How To Brainstorm A Month's Worth Of Social Media Content In One Day!

As an entrepreneur or freelancer, you’re responsible for creating content, finding new clients, delivering exceptional service and managing your business. You’re also expected to find the time to develop an unbelievable presence on social media. With all this overwhelm, what you need is a quick solution to organise an entire month’s worth of content in one sitting. Grab a cup of coffee, open your laptop and let’s get started!

I want to introduce you to task-batching and brainstorming – the top two tools that you’ll need to conquer your content calendar.

Note: This blog post may contain affiliate links which means that Minerva Designs may earn a commission, at no cost to you, on any purchases you make using the links below.

What is Task Batching?

Task batching is a productivity-enhancing time management system. This system helps to maximise your concentration, productivity and creative energy by minimising distraction along with the anxiety and fatigue associated with multi-tasking.

The main idea behind task-batching is to sort your to-do-list into groups of tasks which you would complete during a specified period without allowing yourself to be distracted by other tasks.

For example, answering your emails, responding to social media messages and sending out quotations could all be grouped as ‘administration.’ You would then proceed to block off a specific period in which to work on all your administration (let’s say 9am-10am – for example.) Depending on your line of work, some categories could include things like artwork, social media marketing, networking, content creation, service hours, and more.

Why is Task Batching so Effective?

Contrary to modern belief, human beings were not designed to multi-task, although many people pride themselves on their ability to juggle a million things at any given moment. If you’ve ever sat through a Skype meeting while answering emails and doing online shopping, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Multi-tasking gives us the false impression that we are achieving a lot in a short space of time; however, the reality is that it is stealing time from us. When multi-tasking, the brain requires time to switch from one task to another. While it may seem that these tasks are co-occurring, the brain is, in fact, rapidly shifting from one task to another. Multi-tasking is the human equivalent of having 100 browser tabs open at one time. They’re all accessible with the click of a button, but your computer needs to switch between them and completely reload the required data before you can use the one you need! The result? – fatigue, and ultimately burn-out.

Task batching helps to eliminate this anxiety and fatigue by helping you to focus on a single task/group of tasks at one time. Task batching allows you to access higher levels of concentration and creativity by eliminating all unnecessary distractions.

So, to plan the best social media strategy for your business, we’re going to make use of task batching. All that you need is a few hours of uninterrupted time to dedicate solely to developing your content calendar. I enjoy working on my social media calendar on a Sunday to prepare for the week ahead. So switch off your phone, shut the door and let’s get ready to plan your content strategy.

Part 1: How To Organise Your Social Media Content Strategy

Before we begin brainstorming the incredible ideas that are going to populate your content calendar, it’s essential to take some time to plan your strategy. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Planning also reduces the amount of time you’ll spend working on creating a balanced content calendar.

Step 1: Decide Who Your Audience Is

Can you imagine sitting through an entire mathematics lecture if you were an art student? The likelihood is that you’d high-tail it out of there or be asleep before the speech ends. The same is true of your social media content. No matter how incredible your content is, if it’s not suitable for your target audience, then ultimately it’s useless content. 

Start by defining who your target audience is. Define your audience’s age group, interests, hopes, desires and fears. What need does your business solve for your audience? Once you’ve identified your audience, you now have a foundation on which to build your content plan. 

Step 2: Create Balanced Content

Ultimately, your social media content is a conversation between potential customers and your business. To convert a cold lead into a red-hot buyer, your potential customer first needs to trust your brand. To build this trust, you want to develop a relationship with your followers. The most effective way to build this relationship is to create a variety of content that directly addresses their needs and desires – which you identified in step one. 

So how does this affect your content plan? Well, have you ever logged onto a particular Facebook group only to be inundated with ‘get rich quick’ scam advertisements? Immediately, your trust in that specific group decreases, and you’d be likely never to revisit the page. However, if you were to visit a page where there was quality content that directly addressed your needs and desires, you’d not only be more receptive to advertising on that page, but you’d also be likely to revisit the page in the future. 

