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A social media calendar is the best way to keep your posts organized and on track. It can help you plan and work ahead, give you a place to collaborate with others on your team, and brainstorm new exciting ideas.
Depending on how simple or complex you want your social media strategy to be, you can utilize this organizational tool in several ways. It can help your team relieve stress, produce higher quality content, and get stellar results for your business.
Ready to conquer social media and create a sustainable schedule you can stick to long term? Let’s jump right in.
A social media editorial calendar is a plan for your upcoming social media posts. Most users create it with a spreadsheet or app. A comprehensive calendar should include the following elements:
Businesses can experience a myriad of benefits by using social media planning calendars. Staying organized can save your team a lot of time. Rather than having to come up with posts and assets daily, you can plan an entire month or more at a time. Combining your calendar with a social media scheduling app can set your team up for maximum success.
Posting consistently also comes with advantages. It can help you set expectations for your audience so they get used to seeing your posts regularly. It’s also the best way to engage people and increase your reach across different platforms. Additionally, it helps your brand build trust and play to the rules of different algorithms.
By planning ahead, you can proofread and edit, fact-check information, and get any necessary approval before posting. You also won’t have as many unwanted surprises pop up along the way, like important events for your industry and holidays. Your content should be of higher quality than if you just throw posts together at the last minute. Lastly, you can use your calendar to track results and improve over time.
Here comes the fun part: creating and customizing a calendar for your business.
First things first – choosing the best template for your team. You can find tons of free templates online by Googling “free social media calendar template.” You’ll also see some great paid social media management tools. Either option will work.
Here are four of the best social media content calendar templates to help you get organized and stay on track.
Like with every content strategy, you need to start by setting goals. Why do you want to post on social media? Is it to build your audience? Send more traffic to your website? Share awesome content or increase sales?
These are all worthy endeavors. Try setting some long-term goals and then breaking them down into more bite-sized short-term goals. Maybe you have overarching goals for each campaign, month, or quarter. Add these to your calendar to track your growth and adjust as needed.
Who is your target audience? This will inform which channels you should focus on. Research user demographics for each channel to decide which ones are worth your time. The most popular channels for businesses today include:
You may decide to choose as few as two or as many as four or five. Go where your audience spends the most time and concentrate your efforts there. If you choose too many platforms and lack the resources to do them justice, you could waste a lot of time and money. It’s better to select a few that you can do well by posting quality content consistently and staying engaged with your audience.
Next, it’s time to decide which types of content you want to post on your chosen channels. Remember to focus on reaching the long-term and short-term goals you’ve already set. An excellent place to start is with a social media audit. See what you’ve posted in the past that resonated with people. You may notice some themes. How can you replicate the success you saw?
If you’re brand new to posting on social media, you may need to spend some time experimenting. You can also study competitors to see how they engage their audience and which types of content are the most popular. Your content assets may include:
Having a mix of different types of content can keep your audience engaged and excited for your posts.
Are there specific themes you want to create content around to promote your business or support a campaign? For example, maybe you want to spend a week highlighting an in-depth guide your marketing team created. Or perhaps you have a campaign you’re planning to run for an entire month to send traffic to your website or collect leads.
How often will you post on each social channel? Establishing a rhythm will help you maintain consistency. That way, your followers will know what to expect from you. Again, you can look at your top competitors to see what works well for them. Look specifically at the companies that perform well on social media. Take note of how often they post on different networks.
If your primary focus is Facebook, you may want to post there once or twice a day. Businesses often tweet much more frequently but only post on LinkedIn once or twice a week. Sprout Social recommends the following posting frequencies for different platforms:
Also identify the best times to post on each platform. You can look at the analytics from past posts if you have them. Some platforms – like Facebook – show insights for optimum engagement times.
Try not to overthink frequency and posting time when you’re just getting started. Experimenting is a great way to identify optimal timing for your business and audience.
It’s time to get more specific, pulling from the ideas and themes you’ve already identified. Crafting engaging posts isn’t always easy, but it can sure be a lot of fun.
Once you’ve crafted your posts and pasted them neatly into your content calendar, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback. Share your calendar with colleagues, managers, and anyone else who needs to approve your work before it goes live.
If you want, you can create a column specifically for notes and feedback. Once everyone who needs to has reviewed your posts, you can confidently move to the publishing phase.
So you’ve packed your calendar to the brim with beautiful posts, images, links, and everything else you need to run successful social media campaigns. Now it’s time to sit down and schedule out the posts that are ready to roll. The good thing about having a calendar is your ability to work ahead – scheduling as far in advance as you’d like.
Last but certainly not least is tracking your efforts and analyzing your results across all social media channels. You can add notes to your calendar as a reminder of what worked well or what needs improvement. Keep in mind that some great posts don’t always perform exceptionally. This may be due to timing, so don’t hesitate to repost it in the future. Recycling posts isn’t just allowed. It’s a brilliant way to save time.
Other times, certain posts will perform better on specific channels. You’ll learn what types of content, themes, times, and frequencies work best on each channel with practice.
If developing a social media strategy, planning content, and publishing and monitoring posts sounds like too much work, you’re in the right place. Kubbco has an experienced team of social media marketers who can’t wait to help you explode online (in a good way). We’ll help you share your unique story and strongly connect with your target audience.
Contact us to learn more.