“Help, I need some Facebook post ideas. I have no idea what or when to post!”

Do you have a Facebook page for your businesses that is looking a little unloved? Are you having trouble posting regularly because you can’t think of what to write, or can’t find the time?

I have the solution for you!

This easy, non-technical method will help you generate a whole year’s worth of Facebook post ideas. And it will allow you to create your whole month’s posts in just a few hours each month.

Anyone can do this, for any business page. You do not have to be a Facebook expert!

How to easily come up with a years worth of Facebook post ideas and turn it into a posting schedule

 

I manage a number of Facebook pages, and I used to frequently run out of posting inspiration. This means death in Facebook land, because, if you don’t post regularly, Facebook stops showing anything you do post to your followers.

Not much pressure, then.

I recently learned the magic secret of setting up a posting timetable and wow, it makes posting so much easier! I no longer procrastinate because I can’t think of what to say. The timetable ensures I post interesting content regularly, and I also save a heap of time doing so.

So if you are stuck in a Facebook rut, I really encourage you to follow this method. You will need to put in some time up front to create content, but it’s not as hard as you may imagine. And you will thank yourself every time you set up your months’ posts and think “How easy was that?!”


Get the Facebook Post Scheduling Tool

This Excel spreadsheet is pre-formatted ready to capture and schedule your content as you follow the steps in this post. Download it here.


Step 1: Create A Year’s Worth Of Content

“What, I have to create a whole year’s content?”.

Yes, but don’t worry because (a) you don’t write all the content yourself, and (b) you can post the same thing more than once.

First, Brainstorm Content Categories

The first step is to think up all the the different types of content you might post – what I call ‘content categories’. So grab a pen, paper and coffee, and get brainstorming.

Visualise Your Ideal Audience

Who do you want to read your page (and ultimately sell your product or service to)? Jot down some notes – their gender, age, family status, employment, interests, etc. This is called creating a customer ‘avatar’ – here is a fabulous guide on how to create one.

Brainstorm What They Want To Read

Now write down the sorts of posts this person would be interested in. For example – recipes, inspiring quotes, pretty photos, how-to tutorials, business tips, etc. At this point, you’re not writing posts, just the categories of posts you’d like to provide. Think broadly, and don’t limit it to content that you know you already have, because I am going to show you how to easily find extra content.

Handy Hint: Need some content ideas? Search ‘Facebook post content ideas’ for lots of inspiration.

Now eliminate anything that is not relevant to your business, or think if there’s a way you can make it relevant. If you are a bookkeeper who services small businesses, people are not going to expect recipes on your page. But they will be interested in blog posts about running a small business, or the stories of your customers and how they started their business.

Next, add in what you want to tell your audience about your business – what services you offer, client testimonials, photo galleries of your work, etc. In a bid to entertain our audience, we often shy away from posting this stuff. But don’t! Some people will discover your business via your Facebook page, and won’t know what it is that you do. Make sure it’s really easy for them to find out by looking through your timeline.

I would also add in categories of ‘tips’ and ‘questions’ – the first will show your expertise and provide some handy advice your audience will appreciate; the second prompts interaction and helps you get to know your customer.

Finalize Your Content Categories

Now that you have lots of content ideas, hone them into a list of around 5-10 content categories. Here are the categories for Busy Life Planners (printable planners):

  • My products
  • Free printables
  • On Pinterest*
  • My blog
  • Tips
  • Questions
  • I’m also on (links to my other social media)

* You’ll see I have a ‘Pinterest’ category. I use Pinterest to collect content from others, and post something to Facebook each week from my Pinterest boards. So this category actually includes many sub-categories like ‘free printables’, ‘planner how-to’s, etc. More about that below.

 

Next, Create Content

This is where the bulk of the work happens. You are going to create a year’s worth of content all at once. But don’t panic! It is quite OK (even advisable) to post the same content more than once. You will also be gathering content from external sources. And you can add to this list over time.

At this point, I recommend setting up a spreadsheet. Name the first sheet ‘schedule’, then create a tab for every category of content. Now on each sheet, use the cells to write your posts and record relevant links.

Let’s look at this a category at a time.

My Products / Services

On your spreadsheet, list every single product or service that you provide in one column. In the second column, post a link to the relevant page or product listing on your website (or your contact details for more info). Now in a third column, start writing a post about that product or service. Write a second, and even third post blurb for each item. This is because you’ll be posting that content to Facebook more than once, so you don’t want to always use the same words. You can also highlight different benefits or selling points with each post.

The product: Printable shopping list and menu planner

Post 1:  ‘Cooking and shopping are two tasks that are hard to avoid. But with these clever printable planners, these never-ending jobs can be made a whole lot easier.’

