The Social Media Starting Kit (Part 3): Calendars and Management

You’ve got a profile, you’ve got ideas for a few posts and images, and now it’s time to begin posting. But, how do you bring strategy in? When do you post? Where do you post? How do you keep from becoming a slave to your social media?

That’s where the next two crucial elements of social media management come in: calendars and management.

First off, each social media platform has different needs, and each audience within the platform has different expectations. The average consumer expects a response from a corporation in Twitter, and 72 percent of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour, per the HubSpot blog. Otherwise there are standard best practices for when to post and how often to post on each network.

Image courtesy of Fast Company

SproutSocial posted earlier this year about the best times to post on each social media network for engagement. It is an incredibly thorough post, and I would recommend reading it to begin charting your content plan.

Keep in mind, this is for scheduled posts. In Part 4, we’ll go over how to respond and engage, but right now we’re focused exclusively on scheduling your content.


Despite the lovely photo at the top of this post, I do not use a paper calendar to schedule my content. Well, that’s mostly true. Here’s my exact approach.

At the beginning of the month, I look through the client’s content–do they have any special events coming up, holidays, content we’ve been working on for some time? Those elements will go into the calendar first. Then, we add in the other content we have available (blog posts and newsletters) and searchable posts–#TBT or #TravelTuesday or #WednesdayWisdom. One that’s completed, the Excel calendar template I’ve been working on is handed to the client for approval before the month begins. Once approval happens, it’s time to get to work.

Hootsuite has been my go-to tool for a few years now. It is easy to use, for small businesses it is free, and it allows you the flexibility to manage three networks, which is really all that a small business needs in the beginning. // can schedule a post as far in advance as you like, and it keeps an archive for you as well as produces monthly analytics for each platform. This makes it possible to hit the best times witch scheduled content, even if you are not available for posting. It also helps with tags and spelling–most of us are better from a laptop than our phones. Buffer, HubSpot and ViralTag are other options for social media management as well.

Management & Getting the Most from Your Content

Now, I would never recommend you post a piece of content only once. Peg Fitzpatrick as coined the phrase “Peg It”, which describes exactly how to get the most mileage from a piece of content, specially with images. (If you don’t have Pinterest or Google+, skip those steps, but continue using the process!)

Peg every blog

  1. Write multiple interesting and click-worthy versions of the blog title.
  2. Create three images in Canva: 735 pixels by 1103 pixels, 940 pixels by 788 pixels, and 876 pixels by 438 pixels.
  3. Pin the 735 pixels x 1103 pixels image on Pinterest with two links (one in the description field and one in the source field) back to blog post. Embed the pin on your blog post with the Pinterest widget.
  4. Share the link to your post on LinkedIn with the 940 pixels by 788 pixels image. Make sure the image name matches the title of your post or LinkedIn will show image819809754.jpg which isn’t impressive.
  5. Create a longer post on Google+ with the 735 pixels by 1103 pixels image, a link to the blog, and a link to the Pinterest post.
  6. Share on Facebook profile and page with the 940 pixels x 788 pixels image with less text than the Google+ post. Add a question to start the conversation on Facebook and two links: one to the blog and one to the Pinterest post.
  7. Tweet the blog post with the 876 pixels by 438 pixels image.
  8. Schedule additional tweets with quotes from the post using the different titles.
  9. Share your article in relevant LinkedIn and Facebook groups and Google+ communities.
  10. Add relevant hashtags when you share your post so more people can find it.

I would add a few tips here…

Instagram. Don’t forget Instagram! Create your image (1080 px by 1080 px). Add a catchy headline and a story with it. The content here should be engaging and long-form. Don’t forget to use your hashtags. You can use up to 30, and remember to tag your brand. 

Google My Business. Create your image (590 px by 445 px). Short form content, like LinkedIn. This is where everyone will find you on search for 7 days, so this should always be about your business. No reposts. Link to the website for more information. 

