Trending March 2024 # 8 Of The Best Instagram Search Tips For Brands And Content Creators # Suggested April 2024 # Top 5 Popular

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Attracting new followers is a top priority for every emerging brand on Instagram, but what if you get stuck in the process, and your numbers simply won’t increase? One solution for growing your following on the social network is to make sure you appear in Search. This article details tips and tricks on how you can get discovered more easily in Search.

What Is Instagram Search?

Search is part of the Explore tab, which you can access by tapping the magnifying mirror button at the bottom of the display. It’s the bar at the top that helps you look for new stuff to follow and lets you search accounts, tags and places.

According to Instagram, the search results you see are based on various factors, such as the accounts you follow, your engagement with them, and the photos and videos you like on Instagram. The social app uses its own algorithm that works behind the scenes to bring up the most relevant and accurate results for you.

1. Use a Relevant Instagram Handle

Your Instagram handle (username) should almost always reflect your brand name. It would be quite unproductive if your business was trying to sell wines, for instance, under your personal name or something seemingly unrelated like that. Instead, the better option would be to use your brand’s name alongside your particular business niche or related keywords. In the case of wine, it could be “drink” or “enjoy.”

If you’ve already picked your Instagram handle, don’t worry – you can change it quite easily. Check out our tutorial to see how to change your Instagram username.

Having a re’levant Instagram handle increases your chances of being discovered in Search by people who are using broad keywords, such as “wine,” to discover new relevant businesses centered around their interests.

2. Add the Right Keywords to Your Name Field

The name field on your profile is searchable, and so it should be optimized by including keywords that are relevant to your brand. For example, if you’re selling organic cosmetics (skincare), these two keywords should be included in the name field on your profile. We’ve attached some relevant examples below.

Keep in mind that your Instagram name is not the same as your username (or handle). You can change it by going to your Profile on Instagram and pressing the “Edit” button just underneath. From there you can overhaul your name field. Note that you can also include hashtags and links.

The idea is to help new users find your page faster, and to achieve this, you’ll want to use the keywords that most effortlessly define your brand. Make sure the description is not too long, though, as the name field can only include 30 characters.

3. Optimize Your Bio Using Hashtags and Keywords

On top of keywords, you can also use hashtags (and links) here and that should ensure that your profile pops up when someone is searching for the relevant hashtag. You have 150 characters available to fill up your bio.

To make it even easier for people to find you, we suggest you also add a business category so that potential followers can swiftly differentiate between your brand and another one with a similar naming scheme. You can do that by going to your profile and pressing the “Edit” button. Scroll down until you find the “Category” section, tap on it and select your niche. Make sure to toggle on the “Display on profile” option at the top.

Hashtags are essential to making your Instagram posts and Stories more searchable. When used correctly, they can build communities and attract like-minded individuals to your profile. Instagram users can search for hashtags in Search, and the results will appear in the top tap as the well as “Tags,” doubling your chances to get discovered.

Types of Hashtags

Branded hashtags – branded hashtags highlight your business and help you build a community around your business. This type of hashtag can be anything – the name of a line of products, your business name or a slogan you developed.

Product and service hashtags – these hashtags should be used to target users looking for a specific type of product, such as #summerdress, #icecreamrolls and so on.

Industry niche hashtags – these can be used to indicate your specific niche and should be narrower than your product and service hashtags. For instance, #handmadecandles or #vegan.

Campaign hashtags – if you’re running a giveaway or another sponsored campaign, adding hashtags to highlight this aspect is the smart thing to do.

Trending hashtags – these are time-sensitive hashtags that are related to current (seasonal) events or relevant trends, so using them may draw more attention to your posts. Examples include #sustainability, #BLM, #Christmas and more.

Don’t forget you can add hashtags to your Stories as well. These can be stylized, placed via a sticker or text and positioned directly on the Story. Instagram allows you to add up to 10 hashtags, although using all of them may result in your Story looking cluttered. Despite this aspect, using hashtags on your Stories is a great way to augment your profile’s visibility, so don’t forget to sprinkle a few.

