As a brand, if people do not know about you, it is difficult for them to be customers. Technology has made it easy to put products and services in the face of prospective customers. With social media, brands can reach and engage multiple audiences. It is second nature for professionals who want to gain market share. Though social media is quick and easy for sharing news related to a brand, there are individuals and marketers who do not understand that they need to plan content ahead for audiences to get the most out of a developed social media strategy for digital marketing.

One way to help you plan content to stay topical and relevant is by using a Social Media Content Calendar. Creating one might seem daunting, but we are here to help with what you need to get your social activity in one place. So, why do you need a Social Media Content Calendar?

Organization

The reason anyone will get a calendar in the first place is to stay organized, this is the same for a content calendar. With an organized process, all activities can be seen at a glance. You can maintain a balance between previous and future posts as there will be a fresh perspective for digital marketing. This also helps you with consistency across all social media platforms and a brand can maintain a strong presence.

Relevancy

As mentioned earlier, planning your content provides the opportunity to stay topical and relevant. Creating your plan early is important,  your team members can give ideas and feedback to improve for optimal performance. In turn, your brand’s marketing and goals are achieved in the long run.

With a diverse team, there is a low chance you will get your content plan wrong. Individuals have unique knowledge that can influence decisions for each platform your brand uses. Always be sure to include current trends and information that solves the problems of your audience. This will help you stay at par with peers in the industry and amp your chances of closing sales.

Credibility

To build credibility and trust with your audiences, you still need to be consistent on all social media channels. It is critical for early birds to get to know about your firm. In no time, they learn that your brand is reliable to always share useful information and has the expertise to help with their challenges.

As audiences anticipate your posts, you can also adjust your plan and update your calendar to meet their expectations. Surely, they will feel connected like they are part of your brand. With this, your following can increase, and trustworthiness is sustained.

Saves Time

Reflect of the times you and your team decided to make social media posts and with no prior plan, you all decided to brainstorm and delegate tasks a day or even a few hours before you post. Do you think this was efficient? Well, though this might have paid off, it is definitely time-consuming and not efficient. Having a content calendar in place to cover tasks is great! You get to allocate the best resources effectively and on time. You will carry out your research were needed to stay on schedule so there is no last-minute hassle.

Having in place what you want to post and when on your calendar, it can serve as a to-do board for team members. They get to know what they are supposed to do for posts to be shared or work on older posts.

On-Time

Another advantage a social media content calendar has is its ability to keep you on track. In order to publish content that will create engagement with audiences, consider related campaigns and events happening. Find out what you and your audiences need to know about what is going on in your industry. Tailor this for posts to be promoted on social media. With a calendar, you can set reminders for specific events, so your brand is not missing out on important occasions.

Higher Quality Content

These days, it Is not unusual to see a post that does not have a creative team behind it. From copywriters to photographers, telling them to stop all they are doing at a point in time to make emergency posts on social media will not make them productive. With this rush, it is not guaranteed your posts will earn engagement and interaction. With a content calendar, you give your team the opportunity to develop the best content that supports your brands’ marketing goals.

Tracking

Your schedule will be completed and tracking certain metrics associated with your goals will make room for improvement. Your calendar with let you plan for experiments to improve your social media performance. Be open to testing out what may work for your brand, either the type of content, how often to post and so on.

If you have been avoiding the task of creating a social media content calendar, maybe you thought you did not need one or it would be a waste of time, try to rethink. Because, with the influx of fresh news and ideas daily, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of managing all social media accounts.

Planning and sticking to a well outlined social media calendar with a focus on the content you know your audience wants to see is essential. How can you create one? Let’s highlight tips, tricks, and best calendar apps to make it simple. Whether it is your first time, or you choose to use a dashboard, grid or any other means, your calendar needs to simple or more detailed depending on your brand.

  • Carry out an audit

To begin, you do not want to make the same mistakes before you discovered the need for a social media calendar. So, carry out an audit. Get to know your current strategy and identify the gaps, areas of improvement and opportunities. This is to refine your plan and boost your return on investment (ROI). Consequently, you can do this as often as you’d like or quarterly.

  • Select your Social Media Platforms

It is not so easy staying on top of your social media game when there are other tasks that need to be completed. To clarify this, take some time out to be clear to understand the demographic of each social media user. Assess best practices for business marketing strategies. You do not have to understand all the information at once. For the best results, it will take dedicated time.

  • Decide what your calendar will track

While you think about the masterpiece your calendar is going to look like and what it is going to be used for, you also want to outline the information and functions it will provide your brand. Include who is doing what, when, when it is complete, when it is approved, when it is published and how well it performed. Truth is that a spreadsheet might not suffice sometimes, so try to include basic details such as;

  1. The platform
  2. Date
  3. Time
  4. Visuals
  5. Copy
  6. Link to assets used
  7. Link to published post
  8. Specific format on Platform (Ads, live stream, story, etc.)
  9. Affiliated campaign
  10. Value
  11. Paid or Organic
  12. Analytics and results
  • Create a content library

This is for all assets used in your calendar. These are sensitive data and should be treated accordingly to prevent loss or corruption of files. Use your company’s intranet or one of the various cloud-based software – Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. Look out for the following features before choosing one.

  1. Availability of space for large files.
  2. Mobile and computer friendliness
  3. Easy sharing with team members
  4. Privacy features.
  5. Provision of links to individual files to add to your calendar.

Make sure you are organized with this library. You should be able to minimize the time you take to find assets, if not review the format used to save files.

  • Get to sketching

With all the information garnered, you should proceed with inserting your daily, weekly, and monthly social media activity. To help with this think of the following:

  1. The process to develop new ideas, content topics and assigning related tasks
  2. How often will you post on each platform
  3. Best time to post
  4. Predictions of your content ratio
  5. Who needs to approve your post

Depending on the complexity of your team, you might need to create a sperate tab to break down processes and definitions for each member to avoid too much back and forth. Look at this example from…

social media content calendar with "guidelines" tab

Source: Digital Opportunity Trust

  • Create your Posts

If you are at this stage, you probably have ideas for your plan and social media channels you cannot wait to implement. Well, you get to put them to use. You can craft posts and as you do this, check-in with your calendar. If the content does not match or there is too much detail, you have to make edits.

  • Review, review, and review

You have completed your drafts; it is time to unveil your masterpiece to your team members. As we stated earlier that your calendar should be simple or complex depending on your brand, it should be understood easily by people who need to use it daily.

This is important for times where the creator may be sick or needs to take a work leave, so work can go on without them.

  • Start scheduling

Your social media content calendar is ready to run. You can start scheduling posts to go out consistently. It will take time to manually post, so you can make use of digital tools which can also manage your feeds.

Great examples of Social Media Content Calendars apps and tools you can use are;

You have the information you need to plan out your content calendar masterpiece to schedule posts, engage with followers and track your progress on all social media platforms. Start using this digital marketing tool today!