Making a Social Media Marketing Calendar

1207154_wireless_3Recently, I’ve discovered that I really needed to get organized where my presence on social media is concerned. Social media marketing is fantastic–and most days I enjoy it–but it’s become such a time-sucker for me! I need a schedule.

As an indie author–and an unemployed indie author at that–I don’t have lots of income to drop behind marketing my trilogy. So I rely on social media platforms for marketing purposes. It’s great to make connections with people and spread the word about this blog as well as about Herezoth (the kingdom I write about.) But I’m spending way too much time on all the social sites. And when I add in the time I spend reading blogs…. YIKES! Hours of the day go by.

Even more frustrating? Despite all that time, I’ve found that when I log onto Twitter, or Facebook, I’m putting a lot of attention on the blog (since it’s updated daily), and not enough on my fiction. So I’ve come up with a calendar for myself to budget the time I spend on social media as well as where I spend it, after picking up that tip from someone at the Social Buzz Club.

CALENDAR FOR BUILDING COMMUNITY

One of my biggest time-sucks has been the work it takes to build up a following on each site. I made the mistake of thinking I had to very present every day, on every site. That’s just not true! It’s really not.

Now, I’ve decided I’m going to limit myself to 15 minutes a day of reaching out to new people on social media who might be interested in me and what I write about. I’ve decided to rotate which site I focus on each day. Thus:

MON: Facebook. (building a following for my fan page, using World Literary Cafe’s Facebook likes program. Worth checking out if you have a page on Facebook!!!)

TUES: Google+.Β Β I add new people to my circles, because I’m really new on Google+ and I hope it can help me find new readers as well as help with SEO. Hopefully these people add me back, into a circle of their own.

WED: Twitter. Follow new people on Twitter, based on those following people similar to me (other writers, for instance. Who’s following them who might find my blog helpful?).

THURS: Blog Reader. My day to catch up with all the blogs I follow, read some great stuff, and leave some comments. Also, to discover new blogs to interact with.

FRI: Google + again

SAT: Twitter again

SUN: Blog Reader again

From month to month I can shift the calendar over a day: Move Sunday to Monday, Monday to Tuesday, etc, to maybe catch different people hanging out on these sites on different days.

PROMOTE BLOG OR NOVEL???

Another way that I waste time is trying to decide where to promote each day, and what to promote. Did I tweet about my novel today? Yesterday? Is it too soon to say something else? Because I definitely don’t want to spam. That’s not cool. When was the last time I said anything about my novel on Facebook groups? Oh, wait… groups or appropriate pages, or both?

Well, I made a calendar for that too. For each day of the week, I have marked where I’ll go to promote the daily blog post, and where I’ll promote the novel with a tweet or post or whatever else it might be called on that site.

For instance, every Monday I’ll promote my novel on Google+ and the blog post in relevant Facebook groups that allow promotion. Each day, I have word press set up to tweet about the daily post when it goes live (1am Central time, US).

Every Tuesday I’ll promote the blog on Facebook and Google+ and make sure to send out a tweet about my novel. Etc.

What I promote in which forum cycles throughout the week, so that every item (novel and blog) hits every social media platform at least once. I won’t waste time deciding where to promote, and I won’t be in danger of over-promoting in any one place.

And again, as the month changes, I can move the days over one, to maybe catch a different group of people on each social media platform.

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40 responses to “Making a Social Media Marketing Calendar

  1. Wow, you’ve really thought this through! I am myself struggling with social media, since I always just used it for personal purposes (I am actually an early adopter with nearly 7 years on facebook and about 3 on twitter), but now that I’m going to try and get my book published, I suddenly have to become more businesslike. I find it hard! The only new thing I started was my blog and I am struggling to set some kind of theme for it (right now, it’s just a big pile of everything and anything that interests me). Which reminds me, how do you keep up with the blogs you follow? Do you use a reader website? It’s confusing me greatly, especially since there is a million ways to follow a blog these days. For instance, I have added a couple of blogspot blogs through some kind of google button (since they had no email sign up) but I have no idea where they went haha.

    Anyway, sorry to be spamming like this. I haven’t been following your blog for long, but so far I am enjoying reading it!

    • You aren’t spamming at all!!! Great to hear from you! I can tell you it took me a while to find my blog’s focus as well. Definitely. At least a couple of months.

      As for keeping up with blogs…. I mainly use my WordPress reader. It’s fast and quick. All the wordpress blogs I follow are there. For blogs that aren’t wordpress…. I just go to them individually. I don’t have that many of those. You mention Google…. I heard Google reader will be disabled really soon (if it hasn’t already). That might be why you didn’t know where those blogs went.

