Just like any other marketing strategy, social media requires planning and organization to create a successful campaign. I've met many business owners who become frustrated with their social media marketing efforts because they don't know what to post on a daily basis. They look at their computer screen or cell phone and draw a blank. They know they should be posting something, but don't know exactly what to post. Using a content calendar can help you to stay organized and prepare you for the week or month ahead when executing your social media marketing. Follow the tips below to create a social media content calendar that will help you to stay on track of reaching your goals.
Choose a platform
- There are several platforms that you can choose to create your calendar, but the top two that I would recommend are through Google Drive and Excel.
- Google Drive allows you to create a spreadsheet that can be viewed and edited by other teammates or employees. This option is extremely helpful when creating a social media campaign with several moving parts. If you have more than one person posting and responding to the social media accounts for your business, creating a content calendar using Google Drive would be ideal.
- Another option would be to create the content calendar in an Excel Spreadsheet. This option is more old school but effective nonetheless. With an Excel spreadsheet, you'll always be able to reference your content calendar.
- Before creating your content calendar, it's important that you know the type of content that will be published. To determine this, ask yourself these questions first:
- Who is my target audience?
- How can I help or provide value to my followers?
- What kind of content is my target audience expecting or hoping to see from my company?
- What are my goals for posting content?
- Once you answer these questions you'll be able to determine the type of content to publish.
- For example, if you own a craft brewery, your target audience could be men and women between the ages of 21-59 who like craft beer.
- You would be able to provide value to your audience by including them in a conversation situated around craft beer and the local craft beer community.
- The types of content your target audience would like to see are new beers available at your brewery, brewery events and annoucements, links to important news in the local craft beer community, etc.
- The goals for posting this content would be to increase brand awareness and sales of the brewery as well as educate folks in the community on local craft beer.
Create the calendar
When creating your content calendar, you'll want to include as much pertinent information as possible. Keep in mind that other people may be reliant on this calendar as well, so simple is best here. Examples of information that you can include in your content calendar are post type, time of post, character length of post, post copy, photo (if applicable), any links in post, hashtags, teammate responsible for posting, etc. You can also create different sheets or tabs for each social network to keep them separate. Feel free to color code certain columns or rows to make your content calendar more visually appealing.
You should also include important dates in the calendar including launch/end dates of campaigns or contests, national holidays, special events, etc. This will help you to create content that is relevant to important dates within your campaign, as well as in current events.
Using your content calendar
Once you've filled in your content calendar with the necessary info, you'll want to schedule out as many of your posts as possible to free up your time throughout the week. Take a look at your analytics info within your social networks to determine which times throughout the day are best to post your content. You can use scheduling tools like Buffer, Hootsuite or Sprout Social to schedule out posts in advance. You can even bulk-schedule posts to go out at several times throught the week or month if this strategy makes sense for your business.
Using a content calender is a dependable way to keep your social media marketing campaigns organized and ready to go. Once you get in the habit of creating a weekly or monthly calendar, you won't have to worry about creating content at the last minute, which almost always results in producing poor content. Block out an hour or two at the beginning of each week to plan out your content and not only will you see better results, but you'll also keep a portion of your sanity.
Have any tips on creating content calendars? Please leave them in the Comments section!
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