Most businesses have by now realized that social media plays an important role in their inbound marketing strategies. Yet, many businesses struggle to find a firm footing on social media and their overall social media strategy usually goes nowhere. This can be attributed to the fact that most brands post in a reactive way or simply lack clear goals and audience research.
A social media calendar helps you is a systematic representation of your social media strategy, based on research such as buyer persona, target audience, competitor strategy, content types, etc. A social media calendar also helps you stay ahead in terms of researching and creating content and maintaining consistency.
Many businesses confuse a social media calendar and a social media plan. A social media plan details your inbound strategies, while a social media calendar plans the content to execute those strategies.
Step 1: Conduct a social media audit
To get started on an effective social media calendar, it is pertinent to conduct a social media audit. It will help you identify gaps in your social media plan and plan content accordingly.
Step 2: Know your goals
Every content piece in your social media calendar must be tied to a goal. For that, you must first be clear about what objectives you want to achieve on social media. Some examples are growing followers, generating leads or improving sales, increasing brand awareness, boosting brand engagement, driving traffic to the website, etc.
Step 3: Identify your platforms
Not every platform needs to be incorporated into your social media strategy. If your audience is not present or active on a particular platform, maintaining a presence there is waste of time and resources, which could be used to focus on the more important platforms to grow your presence and boost engagement. Research each platform’s demographics well and determine if putting efforts into creating content for them is worth it to reach your goals.
Step 4: Plan your content
Often, one of the several roadblocks businesses face is what to post on social media. Research relevant keywords, hashtags and trending topics that your target audience regularly engages with. Also, keep track of holidays and important dates. Starting your plan around holidays and special day themes is also a good idea as it helps you plan in advance. Content can be divided into types (visuals, videos, infographics, blogs, etc.) or categories (original, shared/reposts, user-generated) to ensure more clarity and better distribution of content across the calendar.
Step 5: Create a calendar
Now that you have what works, where it works and when it works, plot a calendar that includes the primary information needed to create and schedule your content.
Some of the information that must be included is:
Asset Link (if applicable)
Hashtags (if applicable)
Visual/Video link (if applicable)
Character count (for Twitter)
Other optional information associated with the posts could be added such as geotargeting, campaign name, platform-specific instructions, etc.
Benefits of Having a Social Media Calendar
– Ensures consistency in posting
– Aligns content with marketing goals
– Helps you think ahead
– Easier to evaluate and measure performance
– Makes inbound marketing more efficient
The purpose of a social media calendar is to help you organize your ideas, plan ahead, and manage your social media efficiently. Hopefully, this guide will help you create the perfect social media content calendar for your business.