Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Editorial Calendars aren't just for print anymore

It's always nice when you find out that something you've been thinking about and even talking about has crossed the mind of an expert. For example, if you put together an experimental recipe only to find out that a very similar recipe just helped someone win Iron Chef, that would be a great feeling.

My moment of joy is equally intense though slightly less delicious. For several months, I have been thinking about the intersection between Social Media and editorial calendars. One of the most common flags that arise when you mention Social Media is the fear that there is just not enough content or not enough time to create that content. Having begun my professional career as a B2B media buyer, the idea of the editorial calendar crossed my mind. Yes, even for Twitter.

How would this work?

Granted, a lot of the action you see on Twitter and Facebook is interaction. It's responding, retweeting, and all that stuff. If you follow Chris Brogan's rules about blogging, you should have about 1 of your own posts for every 10-12 replies or retweets. But still, that can mean 2-3 tweets/day. And if there isn't blistering hot news about you, your brand, or your company, what can you say? That's where the idea of the editorial calendar comes in. Like a publisher's editorial calendar, it doesn't have to be 100% pinned down, but you can have some ideas. "In May we're going to that trade show, so let's tweet to drive traffic and interest." Get the topic ready and the tweets and updates and blog posts will come. If you plan ahead, your mind starts working on these ideas. There is your content.

So what other brilliant person had thought of this already?

I was perusing YouTube for some of Denise Wakeman's blog videos, and I found this interview with Michael Stelzner.

You guessed it, Denise, Blog Squad queen, mentions putting together an editorial calendar for blogging.

The really powerful thing about putting together an editorial calendar for your Social Media campaign is that this can assist you in building a truly integrated campaign. What print ads or online ads are you going to be using in June? Can some of that messaging be built upon for a blog post or a Facebook update? You probably have more content than you realize. It just needs to be thought of in different ways.

If you've tried something like this before, let me know how it worked for you! I have tried it myself and found that it immediately made posting a far less cumbersome and stressful process. Hey, that's something I always am shooting for!

Image by Jan Willem Geertsma. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/jan-willem

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