February 8, 2021
If you read my January column, I explained the process of creating a social media calendar along with some tips and tricks to make it easier. Once you have finished that step, the next stage is to start planning the content you want to fill it with.
This is where you determine what categories or “buckets” you want to establish. A bucket represents a relevant topic that will be of high interest to your target audience.
Most experts recommend starting off with pillar content. This is original information you put together that usually falls under the educational umbrella. It should be targeted to your core demographic or a specific niche you cater to. (I included some examples in last month’s column.)
Pillar content will take longer to create than other types and for that reason, I recommend it also be available on your website in the form of a blog, e-book, or a resources page. If you post it only on social media, it will “disappear” after a few days and limit the number of people who see it.
Also, as mentioned above, if your pillar content is evergreen, this means you can use it throughout the year. Either by letting a few months go by before re-using it or use it on a different channel. Strong content should be repurposed.
By having your pillar pieces on your website, they act as an SEO magnet; your sales staff may want to share them with buyers they are talking to; and of course, it will drive traffic from your social media to your website. Depending on what this pillar content is, you might be able to generate up to 30 posts from it.
For example, if it is a blog on the “10 Top Tips for Creating a Killer T-Shirt Design,” then you might use a tip a day as a post for 10 consecutive days. In this event, one piece of pillar content would carry you through two weeks on your social media calendar if you plan on posting Monday through Friday.
Your next category or “bucket” might be upcoming events. What’s going on in your area in the coming month that you want to publicize on your business page? Is there a big high school football game? Is there an annual charity 10k race? Is one of the local schools having a carnival or open house? Is there a holiday or a national recognition day? Schedule in any upcoming activities that you have customers participating in or you want to recognize and show support to.
Anytime you are posting about clients’ activities, be sure to tag either individuals or the fan/business page so they know you shared. Tagging also makes a greater number of people aware of your company and what it does.
Videos are one of the most popular forms of content that gets the greatest number of responses and sharing. By planning ahead, you can create a video a week or every other week to schedule on the calendar. You might interview a customer about something going on in their company, it might be a testimonial video by a client who loves your work, or you might give a tour of your shop and introduce members of your staff.
Videos also can be fun. I recently saw a video by a screen print shop in Texas where a demo was done showing the different kinds of foods you could microwave in the office for lunch and which tasted best. So don’t be afraid to throw a little humor or real life into the occasional video.
I talked to another industry person who decided to decorate a tortilla using a DTG machine. The design included the ingredients you might put in a tortilla. According to this printer, it came out great! This would make a great video to make viewers laugh while at the same time learning that you have DTG capabilities at your shop.
Curated content or posts from other places that you share to your page might account for up to 50% of your overall content. This can be handled in a variety of ways. You might decide to leave slots open during the week. As you are on social media and you see a post from someone that would be of interest to your community, schedule it in one of your open slots. Or you might just share it right then, depending on what is.
Or, you might run across an informative blog or video that is not recent, but is worth sharing. In that case, simply schedule it to post in any open slot during the month. For sure, you want to be aware of activities your clients are involved with and share those to your page when appropriate.
Photos are another bucket category that should be scheduled on a regular basis. Because decorators are in the business of printing art, be sure to constantly be showing off what you have printed. Other great images are of happy customers, staff at work, special events or anniversaries and even shop pets. Be sure to always be thinking of what would make a good social media photo, and encourage everyone on staff to be taking them.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. There is no proscribed number of buckets you should be setting up, but I’d like to suggest if you want to post at least five days a week, that you should have at least five buckets, and you assign a day to each one.
You may want to have 10 buckets or more depending on the size of your shop, the number of niches you serve, the number of employees you have, etc. Give your entire staff an opportunity to participate and brainstorm on what your buckets should be.
The calendar is intended to be a guideline. There will be times when you post things not on it and post more often than what you scheduled. If a good customer drops by unexpectedly into your shop, seize the moment to take a selfie and post it. You don’t have to worry that it isn’t scheduled.
The calendar is intended to ensure you are posting regular content and not letting days go by with nothing. It also allows you to make sure you are capitalizing on people, products and activities going on in your shop that you want to share with customers. The more clients get to know you, the more they will trust you, and this is one of the greatest benefits of social media.
Deborah Sexton is the former editor of Impressions Magazine, where she worked from 1981 to 2001. She now owns her own company, Saracen Communications, doing digital media marketing, copywriting, and public relations for companies in the decorated apparel industry. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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