For this post, “Pegging it” looks like this:

The Social Media Starting Kit: Part 3
Is your social media for your brand ruining your life?
Are you managing social media or is it managing you?
Change the game: schedule 80% of your content and focus on quality engagement for your brand



#strategy #digitalagency #marketingagency#womenentrepreneurs #branding#contentmarketingstrategy #contentmarketing#contentcreator #blogmanagement#entrepreneur #onlinebusinessmanager#projectmanager #projectmanagement#socialmediamarketing #digitalmarketer#blogmanagement #texas#socialmediamanagerlife #socialmediamanagement #growthhacking#entrepreneur

Additionally, Mike Kawula and others recommend recycling content. In his two week class Twitter Marketing That Sells, which I would highly recommend for any small business on Twitter, recycling excellent content is one of the key strategies. And, to begin recycling it even before the first posting is even better.

So, by using a calendar to create a content plan for the month, “Pegging” each piece of content to get the maximum value from it, recycling content to ensure visibility, and executing the content plan with a tool like Hootsuite, 80% of your social media content can be planned and posted in advance, freeing you to engage with your audience in a more open and authentic way.
Tune in next time to read more about engagement; specifically how and when to engage as a business on social media.


The Social Media Starting Kit (Part 2): Choosing Your Network & Beginning the Journey

It’s time to start posting, but where? While some assume having a presence everywhere is better, I would argue that a focused and highly social presence in a few places is better than an auto-post everywhere.

The key question to ask is…

Where is my audience?

Each business will have a slightly different answer to this question, and rightly so. Every audience is a bit different, and also how that audience behaves on social media varies. 

Two audiences, two approaches

For example, there is a huge running community on Twitter and Instagram, but their behavior on each platform varies. On Twitter, the runners are incredibly personal, communicating with each other, giving high fives, asking about health and weather conditions. (If you’re not familiar with Twitter, this is also non-standard behavior for a Twitter community.) On Instagram, the runners post new pictures of themselves every run. And, these are no beauty selfies. In the winter, the more snow flaked eyelashes, the better. And in the summer, red-faced and dripping is the norm. So, if you’re going to make inroads in this community as a business, you’d better count on making it personal and communicating early and often. 
The running audience is completely different from HR. On Twitter, HR is mostly tips and tricks, inforgraphics that share well, and eBooks. There are a few who have a distinct personality (William Tincup and Tim Sackett come to mind), but they are the exception rather than the rule. And, HR on Instagram? The major accounts have big follower numbers but for the most part are quiet with pictures of family, home and hobbies. An HR brand could neglect Instagram for quite some time and thrive (but they better be on LinkedIn). 

Your audience

Most businesses, as previously mentioned, are conceived in response to a problem, a problem the founder is experiencing. So, you know the problem and you’ve experienced it. 

You are the audience. Where are you on social media?

When I write, I imagine the reader as myself, right before I started thinking about or researching the topic at hand. This makes it easy to figure out what topics to pick and how much depth to get into and what kind of sense of humor to use. There aren’t really that many categories of people out there, so even if only 1 in 500 people happens to have my exact taste, with the insane reach of the internet, that turns into a lot of people. –Tim Urban @Medium

If you and your peers are more business-minded men in their mid-thirties to fifties, Twitter would be my go-to if your brand solves a business problem. I’d follow up with LinkedIn as well, as you probably have quite a few connections and use LinkedIn to search out vendors and competitors. 
If you are a homeschooling mom who has a solution to children’s horrific spelling, then Facebook would be the place for you to go. Although Facebook has recently become more challenging for brands, if that’s where your users hang out and think about your brand, go. 

Which platform is best?

The question is not really which is best, but which is best for your audience. The following infographic gives a great overview of the social media networks as well as which work best for which purpose. 

How do I begin?

The key here is to create a business profile and begin posting. You’ve already got your brand essentials, as well as the design ability of Canva for the visuals. The key now is to choose your social media platform and begin. 

Only one or two to start…seriously

In the beginning, choose the one or two networks with the most punch for your audience. Social media, good social media, takes time and presence. If you are chasing five or six profiles, trying to find audiences, communicate with your followers, and post with enough regularity to remain relevant, you will quickly become exhausted and throw your hands up. There is only so much time, and it is best to invest that time wisely where you need to be. 

Your Profile

Beginning a social media platform for a brand is a bit different from building one for an individual. All you need to begin a personal Instagram page is a phone and wifi. For a business profile, you’ll need brand images, a tagline or message, and a best practices guide to follow to ensure you hit all the highlights. 
(The first stage of any social media marketing is a brand audit, and I find many small business owners do not take the time to build a profile. They end up posting great content, but as an egghead–a Twitter handle without a well-built profile–they’ll never get the followers they’re after.)

