Tis the season for reviewing goals, setting new intentions, and strategically planning out the year ahead. For small businesses, this includes thinking about your content marketing goals and objectives, with social media high on that list. Now is the time to think about creating an easy-to-use social media calendar that organizes and manages when and where you will publish your content and allows you to efficiently and strategically plan your posts in advance.
Sharing quality content across your social media channels can be one of the best ways to connect with your audience and attract new followers. Read on to see how to create a thorough social media calendar that you can start using right away.
Ask yourself a few questions:
Align your social media goals with your overall marketing goals in order to see how social media can help you reach larger objectives.
Before you start creating your social media calendar, it’s crucial to figure out exactly what types of content your audience actually wants to see from you. Look at past social media posts you’ve written, or analyze your competitors to see which types of posts resonate best with your audience. You can use a tool like Sprout Social and pay to conduct a formal social media audit, or you can do it yourself by accessing your social media analytics to compare specific metrics. Refer back to your social media goals in order to hone in on the metrics that are most important to you.
Some common categories to include on your social media calendar are:
Need more suggestions? We created a list of 30 social media content ideas here.
Once you’ve chosen your categories, we highly recommend adding a separate tab on your social media calendar to serve as a place to gather ideas and content for future use. Include a “category” tab in order to organize these pieces of content and easily find them for your calendar.
Using your research on target demographics and buyer personas, decide which content channels will best reach your audience. The most popular content channels include:
It’s important to understand that you don’t have to publish on every single channel. Rather, it’s more efficient and rewarding to choose only the channels that your audience pays attention to and focus on having a large presence there.
To create your calendar manually using Google Sheets, log into Google Drive and choose “New” then choose “Google Sheet.” Give your spreadsheet a title that is specific to your company. Organize the tabs at the bottom by social media channel, as you won’t be posting the exact same thing to each channel.
Label the columns on each tab with the following categories:
Need some more tips for creating your social media calendar? We got you covered here:
In order to start filling out your social media calendar, you must decide how often to post. Your decision will depend on your audience, your product or service, specific campaigns and the types of channels where you publish. It’s important to ensure that you aren’t bombarding your audience with irrelevant content, but rather providing valuable and interesting information on a regular basis. While every company will differ, here are some basic guidelines for posting on the most popular social media networks:
Your frequency will depend greatly on the size of your team and its ability to generate a good amount of content. We don’t recommend compromising on the quality of your content in order to reach these numbers. Rather, start posting at a frequency you feel comfortable with, using high quality content and then work your way up to posting more frequently as time allows.
Now that you have the process in place, it’s time to start adding content to your calendar! Facebook is the only platform that currently allows you to schedule your posts out in advance from your Facebook page. For the other channels, you can either publish content manually, or use a paid publishing tool like Sprout Social to schedule your posts. This should be determined based on your budget and team resources.
After a few months of consistently posting on social media, look for trends between your publishing rate and engagement numbers. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all provide basic analytic reports for you to measure each month. Learn from these reports and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Creating a social media calendar will allow you to plan and schedule out months of content in advance, allowing you to be more efficient and strategic in achieving your marketing goals and objectives.
If you’re in need of some additional advice when creating your social media calendar, we’re here for you!