If you’re a social media manager, there have probably been times when you’ve wished for a tool that helped you plan and organize content. That’s where a social media calendar can help you—allowing you to get a quick overview of your scheduled content, and plan the best times for your upcoming posts.
But why does this matter?
Picture this: you wake up on Friday after a good night’s sleep. It’s a nice, warm day and the weekend is almost here. It’s one of those golden days when you just feel good—cheerful, serene, and confident. Nothing could go awry today, right?
It’s Memorial Day, which, ironically, you’ve completely forgotten. You rush to work, grab a coffee, sit at your desk, and… nothing.
It’s too late. You don’t have any content ideas, and even if you manage to come up with something in the next hour, you’d be taking your designers completely by surprise.
What you need is something to help you plan and organize your content more efficiently. Something that ensures you don’t miss any important dates, something that helps you schedule in advance, something that works… kind of like a calendar.
How about something exactly like a calendar?
If the scenario above feels uncomfortably familiar, you probably need a social media calendar. And even if you’re confident that you’re completely in control of your content and couldn’t possibly miss a date, you might still benefit from one. A social media calendar won’t magically make your content the best on the internet, but it will help you plan more effectively—and that means additional time to create more impressive content.
Why should you use a social media calendar?
In the social media world, where there are a million voices constantly fighting for attention, your content is likely to get drowned out. With a little bit of planning, however, you can be sure that you’re getting the most out of your marketing efforts.
Using a social media calendar, you can plan content so that you don’t miss important dates like holidays, product launches, and promotional events. Even better, you can start planning well in advance, instead of making a last-minute shot in the dark. This gives you two benefits- firstly, since you’re planning your content early, you’ll have revisited, discussed, and polished your posts till they sparkle. This ensures that the posts you put up are of a consistently high quality—which will hopefully result in getting more engagement on your posts.
Secondly, you’re going to save a lot of time. If you know exactly when you’re going to schedule your content, and if you’re working with a clear framework right in front of you, you’ll become more efficient.
Another advantage of planning in advance is that you can be more playful with your content. Use a tool like Days of the Year to identify fun, wacky holidays that you can exploit to your benefit. For example, November 19, 2017, was “Have a Bad Day” Day. While you might not want to wish that on your customers, you could use something like International Talk Like a Pirate Day to start a unique social media campaign.
It’s also important to keep in mind how external factors affect the content you put out. For example, if you’re a travel agency, it might be best to plan in terms of the seasonal destinations you’re trying to sell.
Once you’ve got a basic idea of what you’re going to post, and the days that you’re going to post on, it’s time to take a step back and reflect. Look at the calendar. Does something look wrong?
It can be so easy to get carried away with the power of scheduling that we forget to do it right. Any marketer who understands how social media works will know that the key to success lies in consistent engagement. It’s important to ensure that your posts are evenly spaced out and that you’re maintaining an active presence to prevent your voice from being drowned out.
Take another look at the calendar. Are there too many days when you don’t have anything scheduled or times when you’re publishing a lot? Play around and reschedule your content to space it out more evenly. Drag and drop content that you’ve already scheduled to dates where you think they’d work better. Decide when you want to post your content while keeping in mind which networks you’re making each post on. You can cross-post the same content on multiple networks, but it’s better to come up with unique, curated content for each, whenever possible.
Organizing your content isn’t a one-time step—it’s a continuous process. Keep working on your schedule until you feel like you’ve found your mark, posting high-quality content regularly on all of your networks.
Before we go…
There are a couple of things that you can do to take full advantage of a social media calendar. While it’s an effective tool for planning your content in advance, try to take further than a month or a quarter. Keep your social media marketing goal in mind, and strategize accordingly.
Think of it as a pathway to reach your social media goals. A calendar will definitely help you get there, but your social media accounts may not reach their full potential if you don’t think about how each post you make contributes to the end result.
We’d love to learn how you manage social media content for your business. If you have any ideas or questions, just drop us a comment—we’d love to chat!