Batch Planning Social Media Content: A Way to Optimize your Time and Create Healthy Boundaries
There are two ways to post on social media:
On the Fly, as you find inspiration or motivation, you create your content, copy, and hit the post button. You seize a creative moment and work with it.
Batch Planning your future posts, typically 2-4 weeks into the future. Often you will use tools to help optimize your creation and scheduling.
Both ways are correct; it is truly dependent on what works for you. As for myself, I prefer batch planning. It has been an effective use of my time and a great benefit to my mental health. So I will teach you today how to batch plan content simply, and if you find it works for you, it is a great method to optimize your time and nurture your mental health.
These are the main reasons why I batch post:
Congruency of Content - I can reflect on my content and make sure it tells one story. I can ensure that all posts align with my messaging and niche and keep my messaging on the same track. This is where I optimize the use of Google Sheets to plan out my content, look back, and reflect on months of content in a simplified format to make certain of its congruency.
Less Time on Social Media Apps - I have noticed a direct correlation between time spent on apps and my mental health. I understand the importance of social media and its key role in cultivating community and being able to share my knowledge and wisdom. And I know the importance of having boundaries of how much time I spend on social media apps. When I was posting on the fly, I found I was spending too much time on the apps and I need space away from social media. When this happens I have been known to drop off posting or engaging for a while, losing consistency with my audience. This is where batch planning content helps me spend less time on social media. I only need to go onto the apps if I am mentally in a place where I know it will serve me.
It is the Best Use of my Creative Time - When I create a batch of content, I build the creative momentum in one sitting and can create two weeks of content in about an hour. When I would create posts on the fly, I would need to re-create that creative momentum every time. So when I batch plan my content, I designate a time that I know I can cultivate my creativity and am able to create two weeks of material in a short amount of time. It has proven to be the best use of my time to work with the creative flow I have already established.
The way that I optimize my creative time and enforce my boundaries regarding time on social media:
Have an Idea Dump Sheet - Inspiration strikes at any time and is not always the most convenient. It can happen during a conversation, while listening to music, or when I am out in nature. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to stop and create a post, nor do I want to interrupt these moments in my life. So this is where I use Google Sheets as my Idea Dump Sheet to collect the inspirations that have come up for me.
Time Block a Designated Time for Content Creation - Twice a month, I time block an hour or two during my week to plan out my social media content. When I sit down, I know it is the time to cultivate my creative energy; I also have my idea dump to reflect on the ideas that will jog my memory when creating. I find it near impossible to batch plan without my idea dump fueling my creative energy. I take a lot more energy to create ideas on the spot, opposed to the micro-doses of inspiration that have previously come up.
Use Canva to Create and Schedule with Later - Canva is a user-friendly platform filled with templates for almost any marketing material you need to create. It has a fantastic free version that will work for anyone looking to create posts and who needs assistance in creating templates. I personally use the pro-version because I use it for so many things and for so many clients. I will then use Later, another amazing free app, to schedule my content. This is where I will upload my posts from Canva copy and paste my copy and hashtags from Google Sheets. The free version only allows for 10 posts a month, but you can always look for other scheduling tools or upgrade to the paid version of Later.
Identifying Energy Drains in your Business
When I know that there is a task in my business that I am not looking forward to or is draining my energy, I look for a way to Automate It, Eliminate It, or Delegate It. For example, in the case of content creation, I love writing and conceptualizing my own content, but I do not enjoy the detail of scheduling and pairing hashtags. So I work with a Marketing Assistant, Sydney, who performs these tasks and frees up my time to focus on the ones I am passionate about. I love having someone to read over my content and help me with the details and if that would support you to be present to your content, you can consider hiring help as well :)