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How to Plan Your Social Media Using the 1-1-1 Strategy

I don’t know many small business owners who love planning social media content.

It’s because they don’t have an easy system. Even social media managers (who love it)

need a system in order to enjoy it and be truly creative.

Our team has used the 1-1-1 Strategy for 6 years now and it’s the only way we have been able to create on-brand custom content for 10+ accounts at once and manage our own accounts while serving so many clients. We teach the 1-1-1 strategy to our small business clients and marketing coordinators/managers of larger companies.

The 1-1-1 Strategy breaks up your planning and content creation into 3 phases.


At the 1 Month phase you will look at the upcoming month using a

Google Sheet Content Calendar (like you see above) and decide 3 things in 1 hour or less:

  1. You will decide how many times a week you will post based on your brand, bandwidth, budget, and business goals. This might be a relief … you do not have to post every day.

  2. You will insert any events, holidays, or special launches/sales into the calendar. You will assign a theme to each time you are posting. You should have 3-5 themes that all your posts fall into.

  3. You will decide the type of post. This can be a video reel, photo reel, graphic reel, single photo, carousel of images/graphics, graphic post, or stories.

At the 1 month level, you are not writing captions, hashtags, finding links, finding or taking photos/videos, or creating reels. You are staying at a higher strategic level. You might also plan when you are sending out emails, or publishing a blog post or podcast. Looking at the one month as a whole allows you to think holistically about your marketing strategy, not just social media.


Look at your schedule on a weekly basis and pick a day and a time to plan out your content for 1 hour. If you don’t plan it into your schedule, it will never happen. Make it a meeting with yourself!

For 1 hour or less, focus on the following for the week ahead:

  1. Writing the captions

  2. Deciding on hashtag groupings for Instagram

  3. Deciding on any necessary tags or links

  4. Decide on the visual elements

If you have a folder of images on your drive or an album on your phone, decide which existing images you will use for each post. If you need to capture the video or photo this week or on the day of an event, mark that down in the content calendar and in your planner/ to-do list. If you need to design a graphic, add it to your to-do list. Often times reels need more time to create. You can create them ahead of time on your phone and save the draft for the day that you are posting.

At the 1 Week phase you can also add your content to a planning app like Planoly or Later.

If you struggle to write your social media captions, we get it! This is where having your Brand Message determined and outlined is crucial. If you don't have a defined brand message, we have the perfect course for you! Check out The Brand Message Course here.


Now it’s time to post and engage on social media! If you are using a planning app, we recommend checking that the posts posted to the correct platforms. There can be glitches sometimes. Your posts will also do better if you get on the apps and engage with others. Add your post to stories and then start sharing the post with specific accounts. Like, comment, and share other accounts content.

Set a timer of 5-10 minutes so that you don’t stay on the platforms too long and waste time.

Treat this as a job task so you don’t allow this to be a distraction from the rest of your day.

Want to see HOW Eloise plans out a month of content?

Eloise will teach you Content Strategy and Planning inside the NEW BuildWell Membership.

BuildWell is a monthly membership for small businesses who need help growing their business on-brand.


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