Post 2: Don’t you hate it when your shopping list is so long and confusing that you end up backtracking through the store umpteen times? This shopping list is divided by store supermarket section, so you avoid doing just that.’

Here’s a little snippet of what my ‘My products’ spreadsheet looks like:

How to create content for Facebook

Other Content On Your Website

Make full use of your blogs, portfolios or galleries, and any other content you have on your website. List every single item and write multiple post blurbs to introduce it.

Tips & Questions

Some of the most popular posts on my Facebook pages are little snippets of advice. They are a great way of illustrating your expertise and showing that you are generous with it. So brainstorm as many bits of advice you can think of – aim for at least 30, but once you get started, you’ll probably come up with a whole lot more. Keep them short, and include a phrase at the front such as {Fiona’s Biz Tip} or {Pro Tip}. This helps to get the reader’s attention.

Example tip post:

‘{PRO PARTY TIP} Make-your-own-sundae stations are the perfect dessert for kids’ parties. Lay out toppings like choc dots, popcorn and sprinkles, scoop the ice cream into bowls, and then let the kids create their own sundae. Super simple, affordable, and the kids love it!’

Similarly, brainstorm some questions that will get a conversation started. They can include finding out about your customers (where are you all from?); their needs (what’s the one thing that stops you sticking to a meal plan?); asks for an opinion (which do you prefer – pink or blue planner cover?); or something that provokes a conversation (is decorating your planner a waste of time?).

Find More Facebook Post Ideas Using Pinterest

Sharing other peoples’ content is an easy way to provide useful and interesting information to your audience. But it can be time consuming hunting for, and recording that content. Pinterest is set up to do exactly that. No matter what your industry, it is highly likely that you’ll find pins relevant to it on Pinterest, and most of them will link back to external content that’s of interest. So I highly recommend setting up a Pinterest account for your business, even if you wouldn’t use it for any other reason.

Once you’ve set up your account, create boards that your ideal client would be interested in. For eg, the Busy Life Planner Pinterest page has boards for planner inspiration, free printables, planner how-to’s, inspiring quotes and small business tips.

Now get pinning! Search for content, and start adding it. I highly recommend downloading the Pinterest app to your phone, as then you can find and pin content while waiting in queues, over lunch, at the park…all you need is just a few minutes each day.

How to create Facebook content using Pinterest

 

Now in your Facebook schedule, list all your Pinterest boards in one column, and write several blurbs for each one. You can highlight a particular pin (and link to the content page), or promote your whole Pinterest board.

 

Particular pin – ‘And now for something completely weird – free zombie party printables! Check them out…:’ <link to the page that hosts the zombie printables>

General board promo – ‘Whatever your party theme, there are printable party decorations for it, so you can download and DIY your own invitations, cake toppers and more. You’ll find a veritable treasure trove of free printables on my Pinterest board…’ <link to board>

 

Handy hint: Can’t find your kind of content on Pinterest? Set up a Google alert, and have articles on your chosen topic sent to you. 

 

Now, creating all this content takes a lot of time! But once it’s done, you will simply be copying and pasting for the rest of the year. So try and set aside a day, or a few half-days, to doing this. The benefits are so worth it.

 

Step 2: Create A Posting Timetable

Now that you have your content sorted, you need to create a timetable for posting it. The way I like to do this is as follows:

  1. On another spreadsheet, in the left hand column, list all your post categories
  2. Across the top, write the days of the week.
  3. Create a duplicate of this.
  4. Now colour in the boxes for which posts go on which days (more on this below).

One week’s timetable looks like this:

How to make a facebook post schedule 1

I create a duplicate so that I have two weeks’ timetables. This way, I can create an ‘alternate’ schedule where different things are posted on different days. I use the first schedule for weeks 1, 3 and 5 of the month, and the second schedule for weeks 2 and 4. This allows me to trial different posts at different times. It also allows me to post some categories only once a fortnight.

Decide On Post Frequency

My approach to this is not overly scientific, but that’s what makes it easy. The first thing I do is decide how often I want to post each category. Here’s some examples of posting frequency.

  • My services – once a week
  • Client gallery – once a week
  • Tips – twice a week
  • I’m also on (other social media) – once a fortnight

I base the frequency on what I think will be of most interest to my audience. To get a good idea about this, go to the ‘insights’ menu on your Facebook page, then select ‘posts’ and see which types of posts got the most reach and interaction previously.

Allocate Posts Across Days

Now I allocate the post categories across my days by colouring in the cells. Once again, I don’t get overly scientific about this, but I do think about the natural flow of a week. For example, people are more receptive to interesting ideas earlier in the week when they’re fresh, but may prefer to look at pretty pictures rather than read on Friday night when they’re tired. Questions work well on Sundays when people are relaxed and surfing Facebook from their couch. As before, you can look at your Facebook insights to view patterns.

