Have you ever sat there at your desk for ages, wasting valuable time trying to think of something to post on your business’s 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, 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 Create Social Media Content in Advance?
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 of 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, giveaways 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 products/services, and 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 for 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 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, calendars, and more. Start with a list view, we use this when mapping out content and drafting captions. Use a section labeled ‘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 to 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 bulk. 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 new posts if they occur to you mid-month or are based on current events.
Either way, you will not feel overwhelmed by 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 Time Freedom Lab. 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. Are you struggling to get your head around content marketing and strategies? Check our comprehensive guide to Crafting Content for Your Marketing Plan.