Best Practices Guides 

(These are my favorite…no need to re-invent the wheel)
Once you’ve got the profile set up, it’s time to begin posting and managing your social media. Next time, I’ll go over my favorite tips and tricks for keeping your social media machine in line. 

The Social Media Starting Kit (Part 1): Establishing Your Brand

Businesses, the best businesses, are the response to a problem. And, the entrepreneur’s encounter with this problem and creative response is the story.

Problem: Children without shoes
Response: Tom’s 
Problem: Unhealthy hair
Response: Monat
Problem: Children with a lacking education after public school term
Response: Classical Conversations
Your business tells a story. Its formation, website, branding, and sales style are all a part of that story. But, in a world of billions, how do you ensure that story is being heard? The answer is social media. And, when a story is spread on social media, you have magnified your audience and increased the likelihood of your business’ success. 
But, how do you engage in social media? A business owner does not have time for rabbit holes, education in social media best practices (which are constantly changing), or endless likes, follows and unfollows, tweets and moments. 

Entrepreneur’s Social Media Starting Kit

This guide assumes you have nothing other than an idea, maybe a product and a company name. Where do you go from here? 
  1. Establish your brand
  2. Choose your social network
  3. Choose your focus
  4. Create a plan
  5. Get going! 
All the recommended tools are free and in a WYSIWYG format.

Establish Your Brand

Your brand is important. A brand is to a company what a reputation is to a person–it tells others about you before an actual interaction. The logo, the colors, the voice and language, and the positioning of your brand all contribute to this. 
To begin building your brand, you’ll need a few free tools. 
Blogger or WordPress

Once you’ve got your brand name…
Acquire a logo.

Canva is my go-to tool for design, and I recommend it for all my clients. Not only does it contain pre-set sizes for all social media networks and many free templates for each, it also allows you to set your brand colors for free. 
If you are a design-minded person, you can create your own logo here. They do have simple logo options, all free, for you to experiment. If this doesn’t interest you, you can submit your logo idea to fiverr and have a design within a day. Don’t worry too much about the logo (or the company name) at this point. Most companies change their logos and names several times within the first few years. Just get started. 

Now that you’ve got your brand name and logo…
Find a color palette. 

Design is a very real part of social media marketing and storytelling. We’ll talk more about design aesthetic when we get to Instagram, but for now, know that a brand with a set color palette, or three, looks more professional and polished on social media and business cards. My favorite website for this is Enter your logo colors (which can be found using, and the website will produce many, many possible color combinations that can be downloaded as PDFs for future use. You can save one of these color palettes in the free version of Canva.  

Now that you’ve got your brand name, logo and color palette…
Set up a simple site. 

Blogger is absolutely free and a great place to start. You can capture a basic domain and a repository for information and sign ups here. There are several templates to choose from, and you can customize with your brand colors (which you already have). Add a initial post about the why behind your business, connect to your Google+ profile, and you’re ready to begin. 
Should you want a more formal site, or online selling functionality, WordPress is the best option for beginners. There are many templates which can be customized, and no coding knowledge is required for the basic site. You will be able to change the site at any time, and the publishing privileges reside with you, not a designer. WordPress sites start at around $20/month. If you do want more complex design, you can hire a coder from Fiverr to do just about anything. Again, you, not the designer, own the site. 
Now you have a brand name, logo, color palette, and basic site. You’re ready for social media!

Choose your social network is up next! Happy branding.


The Space between Social Media and Business Acumen

There was a space for an entrepreneur to offer quality and business acumen in social media to other entrepreneurs and small businesses. SDS took it.

A Passion for the Written Word

There are thousands out there. We’re the people who notice a Q without a U, a misplaced apostrophe, and a false word (“conversate”). We strive for meticulosity. We are logophiles and linguaphiles, and we often suffer from infobesity. In the modern business world, we find our niche in the conversation of the day–social media. This passion for the written word is the beginning of the SDS story, but the inception was forced by a frustration with dishonesty and a love of the hustle.

