It’s Monday morning and your plans to network on LinkedIn during your lunch break were just derailed by a call from a title company looking for a signing agent to perform a last minute signing. Fast-forward to Wednesday evening and you’ve been so busy that you never managed to post a single thing on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. That’s a common dilemma for many entrepreneurs. But setting up profiles on social media sites is not enough to help your business. In order to see results, you have to post regular content. Just like any relationship, it requires effort to keep it alive. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways you can organize your content and promote yourself without spending hours and hours every day on social media. Step One: Planning T.L. Smith from AfterHoursVA, a virtual assistant business, manages over ten social media platforms. She says, “The key is planning ahead and having some sort of content calendar.” For optimal results, take a note from Smith and plan each week in advance so you are never scrambling to post something. Instead, you can thoughtfully create a weekly social calendar and evaluate the timing and potential effectiveness of your posts before they happen. It may help you to schedule a number of items in advance on Sunday morning to post each day throughout the week. A scheduling platform like Hootsuite, Buffer, DoShare, Tweetdeck, or Hubspot will help you organize your content and monitor your social feeds as well. Some have free options, while others have advanced scheduling and reporting at a cost. If you are only going to use Facebook for your business, you can schedule from Facebook’s platform itself. If you only want to use Google+, the Google Chrome extension DoShare is a handy tool. Step Two: Variety When determining what to post, variety is essential. Experiment and try different kinds of posts to see what works best for your audience. Keep in mind that while scheduling posts is helpful, there is no replacement for timely, relevant content posted in reaction to current events. And make sure that scheduled posts don’t go live at inopportune moments, such as tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing or Hurricane Sandy. Step Three: Monitor And Respond The purpose of posting content is to generate discussion, likes and shares. To get the most out of your content, it is important to respond to fans, like and share posts, and engage with potential clients. You can monitor your social platforms throughout the day — fifteen minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening — or longer depending on how much interaction your posts receive. Not sure what to post? Here is some inspiration to help you create your own social calendar. Day What To Post Sunday Find three to five articles or news you can share throughout the week. Schedule all content on Hootsuite for the week. Monday Share an article you’ve written on your blog. Tuesday Comment on a few group discussions on LinkedIn. Wednesday Generate a discussion on your own page by sharing industry news and your thoughts and ask for other opinions. Need inspiration? The NNA Notary Bulletin is published weekly. Thursday Network on LinkedIn or a Google+ community. Friday Talk about a recent signing that was challenging and how you resolved it. Saturday Share an industry relevant article with your insights. Keep in mind that it will take time to develop your own social media presence and your “voice.” Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what sort of content your audience prefers and engages with the most. Having a social calendar allows you to compare and contrast your content and improve your brand presence, as well as free up your time during the week to focus on the day-to-day management of your business. For more discussion of social media strategies, see the August issue of The National Notary magazine. Caitlin Dodds is an Online PR Specialist at Web Talent Marketing.