Social media is a growing phenomenon, with new websites seemingly popping up overnight trying to put a new spin on things. Some of these catch on like wildfire, while others linger in the back ground and serve niche segments of the vast Internet universe. Regardless of whether your small business uses just the big daddies of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) or also dabble with smaller websites that focus on your particular industry, social media is a useful tool for marketing.

With all the possibilities out there for marketing your small business website on social media platforms, it is very important to create a calendar for managing all your activity. A calendar will allow you to have your small business social media needs right at your fingertips. There are various tools available for creating a calendar for your small business, like the Timeline calendar just for Facebook postings, a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, Google Docs (easy for sharing with others), and Hootsuite, which has many bells and whistles at your disposal. With Hootsuiteyou can pre-program your social media activity to post at certain times, which is very convenient for weekends or other times you are away from your small business.

The various social media aspects that can be managed with a calendar include:

  1. Scheduling and timing. When it comes to social media posting, you do not want to over-do it or under-do it. A barrage of posts from your small business can be off-putting, while infrequent posts will deter followers from making regular visits. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 2-3 messages spread out through each day. A calendar can help you keep on this schedule and to prepare ahead of time.
  2. Blogs. Plan the themes on topics of your small business blog posts and set deadlines for them to be finished and posted for your customers to enjoy.
  3. Messages. Personal usage of social media seems to involve messages that are posted on the fly, but it would behoove small businesses to use a calendar to plan out what you want to share and when you want to share it. For example, if you know you are going to be posting a new blog entry next Wednesday, make note in your calendar to share a link to the blog on Facebook that same day.
  4. Events. If your small business has upcoming events on the horizon, use the calendar to plan out when you want to post announcements and reminders.
  5. Offers and Promotions. The calendar can assist you small business in determining when you want to announce offers and promotions. For example, if your small business holds sales at certain times of the year, get them on the schedule of your social media marketing activities.
  6. Website updates. Keeping the content of your small business website fresh is a great way to keep customers coming back to visit. Consistently plan your website updates by scheduling them on the calendar.
  7. Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Stay on top of your PPC campaigns by scheduling content changes or performance reviews on your small business social media calendar.

The above are just a handful of things that can be carefully planned out and monitored with a calendar. More times than not, small businesses are more likely to accomplish tasks if they are planned out and written down. Trying to organize a fixed schedule in one’s head is probably going to lead to some things slipping through the cracks. Plan ahead and your small business will have a much easier time with its social media marketing efforts.

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Pagemodo’s Marketing and Social Media Manager. Get more from Irina on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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