5. Add a Location Tag to All Your Posts

Adding location tags will make your posts more easily discoverable when people search for that particular location in the “Places” tab in Search. This is where they can discover content associated with a certain location. Therefore, you’ll be improving your chances of getting more views by adding a location to all of your posts.

While Story discovering through location tags used to be possible, it doesn’t appear that’s the case any longer. You can still add a location to your Stories, though, but it isn’t likely to have any major effect.

6. Post at the Right Time

While browsing the “Places” or “Hashtags” tabs in Search, users can easily go through the latest posts under these categories by switching to the “Recent” tab. This represents a great incentive to try to time your posts as much as possible.

Basically, make it a point to publish your posts when your audience is at its most active. To access this information, brands can check their Instagram Insights console, which should show when their followers are most active. Alternatively, they can rely on information on the matter from third parties. For instance, according to research conducted by SproutSocial, the best times to post on Instagram for a global audience are Tuesday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. CDT and Monday through Friday 11 a.m. CDT.

7. Get Onboard the Reels Train

Instagram lets users browse Reels that have been tagged with certain hashtags, which represents another great opportunity to get discovered. The social app has been promoting its TikTok alternative quite heavily in the last few months, so not sharing Reels means you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your fan base.

Like with regular posts, you can add keywords and hashtags to a Reel. Choose them carefully and make sure they accurately describe your post. Even if you’re brand doesn’t seem to be an obvious fit for Reels, you can still experiment. Focus on creating fun original content that is short and snappy to encourage repeat views.

8. Get Inspired by the Competition

Take a look at the competition and get some inspiration for your own profile. For instance, you could check out their best performing posts and see what hashtags and keywords they are using. Also take a look at their bio to possibly spot a few things to improve your own.

Furthermore, it may also be a good idea to start interacting with them, so don’t be scared to get friendly with the competition. This may result in a series of collaborations later on, which is another great way of attracting new followers to your page.

If you’re having problems, get up to speed on what to do if Instagram stops working. On the other hand, if you’re done with Instagram and want to start a new chapter in your online journey, read all about deleting or deactivating your account.

Frequently Asked Questions 1. What are some ways to make a great first impression when potential new followers visit my Instagram page?

As a brand, you should read this guide to learn about using “Highlights” on your profile to help you stand out.

2. How can I link my Instagram and Facebook pages together for a more seamless experience?

Linking the two together can be done via the Accounts Center. You can get up to speed on this by reading our post detailing how to connect your Instagram and Facebook.

3. How can I create a collaborative post on Instagram?

Collaborations are always a good idea, even more so if you’re a brand. Check out this post that shows you how to create collaborative posts and Reels.

Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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Instagram Best Practices For Recommended Content

Instagram publishes new best practices for creators to follow to increase their eligibility for recommendations.

Recommendations are photos and videos you see on Instagram from accounts you don’t follow.

Recommended content surfaces in Instagram’s main feed, the explore feed, and the reels tab.

When your content surfaces as a recommended photo or video, it can positively impact your reach and accelerate audience growth.

Getting content picked up by Instagram’s recommendation algorithm is a goal of all businesses and creators trying to gain more followers.

To help more people realize that goal, Instagram shares a set of best practices for users to follow.

Instagram Recommendations Best Practices Eligibility

First, if you want to be eligible for recommendations, you must have a public account. Instagram won’t recommend content from private accounts.

Next, you have to follow Instagram’s recommendation guidelines.

Instagram has specific guidelines covering the content types it tries to recommend in people’s feeds.

Recommendation guidelines differ from community guidelines, which are rules for what can and can’t be on Instagram.

Content that goes against Instagram’s recommendation guidelines includes:

Content that may depict violence, such as people fighting

Content that promotes the use of certain regulated products, such as tobacco or vaping products

Content that may be sexually explicit or suggestive, such as pictures of people in see-through clothing

Lastly, you have to follow Instagram’s community guidelines. You’ll know if you’re not following the community guidelines because Instagram will send a warning or remove the content.

With that out, let’s get into the best practices.

