Creating a Social Media Calendar

by | Sep 16, 2020 | digital marketing | 0 comments

Coming up with a rock-solid social media strategy takes planning, research & collaboration. Most people just post on social media when they remember, but this inconsistency won’t yield a strong ROI on social media. I’ve been working with dozens of social media clients over the years and have come up with a system to schedule and post your content that will yield greater engagement (and therefore, more followers).

What You Should Post About on Social Media

Without planning, you’re likely to feel uninspired. Or another event goes by where you get home and realize you didn’t capture anything! I suggest planning themes one quarter at a time with your social media posts planned a month ahead. It sounds like a lot, but it’s much less daunting to sit down and draw out the skeleton of your themes, rather than trying to fit it in during your busy schedule.

You can create a spreadsheet (or download my free social media calendar template) with one tab organized by the week and another tab that will correspond to each post on a given day. On the first tab, go through week by week and plan your content theme. If you release any more heavy-loaded content such as blog posts or YouTube videos, your theme will usually revolve around the release of each major piece of content. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can search for holiday calendars. There are 100s of random holidays. “National Pizza Day,” “Grandmother’s Day,” “National Wine Day”…whatever makes sense for your business!

In the next tab, plan the month ahead by filling in one column with the date, one column with the theme, another with the copy for the post, one with the image or asset, one with the hashtags, and then finally any necessary links (such as the Dropbox link to the image). If you need to approve your content, then the last column can be a checkbox for when the post is approved and ready to be scheduled in your Later or Hootsuite.

How Often Should you Post

The social media algorithms like to see that you’re actually using the platform! You should post a minimum of three times per week on Facebook or Instagram, but posting more will definitely help the robots to give preference to your content. In other words, if you’re not posting frequently, then Instagram might decide that it doesn’t want to show your content in other peoples’ feeds. RUDE! To keep the social media robots extra happy, you could post following these rules:

  • Instagram 1-3 times/day
  • Facebook Page 1-3 times/day
  • Twitter 5-7 times/day
  • LinkedIn 1 time/day
  • Pinterest 1 time/day
  • Snapchat 2-3 times/day
  • TikTok 1-3 times/day

Keep in mind that you will also need to be responding to comments, liking other creators’ content, and answering messages. This schedule is also pretty ambitious, but if you have the bandwidth, go for it!

How to Work with a Team for Social Media

To create loads of content, you’re ideally getting some help. Do you think Gary V creates all that content himself? LOL! No. He’s got a social media army behind him! To keep a consistent voice on all of your social media channels, consider writing a brand kit. This can be more involved than you think. Design is important but think of words you want to use or don’t want to use. What is your message and who is your audience? Put all of this here and hold people to it!

You and your social media team may find your own rhythm, but this is generally what works from my experience:

Three weeks before end of quarter

Draft the editorial calendar with themes for the month (or quarter) ahead.

Draft creative direction for the asset. Is this a flyer, a photo, a video? What do you want to see?

Two weeks before the end of the quarter or month

Have the designer or photographer create the image asset for the month ahead.

One week before the end of the quarter or month

Have the copywriter draft the copy for the post after the design is approved.

Three Days before the end of the quarter or the month

Edit & approve the final draft with hashtags and tags.

First of the month or quarter

Schedule everything ahead in your favorite social media planning tool!

Final Thoughts: Spontaneity

Planning ahead will make your life much easier. You’ll be prepared with enough content to keep your social media accounts healthy and running strong! But part of the experience is getting a glimpse into someone else’s world.

Remember to give your calendar some breathing room for upcoming events or happenings. This also acts as a trigger to gather assets in real-time. Not every post needs to be a masterpiece. Twitter, Instagram stories, Facebook Live, etc are a great opportunity to share stir-of-the-moment content to keep your audience engaged.

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