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Free Grid Helps Keep Social Posts on Message

When it comes to social media, it can be a challenge to stay on message and create appealing content for your target audience. We’re all struggling to find that magic formula, but could it be as easy as planning content out in a strategic way?

A speaker at the #STLSocialGood conference seemed to think so. Travis Sheridan shared his “one year, one page” social media placemat .Sheridan is the assistant vice president of Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the St. Louis County Economic Council. He has worked with several organizations to increase their efficiencies and strategies.

The social media template was specifically designed to help you strategically speak to your target audience. He shared that he had used this placemat with past interns and it had kept them on point. The main goal of this placemat is to help you and your team compose a message with limited critical thinking.

With the message placemat, you can  plan what topics/themes to focus on each week, how to write about it on each day and the monthly overarching theme. The placemat focuses on four parts of tone: awareness (know who you are), preference (likes/positive feelings), engagement (call-to-action terminology) and retention/referral (keeping fans/sharing content).

On the day level, Sheridan recommends that you dedicate four days of the week to this strategy and post them in that above order - awareness (A), preference (P), engagement (E) and retention/referral (R). Each day correlates to a specific piece of tone, and you want to make sure that it follows the APER order. However, you can change the monthly theme around. Sheridan suggests the APER for that as well, but you can adjust as you think is necessary.

Here’s an example of how it works:

Since this post will go out on a Monday, a piece of the messaging will focus on awareness for the weekly topic of a major event conference. They intro the event and include the date of the event. 

To call attention to the specific event, they used the hashtag for the event and would include the link to the registration page. 

The overarching theme for the month of June is preference, so this tweet spotlights a follower and shows how he will be participating in their event. This inspires positive feelings from their speaker, as well as showcases how they are involved in their social community. 

What about a credit union specific example? If the week’s focus was on Youth Savings Week in April (A), it might go something like this.

Monday (A)

Tuesday (P)

Still mentioning the event, but now we showcase a specific member. 

Wednesday (E)

In addition to mentioning Youth Savings Week, we also use a call to action to encourage parents to sign their kiddos up.

Thursday (R)

In this one, we show off the work of our participants and share a photo that people will want to comment and interact with. 

If you’re interested in trying out this method of planning content, you can download a free version of the message placemat here.

Questions? Please contact Nora Holloway, MCUA PR and Online Community director, via email or phone, 314.542.1349.