You’ve decided how you want to brand yourself online. You’ve created your band’s social media pages. You’re posting regularly, and still, you’re not seeing results. The solution: content planning.

By putting all of your energy into posting new content without thinking about the big picture, you’re only getting half the job done. Instead, set marketing goals, create content in bulk, and utilize the (often free) social media management tools available online.

You’ll save yourself time, produce more effective marketing, and see the results you want to see for your band.

Before you hit share on one more video of your amazing new song, ask yourself: how is this post helping me achieve my goals? 

The first step of social media content planning is determining what your goals are and what your measurements of success will be. Some goals you might have in mind include:

Building an audience: Modern music lovers cite social media platforms like Youtube, Twitter, and Tumblr as their primary sources for new songs. So the goal here would be to try to access broad, new audiences with your material appearing on various platforms.

Promoting concerts and events: Building your e-mail list is a tried and true tactic for event and tour promotion, and with a free membership on sites like Mailchimp, you can easily create and track campaigns.

Choose a primary goal or two, keeping in mind that building and connecting with your audience should always be a priority. Take a look at what’s coming up on your calendar and start content planning with the big picture in mind.

You’re not a social media marketing robot, so not every post has to be “on brand” or “results-driven,” and it’s really better if they’re not. Knowing your goals is an important overarching strategy, but don’t let it stand between you and making a real connection with your fans. Keep a fresh mix of goal-oriented content with personal posts and live updates.

Social media pros don’t capture organic, super-shareable moments. They create them. Not only does content planning result in better posts, it saves you the trouble of having to wait for the Instagram muse to strike.

Rather than creating content as it comes to you, use your time efficiently by:

Maximizing Video & Photoshoots: Next time you shoot a video for Youtube, shoot three. Schedule a day for your bandmates to take as many promotional pictures a possible. Bring changes of clothes and a variety of gear, and go shoot against a few different backdrops. Turn everyday practice into a photoshoot by asking a friend or bandmate to capture “behind the scenes” rehearsal shots. Stage a corner of your songwriting space for a moody Instagram photoshoot.

Content with relevant photos or videos is 94% more likely to be viewed, so start your content planning with your visuals and work backwards.

Writing Multiple Captions: For each photo, video, or link you want to share, write two or three captions. Even if you’re only adjusting your wording slightly, you’ll extend the use of your content. You can also compare the engagement across posts to see which copy was more successful with your audience.

Recycling Content: Don’t be afraid to reuse, it’s why the hive mind gave us #ICUMI. Keep in mind that some platforms, like Twitter and Pinterest, are better suited for re-posts than others.

There are plenty of social media planning tools, post schedulers, and content management sites, but the best free resources, in my opinion, are Hootsuite, Buffer and Later

With Hootsuite, you can schedule content for major platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and most recently, Instagram. There are also free analytics tools to track how your content is performing.

Buffer’s browser extension allows you to share and schedule what you come across while surfing. Buffer will schedule content for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among others.

You can’t plan everything, so be sure to read and respond to comments daily, share content with your followers and go off book every now and then. If you’re stuck, check out “Proven Content Ideas for the Musician’s Social Media Calendar” to help spark some inspiration!