Social Media Success Formula: Brainstorming, Video, Scheduling in Advance

I spoke to Paul Simkins, Chief Discovery Catalyst at Ah-Ha! Moments Living, about the process he uses for creating his very consistent social media posts, and has been for a number of years. As a Leadership and Personal Growth Trainer and Coach, Paul holds integrity as one of his core values and feels following through on his marketing is necessary for fulfilling his commitment to followers.

Here’s a summary of the steps Paul uses in his process. You can listen to our full interview here:Podcast logo

  1. Planning. Paul keeps a rolling calendar with six months worth of topics planned in advance. He uses just one word to denote his intended topic for the week.
  2. Brainstorming. Paul is a certified Brainstorm Facilitator and uses brainstorming as a tool for developing his topic idea list. It’s important to set a time limit (15-20 minutes is usually plenty) and not to judge the results.
  3. Filter. Once the brainstorming is done, decide on which topics are too outside the scope of your business focus and get rid of them or put them in a “parking lot” file you can revisit later if you wish. He also looks for holidays and other seasonal events that would be a good fit for the chosen topics and plugs them into his rolling calendar.
  4. Create a Repository of Back Up Info. Paul keeps his eyes and ears open for quotes, notes and ideas that support his upcoming topics and stores them on Evernote. He uses tags with appropriate keywords for later retrieval.
  5. Create Original Content. Paul uses video to get things started. Other options are to write a blog post, host a podcast or even a webinar. As a professional speaker, Paul feels video gives people a chance to see and hear him speak, which helps build his reputation better than writing would.
  6. Leverage Primary Content Source. Next Paul develops an email campaign using Mailchimp to go out to his subscriber base, which goes out each Tuesday. He also has a transcript made of the video and uses that text as the basis for his blog post which is posted each Thursday.
  7. Schedule Social Updates. Each Sunday evening Paul schedules daily updates for the upcoming week. He sets up posts to appear on his Facebook page, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn. He uses outtakes from the video and/or blog as well as quotes he collected and saved earlier on Evernote.

Other things I like that Paul is doing:

  • All social icons are clearly visible from his website. No need to scroll down or move to a different page to find them.
  • Subscribing to his video email series is easy and intuitive with sign up forms available on both his website and his Facebook page.
  • YouTube videos include a summary transcription and feature logo branding in the corner.

Recommendations for even more growth:

  • Try using hashtags, especially for  Twitter updates to get tweets in front of a broader audience.
  • Try using tags on YouTube as well, for the same reason — to make the videos more searchable.
  • Try sharing links to the video more often via social updates. The videos are very high quality content and the social shares would likely increase views. To shorten the video link, you can use a shortener such as or Hootsuite’s own shortener

About Paul Simkins:

Paul Simkins

Paul Simkins is Chief Discovery Catalyst and Speaker/Trainer/Coach at Ah-Ha! Moments Living in Oviedo, Florida. He helps business owners and managers discover how to be make their teams more effective, improve productivity and as a result, profitability.

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