Best Practices

Instagram recommends following these best practices to increase reach through recommendations:

Post original content: Instagram aims to amplify the reach of creators creating their own content rather than aggregating other peoples’ content.

Create reels content: Make Instagram reels part of your content strategy for more opportunities to get your content recommended.

Optimize for search: Use descriptive captions and hashtags to get your content surfaced in search results. It also helps to optimize your bio and profile name.

Instagram Doubling Down On Recommendations

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, doubles down on the company’s commitment to showing more recommendations on people’s feeds.

Mosseri paints it as a positive direction for users, especially those who create original content.

📣 Recommendations 📣

To create more opportunities for discovery, we’ve been adding recommendations to more places. Here are ways to be eligible for recs:

— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) August 30, 2023

In the video above, Mosseri states (emphasis mine):

“The idea behind recommendations is to help people discover amazing creators on Instagram that they don’t even know about yet. And our hope is that the future of Feed will be largely driven by recommendations, because we’re seeing friend sharing is moving increasingly to stories and to DMs.

If we do our job right, and I want to be clear we’re not there yet, we’ll help people discover amazing creators in a way that both means people will spend more time on the platform, but also that the average creator gets more reach.

And if we’re really thoughtful we can shift more distribution from the aggregators, who I think today get more than their fair share of distribution on Instagram, to creators.

Again, particularly the small creators I think we can do more by because we want to be a platform where anybody can grow an audience and make a living over the long run.”

Source: Instagram

Featured Image: Worawee Meepian/Shutterstock

Tips For Smarter And Safer Job Search

Introduction to Job Hunting

Hang on for a few minutes, and we will hand you the things that you absolutely need to do to get a new job. Without much ado, let’s get started.

Steps to Become Successful in Job Hunt 1. Ready-Fire-Aim approach

Here I will talk about two individuals who are fresh graduates and have passed out from college this year. They both are on a Job Hunting. But their approach is different. Let’s call them A and B. A is very keen to get a job, but the thing he does is he takes a lot of time to take care of his job search resume and sets himself a target, and approaches it steadily.

If you’re a fresher and want to go on a job hunt, take this approach. Job Hunting on any job site, pick up the phone, and call immediately. Don’t worry about the resume as of now. First, get to know what they need and whether they find your qualification and experience suitable or not. If yes, then prepare a resume and go for the interview. If not, go to the next company and do the same.

2. Make a SWOT Analysis of yourself

Then quickly set a time for an hour, close the door, close out any sort of distractions, and then get to work. Think about your strengths. What do you do exceptionally well? Write around 3-4 and cite some examples from your personal experience. Do the same with the other 3. And then you’re ready. The major purpose behind doing this analysis is the better you know yourself, the better you would be able to sell yourself. So, don’t skip this. It’s of prime importance.

3. Know your Industry

Before you know the details of any company, you need to study and know your industry. The key variables of the industry where you want to work in are different than any other industry. You need to know those key variables and then understand what they are and how you fit in. If you don’t see any resemblance between your characteristics and the variables, you may not be a great fit. If you still want to stick to the same industry, you may need to build some skills.

While analyzing the industry, you also need to know how the industry is trending and where it would be in the next 10 years. Do you see any alignment between your goals and the industry’s growth? If yes, go ahead. If not, go for another industry. (Please remember, these things you should do after you pick up the phone and call up the company, not before)

4. Where do you want to go in your career?

No one asks this question, specifically when they go on Job Hunting. If they’re not getting any job, they just sign up for any job and do that job for 5-10 years. But that doesn’t make sense. You should know where you would like to reach if you want to use your full potential.

(Image Source: Pixabay)

In your heart, you always know what you want to be. If you don’t know, at least know what things attract you and how you respond to them. Find out a bunch of things (it’s usually a bunch of things only), and then try out the one which appeals to you more.

Accepting a job because it pays you is not a good deal. Quite often in interviews, the interviewers ask the question – “Where do you want to see in the next 5 years?”

Few interviewees give a diplomatic answer which gets aligned with the job they’ve applied for, and most remain almost blank. If you find out before, even vaguely, you will have a clue at least to answer this question and set sail toward a career that you want to continue for a long time.

