Just like the holidays, our social media planning frequently sneaks up on us. Before you know it, it is time to post about your upcoming member appreciation event or an office closing, and you find yourself scrambling to get something written last minute. 

Without a plan in place, social media can soon turn from a fun, creative medium to a burdensome marketing tool.

After several years of creating and managing content for electric and broadband utilities across the nation, the Pioneer Social team has learned a few tips and tricks along the way that make recurring content planning a breeze.

Here are four ways to curb social media planning woes:

 

1. Maintain a Social Media Editorial Calendar

Remembering notable dates and holidays each month can be burdensome. Save yourself the stress and create a social media editorial calendar for each month of the year, noting the holidays and events typically promoted in your newsletter and social media channels. Categorize the different events – fun holidays, industry observances, federal holidays, etc. – with color-coding. Throughout the year, immediately note missing observances.

Here’s an example of the calendar the Pioneer Social team uses. We don’t mark every holiday, but it’s nice to know what’s coming.

2. Brainstorm and Plan in Advance 

Brainstorm in advance with your colleagues to generate content ideas for the next month. Even if you are a one-person communications shop for your rural electric and/or broadband utility, reach out to other departments for ideas. Planning with others unfolds diverse perspectives and can ensure you do not miss any seasonal events and observances. 

Take time to brainstorm story ideas for each of your communication channels. Start with one of the worksheets in our free content planner (download link below).

3. Mix It Up

Create content with different topics. Our best practice is to create energy efficiency, safety and member-owner content for every week. Ask yourself, “Is the content educational, informational and/or entertaining?” Spice up your content periodically with a fun pumpkin spice latte post or a National Siblings Day post. Whenever you can, tie the post back to your industry.

 

4. Use Omnichannel Marketing

Don’t forget about the content you already have! Repurpose content from newsletters, bill stuffers, websites, member handbooks and any other marketing pieces for social media. Spread your content across all marketing channels – omnichannel marketing – and align the timing. 

 

A few other quick tips:

  • Follow other utilities and organizations on social media for inspiration and ideas.
  • Research organizations’ websites for their event calendars to share local content.
  • Link to local government websites for safety topics, such as wildfire mitigation.
  • Coordinate with your utility’s newsletter editorial calendar to drive your social media content planning calendar. 
  • Place a dry-erase board calendar in your office or department and jot down ideas for social media content as they come to you.

 

what will your story be in 2022?What Will Your Story Be in 2022?

With a bit of planning and creativity, publishing content for your social channels doesn’t have to be a burden. 

To get you started, we’ve packed our 2022 content planning guide with important industry dates (both broadband and electric topics) and handy tips for finding and sharing your story next year. Pioneer Social subscribers have the added benefit of content libraries packed with seasonal and industry content, an expanded social celebrations calendar and a team of industry experts committed to helping you share your story online.

Request Pioneer’s 2022 Content Planner:


Pioneer Social logoOur communications co-op exists to serve Utility Pioneers in many marketing efforts, including social media. Pioneer Social is here to fill the social media gaps and support rural electric and broadband utilities — like we’re members of the team! 

Interested? Learn more about how we can help you shine: www.pioneerutilityresources.com/tools/pioneer-social/.