There is a very good chance that your business has a presence on social media. But are you more reactive than proactive when it comes to sharing content online?

Follow these simple steps to plan, prepare and schedule your posts. Not only will it help your organisation and create a stronger brand identity, it could save you valuable time.

First you will need to plan your content. You don’t need to use fancy software, for example, you could use Excel. Build a social media calendar by adding columns with the date, social media channels and what you’d like to add each day.

Check for awareness events that you could tie into your brand. For example, if you’re in the food industry, take advantage of National Chocolate Week. There are also generic ones such as National Walk to Work Day.

Planning and preparing doesn’t limit you. You can plan videos, such as live stories, by storyboarding a beginning, middle, and an end. We did this at our recent PR for HR seminar, where we snapped the breakfast networking, filmed snippets of the seminar and recorded an interview at the end.

Create your content in advance and schedule to your social media channels so that they automatically publish on the dates and times you set. As well as saving time, it also avoids the scenario of staring into space trying to conjure up a witty caption on the spot. (for Instagram) and Tweetdeck (for Twitter) offer services to enable you to schedule your posts and stories for free. Facebook allows you to do this within the platform itself.

A good feature of is that it previews how your feed will look. You are capped at 30 posts per month but this seems reasonable and prevents you from cluttering your feed!

There are some downsides to scheduling content. Your account may seem impersonal, as you’re not posting ‘in the moment’ and you may not be able to respond to comments and reactions when your post goes live if you aren’t there to respond.

However, the positives far outweigh the negatives and we would recommend all brands consider scheduling social media content as part of their planning process.