I live in the real world, juggling many tasks, managing a team, traveling for speaking engagements and dreaming up marketing campaigns all while being held accountable for making deadlines. What I don't need added to my stress is the wondering what I am going to post to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter TODAY.
In all of those travels, my one sentence that gets the most rise out of my audience is when I say, "Right now, standing here I have almost 2,000 social media posts planned, hashtagged and with graphics already scheduled for the next year." You can audibly hear the gasps.
We find solopreneurs and marketing managers all the way up to the C-level are stressed out about their social media content calendars. We hear time and time again that they come in for the day and think about what they are going to post THAT DAY. Honestly, that would put us over the edge with stress, so we are here to help. My business coach Christine Kane says, "Where there is a stress, you lack a standard." Let us shed some light on content calendar standards.
If you've ever worked with me you know I'm a self-described "Trello evangelist" and I've written about how Trello can help you organize your personal life. But how can this system help you create and manage your content calendar? Before you sigh deeply about "one more app", grasp lovingly to your paper content calendar, or head to the nearest hole to crawl into because you have no content calendar, hear me out.
At Little Bird Marketing we are sought after for our marketing expertise and award-winning design, but the major value add is how we share our proprietary organization systems we have created in Trello. We have created extensive project templates which we quickly copy for a new client. We then work to customize it based on the clients' SMART goals.
Here are a four key functions of Trello which make it perfect as a content calendar system:
1. Tagging - I can't bear a world where I have to search through my emails to find what someone told me about a project. The first and most basic benefit of Trello is the ability to tag the person you are talking to within a thread of the project. What is even better about this is, every Trello user determines how often they want to be notified when people tag them. That lets people work at their own pace, but stay current. You can tag multiple people within a post or just one. It's a function that is independent from who is assigned to the card, specifically so that you can have DIRECT communication. Lovely.
2. Checklists - We not only use checklists for social media calendarizing, but we have multiple checklists for each task. For example, when we blog, our checklist reads as follows:
Having multiple checklists helps break the project down into phases. In this case, while we may get the actual blogging done months in advance, we may leave the promotion to a later date, but we rest easy knowing that none of our great content was created and then was not promoted. Insert sigh of relief here.
BONUS: If you have a list in a Word or Excel file you need to add to a Trello card simply open a checklist and paste it there. You will see Trello perform magic, moving each line into its own checklist item. Abracadabra.
3. Uploading Files - We can't move forward until clients approve their content or graphics. Uploading the file in question directly to the card is the quickest way to ensure that we are all looking at the right version. It also serves as a traceable approval to our work captured in time. When I am on the road, this system moves from convenient to invaluable. If I want to get some work done, but don't have access to our server I can download all I need for a project directly from the Trello card. And you thought I just drank champagne in the Admirals Club.
4. Lists - The four key marketing actions for proper strategy are ATTRACT, CONVERT, CLOSE and DELIGHT. But the four key marketing tools are BLOGGING, EMAIL, SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING and FREEMIUM DEVELOPMENT. For us, those four main lists are the most important lists on a Trello card. Each houses many individual cards, but we live and die by these four lists.
Whether we are handing a clients' entire content calendar or have gotten them set up properly for eventual DIY, the proprietary formulas are the foundation. We can quickly copy an entire Trello board, share it with a client and start customizing it to create a stress-free annual plan. The hours saved are insane! We've even created two levels of packages to get you started. One is called START UP SMART, and the other is the BUSINESS ACCELERATOR.
BUSINESS BONUS: On a different note, many of us are juggling papers with great "to do" ideas, and thoughts that are not urgent, but inspired. I might be on a plane when I think of the best title for my next keynote or blog. But where do I put this? #thestruggleisreal Consider starting an INSPIRATION BOARD. Someone in your company has a great idea for a contest, but it is really more a Q3 idea than a Q1 possibility? Share it with your team and you can organize the great ideas that otherwise get lost in the shuffle. If it is time sensitive, just put a date on it and Trello will remind you. Next time you need inspiration, voila.
DOUBLE BUSINESS BONUS: Want your team to share great takeaways from the books they are reading? Start a BOOK CLUB board and every time someone reads they can list a few key takeaways for everyone else to review.
Still panicking?! BREATHE. Just take a look at the packages we've developed to help businesses get on the right path. Or, if you're completely in the dark (it's okay!), you should request a free marketing assessment. We'd be happy to discuss options with you.