A well-designed estate plan requires organization and so does a social media campaign. Social media calendars need to be managed and this can be done through any number of systems, from free templates available online to complex systems to something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. How do you decide which one will work best for your firm?
There are as many tools available to organize your social media calendar as there are social media outlets. The challenge when there are too many choices: how much time to invest in exploring all of these organizational tools versus how much time you might lose when scrambling to build a system of your own? Our advice: start with a simple approach.
This is particularly best if you are only posting on one platform. But when your social calendar grows, so does the importance of being well-organized.
Know what sort of tools you and your team will be most comfortable using. If you present a group of people with a complex tool with a long learning curve, be prepared to have them devote some time to training until they are comfortable with the system. Know your team: if they are digitally proficient, they will easily adapt to a sophisticated organizer. If they are not, the push back may impact the success of your social media campaign.
If you and your team use Google’s shared documents, create a Google Sheets file, with a tab for each month, fields for topics, days, weeks and social platforms. Because Google Sheets gives the option to create color schemes for columns, it will be easy to read. Just remember to be consistent with your use of color.
Note that you can do any type of color scheme in Excel, but Google Sheets allows you to collaborate with multiple team members and allows your team to edit on the fly without needing to download, upload and sync files. If your firm uses Microsoft Cloud, your team is likely already proficient with shared documents, so Excel might be your organizer of choice.
Another tool from Google: create and share a Google calendar. Assigning a color to each person so you can easily see who is posting.
If you are a fan of old fashioned paper calendars (you know who you are), and maybe you even still use a paper daybook, then you might be more comfortable with a calendar planner that is dedicated to social posts. The downside is considerable, as you will not be able to perform the same level of detailed analysis that spreadsheets allow. And if at some point you decide to automate your social campaign (best practices) and add your data into a social media organizer, you can’t upload or cut and paste data from paper the same way you can from a spreadsheet.
One thing to keep in mind: while your social media campaign should be a planned program with defined messages, there will be times when you will be posting news that will not be part of the planned program. A new bill that will impact estate planning, changes to Medicaid or news from the firm may not be built in advance. Make an effort to add these posts into the social media calendar so they are included in any reviews and analysis of your campaign’s effectiveness.