Make Your Job Easier with a Social Content Calendar
Have you ever heard “work smarter, not harder”? Of course, you have. Because if you’re like us, you don’t have enough time to work differently. And besides, if you’re not working smart already, then you have bigger fish to fry.
But working smarter, not harder isn’t about taking shortcuts. Working smarter is having a plan. It’s about creating a clear strategy to prioritize and account for upcoming communications. You know what that sounds like to us? A social content calendar.
Why do I need a social content calendar?
If you enjoy running around like a chicken with your head cut off, you probably don’t need one. But if you value organization, preparation and the ability to allocate proper creative time, social content calendars are for you.
Rather than coming up with random social ideas off the top of your head, a content calendar allows you to take time to brainstorm well-thought-out, strategic creative – you know, so you don't have to roll out that first idea that comes to mind.
Sounds simple, but content calendars are calculated. Tossing a few Instagram posts into your Google calendar isn’t going to cut it. So, if you’re going to start utilizing a social content calendar, make sure it has the right components to make it easy for your team to use.
What are your social content calendar goals?
Before you get started, take a step back and figure out what you want to accomplish with your social media strategy. The only way to come up with content that makes sense is to evaluate the goals you’re working toward. You’re not going to find the treasure without a treasure map.
Sit down and create SMART goals. Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Time-bound. And in order to measure success, make sure to establish key performance indicators. For example, if your goal is to increase clicks to your site, make sure that it’s laid out in your goals and monitored regularly.
What content should I post?
What’s worth a post? And is it even possible to schedule out a full month of posts in advance? We are living, breathing proof that a content calendar works. And our job is much easier because of it. So yes, it is possible. And while it might seem difficult to navigate post-worthy material and create content worth reading, it’s not as hard as it sounds.
A post can be anything that aligns with your goals, so work backward. For example, if one of your goals is to showcase your strong company culture, it’s a great idea to highlight birthdays, team events and other office happenings. If one of your goals is to engage with your customers, interactive posts like surveys can get the conversation started.
Does your post work toward accomplishing those goals? Does it provide value to the audience? Then add it to the calendar, because that sounds like a great post.
You know what Mike Tyson thinks about plans – everyone has one until something goes wrong. Yes, we’re paraphrasing. Having a social calendar prepared is extremely helpful, but there are times when you’ll have to adapt; like when the inevitable unexpected occurs, and it most certainly will. You can alter or pause your calendar to fit whatever situation springs up and then pick right up where you left off.
Strategies to use when creating a social content calendar
Before you start creating specific content, use the 80/20 rule to make sure that everything you put in front of your audience is worthwhile. As a general rule, around 80% of your posts should be created to engage and inform, while about 20% should be for promoting your brand or products. Just think about your experience on social media. Do you like being bombarded with promotions? Of course not. The 80/20 rule strikes a perfect balance. And it allows you to make a more human connection with your audience.
This one is less strategic and more organizational, but color-coding can go a long way in creating an effective calendar. We’ve established that every post should have a goal. Color-coding is a great way to categorize each post to make sure you’re checking all the boxes. For example, you may have categories for holidays, birthdays, product launches, blogs and more. Or you can further simplify your organization by putting the posts into broader categories.
Just remember, the more detail-oriented you are while scheduling posts now, the more time you’ll save yourself later. So, make sure you include as much information as possible. What that looks like is up to you.
Here is some basic information that you should include for each post:
- Social Platform
- Type of Content
Social Content Calendar Template
Now that you’re an expert, it’s your turn to build a calendar. And in just a few months, when this calendar strategy is fully integrated, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without one. So, without further ado, let’s get social.
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