A successful social media marketing strategy requires organization and brainstorming. We’re all busy, and sometimes things like social media publishing falls through the cracks. Whether you work in the world of marketing or you’re simply planning your social media content strategy for your business, you most likely find yourself asking, “What should we post next on social media?”
By creating a content calendar for your business, you can avoid this conversation and start seeing results on social media. A content calendar helps you organize your upcoming content by detailing what and when you will post. Your social media content schedule can be as basic or as sophisticated as your brand requires, whether it’s a simple scheduling tool or an excel sheet that can plan out dozens of feeds, the possibilities are endless.
We’ll walk you through the steps to construct your own and show you some insightful examples as you read on. We’ll also include a list of our top social media content calendars and/or scheduling apps.
What is a content calendar?
A social media calendar is a list of all the posts you’ll be sharing on social media in the following weeks or months. If you’re utilizing a social media management program, it can be structured in a spreadsheet, Google calendar, or interactive dashboard (like Buffer or Hootsuite). According to Content Marketing Institute, 60% of social media marketers with a documented strategy rate themselves as highly effective, versus 32% of marketers with only a verbal strategy.
A social media calendar entry typically contains a mix of the following elements:
- The exact date and time the post is going live
- The social network and account where the post will be published
- The post’s copy and creative assets (i.e. photos or videos)
- Links and tags to be included in the post
- Any additional relevant information
Your social media schedule can comprise one or more social networks, depending on the extent of your social media strategy.
Why use a content calendar?
- Keeps You Organized
Using crumpled pieces of paper, post-it notes, and miscellaneous notebooks to scribble your content topics isn’t a very trustworthy strategy. In addition, with so many thoughts and things to consider, it’s likely to divert your attention away from what’s truly important.
A content calendar will help you see your complete marketing approach more clearly. You’ll be able to match the topics of your posts to your social media and email marketing content. A social media calendar allows you to plan ahead, batch your work, avoid multitasking, and jot down all of your creative ideas for later.
- Maintains Consistency
The key to success in marketing is consistency. The key to engaging your audience on social media is to show up in their feed on a regular basis. Impressive engagement enhances your organic reach via the platform’s algorithm, allowing your posts to be seen by more people and attracting new followers. And the only way to increase your conversions is to make genuine connections with a growing audience.
Adding postings to your social media schedule ahead of time allows you to be consistent with your posting, whether it’s a slow news week or your biggest promotion of the year.
- Provides Visibility Across Departments
Sales and marketing must be in sync for a company to be successful. According to statistics, when these two departments collaborate, they may close 67 percent more businesses. A content calendar is a very important tool for keeping all of your teams on the same page. Your sales team can see what the marketing team is working on and give them advice on how to better address their audience’s pain points.
The executives might also take a fast glance to verify if the planned actions are in line with the overall marketing strategy. This transparency is critical for fine-tuning your content strategy and improving team communication.
- Excellent For Brainstorming
When you begin arranging your content themes with your team, there’s a good chance that some of them will experience a burst of creativity, and you’ll end up with a slew of fresh ideas. This will allow you to choose better topics and save others for later.
You’ll receive vital insights into your audience’s preferences by monitoring and evaluating their interaction and input, which you can then apply to your content and change as needed.
- Create Higher Quality Content
Today, it’s not uncommon for a single social media post to be supported by an entire team of creatives, including copywriters, designers, video editors, and photographers. And expecting your hard-working creatives and strategists drop everything for a last-minute Instagram Story isn’t going to earn you any favors. (And if it feels sloppy or forceful, it’s not even certain to gain engagement.)
A social media calendar allows you to properly allocate your resources—both human and digital—so that your team can focus on their best work. A long-term strategy also implies that you’re promoting a consistent brand voice and content that supports your marketing objectives. By using a social media content calendar for your business, you can create higher-quality content while simultaneously delivering in advance.
The Importance of Content Pillars
Planning is essential for all social media activity, focusing on a specific target audience and key message. The foundation of all social media strategies should be your content pillars. A content pillar is a central concept that will guide many of the subsequent articles, videos, e-books, infographics, and blog entries. One or more exceptionally strong and in-depth pieces of content are typically used to reinforce a content pillar.
Content pillars have the advantage of keeping you focused and relevant to your buyer personas. Consider the keywords you’ll employ to anchor your articles in an excellent SEO strategy when deciding on a content pillar. The most effective content pillars lay the groundwork for a brand to become either a thought leader or a problem solver.
How to get started?
The question everyone wants to be answered – “How do I get started?” There are 8 steps to creating an effective social media calendar:
- Audit your social networks and content
- Choose your social channels
- Decide what your calendar needs to track
- Make a content library for your assets
- Establish a workflow
- Start crafting your posts
- Invite your team to review, and use their feedback to improve
- Start publishing/scheduling
We recommend starting with a Google Sheet or Excel Document to plan out your content instead of putting marketing budget into an online dashboard or tool. By using one of these resources, you can customize your branding and get as detailed as you like. A plus to using Google Suite is that you can share documents with team members and everyone can complete step seven above in a more efficient and collaborative way.
We hope you were able to take some value from this blog and now have a better footing to create your own content calendar for your business. If you’re looking for more details on what we recommend you to post on each platform, as well as the most up-to-date trends and tools, check out our Free 2022 Social Media Guide. The world of social media is constantly changing. Engaging with your audience across channels is becoming more and more difficult. That’s why we created the 2022 Social Media Guide. When you download our free guide, you’ll get everything you need to enhance your strategy and maximize engagement this year.
If you are searching for more guidance and more of a partner for your digital marketing journey, contact our team of marketing, branding, and design experts and let us help! The Envision team is well-versed in all areas of marketing, from traditional to digital, to whatever is on the horizon. The strategy we create for you is based on data and expertise, not on generic tactics and guesses.
While we have helped clients achieve success in all forms of B2B and B2C industries, we work with companies that are looking to grow, increase market share, and collaborate with a team of creatives and marketers just as excited about your company as you are.