5. Prepare for the Interview

Check your communication skill. It’s of prime importance because when you open your mouth, the interviewer will either select you or reject you. Of course, it’s based on how you open your mouth. Sounds humorous, but if your communication is not in place, it’s difficult to get a job that you like. A lot of fillers and unwanted pauses will take away your chances of success in an interview. But what to do if you’re a fresher and don’t have proficient communication skills? Simply attend more interviews. You’ll figure out things by yourself.

Find any mismatch between your qualification and the job you’ve applied for. The interviewers will definitely ask one or two questions from that. Prepare the answers well so that you can answer.

Work on your weaknesses. A little improvement is okay. Just start, and you’ll see a huge difference in confidence level during the interview.

Know the technicalities well. Have foundational knowledge about the industry you’re applying for so that if interviewers ask you any question in regards to that, you can at least attempt to answer it.

Do a mental rehearsal of how the interview would go. Before the interview, sit silently for ten minutes. Close your eyes and imagine that you’re going into the interview room, greeting the interviewers, sitting and answering questions well, and finally, you’re hired. Just practice this scene again and again in your mind. It will help you cope with the unwanted job-hunting stress before the interview and also will result in positive results.

6. Perform 7. Negotiate the compensation

If you feel that the company has been hiring you for less pay than you deserve, negotiate. The best approach when they ask you about salary is to say that you’re open to negotiating. Then maybe they will ask you for a specific figure. Ask them back about the range of the budget. They will tell you the budget. Choose the highest end of the budget if that suits you. If not, go for negotiation.

As a fresher, it seems difficult to negotiate compensation. Recruiters may tell you things like – But you’re a fresher, you can’t ask for more. Tell the recruiter directly that you may be a fresher in professional life, but you’re not a fresher in life; you’ve learned, read, studied, and mastered a few skills for which the recruiter is hiring you. Don’t step back because you’re fresher. You can negotiate at any level if you know your worth.

8. Follow up

The last step is follow-up. Most people skip this.

They don’t want to follow up because they feel scared of rejection. But why should you get scared when there’re thousand of other companies in the line? In an industry, there are thousands and more companies. If one rejects you, learn from the experience and apply it to another. Don’t stop until you get a job.

This thing will help you stand out in the crowd and increase your chances of getting a job.

On final analysis, there’re a few things we should discuss which will ensure a successful job hunt.

First, don’t think that by offering a job, any employer is doing you a favor. They’re not doing any favor. It’s business, and it’s an exchange. They would like to use you as a resource, and as a result, they’re paying you a salary. So, be confident about your abilities.

Put money out of the equation at first. If you press too much on money, the only thing that will concern you is how much a company pays. Even if money takes a big role in accepting a job, you can think of it later. First, think about the industry, people, growth, career graph, and industry trend. Then decide.

Don’t waste time. If you want a job now, forget about preparing your resume and ideal job hunt. This is called the “getting ready” syndrome. Don’t get ready, rather, get ready. You know the difference between the two.

Finally, do the job for yourself. Don’t go on a job hunt because your friends or parents or anyone tells you to search for a job in a specific domain. Ask yourself – Am I interested in this field? If yes, go ahead. If not, find what you like and prosper.

Conclusion

Job Hunting is easy if you begin right away. You’ve read this article already! What you’re waiting for? Pick up the phone and call the company. Your job hunt starts now.

8 Tips For Achieving Work

I kind of feel like a hypocrite for even broaching this topic right now – with my two jobs, putting in about 70 hours a week. There was a time when I worked much less, and even back then I thought I was sooooo busy. Even though I had a lot more free time to devote to things like exercise, hobbies, cultivating my friendships and relationships, I didn’t make good use of my time.

Now that I have less free time, I’ve realized how much more possessive of that time and more selective in spend I use it – gone are the days of binge watching Kardashians (it was only to mock! I promise!). I make a dedicated point to step away from my laptop to do something else I find valuable and fulfilling (even if that’s just sleeping).

