Social media content has become a powerful tool for brands all around the world. The influence of social media content on consumers is evident.
So, how can you utilize this influence for your company’s benefit?
Create a solid social media content strategy that will help you keep your customers engaged. Planning out your content will ensure that you have a consistent flow of new content, and also it will help you make data-driven decisions.
That’s not all. A well-written and organized content calendar can increase your social media engagement, establish brand loyalty, and ultimately increase your sales rate.
If you are curious about the benefits of a social media content calendar and how you can create one, keep reading.
In the following lines, we’ll present to you rock-solid reasons for embracing the content calendar. You’ll also learn some practical tips for creating an impeccable content calendar that can boost your social media engagement.
Why Should You Create a Social Media Content Calendar?
According to CMI, 60% of those with a documented content strategy are highly rated in terms of content marketing effectiveness, compared with 32% of those with a verbal strategy. This is why using a content calendar for your social media strategy is essential.
The content calendar can help you stay on top of your social media content. You’ll be able to approach social media engagement with strategy rather than improvising your moves.
There are numerous reasons why you should use a content calendar to boost social media engagement. Here are some of the main benefits of using a content calendar:
- It will ensure content consistency
- It can help you develop your editorial strategy
- It can help you save time with good organization
- It helps keep track of best-performing content
- It can help you be consistent in terms of content quality
- It helps you time your post better for maximum engagement
- It ensures that you don’t miss posting dates
- It allows you to prevent neglecting one of your social media networks
- It prevents posting poor and rushed content
Now that the importance of planning your social media content with the content calendar is evident, it is time to get to business. Let’s reveal some practical tips to help you create a spotless content calendar and boost social media engagement.
1. Revise Your Current Social Media Efforts
Before you start planning out new content pieces, you must clearly understand your current social media efforts.
Revising your previous social media strategy and its effectiveness can help you identify the right moves for boosting engagement.
When analyzing your social media efforts, pay attention to the following:
- Who is your audience (personas, their demographic, interests, likes, and dislikes)
- Who is currently on your social media marketing team and their responsibilities
- Your most popular social media platform
- Your best performing content on social media
- Your most successful campaigns
- Failed attempts and opportunities for improvement
- The most popular content types
Dedicate a certain time for the revision. The collected data and information can help you get valuable insights. Bear these insights in mind when creating and planning the calendar.
For example, if Instagram Stories generated the most engagement in the past, add them to the calendar as consistent content in all your campaigns.
2. Pick Your Social Media Channels
After the revision, you should have a clearer image of which social media channels are best for your brand.
When choosing channels for brand promotion, consider the platforms’ user demographics. For example, if you’re targeting Baby Boomers, getting active on TikTok, where most users are aged between 16 and 24, will be a waste of time.
Take a minute and consider which social media platform will be the best choice. It’s better to have a strong presence on one or two platforms than to spread yourself too thin.
No matter which platforms you choose (or how many of them), you should plan the content for all of them in the calendar.
3. Choose the Calendar Format
Since the whole social media marketing team will use the calendar, opt for a simple and accessible form.
Make sure that the calendar allows easy updates, is sharable and is simple. Everyone should be able to master the use of a calendar in no time, whether they are a copywriter, graphic designer, or project manager.
One of the formats you can use for your content calendar is a Google spreadsheet. It is a standard format for the content calendar as pretty much everyone knows how to use it. It is also sharable, and you can make updates at any time without distorting the format.
However, if you have a bigger team and a more complex social media strategy, you can consider a more intuitive and suitable calendar and other white-label social media tools.
4. Map Out the Information and Functionality
What do you want to track with the calendar? The information you’ll manage within the calendar depends on your team and your strategy.
The more details you provide, the better. But it would help if you also considered the calendar’s readability. If you push too much information in the simplest calendar form, it can get confusing.
To give you an idea of the type of details you can map out in the calendar, consider the following categories:
- Time (and time zone)
- Platform-specific format (feed post, Story, IGTV, shoppable posts, poll, live stream, etc.)