A Frustration with the Status Quo

Too many are paying too much for too little. This truth is apparent to every business owner who has hired a social media agency and received a smattering of disconnected posts that amount to nothing. However, this is not the way it should be. A social media professional, at her core, is a marketer. She is driven by data, while guarding your brand and your budget fiercely. She should also have open hands and be willing to show you what she does every day. There was a space for an entrepreneur to offer quality and business acumen in social media to other entrepreneurs. SDS took that space.

A Love of the Hustle

The entrepreneur and the small business are the beating heart of American business, and SDS makes their hustle more effective every day. I was on the inside of a bootstrapped start-up and experienced the power of social media. Social media is a tremendous tool for growth and reach. Entrepreneurs have to participate in this arena, but they don’t have time to watch every trend in digital marketing and adapt their approach. I magnify their hustle by promoting their passion. 
That’s why SDS was founded and why I do what I do–a love of language and a revelation of frustration created an agency to promote entrepreneurial passion. 


Storytelling is an Essential Component of Social Media

In 60 seconds, there are 3.3 million Facebook posts, 448,800 tweets, 65,972 Instagram photos uploaded. In 60 seconds. Every hour. Every day. Amid all the noise, how do you ensure your blogposts, your Facebook videos and your Instagram Stories are read and shared by the right audiences? Two elements are essential: list building and storytelling.

Article Highlights

  • ·       AI makes list building easier
  • ·       Storytelling is a trend in 2018
  • ·       Business leaders must participate in their stories

Software makes list building easier

As social media continues to climb in popularity and profitability, more tools emerge to manage and accelerate it. These tools make list building easier. You can find influencers, join in at-the-minute conversations, and follow new users daily to become part of their conversations. How many users varies with the network, but it’s likely more than you think. Twitter, for example, will allow you to follow up to 1,000 new users daily, though it recommends no more than 100 for a smaller account. This is true of all the social networks, and each produces its own analytics so you can measure your success against your competitors. While much of it still requires your interaction, each tool becomes more user-friendly and WYSIWYG every day. List building is easily outsourced or relegated to your mental downtime once you solve the formula.

Storytelling is trending

However, storytelling as an art form and as a business strategy, requires more of you, the business leader or CEO, than ever. This year, Entrepreneur interviewed business leaders about what will make businesses successful in 2018. trends they were anticipating for 2018. Many pointed to storytelling as an upcoming trend. Gary Vaynerchuk, an author and leader in social media marketing, is considered a lead storyteller. His recent publications, as well as his highly rated blog and podcast, focus on helping businesses, small and large, share their story, their mission and their role in the marketplace with the world.

Additionally, changes in Facebook and Google are making storytelling a necessity—tags, SEO baiting, and other behind-the-scenes strategies are no longer working to capture clicks and attention.

You, as a business leader, must create your story. In the upcoming posts, I’ll walk you through how to decide what your story is and how to promote it on the various media platforms. However, the key here is remembering why you started your business in the first place. The more entrepreneurs I meet and work with, the more certain I am that no one starts a business without passion. There’s too much risk, too much work, and too much sacrifice to simply start it for the money.

It’s tempting sometimes to simply focus on the product, but, let’s be honest, there are so many choices for consumers nowadays that a product is rarely the differentiator. Buyers are looking for more than a widget. Sometimes, they are looking to participate in a social enterprise; they are looking for mascara that helps fight human trafficking (Eisley Rose), shoes that give soles to children in need (Tom’s), and grocery delivery that gives free memberships to military service members (Thrive Market). Who are you, truly, and what is your brand doing in the marketplace and in the world? Or, do you offer an unforgettable customer experience, a knowledge-based product and consulting, world-class design services? Are you the only business offering a hassle-free experience in a marketplace saturated with missed deadlines and overwhelming decisions? What makes your company different from the competitors?

Business Leaders Are Key to Sharing Their Stories

The storytelling aspect of social media requires either a storyteller who understands and believes in your business and is willing to engage, or you as the business leader putting your hands in the marketing mix—your blog, your website, and your independent posts on the various social media platforms. If you don’t like to write, or don’t have time, because, you know, you’re running your business, choose a social media manager who gets you and your business. Understanding social media is important, but your story is what will make those posts clickable and draw prospective customers to your front door.


Are you ready to share your story?