As someone who is proactively trying to reclaim my work-life balance, I’ve found some tips that I’m sure many of you could use.

Learn to Say “No”

Whether it’s a work-related request that is outside of your job description, or a personal invite from a friend to attend their husband’s stepsister’s daughter’s dance recital, you’re allowed to say “no”. No one likes a martyr.

Take Breaks…Even on Busy Days

You’re entitled to a lunch break. In fact, many jobs require them and if you don’t take them you’re breaking the law (or something…I didn’t exactly research labor laws in writing this). Or even if you don’t take a lunch break, at least get up every couple hours and walk around, grab a coffee, step outside and breathe in some life-affirming smog.

Make Plans with Friends

Of course, only if you want to. Your time is YOURS. But having something later in the week to look forward to will help you work more efficiently so that you’re not stressed out during your social time.

Set Aside Time for Hobbies

Taking time to do something you’re passionate about makes you a more well-rounded, and presumably happier person. Seriously though, make dedicated time for things you enjoy. Put it on your calendar, tattoo it onto your arm, tell everyone on Facebook, do whatever you need to do to stay accountable for that time so that you don’t end up putting it off in favor of work instead.

Reconstruct Your Work Schedule

If you’re lucky enough to have a flexible work schedule, construct it in a way that best suits your life. You don’t have to work from 9-5 (or 9-6,7,8). Work during the hours that you’re most productive or plan work around the other equally important parts of your life.

Set a Dedicated Stop Time

This is most important if you work remotely. It’s so easy to let your work tasks drift late into the evening if you’re on your couch the whole time. Additionally, if you force yourself to be logged off by 5 or 6 every night, you’ll find you’re more productive in those limited hours you gave yourself, because you have to be.

Visualize Your Perfect Work Day

This may seem silly, but picture what a perfectly structured and perfectly manageable work day looks like to you, and then take steps to make it as much of a reality as possible. This may mean setting boundaries with co-workers, or setting up your workspace to make you more efficient, but if you dream the impossible dream, you might at least come close to living it.

Take Time Away from Screens

This means ALL screens. Even if it’s just for a few hours on Sunday to give your eyes a break. Remember back to the days before your face was buried in your phone 24/7. I’m sure you found other ways to occupy your time. Go occupy your time with those things.

8 Of The Best Offline Gps Apps For Android

GPS Android apps help you get around almost anywhere. However, what happens when you’re in an area without a signal? You’re left with zero direction. Plus, you don’t always just need GPS when you’re driving. Thanks to the following offline GPS apps for Android, you’ll still know where you are and how to navigate when your connection is lost.

Apps offering online maps usually have all the same features as other GPS apps, such as turn-by-turn directions, speed warnings, and detailed maps. However, you won’t get real-time alerts since you’ll be offline. The top three apps will cover most every need you have.

1. chúng tôi – Highly Recommended

Maps.Me offers a great combination of standard navigation maps and off-road outdoor fun. Get full turn-by-turn directions while completely offline. You’ll even get points of interest included. Quickly find fun hiking trails as you explore new areas or find a great restaurant in a new city. The maps are optimized to use less space on your phone, so it’s good for devices with limited storage.

Maps.Me is my highest recommended offline GPS app because it’s a great combination of standard and off-road navigation. Downloadable travel guides are also a plus. With optimized maps, you have plenty of room on even older devices to store them and still take travel photos.

2. MapFactor Navigator – Best for Street Travel

MapFactor Navigator is my runner-up. The focus mainly on street travel puts it just behind chúng tôi With support for over 200 countries, it’s a worthy competitor.

3. Polaris GPS – Best for Off-Road Navigation

If you’re looking for an off-road GPS app, Polaris GPS is the clear winner.

4. Magic Earth Navigation & Maps – Best for Privacy-Conscious People

Magic Earth Navigation & Maps is one of the more privacy-oriented GPS Android apps. Maps are powered by OpenStreetMaps, and you can download maps for 233 regions and countries. If your device has enough storage, you can even use the app as a dash camera if you don’t already have one. It’ll record the road ahead in the event of an accident or to safely take video of the scenery as you drive.