- Visuals (photo, video, infographic, gif, user-generated content, etc.)
- Link to sources
- Link to published post
- The campaign it’s affiliated with (contest, event, product launch, customer service, etc.)
- Paid or organic post (if the post is paid, you can add budget details)
- Approved (yes/no)
- Posted (yes/no)
You can have a separate tab in the calendar spreadsheet for your team and their assignments. It will leave you more room to break down the tasks without overdoing the content calendar.
5. Create a Content Library
Your team should be able to access any pre-prepared parts of the content. That’s why you need a content library.
For example, you might create raw videos in advance, and you’ll need to store them somewhere before it gets time for the video editor to take on that task.
Simply put, your content marketing efforts will be more streamlined with an accessible content library.
Use database software that can store extensive data. Some of the options are Google Drive, Dropbox, or your internal network.
Once you store the content in the content library, you can easily link it within the content calendar. Thus, you’ll help your team to navigate and access content more efficiently.
What’s more, you won’t have to think about it anymore as the team members can access the content whenever they need it.
6. Decide on Your Posting Schedule
If you are targeting increased engagement, you must consider the “peak engagement” time. A specific period of time is connected with each social media platform when the content gets the most likes, comments, shares, and views.
According to Social Media Today, the following dates and times are the best for user engagement:
- Facebook – Wednesday, between 11 am and 12 pm
- Instagram – Wednesday and Friday, around 10 am
- Twitter – Wednesday and Friday, between 9 am and 12 pm
- LinkedIn – Wednesday between 8 and 10 am, and Friday at 9 am
Take this into consideration when planning your content schedule within the calendar. You can make room for your most popular content types to be published at the peak engagement time.
Also, consider your past metrics in terms of content consistency and best posting time. When is your specific target audience most active? How many days a week do you want to publish content? How will you spread content across different social media platforms?
You can mark the days and times you should post the content. Set up reminders when you should start preparing the content for that date. In this way, content consistency won’t be a problem.
7. Write Down Relevant Moments
The calendar allows you to pre-plan trending content. You can mark any global events, holidays, or relevant moments you want to celebrate with your audience.
Put down in the calendar the dates when you want to create themed content. For example, if you are an ice cream brand, you can plan for July 18th a celebratory post for National Ice Cream Day.
You can even research at the beginning of the year and write down the important dates. With the help of the calendar, you won’t have to worry about forgetting any exciting event that can help you boost engagement.
8. Organize the Team
A successful brand can’t be built on the back of a single person. You’ll need a streamlined collaboration of multiple professionals to create successful social media campaigns.
Elizabeth Heller, a content writer and editor at GetGoodGrade shared that “planning your obligations in the calendar will do more than help you keep track of your tasks. You can also note what others are doing and, therefore, synchronize your workflow.”
The calendar should reflect which team member is responsible for research, writing, editing, shooting, and posting each piece of the content.
9. Plan the Content Development
You know what you need to post; you also know when and who is responsible for what. The next step you need is to organize the content development.
What you want to cover in the calendar is:
- Your weekly meetings for content brainstorming
- How much ahead you’ll plan the content (for example, a month)
- Which content development process will take place at what time
- End-of-the-month meeting to revise content performance and decide on further steps
Noting this down in the calendar will help you keep your team and content posting organized. Efficient content development and planning process will help you achieve any goal.
10. Make Changes When Necessary
Nothing you put down in the content calendar is set in stone. Depending on your content performance, you should make changes in the calendar to direct your actions towards increased engagement.
The calendar is a great advantage. It will allow your team to track these changes quickly. Remember that with timely and strategic actions, you can do wonders.
Planning out and documenting a content calendar can transform your social media strategy. With a birds-eye overview of all your social media efforts, you can change and rearrange your content for maximum engagement.
Let the tips mentioned above guide you in your pursuit of the perfect social media content calendar. Take your time and develop a spotless content calendar that will drive your engagement through the roof.