Every marketer who uses social media as a marketing tool should also make use of a content calendar. I’m the type of person who makes a to-do list every morning just so I can manage stress and get through my day. Whether or not your that type of person, a content calendar can and will save you a lot of time and frustration.
Coming up with a content strategy for your social media marketing plan is important, but it can get overwhelming after that. This is when you use that “organizational skills” bullet from your resume. Creating a content schedule can make social media marketing a lot less stressful.
For those of you that are new to social media marketing or for those who have never used a social media content calendar, I can quickly explain it to you. This calendar should almost be like an organized posting template. You can organize it by author (if you have more than one copywriter), social media channels, type of post, and/or time of post. I usually do this month by month. If you have a schedule a month ahead, you save a lot of time and stress. (Don’t forget: you can always manage your social media in real time when necessary).
Hubspot offers a free social media content calendar template here.
With a content calendar, you and your team can effectively and strategically output your social media marketing plan. Let me tell you how:
- Publish posts that are effective. By analyzing your social media regularly (this will be another blog post in the near future J), you can go back to your content calendar and make changes, preventing another poorly performing post to be published. It’s a system of record.
- It leaves room for real-time updates. Although your content calendar is full of posts that are strategically planned and may take time to write up, it’s also great to incorporate real-time posts that create dialogue and wit.
- Creating consistency. With your content calendar, your social media accounts will be consistently publishing content that is similar to your brand and continuous. Your audience will know that you have content coming out regularly.
- Using the right social media platforms. You can make sure you aren’t completely putting all your eggs into one basket. Post on both Twitter and Facebook. Post on Facebook and Instagram. Or post on all three! There are so many social media channels out there, that your options are almost endless.
- Publishing content that you actually have knowledge in. A content calendar gives you time to research your content. Planning ahead of time can really give you a leg up over the competition. Let people know you know your stuff!
Once you create your social media content calendar, it would be helpful to find a platform that integrates all of your social media. This will allow you to actually schedule your posts in advance. Some examples are: Hubspot, Hootsuite, SoCast, and SproutSocial.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and social media is the last thing you want to deal with on a busy day, try a content calendar out for a month. I bet you won’t go back to living without it!