I have a confession.
When I advise clients on content creation for social media channels, including blogs, I’m adamant about keeping editorial calendars. When you plan ahead, when you put processes in place, your content creation becomes routine. That’s how newspapers are able to put out brand-new editions each and every day. They have a tried and true system for reporting, writing, editing, and publishing the newspaper.
Companies that want to maintain successful blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels should create editorial calendars and implement publishing processes to create consistency. Consistency is crucial to building and engaging with an audience.
So here is the confession part. Like the barefoot cobbler’s children, I routinely neglect to use an editorial calendar for HighTalk. And that’s why this is the first blog post here since January 10 and only the second post for 2011.
In my own defense, I’m good at winging it. I was a journalist for 12 years and I’m wired for deadlines. In fact, without the pressure of a deadline, I’m prone to procrastination. My blogging has become a routine for me. I set aside time, have a folder for ideas, and generally don’t have any problems writing two to three posts a week.
But then I got hit by a double whammy. I took nearly two weeks off over the holidays and unplugged. I rarely checked email and put updates on Facebook, Twitter and HighTalk on hold. It was a great break and a time to recharge my batteries – and reintroduce myself to my family. “Hi guys, remember me?”
But during the break Weber Shandwick Cambridge became Weber Shandwick Boston. We moved to a terrific new set of offices at 40 Broad Street in the downtown. So when I returned from vacation, all of my routines – from my commute, to my favorite coffee shop – were upended. That included my blogging routines.
And this is exactly why companies need editorial calendars and processes for social media. Life, work, vacations, new hires, people leaving for new opportunities, retirements, sickness… all of these things happen all the time. If a company has a clear set of content guidelines, publication processes and an editorial calendar, these things are less likely to interfere with their social media strategy.
Make social media content creation a habit.