A couple of weeks ago, we wrote an article about how having a social media calendar can help you plan and organize your content more effectively.
Today, let’s talk about how you can make the most of that calendar.
A social media calendar is just a tool, and like any other tool, if you don’t know what to do with it, it won’t be of much use to you. That’s why we believe that planning your content is indispensable—and once you’ve got a plan, the calendar can help you execute it.
But why is planning important anyway?
Forget social media for a second, and think of any other activity. When you have a goal that you’re working towards, and a strategy that you’ve set in place to achieve it, planning each step will help you ensure that you’re moving in the right direction.
When it comes to social media, what that means is when you plan each piece of content that you’re putting out, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re in line with your social media marketing strategy. And to have a solid plan, you need to have a solid framework. You’ll need to know who your target audience is, where they’re located, and which networks they’re on. Once you have this information, you can curate your content so that you’re able to reach your audience in the most effective way possible.
If you know where your audience is located—both geographically and on the internet—you’ll be able to schedule your content in such a way that you reach as many of them as possible. You can plan the exact time you want your posts to go out, depending on the timezone they’re in, and also schedule your content to go out on the specific social networks they use.
Social media marketing is not just about existing on the periphery of your audience’s feed. You have to post relevant content—regularly—to gain engagement from your audience. Planning your content will help you keep track of how often you’re posting on your networks, and when you’re delivering regular high quality content, you’ll see more engagement on your posts.
Planning will help you ensure that you are maintaining your desired content mix. Posting too much promotional material can be off-putting, so it’s important that you balance out the marketing stuff with creative stuff. This will keep your audience entertained and happy, while also helping you achieve your content marketing goals.
Now that we know how scheduling your content can help you achieve your social media marketing goals, let’s talk about how you can do it effectively.
How to schedule content better
The first thing you’ll need to do before you start planning your content schedule is to create a content plan. You’ll need to decide what kind of content you want to create, how often you want to post, what times you want to post, and on which networks you want to publish.
The answers to those questions will depend on the target you’ve chosen. Once you’ve decided on your target audience, you’ll find it easier to develop your content strategy. And then you can go ahead and schedule your content based on the plan that you developed.
There are tons of studies on how to determine the optimum number of posts you should make per day on different networks. This post has a summary of multiple studies that have been carried out, and tries to arrive at a consensus based on them.
However, keep in mind that the data in that post should only be used as a guideline. You may find that exceeding the limits prescribed in the studies are getting you more engagement—and that’s completely fine. The point of the exercise is to help you decide the frequency of your social media posts.
Once you know how often you want to post, and which networks you want to publish your content on, you’ll need to identify the best times to make your posts. Zoho Social’s SmartQ feature analyzes engagement from your previous posts, and then gives you the best times to publish content on each network. You can then decide to take SmartQ’s advice or go ahead and schedule your content for a time that you think might work better.
And it’s okay to publish the same content multiple times. In fact, it’s more than okay—we recommend it to ensure that your content has the maximum reach possible.
Share a post immediately after you publish your content, and then a few hours later to increase visibility. Schedule a few more messages over the following month so that people who missed your previous posts are able to access them while it’s still fresh.
Now, you’ve hopefully decided what content you’re going to put up on which network, how often you’re going to post, and how many times you’re going to re-share your content. Great! This is where the social media calendar comes into the picture.
Many social media marketing tools come with their own publishing calendar to help you plan and organize your content. Any of them will work, but keep in mind your specific requirements, and take a close look at the features the tools offer before you choose which one to use.
Once you’re done scheduling posts on the calendar, you can take a step back and look at everything you’ve planned for the month. All you have to do is ensure that you’re posting content according to plan and scheduling enough posts on each network, while being mindful of the frequency and times that you’re doing it.
Analyze your posts
Hooray! You’ve successfully sent out your posts on the perfect schedule. But wait—how do you know your plan is actually working?
An added advantage of using social media marketing tools is that they provide you with detailed analysis on how well your posts are performing. Granted, there are a lot of factors that affect the success of your posts. If your content is low quality, it won’t matter much when you publish it—you won’t get the results you’re hoping for. However, an analysis of your posts will help you identify if they’re working or not. Get into the habit of tracking your posting strategy and figuring out which type of content works on which platform. Try to identify patterns as to the times you get the best reach for your content. Take note of the results and try to play around with your posting schedule and then measure the impact it has on your engagement.
If you’re able to identify patterns in your posting schedule and modify your strategy accordingly, you’ll hit the jackpot eventually.
Success on social media won’t happen overnight, but having a well-planned schedule will help you stay organized and save you a lot of time and effort. You put so much work into creating impressive, engaging pieces of content—so make sure you’re getting the most out of them. That means creating a schedule that maximizes exposure to your content, so that you can generate more engagement for your pieces.