To achieve this delicate balance, you must include a variety of content in your content calendar and add value to your target audience to encourage them to engage with your brand and revisit your page. Before you fill your page with daily advertisements, consider incorporating each of these themes into your weekly content calendar:

  • Entertaining
  • Inspirational
  • Educational
  • Conversational
  • Promotional

Step 3: Define Your Brand - And Stick To It!

Now that you’ve defined your target audience and you’ve begun to think of ways that you could create content that would appeal to them, it’s essential to identify who you are as a brand – and to stick to it!

Your brand can be defined as the sum of all the experiences that you deliver to your customers. It’s how they identify and describe your business. Most people leave the definition of their brand to fate. Successful companies, however, carefully cultivate their brand image by deciding how they want to be seen by their target audience and customers, and then actively working to portray themselves in this light. 

For example, if your business is a beauty salon which caters to young women, you may have used feminine colours (such as pinks and pastel colours – or the elegant and fashionable marble and rose gold) to represent your brand and to attract your ideal client. You may make use of script fonts that denote style and beauty, and as a result, your customers perceive your business as being modern, stylish and refined. 

What would you think of another beauty salon that made use of sickly shades of green with masculine fonts in their designs? It wouldn’t quite have the same appeal now, would it? How would you perceive this business? Which would you choose to support?

Your branding is one of the most important things to master to create killer content for your niche.

 

To Define Your Brand Ask Yourself The Following Questions:

  1. If people described their experience with my business in 5 words, what would they be? (E.g. fun, elegant, practical, inspirational, authentic)
  2. What message do I want to convey to my target audience?
  3. If my brand were a person, how would I describe them? Think of their tone of voice, how they look, and how they would behave.

Sticking With Your Brand

Let’s use the example of the feminine beauty salon one more time. Let’s assume that this salon maintains an active social media content calendar. You would expect that the content on their social media pages would reflect their brand. You’d find more feminine colours, fonts, inspirational quotes, beauty related articles and other relevant materials. 

Let’s say that this same page has continued to post regular content that is consistent with their brand image – until one day; they share an image that is entirely out of character. The image is rugged, masculine and nothing like the rest of their content. The business then returns to their regular feminine styled content the day after. The result? – confusion. 

Sharing content that is not in line with the image that you want to create not only confuses your following and potential clientele, but it also decreases their trust in your business. Human beings are designed to feel safe in consistent and predictable environments. 

One could compare the previous example with a relationship with a good friend. Your friend, whom you’ve gotten to know over the last few months, never swears. One day he/she spews out a tirade of cuss words in response to a question. Because this behaviour is inconsistent with their usual response, you immediately assume that something is off. The same is true with your brand. 

Your following is incredibly sensitive to the subconscious messages you’re sharing with them through your social media profile. Make sure that these messages are in line with how you’d like your business to be perceived. The way to achieve long term brand trust and a relationship with your audience is through consistency. Decide on how you want your business to be recognised and stick with that theme. 

Quick Note: Creating a brand style sheet is an effective way to make sure that your content stays consistent. It gives you a brief overview of how your brand should be portrayed, what colours and fonts to use, as well as what types of images and mood should be used to represent your brand. It’s essentially a reference poster for your brand. If you’d like to find out more about style sheets, contact your designer today. 

Part 2: Creative Brainstorming

Now that we’ve laid the foundation for creating a killer content plan, it’s time to put on our thinking caps and get ready to brainstorm our content.

It’s time to come up with 31 (or more) ideas for your content calendar. While this may seem like a lot to some of you, there are those of you who will be able to use this time to brainstorm content for the entire year – yes you read that right!

