is why we encourage you to get your priorities right before you start working with a VA to get the best results.
In this article, you can find out how to sort your priorities so you know which VA services will make your life easier. The plan is to make your business run more efficiently and effectively, without you having to destroy your work/life balance to succeed. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to do this right.
What is Outsourcing and Why Does it Matter?
Outsourcing means taking on external help to complete tasks. These might be dull admin jobs that take up your time and do not fill you with passion. Alternatively, they could be vital tasks that are simply not in your skillset.
Rather than tie yourself up with payroll, providing equipment, paying for sick days and holidays, investing in larger office space and so on, outsourcing to a virtual assistant in London ensures that you only pay for what you use and you are not paying to keep someone busy after they complete their tasks within their contracted time.
How to Prioritise Before Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant in London
1. Consider How Much Work You Will Take On
To know exactly how a virtual assistant will help you, you need to think about the amount of work you will take on in the forthcoming year. This is a moment where you really need to think about how much you can do alone. Has the list you have presented yourself with overwhelmed you just by looking at it? It can be difficult to launch a working relationship with a VA when you are already swamped. You may struggle to find the time to delegate and review work, which is why planning ahead means everything. By looking ahead, you can spend more time talking to potential VAs to find out which you feel you can work with most easily.
The beauty of working with a VA is that you can start by outsourcing a small amount of work and then increase it as your business grows. By thinking about your growth strategy now, you can also ask the right questions of the VAs you talk to, about how they can scale their service to meet your increasing needs.
2. Analyse Your Skillset
In an ideal world, you would have an expert to take care of each area of your business. Unfortunately, small business finances do not work like that. When you look at the work you have coming up, be honest with yourself about how much is safely within your wheelhouse. For example, if you are comfortable with marketing your business, outsourcing that would be less of a priority than finding a remote web designer might be.
Compare the areas in which you feel most comfortable. Put those tasks that you are least proficient in at the top of the priority list and those that you can easily complete at the bottom.
3. Consider How Long Tasks Take
Now you have your list of jobs ordered by your abilities, there is another factor to consider. Time. There are only so many hours in a day so, if it turns out that you are most skilled at the most time-consuming tasks you will find that you will face a different sort of problem. You will run out of time and burn yourself out.
You can use this information to refine your priorities.
- Tasks that are outside of your skillset AND which take up the most time go to the top of the list, followed by…
- Those tasks you are not comfortable with but only take a little time
- This is followed by tasks you can complete but which take a lot of time
- Finally, tasks you are comfortable with and which are only brief
4. Search for VAs Who Can Fit Your Priorities
Armed with this information, you will have a much better idea of what you need from a virtual assistant. For example, you can find a VA that offers a full Instagram marketing program if that is high up on your list.
When you talk to potential VAs, be specific about your needs, this helps you approach the right kind of VAs but also helps them to create the perfect package for your business and give you the results you seek.
Need a Virtual Assistant in London?
Book a free consultation today to talk about your priorities and how we can help. We boast a team of industry professionals across a full range of business services, ready to take the weight off your shoulders and help you drive your business forwards.
Knowing your priorities helps you get the best value from your virtual assistant in London. For more tips on working with external professionals, take a look at our free guide to outsourcing to a VA.