How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar
Updated: May 21, 2019
Having an organized system for posting to your social media profiles can be a game changer. Let's walk through that process and take the stress out of building a strong online brand presence.
It's time to make an Instagram post. You don't know why it's time, it just is. While you're at it, you might as well post on Facebook and Twitter too. You have an idea of what you want to say but you're not really sure how you want to say it. So, you look back on your last few posts and realize that you already posted something similar, sighhh. Now back to the drawing board. Does this sound familiar?
Posting sequence, strategy and timing doesn't matter as much for a personal social media page, unless you're just that darn good. But when you're trying to grow your brand and business with social media, it can mean everything.
Having a strong social media content strategy is a critical way of marketing your content as a business. We all know the importance of keeping up with our social media profiles but be honest, how many of us actually do it consistently?! Sure, we get inspired now and again but without a solid social media strategy you're setting your small business up for failure.
We get it! You're probably a small team, or even a one woman or man show. You get huge pat on the back, from me, because I know ( from personal experience) how much dedication it takes to manage all of these tasks on your own.
A content calendar can help you with that. No matter how great your content, if your social media presents as disorganized, haphazard and lazy, you won't have an engaged audience.
Here are two very important things to consider when strategizing a social media content calendar.
Choose your platforms with intention
If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. Use analytics to understand your demographics and choose your platforms wisely.
Conduct thorough market research to figure out who your customer is. It might be Twitter but if you're in the construction industry Houzz might be your best option instead.
As small business owners and entrepreneurs, we don't have unlimited resources or endless hours to be spent updating numerous social media platforms. You need to get clear on what platforms the people you want to connect with are on and stop wasting time on others. This isn't to say that you can't add them to your plate later. As we're starting out we need to narrow our focus and go with what will bring us results.
Create consistent content Posting consistent content is a great way of increasing your number of followers and keeping your existing audience satisfied. Not only that but creating consistent content on your chosen social media platforms means working with the existing algorithms of the social media channels you choose. For the most part, if you post regularly and consistently, your profile, images, posts and updates are much more likely to be distributed properly to your intended audience. The algorithms like fresh content and if you upload once a month, not only are you getting pushed into your followers feeds less but you have an even lower chance of showing up AT ALL. How crazy is that?! All your effort creating a killer social media post, all for it to be seen by a very limited number of people. So ensure that consistency is part of your social media strategy for small business.
You can create a social media content calendar in a few easy steps:
Review your content
Is your content fresh and current? Does it speak to who you are as a business and brand? Is there anything that you would want to repurpose and post again in the future?
What kind of content will you be posting on each platform? Will you be posting pictures, gifs, videos, curating articles and information from other sources?
Asking yourself these questions will help as you plan future posts.
Understand your audience on each platform
What do people on Twitter want to hear from you? How does your IG fam respond when you post pictures of yourself vs. pictures of food?
Each social network speaks to audiences in a different way, and audience perceptions will shape what content you choose to share. Your customers may follow you on more than one network but if they rather hear you rant on Twitter but want personal stories on Facebook, you gotta give 'em what THEY want.
Posting customized content tailored to your audience on each platform is important when developing an effective social media strategy.
Now that you have the type of content you'll be posting and the platforms you will use, it's time to create the calendar.
I'm all about ease of use. Products like G Suite by Google and Canva are my go-to tools for creating digital magic. To develop your content calendar, open a doc on Google Sheets or create a table on Canva and it should look a little something like this:
I choose to create daily posts and color code each social media profile that I have.
However, you can do this several ways, click the pics below to see different ways that you can design your content calendar.
When you have the structure for your calendar begin to fill it in. Think about what themes you want on a weekly or monthly basis. Consider any holidays or special dates that you may want to recognize with a sale, special content or just a post in honor of.
Save yourself some time and use planning platforms like Planoly, Plann or Hootsuite to load your posts in advance and save yourself time. When you automate processes and stop having to scramble at the last minute, social media becomes less stressful and not so much of a task.
Building a strong and loyal community of followers over various platforms is no doubt a challenging feat but certainly possible. We all know that social media has a monumental impact on the kinds of exposure your business receives. You might also be aware that doing well with your small businesses social media has the ability to take your brand to the next level and start being seen by potential customers everywhere! You just need to be armed with the right tactics to create branding success using social media platforms.
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