Why Use A Social Media Content Calendar
- Keep Track Of Important Dates
A social media content calendar can help you stay ahead of all social media holidays. You won’t miss any opportunities to elevate your brand and engage with followers on special dates. This makes it easy to spot business opportunities and helps you plan in advance for important events, holidays or social media campaigns.
- Stay Consistent
Posting consistently is one of the best ways to get more social media followers. A social media content calendar will help you post consistently across all platforms by ensuring that content is planned and scheduled in advance. A consistent posting schedule shows potential followers you are invested in the channel. And consistent posting trains your current followers to expect and engage with your content on a regular basis, cultivating long-lasting relationships.
- Stay Relevant And On Trend
A social media calendar is a good way to keep a record of everything you publish. It will be clear from your calendar if your content has become not relevant and dated. And you will see when it's time to generate some fresh ideas and move on to new trends.
- Save Time
Using a social media calendar will save you time. If you have your planned social content mapped out and ready, you can schedule your posts ahead of time and won't constantly need to be on duty. Then, you won’t constantly be watching the clock. You may even be able to take a vacation.
- Strike A Balance
Planning your social content in advance ensures you are publishing a balanced amount of content from each category. A social media content calendar will allow you to get the balance between the stuff you have to post and the stuff your followers want to see just right. This may include user-generated content, videos or news from your industry or interactions with your followers. A helpful guide is to follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent helpful and interesting content for every 20 percent of content that’s selling your product.
- Encourage Collaboration
A shared social media content calendar between team members or stakeholders will permit everyone to be on the same page. A social media content calendar shared on a cloud platform like Google Sheets or Dropbox is a collaboration power tool. A common, shareable calendar makes it easy to divide planning duties among team members.
- Avoid Cross-platform Errors
One of the cardinal sins of social media management is posting the exact same message on multiple networks. Not all social media platforms are the same and they should, therefore, be treated differently. With a social media content calendar, you can plan and schedule unique posts for each social platform in advance and avoid being tripped up.
How To Create A Social Media Content Calendar
- Plan Your Social Media Content Strategy
Before you can create a content calendar, you need to plan your social media content strategy. This will entail determining your objectives and deciding what type of content you want to post on social media. Your goals are what will determine the rest of your social media content strategy and lay the foundation for preparing your content calendar. Then you should decide what kind of content you will post based on your target audience and their preferences.
- Decide On A Posting-Frequency For Each Platform
You need to select the social media channels that you want to utilize and how often you will post on each selected channel. Select the best social media platforms based on your target audience on which platforms they frequent. And then decide on a posting frequency and schedule. The schedule can be decided based on past research about the best times to post for each platform.
- Download A Template And Fill Up Your Calendar
There are many available social media content template calendars out there. Decide how much detail you need on your calendars, such as dates, times, networks and links and pick one that suits your needs. Then it’s time to fill it up with content and create your content in advance. This will include the topics, types of content, actual content pieces or links to them, social media platforms, along with dates and times. Also, make sure that you share your calendar with your entire content team so that everyone is on the same page.
- Schedule Your Posts
Scheduling your posts refers to the process of setting up a queue to post your social media content. This could either be done manually or using an automated tool like Buffer which can automatically post content at preset times.
- Monitor Your Process And Improvise
It’s important that you keep track of how well it is working. For example, are you able to meet your deadlines and post content at the designated times? Is there a bottleneck somewhere in the process that is slowing things down? Monitor these aspects and make improvements wherever needed. Doing this over a period of time will help streamline the process and make it more efficient.
4 Social Media Content Calendar Tools
Trello is an organizational tool that's highly effective for team collaboration. More specifically, social media managers can use Trello's flexible assignment “cards” and customizable “boards” and “lists” to map out to-do lists, manage a content calendar, plan a campaign, and house ideas from a brainstorm.
Excel can be customized according to whatever priorities or metrics a team is focused on, so it's a great tool for planning ahead.
Evernote is a highly popular app that lets you plan and organize your notes and memos. It also has planning and calendar templates that you can customize to your needs. The templates can be daily, monthly or yearly, etc. And this makes it easy to keep track of when you're publishing content on social media when you're producing blog content, and other team-wide priorities.
Google Drive has several helpful features that make it easy for social media marketers to build out an effective content calendar. It’s really simple to use and easy to share between all team members, who could all edit and work in the calendar to update and change it.
Hootsuite is the ultimate social media planner and lets you manage all your scheduled social media posts in Hootsuite Planner. It has a calendar on its dashboard from where you could easily create new posts. You can either use it in addition to your calendar on Google Sheets or on its own.