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Developing a Social Media Calendar for Professional Services

A social media strategy would be nothing without actually implementing it. It’s important for any firm not to just talk about what they’re going to do in social media, but to actually map it out.  It might sound silly, or even rudimentary, but creating a social media activity calendar will ultimately lead your team to success.

So what goes into a social media calendar you ask.  We’re here to tell you!

Commitment

Okay, so this isn’t really a tangible item, but it will be the core to keeping your social media strategy alive. Whichever channels your firm identified as important and relevant for your industry, stay committed to them – no excuses!  Social media is a great tool for building credibility and establishing your firm as a trusted source of information.  As you begin to establish a rhythm to your posts, your audience will begin to expect posts and updates at particular times.  If you lose momentum, you’ll lose your audience as well. 

Form Your Team

You’ll need to devote some time to social media if you want to do this correctly.  So another important item on your to-do list will be to identify your social media team.  You’ll need to select people who feel confident using social media, have an enthusiasm for content, promotion, and who have a desire to share valuable information with others.  You won’t need an army, but you’ll need a handful of good soldiers.  Once you’ve identified your team, establish what they will be held accountable for so they have a clear picture of what is expected of them.    

Creating the Calendar

It’s not a complex process, but it will take some thought and strategy as you’re building out your social media activity calendar. 

A few good rules of thumbs:

  • Channel champions – Assign one person on your team to a particular channel, your channel champion if you will.  This will lead to fewer redundancies in posts as well as your team not becoming too overwhelmed.  
  • Build tasks into schedules – It’s likely that social media is not the only thing your social media team is responsible for on a day-to-day basis.  And it’s easy for client work to take over and throw your social media strategy off-track.  So set-up your social media team’s tasks as a project.  Make sure to give them enough time; somewhere between 2 to 3 hours per channel, per week; so that they can feel accomplished and you can start to see results.
  • 80/20 – And no, we’re not talking about ground beef!  When you’re tweeting on Twitter or posting on Google+, you’ll want to follow the 80/20 rule.  In other words, as you tweet or post one thing related to your firm, you’ll want to post, tweet or retweet four pieces of industry related news.
  • Continuous monitoring – One of social media’s main objectives is to start conversations and build relationships with fellow social medialites.  So go now and converse I say!  You’ll need to continuously monitor your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to see if comments are being made or questions being asked.  Promptness counts here too!
     

To give you an idea of what a social media calendar could look like, here’s an example.  We’ve created this calendar based on the assumption that the firm is posting 2 blogs a week, has a piece of stock content once a quarter, and holds a webinar once a quarter.  One last thing to keep in mind is that this calendar is an example of what your firm’s social media activities should be, not what individual employees should be doing through their personal accounts.  Although the nature of posts are somewhat similar for both firm and personal accounts, the number of posts for individuals is slightly lower.


 

Some important things to point out:

    For each social channel, attach a name  – Again, think accountability here.  If people see their names associated with something, they’re more than likely to actually do it!
    Provide day-to-day activities – Don’t make your team guess.  Explicitly list the types of posts your social media team will need to complete.  
    Double commitment – Your commitment not only applies to social media activity, but your content as well.  The amount of unique content your firm is producing will also play a large role in creating your social sharing frequency.

For more information about social media and how to use it to grow your professional services firm check out our Social media Guide!

Author: Katie Sanner Katie’s professional background is as wide as her smile. From advertising and design to professional AEC marketing experience, she has experienced marketing from both sides of the table. Katie has worked at Arnold Worldwide, where she was a Creative Manager for clients such as Amtrak, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Choice Hotels. Later, she spent several years in the AEC industry, including Deltek and marketing a Washington DC Top 25 Engineering Firm.

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