Whether you are promoting your own blog or managing social media accounts for multiple clients, a social media content calendar can always help. It takes away the pain of juggling between different platforms, creating posts, and managing those online. All you need to do is learn how to create a content calendar and take your marketing hacks to the next level.
A thoughtfully designed content calendar can help stay consistent with your social media posts. And it is easy to master too.
Here is a complete guide to creating a content calendar and making the most of it.
What is a Social Media Content Calendar?
A social media calendar consists of all the pre-planned social media posts that you want to publish in the coming days, weeks or even months.
Based on your goals, you can keep the calendar as basic as possible or add detailed information to make it advanced and highly comprehensive.
For instance, just add the date and time of posting the content on different platforms. Or include the posts, target audience, product, and service details along with the posting frequency.
In other words, you can choose to be as strategic as you want with your content. In return, it will allow you to have complete control over consistency and relevance.
Thankfully, you do not need to do it all yourself. Apart from the traditional excel sheets to design calendars, you can also use various tools designed for this specific task. These help you store information such as:
- Platform Chosen: You can opt between, or all the social media platforms supported
- Type of Content: Plain text, video etc
- Posting Date and time: Schedule your post.
- Post Topic: Decide the topics you want to utilize for each post
- Post content: Write the posts in advance and schedule them to go live as intended
- External Sources: Add any links or images you wish to add to your post
These are just a few handfuls of examples of what you can strategize beforehand. The list can go on and on, depending on the need.
Do You Need a Social Media Content Calendar?
“I would recommend trying it once and then deciding for yourself!”
Some things are better done than explained. With that said, if you think being spontaneous with the posts is the way to go, you need to try scheduling them first.
While it’s easy to learn how to create a content calendar, the perks seem more worthwhile.
- Stay ahead of your schedule and get rid of the last hour of brainstorming
- Create a balance between the timed posts and those that are evergreen
- Keep posts up to date with upcoming events in advance
- Maintain consistency and a flow that your subscribers can relate to
- Track performance of the posts with the help of metrics
- Carry A/B testing
- Compare the performance results and plan your next content design accordingly
How Does a Social Media Content Calendar Help?
Do you think posting content on social media platforms is all that’s needed to achieve bigger goals?
Sadly, it’s just the beginning. Following this comes analyzing the metrics, finding what’s working and what’s not, comparing results with competitors and your past performance and a lot of other tasks.
A social media content calendar, with detailed information, can become a great aid in easing your overall tasks. Such as:
Keep You Consistent
Unlike computers, it is difficult to save every piece of memory inside your brain. Without a content calendar, it is not possible to remember every post and its details made on various platforms.
A content calendar with upcoming posts, on the other hand, keeps track of everything. You can make sure you are not forgetting to post, regardless of how busy you get. Never miss the date and perfect timing for releasing your posts.
Avoid Mistakes and Human Errors
By planning posts in advance, you get chances to review and rectify errors, if any, prior to the post date. Whether it’s silly spelling mistakes or incorrect redirections, you can ensure that everything is clean and perfect.
Take Leverage from Cross-Functional Visibility
Collaborating on social media posts needs great transparency between teams to stay in sync. Everyone posting on their own can never build a robust digital marketing strategy for a business.
Hence, a content calendar provides the central source for all posts in one place. Providing every team member, a clear view of what others are planning.
Get started with social media analytics
There is no benefit to posting on social media accounts if you cannot analyze the performance. A content calendar enables you to check what’s working and what’s not. It ensures that you focus on the right content and correct social media platform.
How to Create a Content Calendar?
Frankly speaking, you can complete your social media calendar using just a spreadsheet.
Analyse your Social Media Marketing Goals
“Success comes to those who plan it in advance.”
So, before getting right into calendar creation, you must plan your move. It is crucial to review your final goal and the ones that come in between.
Discuss with your team and come up with the SMART goal objectives. Review the KPIs which will help measure the posts’ performance against the set goals. It could be about increasing awareness or getting conversions.
Next comes the social media accounts where you will be posting your content. Hence, you must gather all the related information that might help plan your posts.
- Goals concerning each platform
- Your target audience demographics
- Details of prior campaigns and their performances
- Loopholes in previous campaigns on these platforms
- Choosing the right social media accounts
In addition, you must also plan the role of different team members taking care of these social media platforms.
Plan Your Consistency
A content planner will help you stay consistent. What’s even more interesting is that it’s you who gets to choose the frequency of that consistency.
With a large team to take care of the different aspects of social media platform management, you can always choose to post multiple times every day.
On the contrary, if you work alone, you can set a more realistic goal. Post once or twice a day and stay consistent with that plan. Thankfully, most of the popular platforms credit those who are consistent, even if there is just one post in a day.
Come Up with Content Topics
Breaking the social media posts into categories can help you stay vibrant with your posts whole touching the assorted likes of your target audience.
And categorising can be done using two different approaches:
- 80/20 Rule
As a marketer, you should never feel too pushy. Or else, your audience might consider you spam.
To avoid that, simply apply the 80/20 rule to categorize your posts. According to this rule, 80 per cent of your posts must try to engage and educate your audiences. While 20 per cent left can be utilized for promoting your business.
- The Rule of Thirds
Content with no variation starts becoming boring. Hence, applying the rule of thirds helps a lot.
It suggests posting one-third of promotional content, one-third of curated shared content, and the remaining consisting of the collage of personal interactions with subscribers and followers.
Create the Social Media Calendar
Once you have all the details in place, open the excel sheet to fill in the post details. Here, you must design a template that resonates with your goals. Define post categories, number of posts and other information to complete the calendar.
How to Create a Calendar in Google Sheets?
The job is much similar to what you will do with a Microsoft Excel sheet. All you need to do is, open a new Google Sheet. And plan the calendar as you would with a normal excel sheet.
How to Create a Calendar in Canva?
Creating a content calendar in Canva is very simple. Just a few steps and you can design your first content calendar in no time.
Sign In with Your Canva Account
Open Canva and sign in with your account username and password.
Choose the Template
Canva has hundreds of templates for designing social media content calendars. You can use keywords to narrow down the template choices. If you find what you are looking for, just click on it and choose.
Enjoy the Great Features
Use Canva’s library with millions of stock images, photos, memes and more to create content. Format the posts using your selected colour scheme, font styles and more.
You can mix and match template designs, upload photos, text and more to customize the content as per your need.
Publish the Calendar
Make sure to save the calendar once done. You can also share the content calendar with your team members. The posts could be scheduled for publishing automatically. Hence, you can just relax and let Canva do the job.
Now that you know how to create a content calendar for social media posts, it’s time to give it a try. And do not forget to leave comments if you find any problem creating your first calendar.