  2. The calendar idea is great. I have been leaning towards setting up something like that myself, because I do have a full-time job, which requires a huge chunk of my time, and I’m not willing to give it up either. So my “free” time is limited. Working on building an author platform before I need it, as many experts recommend, is definitely having a negative impact on the progress I should be making on my debut novel. I need to set up a calendar that carves out a definite time to work on my WIP during the week; I hardly manage to get in two or three hours of writing some weeks! And forget trying to blog every day. I can’t even manage to blog once a week.

    Somehow I manage to read all your posts though… πŸ™‚

    • Aw, I’m so glad!!! I’d definitely recommend a kind of calendar for you, with as much time as possible for writing and maybe 15 to 20 minutes a day on social media building up a following on different platforms. It might help you make progress all around!

  3. Having a schedule set out seems like a very obvious idea – and yet how many of us actually do it?! You’re right, with the plethora of social media sites and the different approaches needed for each, it makes perfect sense to have a set plan of action. Useful post, Victoria.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’ve picked up so many useful tips for the Social Buzz Club. Really glad I joined that group. I would never have thought to do a calendar on my own.

  4. It’s tricky isn’t it. I sympathise with all of the above. I’m constantly assessing how much or little time I spend blogging/ tweeting/ over here on Google+ etc. and however the proportions of time work out, it’s always a big chunk. My only saviour is that I do as much of it as I can on the turbo trainer bike in the kitchen n so at least I’m training at the same time – multi-tasking at its best!

  5. You are so very sensible and such a good influence I may have to ‘borrow’ your idea! Am publishing a blog post tomorrow about my current time on Twitter and how I have found a way to manage it. Pop by and leave a comment if you can.

    I only use Twitter and WordPress at the moment – though I am on Google+ (no clue how it works). Facebook I’m keeping as a personal page…I don’t really follow any writers on there. Not sure how useful it would really be and don’t want to mix writing with my friends.

    • thanks for the heads-up about your post tomorrow, Cat! I’ll definitely stop over πŸ™‚ and without a doubt you are more than welcome to “borrow” my idea about a calendar. I borrowed it myself!

  6. Wow! Great Advice. I’m borrowing your idea also

  7. I had never heard of the World Literary Cafe’s Facebook likes program. Thanks!

  8. Thank you for this great advice! I am building a calendar now – because I am finding that social media is “stealing” my time to write and edit my novel, and that’s no good!!

  9. Sounds like a good system. I hope it works for you. I prefer to focus on twitter with only a foot or so in facebook, Google+, and Good Reads.

    • thanks Brian! I’m glad you mentioned Goodreads, because I didn’t, and it’s another forum people might decide to make use of. Personally, I’m like you, and I don’t spend much time there.

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  11. I’m going to do it!! I need a calendar too, thanks for being willing to spell yours out πŸ™‚

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  15. Debbie Johansson

    Great idea Victoria – I think I’ll be using this idea from now on! Doing it this way would be so much better, allowing me to spend more time on writing. Social media is fun, but such a time suck! You’ve found yourself another subscriber. πŸ™‚

  16. It sound like you are very organised with your social media strategy Victoria. Thank you for bringing the World Literary Cafe to my attention, it appears to be a great way of getting Likes. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Hope all is going well with The Herezoth Trilogy.

  17. The calendar idea works for blogging for sure – I try to use it myself. However, for a site like Twitter, I don’t feel like you can skip days on end without giving it a look in, unless of course you’re already very popular. Twitter is the fickle one I think.

    Either way, nice post :).

  18. This is well thought out. I’ve been ignoring G+ and don’t spend as much time on twitter as I should. I’ve been thinking of trying to set up a schedule like this. You’ve etched out a smaller block of time than I was considering. I always seem to get lost when reading blogs and before I know it two hours have gone by. πŸ™‚

  19. Thanks for the suggestions. I always start doing this and it fades out and I have to restart it again but it’s always a good idea. One other thing I do that helps me tremendously is I have a folder on my toolbar where I put sites I want to check out later. Once a week or on a quiet Sunday I go through these. If I don’t do that I waste TONS of time DAILY instead. lol I just added World Literary Cafe’s Facebook likes program to that! Thanks again for the reminder to start planning again and for stopping by my blog!

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  21. I’m know I’m a bit late to this post, but this is a great idea, Victoria. I recently started on all the social media sites and have been blown away by how quickly time disappears. Thanks for the advice.

  22. 1authorcygnetbrown

    I have enjoyed this blog very much and I appreciate all the information that you have offered. I have been using a slightly different approach where I have been doing a little in each place each day after doing my writing for the day. I am wondering however if your approach might be a better choice.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Depending how organized your “after writing” approach is, maybe you could organize more. But my philosophy is always if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it πŸ™‚ Kudos for putting writing first and not getting wrapped up in the media mayhem!

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