18 Mar Make your Social Media Scheduling More Like TV
We are absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to television choices at the minute. Game of Thrones series 8 is probably the most anticipated series in history, but we also have Peaky Blinders, The Bodyguard, Luther, endless series of Love Island and a plethora of other choices to keep us occupied.
It struck me that there are a surprising number of similarities between scheduling TV channels and a brand’s social media strategy.
A TV channel will produce programmes tailored to a specific target audience or persona. You can tell the persona based upon adverts — most live sports are clearly targeted at men aged between 18 and 35 that enjoy beer, betting and shaving.
What they absolutely don’t do, is create content with nobody in particular in mind, or a demographic that doesn’t exist or is so niche and small that there is no possibility of a decent ROI
Social media marketers can take inspiration from this. Obviously, a tweet or a post on Instagram isn’t as big a commitment as a making something for television from a time, or an expense point of view. However, this doesn’t mean that we should hold ourselves to lower standards as this devalues our product.
Producing a constant stream of top-quality content is difficult and time-consuming. Especially if you are also battling a lack of resource, assets or time. Believe me, I know it can be tempting to post something with a ‘this will do’ attitude. It fills a gap and is easy.
I’m not saying you need to always produce Game of Thrones-quality posts on a Cash in the Attic budget. But knowing the purpose and aim of each post you produce will keep you on the right track.
Knowing the persona you’re aiming for is a solid starting position. It’s definitely worth conducting a regular follower audit to make sure that the persona you’re writing for is the same as the one that is consuming your content. Think the major sub-group of adult, male My Little Pony fans!
Type of Content
Think about the different types of TV shows that we enjoy; programmes (occasionally of dubious quality) that we binge, weekly series that we look forward to, and showcase epics that are heavily promoted and create a buzz — Think BBC’s Blue Planet, Peaky Blinders or Broadchurch etc.
The same philosophy can be applied to your social media strategy.
This type of content is your Antiques Roadshow, Simpsons and Countdown. Regular and consistent, this provides a steady stream for your followers. They know what to expect. It could be your weekly blog or podcast, that support your marketing goals.
The topics will inevitably vary, but the style, format and tone will likely be consistent and familiar. Once you’ve got a reader of your blog and convinced them of its quality and worth, providing you’re consistent you can count them as a viewer. They will look out for (and hopefully look forward) to your content.
An example of this is for an automotive repair client, we promote a weekly repair article that identifies an individual repair issue and how to resolve it. This has been a regular feature on a Wednesday and always goes down well.
When planning your social media schedule your regular content should go into the plan first. It provides a solid foundation around which you can add your showstoppers and binge-worthy content.
These are your big hitters that will persuade prospects to continue down your sales funnel. Typically it will be whitepapers, research that your brand has undertaken, a video, podcast or report that addresses a particular issue that your target audience is experiencing.
Your showstopping content isn’t isolated in the same way that TV channels don’t just air their biggest shows without any warning. There are weeks (and months) of buildup and promotion. We’re not suggesting that you spend months hyping up your latest whitepaper, with the greatest of respect, it won’t be as good as Game of Thrones.
However, promoting it with snippets that will indicate the value it can provide is a great way to promote your expertise. It also means that you can get weeks of social media content from a single asset.
When organising your social media strategy, it’s always best to get your key pieces of content into the prime slots around your regular posts. This allows you to assign it the prime timeslots that will receive the most attention and make the biggest splash. Doing this ensures that your star pieces of content and the associated promotion aren’t going to be diluted by any double bookings that could potentially distract your followers or conflict with the main event.
Not all shows are blockbusters. Some are unashamedly made for binging or as a guilty pleasure, like the 5 episodes of Brooklyn 99 I watched last night.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, I regret nothing.
The same goes for your content. Binging content can fill the gaps around your regular and blockbuster content. It can also be an opportunity to talk about your wider industry or add some fun and personality into your social media schedule.
We’re not suggesting that the binge content should be fluff — it should still be relevant to your brand. However, the odd motivational, GIF, or joke isn’t going to kill your marketing efforts.
A Different Perspective
Thinking like a TV channel can help you put yourself in the audience’s position. When you stop seeing your strategy from a content point of view and start seeing timeslots as ‘primetime’ it can help you prioritise your marketing strategy.
For example, it’s common knowledge that Wednesday afternoon is the peak time for engagement on LinkedIn. If you view this as primetime when your grade-A content will be published, you then have a cornerstone from which to publish the rest of your LinkedIn strategy.
You may then find it easier to find a logical and effective place for everything else.