Updated: Nov 14, 2021
Businesses need social media calendars to ensure consistency and predictability in their effort. Here is the simplest way to create a social media calendar.
Social media is one of the best marketing tools ever created. Even though business owners know the impact of social media on their businesses, most do not yet know how to make it work for them. Social platforms are crowded and full of competitors all around. This means you need to stand out to get the traction you need. Part of creating a solid system for generating leads, sales, feedback, and more from your social feed and content is by simply creating a social media calendar. Much like any other calendar, it is a great way to organize your content and plan so you never have to scratch your head in the middle of the day when you have to post something. Here’s the easiest way to get started creating your social media calendar.
What Is A Social Media Calendar?
So, let's start with that crucial question! To understand it better, the best way is to think of it as a personal calendar for your social content and activity. However, in this case, the appointments are posting times for your content. The social media calendar outlines the content you intend to post on each day that your marketing team has decided to post, whether it’s on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, or all of them. It allows you to determine what content, when, and on which platform to post it. It then makes it easy to plan and stay at the top of your social media game taking away the burden of having to think up content ideas on the spot when you are just about to post.
How To Create A Social Media Calendar
1. Set Goals
Goal setting is at the heart of creating a calendar that works and makes a difference in your business. When businesses, new and old alike, get on social media, they are more likely to see the platform as a separate marketing tactic. They forget that social media is just another tool for reaching their goals. Just as you have marketing goals, these goals should be extended to social media as they are integrated into the business’s marketing. If your main goals are brand awareness, lead generation, and sales, it would be best to find the content types that will help you achieve those goals on social media.
2. What Content is Ideal for Achieving Your Goals?
Deciding your goals are important because they inform the kind of decisions you make. Content is the king as famously said by Bill Gates and that isn't changing anytime soon. Your content is what makes you relevant or not. What you post and share will determine if you can achieve your goals. And the best way to make that happen is to perform an audit on your social media presence as well as your competitors to find out the kind of content and the type of content that is best for hitting your targets.
3. Create Your Calendar
Creating the social media calendar shouldn’t take time. To make things simple, a lot of websites and blogs have ready-made templates you can follow. Templates are the best way to get started without worrying about spreadsheets. But if you want to create yours, google docs is a great place to start. There are plenty of online calendar solutions which you can find just with a simple google search, that allow you to create interactive social media calendars right on their platforms. The calendar should have the exact date and time the post is going live, the social network, and the account where the post will be published. In addition, it should have the post’s text copy and creative assets such as memes, videos, gifs, etc. Lastly, any relevant links and tags should be used.
4. Enter Your Content Into Your Calendar
Remember you had to figure the best content to use to achieve your goals, right? Right now would be good to start cracking up some ideas. These ideas should be entered against the chosen days/dates along with the details. In most cases, you start with the ideation, and then the content begins to form in terms of the images, the gifs, the description text (caption), links, and tags. These can be added later.
A Pro tip would be that you maintain an idea bank which you can offload to your calendar anytime you need more content. This will greatly reduce having to cough up ideas on the spot or when it is near your posting day. Remember the social media calendar is meant to help you stay organized, save time while achieving your goals.
5. Create Content According to Calendar
So, you have populated your calendar with ideas. Now, it’s time to move from planning and to action. This stage mostly involves a lot of collaboration between the creative team, the marketing team, and the social media team. If your team is small, it may be only you or a few people. That's fine as well. Designers should have a clear idea of what is required, the writers should have the same understanding so that the ideas come out just as planned, Collaboration is extremely important here.
6. Schedule, Analyze and Iterate
The advantage of using online interactive software to create your calendar is that you can easily schedule your posts on the dashboard. And you can schedule one post for all your social media pages. But if you prefer the manual way, you can post your content at the time by simply copying your cation and postin with your creative, whether video, gif, or image.
Why Use A Social Media Content Calendar?
Using a social media calendar to run your social media presence is practiced by many big brands. But that doesn’t mean it isn't practical for small brands and businesses. It is more practical and advantageous for small businesses and brands to use calendars than big brands since the big brands usually have the team and budget. Using a calendar saves you lots of time spent trying to come up with ideas. It also helps you plan your content into the future which is necessary for preventing excuses as to why you cannot post. The last reason is that it makes it easier to track your progress since it brings some intentionality into what you are doing.
In Conclusion ...
Surviving on social media, and rising into a thriving brand requires a long-term consistent effort at building a community of value and solid brand values. These cannot be achieved with less than impressive content which is not consistent and looks like it was thought up only a second before posting. A social media calendar takes away all that stress and provides you with a better system to manage your social presence.
Are you wondering why you should hire a social media manager to handle all the above and more for your business effectively? Read here "how a brand can benefit from working with a social media manager"