A social media content calendar is arguably the most important device in any social media strategy. Planning and scheduling content saves time and helps reduce the chance for errors or over posting. As a bonus, having a pre-planned social media content calendar ensures you maintain business continuity within your social media implementation; not only does it keep you on the right track - if you ever need to use a backup employee for social media duties, they can do so with ease.Developing a social media calendar also helps you ensure your strategy is visible internally. Your executive team and other colleagues don’t have the time to follow every message you post on a daily basis. Providing a social content calendar lets everyone get an overview of all the work being done by your social media team.
When everyone in your company has a clear idea of what is being done on social media, they can provide information that can help:
Another huge benefit of a social media content calendar is the overview it gives you. Analysis of social media at the level of individual messages can sometimes be too short-sighted. Taking a larger view of things and looking at past posts that succeeded can help you find and double-down on your successes.
Every company implements their social media calendar in different ways. It’s important to set your calendar up in a way that works with your social strategy to streamline your workflow of creating, curating and scheduling social content. Here are 3 steps to creating a content calendar and using it effectively in your social strategy.Decide What Content Is Right For Each Audience
Social media is a unique channel that requires some research before you start blasting out content. A good place to start is to review past social posts to determine what is resonating with your audience. There are many different questions you can ask yourself. Are list articles performing well on Twitter and less so Facebook? Does your LinkedIn audience interact with premium content(eBooks) more? Are videos performing well on Facebook? Really dive into the content format and topics that your audience responds to for each network.
It’s also important to determine how you define successful content. Determine whether clicks, engagements, conversions or reach is more important to your strategy and use that to find the content that is helping you achieve those goals. It’s important to do this not only with company content that is being shared, but also with third-party content. Seeing what outside content is resonating with your audience can help guide future content creation and help you do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.
This will allow you to create social posts and easily export for uploading to your social publishing tool. Not having to use multiple documents and formats will streamline your processes and save time.
How your team is set up can also play a big factor in what your social media calendar looks like. Is there a chain of approvals that social posts have to go through? Does more than one person create social posts? If you answered yes to either of these questions then it might be a good idea to create your social media calendar in a Google Sheet or similar program that allows multiple people to access and edit a document.
This will prevent you from having to email a single document back and forth between multiple people to get the job done.
How often you create content will determine what your calendar looks like. Do you create social posts daily, weekly or monthly? Make sure that your calendar is set up in a way that facilitates this view. This will help you easily project what your workload will be and allow you to set aside the appropriate amount of time to populate your calendar.
Creating a social media calendar from scratch takes time and can be a bit of work up-front. However, the streamlined workflows, increased visibility, messaging and benefits to tracking are well worth the investment.
Bradley Yeater is the former Marketing Manager at GaggleAMP.
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