Having a solid plan in place before diving into any digital marketing campaign is crucial. An effective social media calendar will help save you a lot of time and while tracking any engagement with your target audience.
It’s a way of avoiding having to search for something interesting or entertaining to post each day. Instead, your content can be fully prepared, weeks or even months in advance! Another benefit is being able to build a sense of consistency when it comes to your brand voice – making you more recognisable as a business.
Whether you’re finding it difficult to juggle monitoring your social platforms or you want to create a fresh calendar for a future campaign – this blog will break down the basics of how to organise your content.
Benefits of a social media content calendar
Before we go into the how to’s – we have outlined why you might want to consider creating your own social media calendar:
1. Save time
This is one of the main reasons most social media managers will ensure their calendar is prepared for each campaign. As we all know, social media requires a lot of effort and attention. Having a calendar is essentially saving yourself time in the long run.
You can have a plan, avoid having to multi-task and keep track of any ideas you have as you go along. Also, most digital calendars now will allow you to schedule your posts on multiple platforms. That means you will know exactly what you will share, when and on which platform.
2. More consistent posts
Consistency is the key to a successful social media campaign. No matter what your digital marketing goal is (more likes, more views, site visits etc) – we recommend posting regularly.
Them more you are appearing online, the more likely it is that your audience will notice your posts and engage with you. Then of course, the more engagement you have, the more organic reach you will achieve. Planning and scheduling your posts means that you can ensure you are posting something at least three times a week – helping you connect as much as possible with your target customers.
3. Avoid mistakes
It’s really easy to make mistakes when posting on social platforms. I’m sure most of us are guilty of a typo or an accidental ‘like’. The great thing about a social media calendar is that you can run it by all the appropriate team members before sharing any content.
Depending on the nature of your business – you might need to run it by the marketing team or the legal team etc. You can also avoid repeating the same message on different channels.
4. Remember key dates
We recommend keeping note of any key dates throughout the year. Not everything will be relevant to your business – but it is best to have it all written down just in case.
One obvious example is a retail company which will benefit from posting about Black Friday deals. As a digital marketing agency, we would use our calendar to keep track things like significant upcoming changes in the industry.
Creating your content calendar
We’ve highlighted a few essential steps to take when creating your digital calendar. These top tips should make sure you are fully prepared for your social media campaign:
1. Audit your social media platforms
A social media audit involves looking at how well you are performing currently and what you could do to improve performance and ROI. We look out for things such as comments, shares, and other types of engagement to understand which digital marketing techniques are working. With any digital marketing campaign, an audit is needed to fine-tune your strategy and vastly improve performance.
2. Choose your social channels
There is a lot of choice out there – Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or even Pinterest could help you reach your objectives. Remember, it’s not always about using the most popular platform when it comes to digital marketing.
You should consider what works for your brand – in terms of your industry, your target audience and your digital marketing goals. We suggest researching different platform’s user demographics to have an idea of whether it would be right for your brand.
3. Make a content library
You’ll be storing important information on your calendar, and you’ll also want to refer to it throughout your social campaign. So, we suggest making sure you’re saving all your content assets on a safe and user-friendly platform.
We would recommend using something like Dropbox, Google drive or your company’s internal network if you have one. That way, you’ll have access to your files on your mobile or desktop – but won’t be left with nothing if you lose a device. We’ve created a tick list to check if a content library is right for your calendar:
- It’s spacious enough for small and large files.
- It’s accessible from your phone and computer (you might need to change something when you’re on-the-go!)
- It’s easily shareable between team members.
- It provides links and the ability to upload individual files.
4. Establish a workflow
Establishing a workflow means getting to grips with a few things and being clear on how you’ll be working, for example:
- How often you want to post content
- The best time to post depending on your audience
- Who will be updating your calendar throughout the campaign
- Who needs to approve posts (i.e. social media manager, legal team etc)
We highly recommend writing your workflow down – especially if you have a larger, more complex team.This will just help to avoid any confusion further down the line.
5. Gather team feedback
Even a social media expert will benefit from a second opinion before publishing any content. So, we suggest running your calendar by some of your colleagues and see if they have any helpful feedback. They might have some fresh ideas from an audience perspective.
Also, make sure you run the calendar by anybody who will be accessing it throughout the campaign. It’s good to go over things like access, passwords and functionality before going live.
6. Start scheduling
The easy part! Once you’re happy with your calendar – you can start scheduling. We suggest tools such as Sprout Social or Buffer. Final tip – remember to keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t. You might want to adjust some things on your calendar if you notice a pattern in engagement.
Feel free to take a look at our social media services here. Or, just contact our London based team if you need help or have any questions!