As we find ourselves living our lives in lockdown, we don’t always have the reserves for creativity. Let’s face it – creating social media content every week or every day can be creatively challenging at the best to times, let alone when we’re doing our best to just hold it all together.
Often, busy business owners simply drop their social media, but in times where we want to be attracting new clients and more work, we can feel we’re between a rock and a hard place if we need to promote ourselves, but just don’t have the energy for it.
I believe there’s a middle ground, where you can keep your social media ticking along with less effort so you can focus that energy on rest and self-care.
I’ve always been a strong advocate for balance and rest – and, despite the ‘always on’ nature of social media, it doesn’t mean that you need to be always on. There are plenty of techniques to help you create social media content when you’re feeling up to it, and rest when you’re not.
Here’s my advice for creating social media content when you’ve having a tough few weeks and would like thinking about your social media marketing to take a backseat.
Schedule in advance
Get a social media scheduling tool. Hootsuite, Buffer and Planable are all social media scheduling tools that I use regularly and have a free version. Or, many social networks have built-in scheduling tools. Facebook has the built-in ‘Publisher’ feature on Pages and Groups which means you can schedule content to go out in the future.
Even if you’re not scheduling all of next week’s content, even pre-scheduling a couple of days of content gives so a few days off.
I find scheduling is a great task which is great for those ‘not quite awake’ times, so it’s great to ‘warm up’ at the start of the day (while coffee is activating) or at the end of the day when my brain is tired.
Plan evergreen content
‘Evergreen content’ is what we in the content creation biz call content that is always relevant.
Examples of evergreen content are:
- Five ways to be more productive
- Friday cocktail recipes
- Testimonials or customer stories
- Photos of your products or services
Content which is not evergreen is just relevant for that day, week or month:
- Happy Mother’s Day
- Tips for 2020 Tax Time
- How to plan a New Years Eve Party
- Black Friday sale
You get the idea. Evergreen content is your bff, because you can create and keep it aside to use at any time.
When you’re feeling creative, make 5 – 10 pieces of content and set them aside for weeks when you’re feeling time-poor or less creative. This is also a great tip for blog posts!
Knowing what you’re posting can make social media content creation much easier. If you have a social strategy and key objectives, it is a lot easier to plan content.
For example, if you know that if you’re looking to educate your customers, sell some products and build community, you know you’ve got three kinds of posts to create. This takes some the mental work out of content creation: you’re not trying to think about what you’re going to post, it’s just about coming up with how to tell that story this week.
On the topic of organisation, it’s also worth keeping folders on your computer of your social media content: whether it’s a folder of your favourite business-related memes, an Excel spreadsheet of tweets promoting your blog posts or a listing of your favourite go-to websites for industry news. Keeping organised means that when you need to create content, you’re not starting from scratch each time.
Content creation is hard work. It takes creativity, focus, organisation, inspiration and, in my case, a few shots of coffee. I find it much easier to create similar kinds of content together.
- I will create a set of 5 quote posts in one go so I’m researching the quotes and designing the images using the same template.
- If I’m researching blog posts to share, I can research these at once and save them in Excel.
- If I’m featuring products or services, I’ll design a set of images at once while I’m knee-deep in Canva.
Content creation is faster when you’ve got the assets, tools and inspiration in the same place. From there, save that content and schedule it later on.
And as long as you know where you’ve saved it, don’t be shy. You could create a month – or three months – of a content type and just use it over time if it’s evergreen.
Do you need to be posting every day? What if you reduced how much you’re posting to every week? Setting realistic goals – even if that means reducing what you’re doing – can make a big difference to helping you feel on top of things.
Many businesses feel they need to post every day, but the reality is that being sustainable and posting consistently is more important than posting daily. It’s better to post four times a month, rather than go hard for a week and not post again for weeks.
One of my favourite life hacks is to recycle your social media content. You might have great content from a few months ago that new audiences haven’t seen, or that were great posts worth sharing again (some memes genuinely make me giggle every time!).
If you’re having a tough week, schedule some of your quality content from the past. To make this easy, keep a record of what you’ve posted in excel, or a folder on your computer for easy access.
My favourite tip is your jump into your social media analytics dashboard and pull your most popular content from last year and recycle it (here’s a step-by-step for how).
Some weeks it’s important to look after ourselves and take some time out.
We don’t need to be creating inspiring, amazing, funny social media content every week.
But if you still want to appear active and visible to your audience, consider using some of these techniques so you don’t need to create social media content every single day, or so you can take some time out when you’re having a ‘self-care first’ kind of week.
My tips are:
- Make the most of a social media scheduling tool so you’re not posting daily
- Create content which is evergreen which is a great backup for tough weeks
- Having a plan means that you don’t need to to think so much about what you’re creating
- Having folders and Excel files where you’re keeping an archive of your content means it’s easy to find and reuse content if needed
- Create content in batches so you’re faster and more efficient at creation
- Consider blocking notifications if you get sucked into a Facebook vortex and struggle to do a short task in the time you intended
- Recycle your most popular evergreen content from a few months ago
And, of course, you can always outsource some of your social media content creation if you’d like more than a few weeks off. I’d love to give you a hand.
Rest up, stay safe and let me know if you’ve got some other tips for balance and self-care while managing your marketing!
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About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.