How to manage your social media marketing calendar
Looking to grow your customer services online without a lot of money? If you are just starting a business, then you cannot afford to waste money. Have a quick read to utilize your social media to this effect.
The average social media marketer typically starts their day by scanning their social listening platform of choice, sharing a few interesting articles, thanking new followers, responding to online mentions, wondering where the past two hours went, and then starting the cycle all over again in a few hours.
They also mix in whatever requests land in their email inboxes from the PR and marketing teams. Unfortunately, this recurring set of activities isn’t a sustainable or efficient social media workflow. Having a casual approach to social media activities can make it nearly impossible to go on vacation. For these reasons and more, it’s important to create—and stick to—a social media calendar.
Get pro-tips on how to run a successful social media program by studying some of the brands that are doing it right.
A social media calendar is a working document used to schedule the social media content you will post across all of your platforms for the month, week, day, or even the time of day.
A social media calendar like this serves as a communication tool for post content (like pictures & video), the copy, hashtags, and tags that should be used for each post. Social media calendars are crucial because it allows you to plan and make sure that you send the right message, to the right audience, at the right time.
Preparing and following a content plan that you can schedule social media posts has many benefits, including:
- Aligning your long-term strategy
- Ensuring cohesion across platforms
- Enhancing your planning and time-management
There's more, so keep reading this post to get your social media marketing workflow right with a content calendar that includes a template.
What to include in a Social Media Content Calendar
There are calendar, workflow and strategy tools available for managing social media content calendars. However, you can get started by using a simple spreadsheet - Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.
The tool you use is less important than its ability to assist you in documenting social media activities in an easy-to-navigate manner. So what to include in a social media calendar? We have found including the following fields to be immensely helpful:
Day of the week
For organizational purposes, this may seem a bit too obvious, but the days of the week can also directly inspire your social media content calendar. Certain days of the week even inspired their own hashtags on social media. Think about #TBT (Throwback Thursday), #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) and, of course, #TGIF!
Date and time of the post
When planning your content, organize it chronologically by date and time of publication. This may seem intuitive, but many professionals forget to do this and lose sight of their weekly, monthly and daily routines. Planning your social media content calendar chronologically ensures you see the frequency of your posts at a glance and identify the times that work best for your audience.
Specific messages for each channel
Each social media channel has its own characteristics, which is why some users favor one platform over another. For instance, on Twitter, users log in to the platform to get real-time updates on the topics that they care about, whereas users of Facebook are engaging with content that tends to be more evergreen. Because of this, you need to adapt the copy of your posts to the different platforms. For example, a food brand would use Facebook to post a recipe, but Twitter to make a PR crisis comms announcement.
A hashtag library
Manually copying and pasting the hashtags for all of your posts can be a tedious task and you run the risk of getting lazy and using the same (less relevant) hashtags for all your posts. Creating a space in your social media calendar to save the hashtags you’d like to use for important subjects ensures consistent or varied use of hashtags and of course, saves you time!
Getting Started with Creating a Social Media Calendar
To create your own social media posting schedule, you can start with a simple spreadsheet. However, using a community management tool will allow you to create a more visible, practical and actionable social media calendar through which you can plan, schedule and publish your posts.
If you’re ready to get started with your own social media calendar and need a tool that you and your team can use to start implementing the tips above, get in touch with us using the form below for a free demo of our social media management platform. Plan, edit and publish your posts in a collaborative environment, and maintain an overview of your upcoming content.