We’re often asked, “What’s the best social media strategy?” Without a doubt: planning ahead. Laying out a foundation of content and scheduling enables you to be thoughtful, efficient, and adaptable. Even if you’re not a "social media expert," don’t have a social media manager on your team, or are a new or small business, putting in the work to plan ahead your social media content will have a HUGE return on investment. You’ll have more time, less stress, and a better understanding of how your campaigns are performing.
Still not convinced? Here are 6 reasons why planning ahead should be at the center of your social media strategy:
1. You don’t have to worry about what to post every day.
Upload images and videos
Write and edit copy
Tag other accounts
Post saved groupings of hashtags
See “best times to post” based on previous data
Schedule in advance when your content will be posted
Share posts across multiple social media platforms**
Switch around posts with ease or save them for later
Review post analytics like reach, likes, engagement, and impressions
That sure beats cramming this all in on the day - of, especially if meetings, sick days, or other issues come up last-minute. Think of planning ahead as a safety net for your marketing team. Put in the work and you’ll always be one step ahead of the game.
**We don’t recommend posting the exact same content across multiple platforms. While it’s convenient, you won’t get the most out of it since each platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.) has a unique audience, algorithm, and preferred content format. It is great to share the same concept across social media, but make sure the captions and visuals are edited in a way that best suits the platform.
2. Your posts serve your broader business goals.
If you’re stressed to post today (on top of all the other tasks on your to-do list), you’re naturally going to reach for the low-hanging fruit (i.e. What’s the easiest thing I can come up with today to check this off my list and get to my other work?). Such procrastination and high-stakes pressure cloud your mind from creating strategic content that aligns with your brand’s long-term goals. When you take the time to lay out the month or campaign ahead, you are better able to tell a story, to line up content in a way that makes sense and has an impact, and to focus on your feed’s balance of selling and nurturing.
3. Content batching can be more cohesive and impactful.
When you “batch” your content, you come up with all your graphics and captions at one time. Not only will this synthesize the story-arc of your content campaign, but your tone, visual aesthetic, and calls to action will line up better, too.
4. You’re less likely to produce content you’re not proud of.
When you allow yourself time and space to plan ahead, a lot of the stress is taken out of the process. You can—and should—review content for errors prior to posting (typos, tags, CTAs, brand voice, etc.), have a colleague provide a second set of eyes, and analyze how each individual post functions within the greater context of your social media feeds and overall campaign.
5. Writing and creating when you’re in the headspace to do so makes you more efficient.
Some days you feel the creative juices flowing, and other days your brain just doesn’t seem to work no matter how much coffee you’ve had. That’s normal and avoidable when you plan your social media content on those days when you’re in your flow—a state of focus when you’re completely absorbed in your work. So, be intentional with your time and energy. Carve out a few hours every week to turn off distractions, get in the zone, and bust out some upcoming content. Working on this project consistently (rather than just a little bit every day) will help you pay attention to the details while also keeping in mind the bigger picture of the month, campaign, or goal.
6. The process can be collaborative and transferable.
With a social media management app like Later, several people on your team can have access and contribute to the process. This can be helpful to foster teamwork between copywriters, marketers, managers, art directors, and even interns who are learning the ropes. Additionally, having the social media schedule laid out in a professional management system makes the process of transferring the job from one person to another much more efficient. When a social media manager does their work in a way that is their own and only makes sense to them, passing all that information to their successor can be messy. With a management system, everything is archived, future content is prepared, and onboarding is straightforward.
How to Start Planning Your Social Media Posts in Advance
If you’re not used to planning your social media content in advance, it may sound intimidating. And to be honest, the planning process will take a good amount of time upfront. But once you’ve laid the groundwork, you’ve set yourself (and your business) up for success. In no time at all, continuing with this model will become your new normal and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it this way all along.
Ready to take the stress out of planning your social media? Download the Media À La Carte's Social Media Planner. For just $24 you’ll get 39 pages to help you audit your accounts, create a strategy, and plan your content.
Section 1: Audit + Statistics
Section 2: Content Pillars
Section 3: Posting Schedule
Section 4: Social Media Admin
This download comes with easy-to-use worksheets to guide you through the most important parts of creating a social media strategy and sticking to it. Remember to set realistic posting goals for yourself. 3 posts per week is better than zero posts per week. Get the Social Media Planner here and transform your relationship with posting to social media.