How To Put Together A Social Media Content Calendar

If you want to get your hands on the most effective weapon for social media success then it’s time to adopt a social media content calendar into your social media marketing efforts.

With a social media calendar, you can schedule content to get the most out of your social media posts, gain traction online, and increase followers and revenue.

But is a social media calendar right for everyone? What are the benefits of implementing this system? And how do you create one from scratch? We’ll cover this and more in this guide to social media success.

What Is A Social Media Content Calendar?

A social media content calendar works like any other calendar. Expect, instead of posting things you need to do, you keep track and plan social media campaigns and posts.

It’s simple. All the calendar does is put your social media marketing strategy into small, actionable, everyday steps. It’s a powerful way to keep track of future events and plan for them.

Besides planning for future social media posts, social media content calendars also keep track of social media content and how they do. It’s an easy tool to analyze content to help with future strategies.

Organizing a content calendar

Who Should Use A Social Media Calendar?

Anyone with a social media presence can use a social media calendar. That being said, if you’re a solo person with personal social media accounts and no real goal of growing them, a social media calendar might be a lot of work for no reason.

So, who should use a social media content calendar?

Social Media Managers

If you are a social media manager, calendars make amazing social media tools.

A social media calendar lets you easily and effectively create and implement strategies for the social media platform you’re managing. It’s even better if you’re managing multiple social media accounts.

Content Creators

Social media content creation can get overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to gain traction online or you gained traction quickly without planning ahead.

Creating a social media strategy through content planning will help you manage your workload and teach you how to post for the most benefit.

Bloggers, Affiliates, And Merchants

Whether you are a niche blogger, e-commerce merchant, or affiliate who blogs for SEO, a social media content calendar is a great way to plan content ahead of time and schedule it for release.

It’s also an easy way to keep track of what you’ve done and what you need to do. This enables you to plan how you can gain traction without overwhelming yourself or your social media team.

An effective social media strategy and consistent posting for scheduling will also improve the rate of clicks to your website.

Marketers

It goes without saying that marketers would benefit from a social media calendar. Keeping track of content will help you stay organized and allow you to leverage content for the most engagement.

It’s also a must for marketers or consultants who are managing more than one account. A social media calendar will allow you to create dedicated and effective strategies without losing traction because of disorganization.

Brands

Similar to marketers, brands who want to grow and leverage every post for the maximum benefit should adopt a social media calendar.

It will help your social media teams stay on schedule and reap the benefits of all their social media efforts.

Woman sitting at laptop and smiling

How To Choose & Format A Social Media Calendar

A social media calendar can come in many forms. The type you choose depends on what works best for you and what you or your marketing team are most comfortable with. It can be anything from a real calendar to a to-do list with dates. Whatever works for you is fine.

But don’t forget, it’s a social media management tool. The more you need to track, the better the tool should be.

The medium you choose should be robust enough to have all the necessary social media calendar tools.

To optimize your social media posting schedule, choose a medium that can comfortably keep track of:

  • The Date. Of course, you need to know what days to post or engage with the content.
  • The Time. The time you choose to post has a big impact on the engagement the post receives. Social media calendars allow you to gauge what time performs better and then post consistently at those times.
  • Description. Whether it’s just you or a whole team, you’ll want to be able to add a short description to your post. This way, you can keep track of the content, the social media platform it should be posted on, and any other relevant information.
  • Content. It’s also important to jot down what content you need to post, where the content is (files, online portals, etc.), and what links or tags to add to the content. If you already have a caption or other optimized social media content, you can also add it here.

If your social media calendar can comfortably track and hold all this information, great! Let’s move on to creating your social media content calendar.

Digital calendar on tablet

5 Steps To Create A Social Media Content Calendar

After you have chosen your social media calendar, it’s time to finally fill in and create your calendar.

If you are working with a team, we’d suggest getting input from the social media marketing team when setting up your calendar. This way, you can establish your guidelines and best practices.

Set Your Goals

The first step to creating your social media calendar is setting your goals. But to do this effectively, you first need to audit your social media channels. You can’t establish where you want to go without knowing where you’re starting.

Audit All Social Media accounts

Here, it’s imperative to invite your social media team and have a sit-down.

Analyze your social media presence on all available platforms and take note of followers, engagement, impressions, etc.

Take note of all the metrics you care about and wish to improve.

It’s also important to see which social media posts perform well and which don’t. This way, you can establish what needs to change and what needs to stay.

Use this audit to build a formula for success by tracking underwhelming and overwhelming responses.

Use The Audit To Establish Goals

Next, use the social media audit to establish your goals. When you have a clear picture of what content works, you have a clear idea of what to do in the future.

Use this data to build a strategy that focuses on weeding out underperforming content and promoting great content.

Next, set goals for the content.

You can set clear short-term and long-term goals. As an example: Increase engagement on posts by 1% over a month or increasing followers by 10% over 6 months.

Or you can aim to raise brand awareness. Use this Guide to Raise Brand Awareness with your content calendar to get your name out there.

Whatever your goals are, keep them in mind when you create your calendar. Track them and create small, realistic timeframes for achieving them.

Organized desk with laptop

Decide On Content Post Types And Categories

Next, it’s time to decide what to post, what categories to focus on, and when. We know It’s a little overwhelming. Choosing what to post months ahead of time when things are so unpredictable can be difficult.

But that’s exactly why you should consider this step extra important.

Consider the content you post that does well by drawing on analytics tools and social media metrics. What does this content have that audiences resonate with?

You can even ask your audience. Then create content in the same vein.

But beware! Don’t rehash the same content over and over.

Rather use this content as a stepping stone for branching out to fresh engaging content your audience will like.

