“What are we posting today?”
The 5 most terrifying words that any social media manager or content marketer can hear.
Waking up on a Wednesday morning to your boss asking you to post something today, and having absolutely no idea what to do.
If this sounds like you, well then listen up dummy. Knock it off.
It’s time to get organized. It’s time to create a world-class social media content calendar, so you can get laser focused on exactly what you’re going to post to your social channels, today, tomorrow, and every day for the next 365 days.
A social media calendar will help you plan and manage what is very frequently the single most chaotic type of digital marketing strategy. When you have all your content planned out, things fall into place and your life is easier.
Not all businesses are created alike - so it is natural they won’t all post the same type of content, nor will they post on the same social channels.
That’s why it is important to create a social media calendar that helps you plan and track your business’ social media management.
We’ll go over some of the calendar elements you’ll need to organize all your posts, keep your sanity, and focus on producing great content.
Let’s get started!
What To Include In Your Social Media Content Calendar
You only need to create the calendar once - but our advice is to make a new copy of it every week (otherwise, it will most likely get too crowded - especially if you are posting daily on more than one social media account).
Once you have your calendar set up, you simply need to update it as you go (which shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes/day if you are posting daily social media updates, provided that you already have the content you want to post).
The free template we created can and should be adjusted according to your particular needs.
Most of the columns in the google sheets template are quite straight-forward and easy to fill in - but, we will take them one by one and describe what should go in each of them:
Publish Date: Self-explanatory, the date at which you want to publish a particular social media update.
Types of Content: For the purpose of this example, we added the following options:
Course: (for posts connected to courses)
Social Media Campaign: (for special offers you may have at a particular point)
Evergreen: (the kind of on-going content that can get promoted over and over again)
Important-dates: (the type of content that arises as an opportunity during a holiday, during a special event, during product launches etc.)
Topic/ Title: Add here a general content idea/topic for the post, or even a specific title (if you have one).
Content/ Details: What is the content about, and what is its purpose? Add this kind of details in this cell.
Responsible Person: Who will be responsible in creating social media posts. You, your Social Media Manager, or Community Manager.
Social Network: Again, this is a drop-down option. For the purpose of this example, we added Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. As mentioned before, you can add more or you can remove from these options if they are not suitable for your social media strategy.
Goal/Metrics: Is there a particular goal for creating social media posts? Some metrics could be increasing web visits, building relationships, creating engagement, etc.
Workflows: A great way to structure your content creation is by organizing it in workflows. Flows allow you to easily visualize how your content pieces work together to move users through your sales funnel.
Post Type: This section is very important because it dictates how the post and copy will look. For the purpose of our example, we included the following options:
- “Normal Post” (just text and a picture or two, for instance)
- “Link Post” (text and a link to an article)
- “Chained Post” (specifically for Twitter, where you can thread of tweets)
- “Carousel Post” (when you want to showcase multiple products and you use the “Carousel” feature, allowing users to swipe through multiple pictures).
Content Type: Again, this is very important because it might dictate the tone, style, and length of the copy itself. Our example includes these options:
- “UGC” (User-generated content)
- No asset (e.g. when you just post text, without any kind of asset associated with it).
Link: Add the link you will use in the post, if applicable.
Shortened Tracked Link: If you shorten your links and track them (with a service like bit.ly), add them here.
Publishing Time: Self-explanatory. You should add this for further reference, to see what time your visitors are more active.
Approval 1 and Approval 2: If your post needs to be approved before it goes live, keep these columns (or just one of them if it only needs one approval).
If you need both approval columns, you can set up a system to let everyone know they need to approve a social media post. For instance, you could tag the person in charge of giving the first approval, and once they do it, they could tag the person in charge of giving the second approval. You can easily tag someone by adding a comment to the cell and entering their email with a “+” sign before it (e.g. “[email protected]”).
Live Link: Add here the live link of each post. Doing this will help you organize better, knowing exactly where each post was published and when.
Once you have your social media calendar, we recommend you use a scheduling tool to publish.
Scheduling tools allow you to automate the process of publishing your content to your social media platforms. Hootsuite, meetEdgar, Trello are some tools that you can use to schedule posts.
That’s it! As you can see, starting a social media content calendar is not difficult at all - the harder part will be to stick to this calendar and continue to fill it in on a weekly basis.
We know you can do it, though! There are so many benefits to following a clear calendar view for creating a successful social media marketing!
If you want a template to organise your social media calendar, you can easily download it below!