Social Media Growth 101: Templatization
Using templates to save you time, beat ‘creative block,’ and advance your career as a Social Media Manager
See, there are proven models for ‘what works’ in social media management.
Templates serve 2 purposes:
A) Make sure that you’re never starting from a blank page as a social media manager
B) Make it easy to relay key information to leadership and clients in an easy-to-understand, relevant way
The Top 1% of social media managers are able to take those templates and make them bespoke to whatever their brand needs.
Think of it like the base model of a sports car.
Sure. You could opt for the base model. It’s fine.
But the real magic is when you get the fully spec’d out version, tailored to your exact needs and preferences.
What templates should you build out ASAP? I’ve got 4 that save me a ton of time and creative energy (and make me more money).
4 templates I use all the time
Template 1: Social Media Audit
I remember my first time onboarding a new account. It was overwhelming AF.
What do you look out for?
What are the first changes you make as a new SMM?
What’s the best way to communicate those findings to a new client or boss?
I was like a deer in headlights.
And I quickly realized that without a solid foundation to start with — nailing this down can be a monumental task.
As I worked in the industry for more and more time, I started to develop an eye for what needed to be done first thing when starting a new gig, or launching an account from scratch.
I also realized that most other talented social media managers ran through a similar process.
And I refined my process through my own experience + insider tactics I picked up from others in the field until I had a social media audit I could run on repeat.
It’s ever-evolving, of course, given how quickly shit happens in our line of work. But regardless…
A strong social media audit template makes it easy to start a new gig with momentum, communicate to new leadership or clients, and create buy-in right away.
Template 2: Social Media Swipe File
Have you ever woken up one day feeling tired, kinda burnt out — with nothing scheduled in your content calendar?
It’s the worst. And no matter how hard you try to get ahead as an SMM, it’s going to happen at some point.
The best way to minimize the pain of this unfortunate situation is to proactively collect inspiration for your content.
A well-constructed Swipe File is an insurance policy against a ‘creative block.’
You know how people build vision boards for their yearly goals? Or how designers create mood boards when starting a new project from scratch?
You want to apply the same thought process to your social media content, so you don’t start from a blank slate.
The best marketers in other disciplines (email marketing, paid media, etc.) already do this. There’s no reason not to have a killer swipe file in your toolbox as a social media manager.
Here’s what I include in mine:
A) Brand accounts I love
B) Personal accounts I love
C) Posts that I love (organized by format)
I end up saving a lot of Twitter thread hooks, LinkedIn content, and meme templates in my swipe file since most of the brands I work with operate on Twitter + LinkedIn.
You might want to save Instagram carousels or TikTok video links. The best swipe files are bespoke to your needs as a social media manager.
Just know that you should have one.
[Pro-tip: as you work longer and longer on a specific account, you’ll be able to refer to older posts from your own account as inspiration as well. Super easy way to get out of a creative rut if you find yourself with no content scheduled]
Template 3: Social Media Calendar
Once you’ve conducted your audit and collected inspiration for your social strategy, you need a simple way to organize it all into a coherent cadence.
How often are you posting? On what platforms? Where do you store copy and assets?
This is why you need a Content Calendar. I use Notion for mine (more on that later).
You should be able to look at your content calendar and confidently know WTF is going up on the brand socials in the coming week.
Clarity leads to calmness (something a lot of social pros lack).
I prefer scheduling my content ~1 week in advance. This gives me structure and the peace of mind to know I have content scheduled — while still allowing me to stay agile if a trend pops off or I have a last-second banger I want to post.
Template 4: Social Media Reporting
Reporting is one of the highest ROI skills you will develop as a social media manager — and often one of the most overlooked.
See, you don’t just have to market to your potential customers. You need to market to your boss, and other company leadership.
You need to prove that organic social media is progressing well and tying back to company goals.
You need to build a narrative.
Reporting is the best way to craft this story — weekly, monthly, and quarterly.
Reporting is what gives you the evidence to ask for a raise.
Reporting is what keeps freelance clients engaged and increases their LTV (lifetime value).
The best reports cover a few bases:
1 – What’s working now? I like to highlight 3 wins from the previous week and tie them back to business results.
2 – What opportunities exist? I like to highlight 3 opportunities that my team is working towards.
This keeps clients and bosses engaged and aware that there is still additional ROI to be gained from social.
Want to steal my templates?
I’ve got good news.
I packed all 4 of these templates up into what I’m calling the ‘Social Media Toolkit’ — my first digital product (LFG!).
In the toolkit, you’ll get the exact copies of how I build out my:
- Social Media Audit
- Social Media Swipe File
- Social Media Calendar
- Social Media Reporting
Everything you need to build a social media strategy from start to finish — with the flexibility to edit the templates for your specific needs.
Comes out to $19.99 for all of it. Probably should have priced it higher, but I’m a man of the people LOL.
You could build these templates out on your own.
Or you could just grab these battle-tested (in the trenches of Twitter) templates and plug-and-play right away.
(Also. Not gonna lie. Just stoked AF to be dropping my first product!)
Get access to your Social Media Toolkit — click here.