Creating a Social Media Content Calendar (with free template)
Make the most of your online presence
Create a social media calendar to ensure you are connecting to your audience and amplifying your message.
Social media is more than just a place to connect with friends, it also helps businesses get noticed and reach customers. You may already be using social media to promote your business, but do you have a clear content strategy that will produce results for your business? A social media content calendar can help make the most of your online presence. Below, are some of the benefits for having one:
To better organize content across different platforms
To help create content with a clear purpose
To track content performance
To prepare for key dates
To make it easier to assign tasks and coordinate with others
To ensure that content is always going out
To help get you started, answer the following 5 questions:
What platforms will you use?
There are a number of popular social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+. Consider which platforms you use more regularly. Would you also be open to trying out new platforms or ones you haven’t used before? Include all of the different platforms that you will be using in your content strategy.
What types content and style will you be using?
Ask whether you can use the same or similar content for all your pages. Each platform may need a different approach and style of engagement (Ex. #hashtags for Twitter, photos for Instagram, videos for Vine, etc.).
You may also use a different tone depending if your audience differs across platforms. Is your LinkedIn audience different from your Facebook? It is important to understand your target audience in order to tailor your content.
What's the purpose of your content?
When you are thinking about topics to write, it is important to have a clear goal behind each piece of content. What are you trying to achieve with? Engage with your customer? Increase brand awareness? Answer common questions? Promote your product? In your social media calendar, have a column to outline your goal for each content.
For instance, one of your goals could be to inform your customers about your industry by sharing your expertise. A hair salon might post article about ways to tie your hair, whereas, an interior design would post the latest paint colour trends. A humourous piece, on the other hand, would serve a different purpose, such as delighting and entertaining your customers.
Knowing your goal is essential for effectively strategizing your content and achieving your desired outcome.
How will you organize content?
A great way to plan your content is by month. Think about what will you share each month. What are some key dates?
A general rule for your social media content is to ‘share more than to sell'. According to internationally acclaimed strategist David Scott, your social media content should be divided as follows:
85% is for sharing and engaging
10% of it is original content
5% or less is used for promotion
This is just a general outline.
Hootsuite, in contrast, suggests a more even breakdown with the ‘social media content rule of thirds':
? of content promotes business and converts audience
? of content shares ideas and stories from thought leaders
? is original brand content
Decide what works best for you and your goals. Just make sure that the bulk of your content focuses on engaging with your customer rather than promoting your business. Remember, social media is social.
How will you measure performance?
Create a column in your calendar to make note of past performances. What worked well? What didn't? Was there a lot of shares or retweets? Did people comment on your posts? Use this information to help you plan out your next content batch.
Brainstorm, plan and publish!
After you have followed these steps, you are ready to fill out your social media calendar and begin publishing some posts!
Below is a link to our free downloadable template.