5. OsmAnd

Like all others above, OsmAnd uses OpenStreetMap data too. When you download maps, you get full turn-by-turn and visual directions. The free version is limited by how many maps you can download, but a subscription-based plan is available. The app also includes maps for hiking, cycling, and even skiing.

It’s worth noting that OsmAnd almost made the top of the list. However, the limited number of free maps puts it further down.

6. Offline GPS 7. Google Maps 8. HERE WeGo

HERE WeGo focuses mainly on city travel. While you will need an Internet connection, you can book a taxi, check out the bus schedule, and find other modes of public transportation. To avoid getting lost while you’re exploring a new city, the app allows you to download maps for more than 100 countries around the world. Once downloaded, the maps work much like the online versions.

While you may have a signal when traveling in many places, you never know when you may not. It’s always a good idea to have an offline backup of your map just in case you need it. Plus, if you have a limited data plan, offline map apps save you from going over your plan when traveling.

Images credit: Wikimedia Commons / Lamacchiacosta, Wikimedia Commons / Eugene Lisovskiy

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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Content Planning For Social Media: An 8

Content planning is more than scheduling. Run your accounts like a well-oiled machine with a strategic social media content plan.

Content planning is the most important factor in the success of your social media strategy. (There, I said it.) It’s much more than choosing a photo, writing a caption, and scheduling it to post.

You can have the world’s best social media marketing strategy, but it won’t be successful without proper content planning.

Here’s why that is, and the 8 steps anyone can do to plan effective, goal-crushing social media content.

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What does “content planning” mean for social media managers?

Scheduling your social posts ahead of time is great, but it’s only a small part of what makes up a content plan. Truly effective content planning focuses on the big picture: Your marketing goals.

Well-planned content is:

Created in batches to optimize efficiency.

Part of a cross-platform campaign and repurposed across all your channels for maximum impact.

Connected to one or more marketing goals.

Balanced between your own original content and curated content.

Why is content planning so important?

Which strategy is more likely to succeed?

Your social media marketing strategy is what you want to achieve and how you will get there. Content planning is the process of designing content for those goals to actually get you there.

It keeps you organized

Batching your content is way more efficient than trying to come up with a post on the fly every day, or for a specific campaign. Batching means you’re taking the time to specifically write a bunch of social media content at once.

Besides being a more efficient way to write content, you’ll get more out of it. As you write each piece of content, extract pieces of it to repurpose. One post can quickly become five or more without much extra time. For example:

Write an Instagram Reels script.

Create a text caption from that script to use on text-based platforms like Twitter.

Create an image or infographic from the Reel content to use as an alternative way to communicate the information.

And, of course, the most basic: Make a note to save your completed Reel video in different sizes to use on other platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook Pages, TikTok, and more. Check the current recommended post sizes for each platform before saving.

Plus many more options, including writing an article about the topic to a series of short Tweets of the key takeaways and everything in between.

Content planning saves time and gets you the most mileage out of your work.

It helps you avoid last-minute pressure (and writers’ block)

Oh, crap, it’s 10am on National Do A Grouch a Favor Day and you haven’t got anything scheduled to go out. (It’s February 16th in case you were wondering when you need to do me a favor.)

What will your customers think of you? Whether you post for every made-up holiday or only the real ones, content planning means you and your team will never stress out trying to create something last-minute because you forgot why this weekend is a long weekend.

It connects your social media activity to marketing goals

Content planning keeps your eyes on the prize. You’ve got a formal marketing strategy, and hopefully a content strategy, too. (No? We’ve got a free social media strategy template for ya.) Your content planning process is what connects those big picture documents to the day-to-day marketing work your team does.

Each social media post = not that important on its own.

All your posts together = what determines if your social media strategy will sink or swim. Fail or fly. Crash out or cash in. You get it.

How to create a winning content plan in 8 steps

Content planning is the most important part of a social marketer’s job, but don’t sweat it: It’s easy once you’ve got the right process.

Your content plan brings together 3 key elements:

Let’s create your personalized content plan right now.

