By now, marketers are well aware of the power of social media. It’s a fantastic way for brands to connect with their audience. However, keeping a consistent presence on social media can be a challenge amidst all the noise. This is where a social media calendar comes in handy. In this article, we will explore what a social media calendar is, why you should use one, and how to create it effectively.
What is a Social Media Calendar?
A social media calendar provides a high-level view of your upcoming social content, organized by days, weeks, and months. It can be in the form of a spreadsheet, a Google calendar, or a dashboard on a software solution. A social media calendar typically includes the time and date of each post, relevant hashtags and links, the social media channel and account, as well as the creative assets and copy.
Using a social media calendar helps you stay organized, whether you’re a small business or part of a large enterprise organization. You can plan your posts in advance, be it for a day, a week, or even a month, and avoid the last-minute scramble for low-quality content.
Why Use a Social Media Content Calendar?
A social media calendar offers several benefits:
Organize Your Social Strategy: It can be challenging to align your social content with your promotions and business initiatives, especially if you manage multiple accounts on different platforms. A social media calendar tailored to your business goals helps you stay organized each quarter.
Make Improvements with Real Data: When you create a social media calendar ahead of time, you can compare your past strategy with your current one and identify areas for improvement. A documented strategy makes it easier to determine which content formats generate the most engagement.
Outsource Your Social Media Needs: A social media calendar allows you to outsource social management tasks you don’t have time for. With a calendar in place, you can easily communicate your strategy to others and ensure consistency.
Maintain Consistency: With a social media calendar, you can plan and prepare consistent content weeks or even months in advance, ensuring you never miss a day.
Leverage Automation: Posting content on multiple social media platforms manually can be time-consuming. By using social media automation tools, you can increase your productivity and let the software handle the heavy lifting.
Elevate Your Content Quality: Planning your social media content in advance enables you to create higher quality content. You can align your content with holiday promotions, days off, and seasonal themes.
Develop a Recognizable Brand: Consistently posting brand-relevant imagery and copy, like Apostrophe on Instagram, helps create a recognizable brand. A social media calendar plays a vital role in achieving this level of consistency.
How to Create a Social Media Calendar
Creating a social media calendar is easier than you might think. Just follow these five easy steps:
1. Find a Tool That Works for You
There is no one-size-fits-all tool for creating a social media calendar. You can start with a simple tool like Google Sheets or Excel. If you want to take advantage of automation and have your social media calendar post content for you, consider using dedicated social media management software. There are many options available, such as Meet Edgar or Sprout Social.
2. Audit Your Social Media Needs
Before creating your calendar, conduct an audit to understand your social media goals. Consider factors such as your monthly and quarterly objectives, the platforms your audience primarily uses, and the optimal number of posts per day or week. By answering these questions, you’ll have a clear idea of the strategy you want to adopt.
3. Create a Strategy Informed by Your Audit
Develop a social media strategy based on your audit results. Decide on a posting schedule, including the best time of day and days of the week to post. Determine the key performance indicators you’ll track and the types of content you’ll create. Once you have your strategy in place, start planning your content and pairing it with appropriate copy for specific days.
4. Monitor and Collect Data
Use social media management software or built-in platform analytics to track and monitor data. This will provide insights into how your content is performing and what your audience is engaging with. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest have robust analytics tools that show your post’s performance over time.
5. Revisit and Adapt
Study your analytics to understand what works and what doesn’t. A social media calendar is a living document that evolves as you refine your strategy, improve your content, and find better ways to connect with your target audience. Don’t be afraid to make changes and adapt based on the data you collect.
Social Media Content Calendar Tools
Consider leveraging the following tools to streamline your social media calendar creation process:
Jasper is an AI writing assistant that offers copywriting templates to help you generate social media captions and headlines. While not a traditional “content calendar,” Jasper can assist with creating engaging social copy and headlines as you fill in your calendar.
Tailwind is a social media management tool designed for Pinterest and Instagram accounts. Along with creating a social media calendar, you can automate the posting process. Features like built-in pin design tools elevate your social efforts without leaving the platform, making it ideal for marketing teams focused on driving brand awareness on Pinterest.
Buffer is a popular social media management platform that allows you to plan and execute your social strategy through a calendar view. With Buffer, you can run campaigns on multiple social media platforms from a single place, streamlining your workflow.
Grow Your Social Media Presence with Zenith City News
A social media calendar provides the structure needed to maintain workflows and execute a successful marketing strategy. Whether you’re planning campaigns on LinkedIn or need to organize and automate your tweets, a calendar ensures your social media posts reach as many people as possible. Looking for fresh copy ideas? Sign up for Zenith City News and use Jasper to create unique and engaging content that resonates with your audience.