Why You Need a Social Media Calendar and How to Create One
Creating and maintaining a social media content calendar sounds like a big commitment up front but rest assured that it will pay off and save you time (and stress!) in the future. A little hard work and planning upfront will set you up for success and help streamline your process.
Creating a template does not have to be complex either. It can be as simple or as complicated as your brand requires.
In this blog post we will review why you need a content calendar and how you can create one for your brand.
Why do you need a social media content calendar?
- Keeps you organized. Maintaining a social media calendar lets you plan ahead, schedule posts, and stay consistent. Consistency in posting allows you to stay in your audience’s feed, which is the key to keeping them engaged. A calendar isn’t just for planning future posts either, it can help you keep a record of posts from the past. Your editorial calendar can help you keep track of what you’ve tweeted, what you’ve advertised on Facebook, and more.
- Reduces mistakes. Planning posts ahead of time makes copyediting the text, fact-checking information, or even getting approval from organizational stakeholders ahead of time easier. Having a calendar will prevent you from making a mistake like posting the same content twice!
- Keeps your posts interesting. Keeping a content calendar helps your posts stay relevant, creative, and support worldwide global moments, events, or dates. This is one thing we always make sure to double-check for our clients. We often help create content around holidays, events, and company-wide or local business news.
- Create higher-quality content. Using a social media calendar will help you allocate all of your assets to create the best content. For example, some posts might include videos, while others use graphics or photos. When you plan ahead you can create quality content that converts.
So now that you understand why you need one, let’s talk through the steps to creating a content calendar.
There are 5 simple steps to take…
- Audit your social media channels. The first step to take is to audit your social media channels. When we are helping clients set up or improve posts, we always start with this step. This gives us a clear picture and helps us identify areas of improvement. We can then set up a clear strategy and budget. In an audit, we always review the following:
- Accounts and outdated profiles
- Account security and passwords
- Goals and KPIs for each account by platform
- Your competitors
- Your audience, target market, and their demographics
- Successful posts, campaigns, and tactics
- Gaps or underwhelming results
- Key metrics for measure future success on each platform
- Choose your social channels. Once the audit is complete, you’ll have the relevant information you need to make decisions about which social media platform you need to use and what the strategy will be on each. Read more about how to use your social media channels to target your audience more effectively in this blog post.
- Create a library of content. Remember when we talked about using high-quality content in your social media posts? Well here is where you organize that content and find a place to keep all of your videos, photos, and other relevant information so that you can easily find them when you’re creating your calendar and then scheduling your posts. One way to do this is to use Dropbox folders or store them in a folder on your server. We can help you identify and organize this content if you’d like.
- Establish a workflow. Once you have your information gathered and organized, you will want to establish a workflow—you’ll determine how often to post to each channel when the best time is to post, what your content ratio will look like, and so forth. Depending on your business, industry, and goals, we can help you establish a workflow that will propel your content in front of your audience at the right time and in the right places.
- Create the posts and take them live! Once you’ve done steps 1-4, the last step is actually writing the posts and scheduling them to go live. Our team of social media copywriters actually write each post for you and then submit to you for approval. Once each post is approved, it is scheduled and then posted live at the pre-determined time. You can do this in-house as well, but we recommend using a tool like Hootsuite to help you schedule and keep track of your posts.
Social media content calendar tools and apps
There are hundreds of content calendar tools and apps out there to help companies stay organized. If you’re just getting started, we recommend checking out these three:
- Google Sheets
- Hootsuite planner
Just remember that what gets scheduled, gets posted, seen, measured, and reviewed. Social media analytics can provide a lot of insights for you and maintaining a social media content calendar will give you the opportunity to experiment and improve your posts.
To get help creating a content calendar, or to learn more about how to organize and schedule your social media content, call (412) 812-2757 or reach out to us today!