Step 1: Plan themes for your content

Before you can create content, you need to choose the categories you’ll post about. How many topics you have and what they are depends on your unique business, but as an example, Hootsuite posts about:

Social media marketing tips

Social network updates and best practices

Marketing research and statistics, like the free Social Trends 2023 report

Social media marketing experiments

Product updates and features

Company news

Product education (tutorials, tips)

This is your content creation roadmap. If a post isn’t about one of the things on your list, you don’t post it. (Or, you rethink your marketing strategy and add a new category for it if it’s merited.)

Step 2: Brainstorm campaign and post ideas

With your topic list in front of you, create! Just… think! Write! Do it!

Write down all the ideas you can think of that meet the following criteria:

It’s about one of the topics on your list.

It’s connected to your marketing goals.

It’s not that simple to “think of ideas,” even for those of us who smash keyboards all day for a living. How you brainstorm is up to you, but here are a few ways I get inspired:

Scope out your competition: What are they posting? Can you put your own spin on those ideas?

Review the past: What campaigns have been most successful for you before? What elements of those campaigns were most effective? How can you replicate that for your new goal or campaign?

To know what’s worked before, you need top-notch analytics reports, right? Yes, you can piece together the information manually from each social platform, Google Analytics, and other sources… but why would you?

Hootsuite Analytics measures the real data you need to determine success, not just basic engagement metrics. It gives you a full 360 degree view of your performance across all networks with the ability to customize and run reports however you like, in real-time.

Start free 30-day trial

Cheat: Check out Hootsuite’s 70+ social media post templates

Running low on ideas on what to post? Head to your Hootsuite dashboard and use one of the 70+ easily customizable social post templates to fill the gaps in your content calendar.

The template library is available to all Hootsuite users and features specific post ideas, from audience Q&As and product reviews, all the way to Y2K throwbacks, contests, and secret hack reveals.

Each template includes:

A sample post (complete with a royalty-free image and a suggested caption) that you can open in Composer to customize and schedule

A bit of context on when you should use the template and what social goals it can help you reach

A list of best practices for customizing the template to make it your own

To use the templates, sign in to your Hootsuite account and follow these steps:

Head to the Inspirations section in the menu on the left side of the screen.

Customize your caption and add relevant hashtags.

Add your own images. You can use the generic picture included in the template, but your audience might find a custom image more engaging.

Publish the post or schedule it for later.

Learn more about using social media post templates in Composer.

Step 3: Decide when you will post

We’ve got our why and what, now we need the when.

Why: Why are you posting this? (What business goal is this content serving?)

What: What will you post? (The actual content you brainstormed.)

When: When is the best time to post it?

Sometimes, the when is obvious: Holiday content, a product launch, etc. But there’s a lot more to the when than the day you’re scheduling it for. You also need to consider your overall posting frequency.

You’ll need to experiment with how often you’re posting every week, how many posts per day, and the times of day. And, platforms change their algorithms all the time so what’s working now might not in six months.

Thankfully, you can back up your experiments with personalized intelligence, thanks to Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature. It analyzes your unique audience engagement patterns to determine the best times to post across all your accounts.

Going a step further, it also recommends different times for different goals. For example, when to post awareness or brand-building content, and when to push hard for sales.

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Need to get your social marketing started quickly and hit the ground running? Add your posts, either individually or via bulk upload, hit AutoSchedule, and Hootsuite does the rest. Boom—your social media for the month done in under five minutes.

Of course, AutoSchedule is great for those pressed for time, but you should still experiment with different numbers of posts per week and times of day to find what works best for your target audience.

You can customize AutoSchedule to only post during set times or days of the week. Once you decide how often and when to post, either with Hootsuite Analytics or other tools, modify your AutoSchedule settings and now you have effortless social media post scheduling. Nice.

Only want to post once a day at a specific time? No problem.

Step 4: Decide on your content mix

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel daily. A successful social media and content marketing plan contains a mix of original and curated content. But what should you curate? Where from? How often?

Great curated content is:

Relevant to your audience.

Related to one of your content themes (from Step 1).

Connected to a business goal.

