The best social media marketers use content calendars to stay organized. They’re critical organizational tools for producing and distributing the material you’ll create and post. Working ahead of schedule allows you to avoid last-minute scrambling to keep your social media pipeline full, resulting in less stress and higher-quality material.
Read on for a comprehensive guide to social media content calendars, including how to use them and templates to get you started.
What Is a Social Media Calendar?
A social media calendar is a document that outlines the content you will post on each social media platform. This could be anything from blog posts and articles to images, infographics, or videos.
A social media content calendar typically includes the following information for each piece of content:
- Title: What will you call your piece of content?
- Subject matter: What topics will you cover?
- Type of content: What format will the content take (e.g., blog post, video, image)?
- Date and time of publication: When will you share the content?
- Links to related content: Is there other material that supplements or furthers the message of your piece?
- Call to action: What do you want people to do after seeing your content (e.g., sign up for a newsletter, download a white paper)?
Why Use a Social Media Calendar?
There are several key benefits to using a social media content calendar:
Keeps you organized
A content calendar gives you a bird’s-eye view of your social media strategy enabling you to see what you have planned and when. This helps you avoid duplication and gaps in your content and can also help you to manage multiple social media accounts and social media campaigns from one platform.
Working with a content calendar can save you time by allowing you to batch create content, schedule posts ahead of time, and reuse or repurpose existing material. Time is crucial when it comes to social media marketing. By being organized and working ahead, you’ll be able to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time engaging with your audience.
Improves content quality
When you have a plan for your content, you’re more likely to produce higher-quality material. This is because you can take the time to research and craft well-thought-out pieces rather than rushing to put something out last-minute.
Getting off track with your social media posting can be easy if you don’t have a plan. Posting inconsistently not only looks unprofessional, but it can also hurt your chances of building an engaged audience. A content calendar will help you maintain consistency in both the frequency and quality of your posts.
Create higher-quality content
If you have a plan for your content, you’re more likely to produce higher-quality material. This is because you can take the time to research and craft well-thought-out pieces rather than rushing to put something out last-minute.
Builds a connection with your audience
By being consistent with your social media posting, you can build a connection with your audience. Consistent posting shows you’re dedicated to maintaining an online presence and providing value to your followers.
Keeps Track of Your Performance
A social media content calendar enables you to track the performance of your content. This includes essential metrics like engagement, reach, and click-through rate. You can fine-tune your strategy and produce better results over time by tracking your performance.
Who Can Use a Social Media Calendar?
A social media calendar can be used by businesses of all sizes in any industry. Whether a one-person operation or a large corporation, a content calendar is a valuable tool if you’re using social media to market your business.
- Bloggers: A content calendar can help you plan, write, and publish your blog posts ahead of time. This will make you more consistent with your posting and save valuable time.
- Businesses: If you’re managing social media for a business, a content calendar can help you map out your content strategy and ensure that you’re meeting your marketing goals. A social media team can use the calendar to keep track of the campaigns.
- Solopreneurs: If you wear many hats in your business, a content calendar can help you stay organized and on track with your social posts.
- Marketers: A social media calendar can help you plan and execute your marketing campaigns. It can also be used to track the performance of your content and measure your results.
- Anyone else who wants to be more organized and productive with their social media: If you’re looking for a way to streamline your social media posting, a content calendar can help.
Creating A Social Media Calendar
Follow these steps to create a social media content calendar:
1. Choose a format
There are a few different ways you can format your social media calendar. You can use an Excel spreadsheet, Google Sheet, or project management software like Asana or Trello. Choose whichever format works best for you and your marketing team.
2. Select the type of calendar
There are different ways to arrange your social media posts.
– Monthly view: This type of calendar is best for long-term planning. You can map out monthly content themes and then fill in the details as you go.
– Weekly view: This format is more detailed than a monthly view and can be used to plan content weekly.
– Daily view: This is the most detailed calendar type and can be used to plan content daily.
3. Create categories
To help you stay organized, create different categories for the different types of content you’ll be sharing. For example, you might have categories for blog posts, images, infographics, and videos.
4. Identify your social media channels
Before you plan your content, make sure you know which social media channels you’ll use. This will help you determine the optimal size and format for your posts. This will help you determine the optimal size and format for your posts.
5. Decide what your social media calendar should include
Your social media calendar should include the following:
- Post title or topic: Write a brief title or summary of your post to help you stay on track.
- Type of content: Categorize your content so you can easily find it later.
- Channel: Select the social media channel where you’ll be sharing your content.
- Date and time: Choose when you want your content to go live.
6. Selecting A Date and Time
Now that you’ve chosen a format and created some categories, it’s time to start filling in your calendar. When selecting a date and time for your posts, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Posting frequency: How often do you want to post on each social media channel?
- Best times to post: What are the best times to post on each social media channel?
- Time zone: Ensure you know the time difference when posting to international audiences.
7. Fill in your calendar
Now it’s time to start filling in your calendar with content. If you’re unsure what to post, try coming up with content themes for each month or week. This will give you a general idea of what to post and when.
8. Review and revise
Once you’ve filled in your calendar, take some time to review it and make sure everything looks good. Then, revise as needed. For example, if you’re posting too much on one social media channel, you might want to adjust your posting frequency.
