It’s not a secret that I’m not the biggest fan of social media, though I do appreciate its necessity these days.
I have also been lucky enough to meet some marvellous people through social media so I try and give it the attention it deserves.
However, since I’m a busy little bee most of the time, between bouts of SAD, I need to make sure I’m as efficient as possible and let’s be honest, social media can become a huge time suck!
I started analysing how I worked with my social media, more intently, in July and have been tweaking it since then.
In September, I found what worked best for me and have been trying to keep on with it. I did fumble a little during my worst SAD days, but mostly it’s been working well.
The idea of Deep Scheduling is to plan the social media content in large blocks. I try for a month at a time.
To work effectively, I needed a few things:
First, I needed to be crystal clear which of my social media platforms were my top priorities.
If you try and give them all the same amount of attention, you’ll struggle (unless you plan on giving them all limited attention).
NB: The one I don’t include in my Deep Scheduling is Twitter. Mainly because I post several times a day on Twitter and have a separate, well-established schedule for that.
This is where I bulk plan my social media. Now, despite my love of excel spreadsheets and other digital tools, I decided it worked best for me to use a manual diary as my planner.
This does NOT mean I don’t have a spreadsheet. I did create one and I have a copy of it that you can amend to suit your needs and use for the following year.
It’s in The Library which is free to access by my Newsletter Subscribers. Want access to this resource and more? Join my Newsletter.
Having a diary meant I could spend time away from my computer, planning my content. I keep my diary with me so if I get time while I’m waiting for appointments etc I can be adding to it.
Sometimes, it’s nice to do things away from screens – which is why I’m not using my phone or tablet for this task either.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know how much I love the social media scheduler Buffer – I rave about it all the time!
It’s been the easiest and best scheduler for me and though I am on a paid plan, it’s well worth every penny.
Buffer does have a free option if you want to try it out. You can connect 3 platforms and it allows you to schedule 10 posts per acct.
Now that I know which platforms I want to work on, I set about deciding which days I want to post on.
This schedule doesn’t include things like repost/sharing things on Facebook etc. As these are done as and when. This is more about making sure that on each day that I want to post something, I have something planned.
Now, I keep saying Social Media, but in truth, this Deep Schedule is used for other things too. As well as social media, I track my blog posts on it, my posts to DeviantArt, Etsy updates etc.
Because I’m having to track so many different things and make sure I’m consistent with them, I plan them all in this diary.
I leave a space beside each platform to write in a quick note, like on Friday it has “Goals Dec” in my blog. For Instagram on Monday, it has “quote”.
Here’s an example of my consistent layout for the week:
Since I love colour, I colour-coordinated each one. Pink is Instagram, Orange is Etsy, Blue is Facebook, Grey is DeviantArt etc.
Now, I appreciate you might be looking at this and saying “wait, Ari, is this REALLY more efficient if you are writing out in different colours?”
Shockingly, it is. I need the ease of quick glance which colour coding helps. I usually prep several weeks layout while I’m waiting for my computer to load up or when it’s running a long scan.
National and International Dates
By using this diary, I also make sure to include, when prepping, any National and International Dates that I find relevant.
These can be things like World Kindness Day, International Women’s Day, Literacy Day etc.
These allow me to consider using content connected to these days as and when they come up.
A Month at a Time
I’ve talked about Batching before and I use it all the time. Social media planning is perfect for batching.
By spending a few hours/days going through my schedule and deciding what content I want to upload to social media etc, throughout the month and then finding/prepping it takes a lot less time than trying to do it all on the fly. (Believe me, I know!)
Once I’ve filled my diary month with ideas, I take another day to locate or create all the required media graphics and then spend a few hours loading it all into Buffer.
I already have my best days and times set up on Buffer so I just need to drop in the content.
All this takes about 3 days. But 3 days to get a month’s worth of posts planned, created and scheduled means I don’t have to think about it much after that.
Remember, social media works best with consistency and having a deep scheduling system in place that allows you to consistently share content, be present etc will help you in the long run.
Do you schedule your Social Media?