How Using a Content Calendar Makes Your Social Content Better
Social media platforms may have been initially created as entertainment channels, but they have become much more than that. Social media has become a career for a growing number of professionals worldwide. And, for some small and large business owners, social media channels and communities are now a lifeline.
Essentially, your business’s multiple social media accounts are more than just a place to share insights occasionally – they are important marketing channels. You can engage directly with your target audience through social media to find out what they like and dislike and their pain points. That is why posting sporadically, without a long-term strategy, or at the wrong times can severely undermine your reputation, efficiency, and sales potential.
So, how can you optimize your profile and develop a social media content strategy? The answer is in planning a social media content calendar!
In this guide, you’ll learn all you need to know about crafting a tailored calendar – but don’t hesitate to find customized help by getting in touch with the team of expert social media marketers at Social Firm.
What Is a Social Media Content Calendar?
So, what is a social media content calendar? And how can you use it to your advantage?
Let’s cover the basics.
Firstly, social media content calendars refer to online calendars that allow you to manage brainstorming, planning, and posting your social media posts. By curating a content calendar, you can gain better control over your posting times and actively work towards improving your metrics (i.e., impressions, likes, interactions, click-thru, and conversions).
Even more importantly, a calendar will automate your posting tasks and coordinate the effort of multiple teams (both in-house and external ones), thus freeing up precious time and resources.
Pro tip: Not all social media calendar systems have the same options and features. Make sure to choose one that allows you to adjust your posts’ versions based on the platform you’ll be posting on.
Do You Need a Social Media Content Calendar?
Whether you are just starting with social media or looking to take your growing account to the next level with a more elaborate social media strategy, you will need a social media calendar.
Social media content calendars are recommended for:
- Business owners single-handedly manage their social media marketing efforts
- Small or Midsize businesses that lack an experienced social media manager or social media team
- Influencers and micro-influencers who are looking to keep a consistent schedule of interactions with their audiences
- For those social media account holders looking to boost engagement and impressions by adapting to the new social media platform algorithm updates
The Benefits of Using a Social Media Content Calendar
If you are unsure how to start setting up a social media publishing schedule, using a tried-and-tested template can help. But don’t forget that you’ll be able to see the greatest benefits from your choice by investing in a social media calendar created around your unique audience, brand identity, communication style, and the types of social media campaigns you plan on running.
Don’t feel like you have to go out and buy an expensive subscription service to gain access to every possible social media calendar tool. There are no-cost and low-cost templates from which to choose. Also, you can just as easily create a social media calendar template using Google Calendar or even Google Sheets. Of course, you won’t get all the bells and whistles, but it’s free.
Here’s what to expect:
A More Aesthetically-Appealing Grid
The look and visual appeal of your Instagram grid or Facebook profile act as your account (or even brand’s) storefront.
At a glance, a well-planned, harmonious, and aesthetically pleasing profile can communicate your brand values and visual identity. Moreover, a cohesive branding theme across the different social media platforms can help make your brand or logo more recognizable and significantly enhance your social media presence.
Using a monthly social media calendar to publish your social media posts, stories, captions, and comments allow you to assess and maintain the aesthetics you have chosen for your feed.
Previewing Your Post and Checking for Mistakes
As fake news and unreliable accounts become increasingly common, it has become essential for business owners and influencers to gain and retain their users’ trust. And, to do so, you’ll have to avoid costly mistakes and pitfalls!
Setting up a publishing calendar is a great way to preview your posts, double-check your sources, correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes, and publish a correct, actual, and error-free post.
Optimized Posting Times Based on Your Audience
Depending on your audience, target market, and marketing strategy, there will be some ideal times to post a reel, YouTube video, or LinkedIn update. And, if you have pre-existing responsibilities or a full-time job to attend to, you might not always have the time necessary to post at these optimal times.
An automated publishing calendar system allows you to set up a posting schedule for multiple social networks, automate tasks, and track your account’s metrics.
Coordinate With Others Internally and Externally
Planning upcoming social media posts and coordinating your social media posting schedule with others can be extremely helpful. Sharing posts across accounts and with influencers will enable you to cultivate important partnerships for your growing brand. And sharing posts internally allows team members to stay informed about what the company is doing.
Once all your weekly or monthly posts are planned and scheduled, you’ll have plenty more time to develop more post ideas, examine your most successful posts, and, more importantly, focus on your long-term strategy.
Keep in mind that as you begin benefiting from creating a consistent posting schedule, you’ll also find you need to allocate some time to engage with your users and respond to comments.
Mixing Timely and Cornerstone Posts
Impromptu posting might be a great way for you to share what’s on your mind with your audience or followers. However, this isn’t the only type of post necessary to grow your account and brand, and striking the right balance isn’t always easy.
Ideally, in your calendar, you should plan for a range of post types in your content mix, including:
- Cornerstone posts (which can now be pinned at the top on platforms such as Instagram)
- Evergreen content
- Relevant content and updates on specific projects
- Giveaways, contests, surveys
- Buzz-generating posts such as news stories or upcoming product releases
- Partnerships with other influencers, brands, or accounts
- Timely posts (i.e., posts for Christmas, Halloween, Black Friday, Mother’s Day, or current events)
3 Key Steps To Create a Content Calendar
So, now you have a better idea of the benefits and strategies behind crafting a social media calendar for your brand. But, when it comes down to curating a personalized social media content calendar, you might be wondering what the key steps to take are.
While partnering with a specialized marketer is always the best option, this 3-step process can put you on the right path:
- Choose your social media content calendar system wisely – Not all social media calendars are created equal. For example, you may use the options available on Meta’s Business Suit or the Canva calendar. Review each software’s capabilities and features, along with the layout and functionality of their respective social media calendar templates, before choosing one.
For example, what are its calendar tools? Does it have an archive function, so you have a content repository? Does it help in the content creation process with a place to store your content ideas?
- Get to know your audience and take a hard look at your account – When and where to post all depends on your audience (i.e., when your users are at their most active and what platform they use most). Consider reviewing your current data to pinpoint the best publishing pattern for your needs.
- Curate a cohesive theme – before scheduling your first post, make sure to have a clear vision for what you wish your grid or profile to look like, which will help you maintain a recognizable image or social post style for your audience.
Partner With a Specialized Social Media Marketing Team
A key takeaway is that a social media content calendar is easy to implement. There are plenty of templates out there to use. Some schedule posts, others only help with content planning, but they all help social media managers plan and coordinate messaging across nearly every social network.
Even if you don’t see the value in social media, for now, it isn’t going anywhere any time fast. If your business doesn’t currently engage in social media activities, you should at least be willing to create a social media account and test the waters. If nothing else, there is a high chance it will be a platform for inspiration.
Thanks to today’s free or highly affordable platforms, all creators can get started with a social media content calendar. But this doesn’t mean there is no longer a need for the expertise of specialized marketers.
Indeed, the competition on social media channels has never been more fierce, and a DIY approach might not land you the results you were hoping to see.
At Social Firm, the goal of our experienced team of social media marketers is to create a comprehensive social media marketing strategy that delivers the metric-driven results you want. Get in touch today to learn more about what we can do for you and your brand!
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