How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar for Your Business
Social media is a mighty marketing tool that often requires a delicate balancing act to maintain a steady flow of outreach, to react to real-time events, and to avoid feeling like you should post but you are stuck without ideas. Concentrating on social media management for your small business is a great way to help market your work and meet your goals. Getting the most out of your efforts requires strategic thinking, thoughtful planning, and creating a social media content calendar for your business.
A business social media content calendar is just as it sounds – a calendar in which you lay out the information you want to convey on your social media platforms. Creating and maintaining a social media content calendar for your business is one of the best ways to generate and monitor growth of your outreach and brand awareness. It helps your followers see more of your posts through a drumbeat of content and helps you keep track of your posts across platforms. It may feel time consuming at first, especially if you are used to spending only a few minutes posting whatever comes to mind each day, but it will ultimately help you work smarter, not harder.
Here are some steps to follow when creating your social media management calendar:
Audit your channels. Review your social media, assess which platforms are the most active for your audience and are driving the most traffic to your website, and note which posts have performed the best. This will inform your decisions as you determine how to create your social media schedule.
Set your goals. What does your audience look like now, and what would you want it to look like? What actions do you want your followers to take?
Identify your format. There are many approaches you can take to capture your plan as you navigate how to make a social media editorial calendar – everything from a simple pen and paper to an excel file to an online template or tool. No matter the format, the critical components of a social media calendar include:
- Date and time of posting
- Platform(s) for posting
- Post copy and visual elements (photos, videos, graphics, etc.)
- Post links and tags
- Stage in approval process
- Posting status
Establish your timing. How many times per week will you post to each platform, and what time of day will perform the best? The analytics for your channels will inform those decisions. While it is beneficial to post regularly, it is more important to focus on quality over quality.
Select your channels. The demographics of your audience will help determine what channels you should focus on. Teenage audiences tend to prefer TikTok; females prefer Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram; young males use Twitter; and educated professionals use LinkedIn for business and career purposes. You may find it is not worth investing time to create content for irrelevant platforms in your social media calendar.
Institute your workflow. How far in advance do you want your social media calendar to be finalized? Be sure to leave enough time for it to be reviewed by everyone who needs to. Then you can reverse engineer your timeline, assign tasks and due dates, and begin the process with brainstorming social media content calendar ideas.
Map out your calendar. Start laying out your content topics on your calendar. Mark holidays or other important days for relevant posts. Plan to repost high-performing material. Outline posts that offer promotions, behind-the-scenes insight into your company, fun facts, industry news, engagement opportunities, and ones that simply entertain your followers. It’s a good idea to keep at least two thirds of your content informative, and less than one third promotional. Space out your topics so you are alternating what content appears on each channel.
Craft your content. Get those creative juices flowing! Craft the posts you outlined in your calendar using messaging and language that will resonate with your followers. Include hashtags relevant to your industry. Building an asset library with evergreen visuals and topics will also help you fill out your social media calendar content.
Review with your team. Share your copy with the appropriate team members to get feedback and approval.
Schedule and/or publish your posts. Many social media platforms have tools that allow you to schedule automatic posting ahead of time, or there are several online services you can use. You can also simply post them manually on the dates and times on your calendar.
Review and improve. Creating a successful social media content calendar for your business will involve experimenting and refining. Keep an eye on your analytics to see which posts are helping you meet your goals and apply that knowledge to edit and enhance your strategy moving forward.
Your social media channels are too valuable an asset to manage on the fly. Creating and maintaining a social media calendar will reduce stress and give you a higher return on your time investment. At Paradigm, we believe in strategic, long-term planning, and we stress this when developing a social media marketing plan. If we can help you develop a stellar social media game plan, please contact us today.