How to Make Content Planning a Priority Amidst a Busy Schedule

I know you know that feeling. The one when you’re swamped with projects, have a ton of meetings and still have to come up with something to post on social media?

Yeah that one.

We’ve all been there, and while there’s no way to avoid it, there is a way to ease the stress on yourself – planning ahead. It sounds simple (and, it really is!), but most of us don’t take the time to do it. But when that crazy day, or week, hits, you’ll be thankful you did.

As government agencies, we have a plethora of recurring events, seasonal topics, awareness weeks, reminders, departments, people and topics to talk about – so there shouldn’t be a day you’re without content. Here’s one way you can make that happen:

First, set aside an hour or two every Friday for you to work on your next week’s social media. And, make it official by putting a recurring event on your calendar. By scheduling an actual block of time, it makes content planning a priority.

Figure out what kind of planning works for you and your organization. In Lenexa, we’ve been through a gamut of tools – first an Excel doc, then Outlook calendars, a random smattering of project management software, and we’ve finally settled on Airtable (see below!). Having a planning tool allows us to have multiple staff members contribute to our social media accounts, and identify when topics are ready to be posted

 

Content Calendar

 

 Mine various resources for content ideas. Here’s a few ideas: 

  • Good places to start are hashtag holiday calendars (try these from Sprout Social, HubSpot and SocialXpresso).
  • Go through your governing body’s proclamations to find the list of awareness weeks/months your agency celebrates.
  • Head over to the social media channels of agencies you admire and see what types of things they’re posting about.
  • Ask your customer service team what questions are being asked.
  • Talk to your coworkers to get one “fun fact” from each of your agency’s department. We find that numbers-based data works extremely well.
  • Check out your website analytics to see what people are searching for and which pages they’re visiting.

Then, take those ideas and assign a date to them in your content planning tool. I even go as far as to write each social media post during my weekly planning time, so that all I have to do is copy-paste-post when the time comes. Doing this allows me to see where there are holes that need to be filled and which days may need some adjusting.

Will I see you at GSMCON?

There’s only a few days left until GSMCON in Nashville, Tenn., and I can’t wait to network with all of you  in Music City! I often tell people that it is one of the best conferences you will ever attend, and here’s why:

  • The networking opportunities are amazing. In addition to there being over 800 other people who do exactly what you do and understand the struggles, you also get to talk to representatives from some of the major social media platforms to ask questions, troubleshoot problems and learn best practices.
  • Sessions are geared towards a government audience. Unlike some digital marketing conferences that focus on selling, GSMCON focuses on citizen engagement, policy, information sharing and crisis communications on social media.
  • You will walk away refreshed, inspired and ready to implement new ideas at your agency. The people at GSMCON are more than willing to share their knowledge and show you how they did things. And, usually they don’t mind if you adapt it and make it your own!

So, I hope to see you April 1-4 in Nashville at GSMCON. If you can’t make it, don’t forget that you can grab yourself a virtual pass to watch the recorded sessions at your desk.

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