Building an effective social media marketing strategy requires careful planning of your company’s content. Unfortunately, content preparation frequently takes a backseat for many business owners.
You can expand your social presence without continuously stressing about what to post next, though, if you set out only a few hours at the beginning of each month to create a social media calendar for your company.
We’ve put together a guide on creating a content calendar that engages, delights, and expands your audience to help you get organized.
What is a social media calendar?
A social media calendar is a schedule planning your upcoming social media posts.
For many business owners, the idea of planning out an entire month of content might seem unnecessary. Maybe you only occasionally find yourself rushing to find an article to share on Facebook or trying to think up a clever holiday greeting to tweet out. So, is planning far in advance really worth it?
An agenda or day schedule for your social media pages are not all that a content calendar is. If you don’t have a plan for your social media approach, you’ll be acting randomly and losing sight of the big picture. With the aid of content calendars, you can strategically approach your social media presence and gain a better understanding of how your actions relate to your larger business objectives.
How to create a social media calendar
Building a social media calendar for an entire month in one shot sounds daunting, but it’s much easier if you know which steps to take to effectively promote your brand and make money on social media.
- Audit your social channels and content
- Set long- and short-term goals
- Decide on content posts and categories for each channel
- Create your social media content calendar using a template
- Fill in your content calendar with post ideas
- Create and schedule your posts across all your social media platforms
1. Audit your social channels and content
Understanding your current position requires an examination of your social media accounts and platforms. Pay attention to posts that perform, which are those that receive a lot of involvement in the form of likes, comments, saves, views, shares, and/or clicks. You may now see the results of your social media marketing efforts.
Determine the content categories that are most well-liked by your audience after analyzing the data for each of your platforms. Look for the articles that have received the most clicks and the highest levels of engagement.
Make a note of any patterns or recurring ideas. For instance, perhaps your Instagram video posts get a ton of engagement but your photo-based posts don’t. As a result, you would schedule more video-based posts on social media than text-based ones.
After you’ve determined which of your content pieces are the greatest, segment your calendar to produce a variety of material.
2. Set long- and short-term goals
Even indirectly promoting a company goal should be a part of anything you post. It’s beneficial to consider your company’s objectives before creating social media marketing objectives to support them. You can use these objectives as benchmarks to gauge your development and success.
Social media involves a lot of trial and error, much like most forms of marketing. But if every post has a purpose, even those that don’t perform well will teach you something.
Here are some goals you might consider for your social media calendar:
- Drive brand awareness. Measure this with impressions/reach, likes, shares, mentions, or any signal that shows a person has seen your content.
- Create demand for your products. Analyze click-throughs to your site, products added to cart, and comments or messages from interested buyers.
- Acquire leads and customers. These are paying customers, who you can nurture into sales.
- Form partnerships. Engage with influencers or like-minded brands for collaborations or co-marketing campaigns.
- Build a loyal following. Measure this by followers gained or lost in a certain time frame, or by your engagement rate (total engagement divided by number of followers).
- Establish social proof. Source positive testimonials or user-generated content (UGC) that casts your products in a positive light.
- Provide customer service. Social media is a common support channel. One of your goals may be to provide this support to customers through social media, or to direct it to another preferred channel. Measure this through your response time for direct messages. (This is displayed as a badge on your Facebook page, for example.)
- Become a thought leader to your target audience. Measure this with post views, audience following, and impressions.
As you create your calendar, bear in mind these general goals. Each post should contribute in some way to at least one of these objectives. To ensure that it stays top of mind, you could even include a space on your calendar template to underline which goals are pertinent for each article.
3. Decide on content posts and categories for each channel
Additionally, keep in mind that each social media platform is distinct. Each has a different target audience, uses a different content format, and provides various ways for users and content to connect. Plan your social media calendar accordingly, taking into account the specifics of each medium.
For instance, whereas your YouTube fans might choose to watch lengthier, more in-depth videos, your TikTok audience will interact with short-form videos. YouTube would be a terrific channel to broadcast a lesson video on how to use your goods, while TikTok could be a better platform for distributing influencer unboxing videos.
Expand your material is another thing you should do. Even if unboxing videos are successful, you should still incorporate a variety of subjects and media types. If you exclusively share unboxing videos, your audience will probably become tired of them.
By categorizing your postings, you can quickly ensure that your calendar contains a diverse range of content. If you run an athletics business, for instance, you may include inspirational quotations, exercise advice, and wholesome cooking ideas in your content mix. Be imaginative, and don’t be afraid to experiment with and improve your ideas!
4. Create your social media content calendar using a template
It’s a good idea to make a blank template before you start creating your social media planning calendar so you can see what your monthly content output will look like. Additionally, templates promote consistency, which facilitates collaboration.
Choose settings that provide sharing and cooperation with your social media team as well as the inclusion of information like post timing and category labels. Below are some templates that you can utilize.
5. Fill in your calendar with content ideas
The terms “timely” and “evergreen” can be useful when coming up with social media content ideas. Posts that are timely focus on events, holidays, and other passing phenomena. All year long, evergreen content is relevant. A piece about how to clean kitchen counters could be evergreen if you sell cleaning supplies, whereas a post about spring cleaning advice would only be applicable once a year.
In a workshop, every suggestion is fruitful. Later, you’ll polish them, determining whether each furthers your long- and/or short-term objectives.
You can schedule your posts into your calendar once they have been authorized. Start with your timely suggestions, and then fill in the blanks with your timeless articles. You don’t want to post five recipes back-to-back if you also have influencer posts, behind-the-scenes content, and event recaps to offer. So make sure your categories are spaced out.
6. Create and schedule your posts across all your social media platforms
and pictures. You must make sure your content complies with the specifications set forth by each channel. Even if the same information can be used across channels, some adjustments will still be necessary to make it suitable for each use case.
Then, prepare to publish posts by uploading the content to each of your channels. This can be done more effectively by scheduling in advance as opposed to manually posting each day. You may use a variety of social media scheduling tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Later to help with this as well as the native post scheduling options that many social media platforms provide.
Why use a social media calendar?
The cornerstone of any effective social media marketing plan is a content calendar. Beyond strategic advantages, a posting schedule also helps you make the most of your time and maintain your brand’s integrity.
Social media calendars save time
You probably already know if you own your own business that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.
You may cross another item off your daily to-do list and concentrate your concentration on the numerous other facets of managing your business by planning ahead with a content calendar. Consider it a time-management strategy.
It can be time-consuming to scramble to find anything to post on social media at the last minute, but if you’ve already gathered a load of excellent articles that support your brand, you’re covered.
Social media calendars build an identity for your brand
Content calendars help you create a sense of identity and community around your business while also freeing up time in your schedule.
Sharing a steady stream of material might draw in new audiences who might have never heard of your online business before but might have interests in common with your target clients. You may give your brand a more extensive identity and lifestyle that goes beyond its products and services by fusing selected material from outside sources with your own creative content.
You can ensure you always have content to upload by creating a content calendar in advance. More importantly, make sure the content is engaging and relevant to your community.