What You Need:

To begin with these exercises, you ideally need the following:

  • A notebook
  • A large piece of paper (Or your favourite digital note-taking app)
  • Pens, kokis and highlighters
  • A timer/alarm (your cellphone will do if you promise not to check your Instagram feed while doing this exercise)
  • A cup of coffee
  • A dash of creativity

Step 1: The Brain Dump

This exercise is incredibly simple.  Set your timer for 10-15 minutes and write down as many post ideas as possible. The trick is not to spend time editing your thoughts. Just write down as many ideas as you can possibly think of. Once your time is up, we’ll go ahead and edit those ideas to flesh out the highest quality content to use in your social media calendar.

For example, a chef’s post ideas may look like this:

  • Inspirational quote on food and health
  • Recipe post (article) on how to cook steak – the healthy way
  • Poll about how people like their steak
  • World’s weirdest recipes
  • Advertisement design for Steak and Wine evening
  • Kitchen Selfie and caption

Step 2: Mind Mapping & Refining

Here we’ll further refine your ideas by making sure that you select the content that is balanced and full of enough variety to keep your audience engaged.

Pull out that big piece of paper and draw a circle in the centre of the page. Title it “My Awesome Social Media Plan”. Next, draw some circles around the outside of this circle and label them as follows:

  • Entertain Them
  • Inspire Them
  • Educate Them
  • Start A Conversation
  • Advertise

Now it’s time to review your big list of ideas and begin to sort them into these categories. Write down your favourite ideas under the corresponding headings. If new and similar ideas come to you while you’re working then be sure to write these down too. The beauty of mind mapping is that it helps you to come up with various interlinked ideas around the concept of your choice within just a few minutes. Be sure to fill up the page with as many quality ideas as possible.

Step 3: Narrow It Down

Now that you’ve refined your ideas, it’s time to narrow things down and select 31 concepts that you would like to include in your content calendar (assuming that you’d like to post once a day for a month). Be sure to curate a balanced selection of post ideas from each of the categories on your mind map. This selection will ensure that your plan of action will keep your viewers engaged and focused on your brand through the use of a variety of content which helps to hold their attention. A great idea is to group similar content into weekly themes. You’ll then be able to build on a particular topic with content that ultimately supports what your business has to offer.

You can plot these concepts on a 31-day calendar template or simply record these ideas using Google Sheets or any other note-taking software. 

Step 4: Create Your Content

Now that you’ve successfully brainstormed 31 days of content, it’s time to  put your post content together. 

To do this, open up a blank page on your chosen note-taking software. (I recommend Google Sheets) or ASANA. You can include some of the following headings to help you organise your content: post summary, post content, image or article link. 

You can use the titles you brainstormed as your post summaries. Now you need to work on creating the actual body copy of your posts. Type out each of your posts in full. Don’t forget to include contact details and call to actions where necessary. Go ahead and find all the articles, images and videos that you need while working on this. Include links to these materials in your notes so that you can quickly refer back to them when it’s time to post your content. Be sure to save any images/videos that you may need. I find the best way to do this is to save them to a specific folder on your desktop or Google Drive and name them as follows: “JD12” 

J=July (Content Calendar Month)

D12 = The specific day in your content calendar 

Step 5: Share Your Content

Congratulations on making it this far! You’ve successfully brainstormed and created 31 days worth of content that your target audience is going to love. 

Now it’s time to schedule your posts. Where possible, you can now batch-schedule your social media posts using tools like Social Pilot, Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, or Facebook’s very own post scheduler. Many of these platforms offer free plans if you’re only managing the accounts for one business. 

If you’re unable to schedule your posts, it will be incredibly quick and easy for you to post to your chosen social media channels every day. All you need to do is open up your notes and media folders, copy the body of your post and paste it into your preferred social media platform’s post update text field. Add your images or links, and voila! 

You now have a cohesive and engaging social media plan with which to wow your target audience. 

We'd Love to Hear From You!

We’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment below or leave us a message. Did you manage to create your content calendar? What was your favourite part about this process and did you learn anything new? If you feel that this article could help someone you know just hit share using one of the social buttons below. If you have any questions about native files feel free to leave them in the comments.