Also, keep an eye on trends. Whatever online community you are a part of is likely to have trends or exciting events happening frequently. And while talking about these things is fine, it shouldn’t dictate your social media content.

Build your social media calendar and stick to your brand, aesthetic, and essence. Participate in trends sparingly and never to the detriment of your brand.

Team working on social media content calendar

Create Your Social Media Calendar Template

After you have audited your accounts, established your goals, and decided what content to use and what categories to focus on, it’s time to create your social media calendar template.

The template is what you will use every week and month to fill in your social media content, according to your media strategy.

It can be any type of calendar, from a normal physical calendar to an online calendar like Google Calendar.

The calendar type doesn’t matter as long as it can hold the format we talked about earlier in the article and works with your unique needs. For example, if you’re working with a team, use an online calendar that you can share with your team.

But you can also use specialized social media calendar tools, like ContentCal and Social Pilot. These tools come with a variety of features designed specifically for content calendar tracking.

Some of these specialized calendar tools even have scheduling options. The marketing tools are logged into your social accounts and can post on your behalf. When you schedule a post on your calendar, the tool will post it on the specified date and time.

The calendar template shouldn’t exceed your budget. If you are managing many accounts and have the income to afford specialized tools, do it.

But if you are just starting out with a small budget, use simple, cheap tools to start with. You can always upgrade them later.

calendar on tablet

Fill It Up

It’s finally time to create your social media calendar!

Gather your social media marketing team and fill up your social media content calendar with posts for the future.

  • Use color coding or a key to determine what content goes to which platforms.
  • If you are posting a lot of content, create different calendars for different social media channels.
  • Determine what content needs to be posted first and on which days.
  • Determine the right time on your chosen days. Choose the time frames that historically show more engagement and avoid the worst times to post on Instagram.
  • Decide which content goes on which platform or if you will post all content on all platforms.
  • Plan content for the future with your team or yourself. Establish deadlines and check-ins for the content.
  • Create a soft mix between entertainment, education, and promotion. Ideally, promotional content should not overwhelm other content and should not take up more than a fourth of the calendar. This is, of course, unless all or most of your content focuses on promotional content.
  • Create schedules for personal interaction with the audience.
  • And, if you feel like it, consider scheduling to talk about current events or trends in your niche that don’t take away from your content.

Calendar with pens

Start Creating and Publishing!

It’s finally time to start creating and publishing your content. Post the content on your social media content calendar and stay consistent with what you planned at the start.

Keep your team up to date on the content and pre-approve content as much as you possibly can. This gives the team enough time to adjust to emergencies or other issues.

From the start, keep track of the content metrics in a separate file. Make note of how many followers you had at first and what the average engagement of posts was. If you have other metrics like website clicks to track, make note of them too.

Know where you started, what content did well, and how you can incorporate this into future content calendar plans.

Person in yellow jumper on laptop

The Benefits Of Using A Social Media Content Calendar

There is no doubt that incorporating a social media calendar comes with a plethora of benefits. But is such hard work worth it? We believe so!

Here are some of the benefits you’ll experience from streamlining your social media content with a calendar.

You Can Plan Ahead

The appeal of planning is one social media content creators should value above all else. Social media is fickle and unpredictable, something most creators will agree is stressful.

But being able to plan puts you in control of your content. You can plan, create consistently, and weather the unpredictable nature of social media without it rocking your boat.

Saves Time

Saving time is probably the biggest appeal of social media calendars. When you are managing multiple platforms and juggling that with content creation and possibly other work, every spare minute makes a difference.

A social media calendar allows you to optimize your time. By creating posts ahead of time with a clear content plan, companies and individuals have more time to focus on a solid goal instead of hurried and inconsistent trends.

It makes managing more social media platforms easier. And it significantly lowers issues like double posting, late posting, incorrect posting, or lackluster posting.

Say goodbye to late nights fixing old posts or rushing to make up for a missing space with content calendars.

Woman organizing calendar

Build A Consistent Brand Image

We’re all susceptible to trends and current events. And while it’s great to support causes or celebrate events, it’s easy to get lost in the current. This is especially true if you’re just starting and don’t have a fully developed brand.

By planning content ahead of time, you can safely partake in trends and current events without your brand losing focus. It also helps keep your tone consistent, which is one of the biggest markers of brand retention.

Keeps Posting Consistent

Consistency is key and nowhere is that more true than with social media. Social attention spans are short and social channels leverage this by pushing content that is consistent and engaging.

If you post consistently, you’ll reach more people and you’ll do so more often than you would with sporadic posting.

Create More Cohesive Campaigns

As mentioned above, keeping track of metrics with your posting schedule will give you access to a personalized performance calendar that you can use to create more cohesive campaigns.

With a calendar, you can plan a social media campaign that is revealed over time, well thought out, and planned down to the smallest detail.

Woman planning out content schedule

Plan Better For Events & Holidays

A social media calendar also helps plan for seasonal changes. Because you’re posting consistently and tracking your metrics, you’ll have access to a personalized historic report for the entire year.

No matter the season of the occasion, you’ll have access to the best posting schedule. One that helps you stay relevant and grow consistently.

Plan For Long-Term Success

A social media calendar plays the long game. It uses strategies and insights to plan for future success through current statistics and content engagement.

By planning ahead, you’re setting yourself up for success. All you need to do is show up.

Conclusion

Social media calendars are great tools for marketers, brands, content creators, and bloggers, to name a few. It’s a powerful tool that allows businesses or creators to streamline their social media content and the way they post it.

With a social media calendar, you can enjoy benefits like saving time, staying consistent, planning ahead, efficient planning for future campaigns, and better campaign cohesion.

As you can see, a social media calendar is a must for anyone trying to grow and establish their online presence.

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