We gave two presentations earlier this year at the BMW CCA and SCCA National Convention on social media strategy for car clubs. One of our recommendations was to use an editorial calendar in order to help plan content and marketing in advance. So long as everything remains in the head of a single volunteer, it's impossible to share the workload. We saw many eyes grow wide with excitement as we talked about scheduling all of the emails, Facebook posts and tweets for an event in one sitting using a social media dashboard like HootSuite.
The calendar is the planning and scheduling part of writing and publishing content but the best laid plans are meaningless without actual results. It's also important to measure what you actually produce. Here's where a really neat service, ifttt.com comes in to help.
- If it's raining tomorrow, send me a text message
- When I change my Facebook profile photo, update my Twitter profile photo too
- If someone posts a BMW for sale on Craigslist, send me an email
- When I tweet, archive it to a text file in Dropbox
- When a new book is added to Kindle Top 100 Free eBooks, send me an email
Pretty neat, eh? For most popular services that have an application programming interface (API), ifttt will let you string them together so the output of one can be the input of another. It regularly checks the "if this" service you configure and when it finds something that matches your request, it performs the "then that" portion of the recipe.
Archive to your editorial calendar
Since ifttt supports most of the popular publishing services and formats like RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, you can tell it to archive anything you post to yet another service it supports: Google Calendar. Your recipes start to look like the following:
Getting the hang of it now? Take your Facebook posts, Tweets, Youtube videos and blog posts and shoehorn them into Google calendar with a link back to the source material.
We are using this mechanism now to track our commitment to posting (editorial calendar) with our actual posting (results calendar). By toggling the results calendar on and off, we can see how well we are meeting our commitments. It also makes it very easy to go back and find a particular tweet or Facebook post if we want to re-use it or evaluate its impact.
Try it out
We've published our tasks that we use here as recipes that you can copy and use as well. Create an account and then try adding these for your social media channels and blog!
- Archive blog posts to Google editorial calendar
- Archive new YouTube videos to Google editorial calendar
- Archive Facebook posts to Google editorial calendar
- Archive tweets to Google editorial calendar
Let us know how this works for you!