A social media calendar is an essential tool for all busy social marketers.
Not only does planning social media posts in advance save you precious time in your working day, it’s also key to creating an effective content mix that will engage your followers and boost your online presence. Whether you want to grow your following, boost sales and conversions, or amplify your brand presence online, a social media calendar can help.
In this blog, our team of expert social media marketers share their top tips on how to build a social media calendar to maximize your brand presence online.
What Is a Social Media Calendar?
A social media calendar is a space where you can plan and review all your upcoming social media activity.
It can be as simple as writing out your planned social media posts on a shared spreadsheet or Google document, or you can use social media management tools such as Hootsuite. Some of the details you might want to include on your social media calendar could be:
- The date and time of the post
- Any images or media you will use
- The copy that will accompany the post
- Links you want to include
- The intended social media channel
The Benefits of Having a Social Media Calendar
More consistent posts
With so much competition out there, consistency is key for social media success.
If your posts are random in their timing and frequency, it might be annoying or confusing to your audiences. Equally, you risk your posts not being seen by your intended audience if you don’t post regularly enough.
A social media calendar allows you to plan and schedule your posts ahead of time so you can ensure that you always have a bank of content ready to post. You can also experiment with posting at different dates and times to see if you have better engagement with your audiences at certain times of the day.
Reduces typos or social media faux-pas
Whilst the odd spelling mistake might be inevitable, regularly posting content that looks rushed gives the impression that you lack professionalism, which could negatively impact how your brand is perceived online.
Many social media faux-pas or mistakes happen when social media content is being created on the spot with little care or attention. By planning your social media posts ahead of time, you can prevent typos or other errors and give your colleagues the opportunity to proof-read planned posts before they go live.
Plan better content and campaigns
Although social media content should always include a balance of reactive and proactive posts, bigger social media campaigns require plenty of planning ahead. If you don’t think it through, you risk your social media campaign going off with a whimper rather than a bang.
A social media calendar allows you to plan your campaigns in advance and tie in with key dates and events throughout the year.
How to Plan a Social Media Calendar: The Dos and Don’ts
1. Do audit your existing content
When building a social media calendar, it’s a good idea to start by reviewing your existing social media accounts so you can have a clear view of what is and isn’t working. By auditing your social media content up to now, you can have a better idea of how to plan your content in the future to ensure maximum engagement.
Some questions to ask yourself when auditing your social media accounts could include:
Which posts have performed well?
What content appears to resonate most with your audiences?
Where are areas for improvement in your social media content?
Who is your target audience, what are their demographics and personas?
2. Do consider your content and channel mix
When planning your social media posts, it’s essential to think about the channels you will be using, as the content you create is likely to be different depending on the platform you’re posting on. For example, you might want to use TikTok for more fun, ‘behind the scenes’ content, and post thought leadership content on LinkedIn.
A key part of planning your social media calendar involves planning your content mix. Although there is no set rule for planning your content, many social media marketers use the 80:20 rule: 80% of their content aimed at educating, entertaining and informing their audience, and 20% of content to promote their business.
3. Do dedicate time to planning your social media content
Always ensure that you can carve out space and time to plan your social media content, whether this is on a weekly or monthly basis – depending on how far you want to plan ahead! Some businesses prefer to schedule a batch of content for the entire month; however, do be wary of missing out on trends and developments in your industry. It’s important to stay ahead of the curve!
When planning your social media content, think about what you need to create alongside your posts, for example, infographics, videos or blogs. Make sure that you are factoring in time to create this content.
4. Don’t forget important events
A social media calendar helps you to lay out the year ahead and be more aware of upcoming events that your content can tie into for maximum impact.
When building your social media content calendar, you might want to look at the year ahead, and plot any key dates that you definitely want to create content for. These could be days such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, or dates that are significant to your business such as anniversaries or new product launches. Knowing when key events are coming up can help you to maximize the potential exposure for your business, and ensure that you are not left scrambling for content ideas at the last minute.
5. Don’t be afraid of reactive content
Although a social media calendar is a great tool to help you plan your social media content in advance, it is also important to remember that social media is a 24/7 world, and you will sometimes need to share more off the cuff and reactive content.
This could include reacting to social media trends, or trending news stories that are relevant to your business. You don’t have to react to every news story and global event, but sometimes not commenting on events relevant to your business and audience can risk making your business look out of touch, and you could lose out on key opportunities to engage your audiences.
With a well-planned content calendar, you will be able to move your planned posts around in order to be more agile and reactive to the world around you.
6. Don’t forget to enlist the help of the experts
Social media is a key marketing tool for businesses, but, as social media platforms have grown in popularity, competition has become fierce.
At Social Chameleon, our team of expert marketers have helped hundreds of businesses to stand out in a crowded online space and reach their business goals.
Over the past seven years, we have worked with businesses of all sizes to help them achieve their social media goals, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Whatever your business, our team of experts can help you to take your social media strategy to new heights.