How each piece and type of content fits in with your other social media content is more important than how much of it you share, but a standard content mix is 40% original and 60% curated. Of course, adjust that up or down depending on your preferences and production capacity for your own content.

Some weeks you may share more curated content than others, but on average, stick to your plan. A surefire method for ensuring you don’t overdo it? Share one post, create one post—repeat!

With Hootsuite, you can easily add content from around the web to build a library of quality content to share later. When you find something to share, create a new post with the link and save it to your Drafts section.

And, you can use Streams to easily capture content from social media accounts you follow to re-share later.

When it’s time to schedule out your content—more on that later—you can just drag and drop from Drafts straight into your editorial calendar in Hootsuite Planner.

Step 5: Assign responsibilities

It can be easy to lose track of planning content ahead of time and end up in that familiar “Oh, crap, we need posts for tomorrow!” space, right? It’s the planner’s job to ensure the work that needs to get done flows down through to everyone else.

Clear expectations around who’s doing what are essential for content planning (and, so I hear, life). If you’re a lone content manager and don’t have a dedicated social marketing team with writers, designers, customer support peeps, and so on, now’s the time to build one.

If you’re on a tight budget, find freelancers to outsource tasks to as you need them so you can control expenses. For in-house and larger teams, you need to plan your planning. It’s redundant, and truly true.

So spell it out: Literally put it on your calendar. Assign a planner/strategist to manage the overall content planning process and assign each week or month’s work. Then, assign a designer, writer, project manager, etc to each client and/or campaign you’re managing.

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Everything you need to make engaging content. Post templates, an AI hashtag generator, and access to Canva and Grammarly Pro in Hootsuite.

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Step 6: Write post captions

Whenever possible, it’s best to write your social media post content before the campaign goes off to the design team (the next step).

This has a few key benefits:

It gives context to the designer so they can work efficiently.

They will have a better understanding of the entire campaign’s structure and goals.

While writing the posts, you may think of more ideas to add to the campaign to fill gaps.

It saves time by allowing copyediting and approvals to happen simultaneously with design, so you can publish it sooner.

Did you know that Hootsuite comes with OwlyWriter AI, a built-in creative AI tool that saves social media pros hours of work?

You can use OwlyWriter to:

Write a new social media caption in a specific tone, based on a prompt

Write a post based on a link (e.g. a blog post or a product page)

Generate post ideas based on a keyword or topic (and then write posts expanding on the idea you like best)

Identify and repurpose your top-performing posts

Create relevant captions for upcoming holidays

To get started with OwlyWriter, sign in to your Hootsuite account and head to the Inspiration section of the dashboard. Then, pick the type of AI magic you want to see in action.

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OwlyWriter will generate a list of post ideas related to the topic: 

And that’s it! OwlyWriter never runs out of ideas, so you can repeat this process until your social media calendar is full — and sit back to watch your engagement grow.

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Step 7: Create (or source) design assets

This is often where content plans get bottlenecked. You can think up all these amazing campaigns, but without the creative assets that get it noticed, like graphics and videos, you can be stuck in your drafts forever.

But this is exactly why assigning responsibilities is important. Having a dedicated person for each part of the content planning process keeps things moving along and everyone’s on the same page.

Here’s how everyone can work together inside Hootsuite to bring a campaign from idea to finished:

Last but very un-least, scheduling. I don’t need to tell you scheduling your content ahead of time is important for basic efficiency. But it’s also the one thing that can make or break your entire social media marketing strategy. No pressure.

But really, what’s the point of content planning and following all the steps here if you’re not going to schedule out that content ahead of time in an organized, efficient, strategic way? Exactly.

You can create single posts in Composer or dial up your efficiency to 11 with the much-loved bulk upload tool, where you and 350 of your best posts can be scheduled in under 2 minutes flat.

Hootsuite is your content planning partner in success with robust scheduling, collaboration, analytics, and smart insights like the Best Time to Publish feature to make your job easier. Sign up for free today.

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Save time and grow faster with OwlyWriter AI, the tool that instantly generates social media captions and content ideas.

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