9. Rinse and repeat
Once you’ve created your social media calendar, all left is to rinse and repeat. Be sure to review and revise your calendar regularly to keep track of your performance and make changes as needed.
10. Track and report on published content
The last step is tracking and reporting on the content you’ve published. This will help you see what’s working and what’s not. You can use a tool like Google Analytics to track your traffic, engagement, reach, and click-through rate. You can fine-tune your strategy and produce better results over time by tracking your performance.
By following these ten steps, you can create a social media calendar that will help you plan and publish content more effectively. You can maximize your reach and engagement and achieve your business goals by being organized and strategic.
How to Use a Social Media Calendar
Here are some tips for using a social media content calendar:
1. Plan ahead
The best way to get the most out of a content calendar is to plan as much as possible. This could mean mapping out your content several weeks or even months in advance.
2. Be flexible
While having a plan is essential, you should also be flexible enough to adjust it as needed. If something comes up that you didn’t anticipate, don’t be afraid to make changes to your calendar.
3. Set goals
Before you start creating content, take some time to think about your goals. What do you hope to achieve with your social media strategy? Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can create content aligned with them.
4. Keep it simple
Your content calendar doesn’t need to be overly complicated. The simpler it is, the easier it will be to use.
5. Delegate and collaborate
If you’re working on a team, delegate tasks and allow others to contribute to the content calendar. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that no one feels overwhelmed.
6. Use a tool
There are several content calendar templates and tools available online. Find one that works for you and your team, and use it consistently.
Best Social Media Calendar Tools 2022
Below are some of the best social media calendar tools for 2022:
Sprout Social is a popular social media management tool that offers a variety of features, including a content calendar. The Sprout Social calendar template is designed to help you plan and publish your content more effectively.
Use a user-friendly social media content calendar to streamline your social media planning and scheduling. Find material to share, plan it to post automatically, and work with your whole team in one software. Sprout’s calendar lets you track important occasions, campaigns, and holidays.
To save time on last-minute publishing, plan your social marketing ahead of time. Measure the effectiveness of your efforts using content statistics and keep your team up to date on what’s going live with real-time calendar sharing and attractive pre-made calendars that you may customize.
Hootsuite is another popular social media management tool that offers a content calendar template.
With Hootsuite’s social media calendar template, you can:
– Save time by scheduling all your content in advance
– Stay organized with a clear overview of your content strategy
– Track your progress and optimize your strategy with built-in formulas
– Measure the success of your content with detailed analytics
HubSpot is a leading inbound marketing and sales platform that offers a social media calendar template. This template is designed to help you plan, publish, and measure the performance of your social media content. It includes a variety of features, such as built-in formulas for tracking.
This is a robust and thorough template. Each social media content calendar is different, and it must be adapted to your specific social media strategy.
A posting schedule tab, your monthly planning calendar, a website content repository, and updates for each of the top social media platforms are all included in this template. The wonderful thing about this template is that as new social networking sites emerge and become part of your content plan (TikTok), you may copy the document and reuse it for that new channel.
Content Cal, an enterprise social media management tool, is a sophisticated content planning and scheduling system. Its calendar is one of the most user-friendly since the postings are displayed in an oversized format, so you can read the caption easily and see the pictures.
They provide a free content calendar template as a lead magnet on their website.
One feature that sets this template apart is its content goals feature, which invites you to set your objectives for the year. Including your objective, it will assist you in remembering what you desire to achieve.
They also advise limiting it to five social media sites. This will help you stay concentrated and track your material’s performance on each platform.
Tools to Create a Social Media Calendar of Your Own
Tools can help you create, track, and analyze your social media calendar. Here are some of the most popular social media calendar tools:
1. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is a calendar service provided by Google that helps you keep track of your time and plan. You can quickly plan meetings and events using Google Calendar, which reminds you about future activities, so you always know what’s next. Because it’s designed for teams, sharing your schedule with others is simple, as well as creating various calendars that you and your team may use together.
Google calendar is an excellent tool, especially since it comes already in the form of a calendar. It also allows you to choose distinct colours for each calendar. While it may be a fantastic resource if your social media calendar is lighter, it might not be the most practical tool if you have numerous accounts to maintain and a lot of material to publish.
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application that helps you organize and analyze data. You can use Microsoft Excel to create a social media calendar by creating columns for each day of the week and then adding rows for each social media account.
In each cell, you can enter the content you plan to post and the time and date of when it will go live. You can also use Excel to track the performance of your content by adding formulas to calculate engagement rate and reach.
Trello is a project management tool that helps you organize and complete tasks. You can create a social media calendar in Trello by creating a board for each social media account and then adding cards for each piece of content you plan to post.
In each card, you can enter the content and the time and date of when it will go live. You can also use Trello to track the performance of your content by adding comments and attachments, such as analytics screenshots.
Trello is an excellent tool for those who prefer a visual approach to task management. It’s also great for team collaboration, as you can assign tasks to specific team members and add due dates.
Creating a social media calendar may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Using one of the tools listed above, you can easily create a calendar that will help you stay organized and on track.
What is your favourite social media calendar template or tool? Let us know in the comments below!
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