Check Overall Posting Frequency

At this point, you want to check how often your timetable says you will be posting, and decide whether that seems right for your business. Some businesses post five times a day, others once every second day. And the general consensus on ‘what works’ keeps changing. So my thought is, make sure it’s regular enough (at least once a day), but is also doable by you. There is no point saying you’ll post three times each day, if you don’t have enough content, or enough time to schedule it all. Personally, I post 1-2 times each day.

Work Out Your Ideal Posting Times

Head back to your Facebook insights again, and click on ‘posts’. At the top of the screen you’ll see a graph showing you what time your audience are on Facebook. With any luck, you’ll see some peak times. These are the ideal times to post (or just before, if they are followed by a drop-off). In my experience, there tend to be three peaks – early morning, after dinner and late evening (my times are currently 7am, 7pm and 9pm). But it may be different for you. Use these guidelines to create your ideal posting times. Note that these may change over time, so revisit every month.

Best time to post on Facebook

You can write these times into your schedule, by noting a time in a coloured cell. I actually do this time allocation when I am actually scheduling the posts in Facebook. But that’s up to you. Note that you don’t have to post every day at every peak time. And once again, you may find that certain types of posts work better at certain times. For example, people are less likely to answer a detailed question early in the morning when they’re in a rush; your audience may read blog posts at 5pm on the train home, or after dinner.

Turn Your Timetable Into A Calendar

You now have a ‘master’ posting timetable. Now you need to apply it to the actual days of the month. The way I do this is, every month, I make a copy of the weekly schedules, and write in the days of the month. Then I can note days of significance, such as public holidays, anniversaries, etc. You may choose to schedule special posts for these days.

How to schedule facebook posts

(The crosses in the pic above are a mark that shows me when I’ve actually scheduled those posts)

 


Get the Facebook Post Scheduling Tool

This Excel spreadsheet is pre-formatted ready to capture and schedule your content as you follow the steps in this post. Download it here.


Step 3: Schedule Your Posts

The final step (hurrah!) is to actually schedule your posts in Facebook. I do this once a month in one go, then I don’t have to worry about it for a whole month. Brilliant!

Take a look at your schedule, copy the relevant content into Facebook, and click the ‘schedule’ button to select your publishing time.

Once I’ve created a post, I highlight the content in my spreadsheet, to show what has already been posted. Once all my content has been highlighted (ie: posted), the next time I post I will un-highlight. I also put a cross (or the post time) in the box in my calendar timetable to keep track of where I’m up to.

Once you’ve scheduled your month’s posts, I would recommend you find where it says on your page ‘next posts scheduled at…’ and click on ‘see posts’. Take a quick look over the whole schedule to check for any errors (I have been known to accidentally schedule two posts at the same time, instead of a week apart).

And voila, your Facebook posting is all done for the month. Wahoo!

If you’re posting once-twice a day, it should only take a few hours to set up your whole month’s schedule. And you’ll get quicker over time. How good is that?!

Some Final Tips

Include Enticing Pictures

Research regularly shows that posts with appealing images get more attention, so be sure to include lots of pictures. If you don’t have a suitable image, search pixabay.com for free images that don’t require a licence to use.

When you enter a link (such as to a blog post), Facebook will automatically grab an image. Facebook allows you to add or change the picture, so do this if the image isn’t ideal.

Add relevant images to tips and questions, as it will help grab your audience’s attention.

Turn testimonials or reviews into images using Canva, to make them more attention-grabbing.

How to use pictures in Facebook

Handy hint:  You can copy and paste pictures into Facebook posts, without having to upload them.

Post Extra Content On The Fly

Feel free to post unscheduled content. In my experience, the posts that get the most reach on my pages are often off-the-cuff comments and behind-the-scenes photos. So post extra content whenever you feel like it. Just take a little look at your scheduled posts and adjust the times to make sure you don’t accidentally end up with two posts going up within 5 mins of each other.

As you create more content, such as blog posts or extra Pinterest boards, don’t forget to add it to your content spreadsheets.

Every now and again, schedule an ‘about me’ post, to introduce yourself to new followers. Don’t forget to include a picture of yourself!

Keep An Eye On Your Insights

Every now and again, take a look at those Facebook insights. Take note of:

  • Peak times your audience are on Facebook (go into ‘posts’)
  • Reach and interaction stats. Look for patterns in the type of content or the timing of posts, to see what is doing well, when.

Go back and adjust your master schedule as necessary. I wouldn’t recommend doing a complete overhaul too often, but it’s easy enough to adjust the time at which you post, and the frequency of each category.


Get the Facebook Post Scheduling Tool

This Excel spreadsheet is pre-formatted ready to capture and schedule your content as you follow the steps in this post. Download it here.

Facebook post scheduling tool


 

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Create great Facebook post ideas and a posting schedule