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Rick Barron
Rick Barron 19 September 2019

Part 2 - Tips For Social Media Calendar

In my previous article, I called out that Social Media content calendars are crucial when creating a plan for your content. Now comes the next step, knowing how to build a social media content calendar.

If you missed part 1, go back and check it out here!

Why use a social media content calendar?

In my previous article, I called out that Social Media content calendars are crucial when creating a plan for your content.

An editorial calendar is what tracks everything you need to know about the content you are publishing. Who are you writing it for? What is the article’s overall purpose? What does the title rank? 

Now comes the next step, knowing how to build a social media content calendar.

How to create your calendar

1. First things first, begin with a complete social media audit. What does that mean? it’s simply the process of hunting down all of your company’s social channels, as well as any impostor accounts and compiling key information about each account, all in one place.

As you build your audit document (or fill in our social media audit template), you’ll think about your goals for each account, and evaluate whether your existing strategy is working. This allows you to see how each social account functions as a building block in your social strategy.

Before you can create a social media planning calendar, you need to know:

  • What platforms are you using?
  • Which ones are performing the best?
  • Should you continue publishing to all of them?
  • What are all the usernames and passwords of each account?
  • How many times per day are you currently posting to each network?
  • What are the goals for each network?
  • Who is responsible for each channel?

This is all useful information to include in your social media calendar, especially if you work on the team.

2. Content audit

Is any of the content you plan to post out-of-date? If so, can it be updated? Or should it be scrapped? Also, what types of content have performed well in the past? And what sorts of things are your competitors posting? This is where good data collection and analysis comes in to help you answer these types of questions.

3. Get familiar with network demographics

Each social network speaks to a distinct audience, and these audiences shape the content you will be expected to share. You may have customers who follow you on more than one network, but, for example, your Facebook audience may be older than your Twitter audience.

Posting content that is tailored to each platform and its unique audience is an important part of any social media marketing strategy.

Please review this great article regarding social media demographics on all the major social networks. Keep in mind the picture changes so keep checking the pulse of your audience for all your social accounts.

Get a handle on these distinct demographics before you start inputting content into your social media content calendar to ensure everything you plan to post is appropriate. Know your audience!

4. Frequency

If you’ve already done a social media audit, you’ll have a handle on how often you’re currently posting to each social network. Will that be the plan going forward? Or are you going to change things up?

Either way, your posting frequency will determine the shape of your social media planning calendar, a.k.a. how many slots you need to leave open per network. So, it’s best to make a decision now, even if you find you need to tweak it later.

5. Determine your content ratio

Your social media calendar should have some sort of content categorization system. This will help you track what kind of content your followers seem to enjoy the most. Again, I can’t stress this enough, follow your data as your guide!

One suggestion is to label your content self-promotional, curated, or user-generated. Or maybe you want to note the type of content, such as blog post, video, or announcement.

Ultimately how you label your content is up to you. But whatever you decide, make sure the labels are descriptive and actually helpful (although that may take some time to determine).

6. Content repository

A content repository is just what it sounds like, a place to store all the pieces of content you may want to choose from when building your social media planning calendar. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet or an entire database.

A simple spreadsheet is all that most social media pros need. Just make sure to include the following:

  • Title
  • Content-type
  • Link
  • Image (if required)

7. Calendar: Simple or Detailed?

  • What level of detail does your calendar require?
  • Do you need a separate spreadsheet for each network? Or can all of them fit on one?
  • Do you need to be able to assign people tasks? Or note when something has been posted? Or have it approved by anyone?

Begin with more detail than you think you need, and then cutting back to what your team finds most useful. Here are some basic items to get you started:

  • Network
  • Date (highlight key dates)
  • Time
  • Copy
  • Image (if needed)
  • Link

8. Here comes the content!

Now comes the work, and little fun, staging content into your calendar!

Yes, have fun but be sure to have a process in place. By that I mean decide who is responsible for updating the calendar. Will the same person also be responsible for scheduling and publishing the posts? Will you need to assign copy to a copywriter? Who is responsible for sourcing images? Have you done a good job of researching keywords and SEO? Do the posts need to be approved by someone before going live? How far in advance will you schedule content? Think of all the ‘what if’s’.

9. Key stakeholder(s) review

Depending on your organization’s size, there may be value in sharing your social media calendar with a few other teams with whom you share common goals or KPIs, or who would simply benefit from knowing what going to appear on your social channels.

People to consider are content writers, blog managers, video producers, designers, campaign managers, project managers, and writers. Plan your sessions according, not everyone needs to have a say in the KPI process.

About the author

Hi, my name is Rick and I thank you for reading this article!

I explore to learn new stuff every day and here I will share all my experiences and thoughts with you.

You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram. :)

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