How to create a social media content calendar
Updated: Sep 29, 2019
A social media calendar is one of the best planning tools you can invest in. It has many benefits:
Sets you up for success
Ensures you have content diversity
Allows you to plan and then forget about it
Let's start of with setting yourself up for success. I've never met a business that didn't have a lack of resource as one of their top challenges. We're all time poor - that's why we need to do things smarter. A social media calendar sets you up for success and while it will take some time to set up, it will save you time in the long run. Often when we first start up our social channels we're pretty good at keeping our content regular and diverse however like a relationship, the honeymoon period soon ends! It doesn't take long for other priorities to get in the way and for our social channels to become stagnant.
Also key to success when it comes to all social media is regular engagement and consistency. Posting once every two weeks simply isn't going to cut it. Your social media calendar helps you to plan your content and ensure your posting regularly.
Another important aspect a social media content calendar helps with is ensuring you have content diversity. This is vital to the success of your social channels. You need to ensure you content is diverse and adds value to your audience. A social media calendar helps you to plan out all of your posts, then you can take a step back and identify where the gaps are in your content.
Now for the nitty gritty. How do you actually create a social media calendar? There are hundreds of templates online however I've always found keeping it simple is the way to go. Don't over complicate it or you'll end up not using it at all.
There are so many options when it comes to which platform to use to create your calendar - the truth is it doesn't matter where you put it, so long as its easy for you to access and update. Remember - keep it simple. Personally, I love the tried and tested excel (Yes I am a millennial who likes excel!) or Smartsheet.
Below are the categories I recommend you include in your calendar:
Channel - What channel are you planning content for? (Facebook, Instagram, Linked In etc)
Date and time - what date and time do you want the post to go live (there is an art to this - blog post to follow - keep an eye out)
Topic - What do you want to talk about? I find this section useful if i'm roughly planning what content I want to cover but I don't have time to fill out all the columns in my social media calendar. It jogs my memory when I have time to flesh it out.
Media - what media are you posting? Is it an image, a video or something else? Make sure you have the media ready to go.
Copy - the text that your posting alongside your media. Write it all out so when it comes to scheduling or posting content, it's all ready to go.
Hashtags - if your using hashtags, what ones do you want to post with this content?
There you have it! That is my guide on how to create a basic social media content calendar. If your after an extra set of hands, feel free to flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, i'd be more than happy to help.