The social media landscape is constantly evolving. A few years ago, you might have gotten away with simply posting on your brand’s Facebook and Twitter pages once or twice a day. These days, you need to be able to develop a strong social media content strategy, execute it, and track its performance.
Naturally, that takes time and work.
But between posting, sharing and commenting, how can you make sure that you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture?
Here’s our advice to every overwhelmed business owner and marketing team out there: create a social media calendar.
A social media calendar will help you stay organized, streamline your messaging across different social media channels, track your performance, and plan a better social strategy overall.
Now, let’s walk through the steps on how you can create your own social media calendar.
Go Over Your Current Social Media Pages
Granted that you already have a social media presence in place the first thing that you need is a thorough audit of your existing social media pages.
The resulting action plans for this first step might look like:
- Updating security and passwords in your current account
- Reporting impostor accounts and archiving old accounts (or old posts)
- Identifying content and campaigns that have performed well in the past
- Identifying content and campaigns with underwhelming impression, clicks, likes, shares, or responses
- Determining new benchmarks and KPIs for each account
Assessing your current social media content should be able to help you pinpoint opportunities for improvement in your current social media strategy.
Identify the Type of Posts That You Want to Share
Now that you have refreshed/overhauled your strategy, it’s time to figure out what type of content you would like to share regularly.
Do you want to:
- Engage your followers with conversation starters?
- Share your knowledge through blog posts?
- Repost content related to your brand or advocacy?
- Share tips and quotes?
- Post engaging multimedia content?
- Push promos and events?
By the end of this step, you should have a list of content and the type of posts you want on your social media pages. It helps if you can assign which post goes on which social media channel too. For example, your more graphics-heavy collaterals should be posted on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Meanwhile, an overview of blog posts and conversation starters can go on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Determine the Frequency for Each Type of Post
Now that you have a list of content that you want to post on your social media pages, it’s time to decide how often you want to share them.
For this step, you can go ahead and build a draft of your calendar. For example, you can plot your tips or quotes every Monday and your blog posts from Wednesday to Friday.
If you’re running a sale, be sure to coordinate the timing of your post with your other inbound strategies too. So, if you’re going to send out a marketing email that promotes a site-wide sale on your shop, be sure that you post the same offer on your social media pages as well.
A working social media calendar will help you get a more visual perspective of how your week should generally look like. This will help you fill out the gaps and adjust days with one too many posts.
Remember: a good content strategy isn’t just about getting the right content to the right people. Timing also matters. So, be sure to research the best days for particular posts and the optimum posting hours for each social media channel.
Create the Content of Your Post
Now don’t panic—this doesn’t have to be the actual content that you publish. However, a good social media calendar should also include the text that you plan to post with each campaign even just the gist of it.
Doing this successfully requires you to know who exactly you are talking to. Part of having an engaging social media strategy is knowing the demographic of your audience. This way, you can come up with copies that make sense to them.
As you do this, be sure to keep everything in line with your brand voice and value as well. Remember that your audience will be able to scroll through your past posts and content easily. Consistency in your brand’s voice shows that you are reliable and identifiable.
Extra tip: tailor your text based on the respective network that you’ll be posting it to. Some channels allow more characters in a post than others. So, if you’re cross-posting, don’t forget to run your content through social media post testers. Those three little dots that signify a cut-off text may put off some of your audience and a good chunk of your content might not be read.
Identify the Link or Multimedia Collateral That Goes with Each Post
The next thing that you want to do is to determine the content—graphic, video, blog post, etc.—that will be included with each post. For this, you will need to dig through relevant articles in your blog, find videos, or request for graphics from your design team.
Save these in a dedicated folder and link them to your social media calendar. Doing this helps you stay organized and eliminate possible mix-ups on the day of your posting.
Finalize Your Calendar
Now that you know what you’ll be posting when you will post them, which content it goes with, it’s time to finalize your social media calendar.
A good calendar should tell you what to post, the date and time to post them, the caption, the link that it will lead to, the particular social media channel they will be posted in, and the character count for each.
You could even set up a monthly overview and a weekly/daily view of the same calendar just so you can plot your workflow more efficiently.
With a social media calendar, you will be better equipped to execute your strategy more efficiently and smoothly. No more missed opportunities and no more tasks that fall through the cracks.
However, even with a posting rhythm in place, be sure to make room for changes too. As you track the performance of your posts, always be prepared to update and revise your plans as you go along. To learn more about social media marketing tools, check out this post.