How to Create a Social Media Calendar
Creating attractive content is more than just haphazardly posting a picture and quote to your Instagram account. The content must be well-planned, appealing to your customers, and consistent enough to reach your ideal audience (but not too often). To successfully do this, we suggest creating a social media calendar that will keep you organized and on-track to meet your goals. Some businesses post more than 20 times a day on multiple platforms, so having a calendar might help you stay on schedule while being more strategic with your marketing efforts.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to create a social media calendar in six steps, so you can attract new followers and engage with them on your social media accounts.
6 Tips for Creating a Social Media Calendar for Your Business:
1. Understand What Content Resonates with Your Customers
If you’re already producing content, conduct a social media audit and see which posts have the best engagement.
In comparison, if you aren’t creating content, check out your competitor’s social media pages to see what content resonates with their audience and use that as a starting point. In addition, you should work on creating images, videos, text with emojis, or share other someone else’s content that’s relevant to your customers (if they aren’t competitors). This will help you understand what content to put on your calendar.
2. Make a List of Important Dates
There’s a “national day” for almost everything — so you don’t want to miss one that’s applicable to your business. For instance, if you own a spa, you should post about National Nail Polish Day (June 1), and if you run a bakery you’ll want to create content for National Peach Pie Day (August 24).
In addition to industry-specific days, you should also take advantage of more general national days such as National Employee Appreciation Day and Get to Know Your Customers Day. To start, review a list of all the national days and write down which ones are related to your business, then add them to your social media calendar. This way, even when you are low on ideas, you can post about these topics. Plus, these national days generate significant traffic, so it could be a great way to attract followers.
3. Decide How Often to Post
According to research from Social Report, each platform requires a different number of posts to reach optimal engagement. You should post one to two times a day on Facebook and Instagram, three to five times a day on Twitter, three times a day on Pinterest, and once a day on LinkedIn. Once you understand this, having a calendar is key because you can see if you have enough posts each day to meet your target number of posts.
4. Choose the Calendar Format That Works Best for You
First you’ll want to decide if you’re going to use a calendar template or software. If your team likes using Excel, you might benefit from using a social media calendar template that is Excel friendly, like these examples:
- Small Business Trend’s Social Media Calendar
- HubSpot’s Social Media Content Calendar
- CoSchedule’s Social Media Content Calendar
- Smartsheet’s Social Media Templates
If you prefer a software-based calendar, there are a few options that you can decide between. For example, Sprout Social has a Social Media Planning Tool for as little as $99 per month. Or, you might benefit from Buffer’s Pro plan, which is $15 per month for one user, with business plans that start at $99 per month for up to 5 additional team members.
5. Insert the Content into Your Social Media Calendar
For each post on your calendar you’ll want to include the content, image, and social media network you’re posting on, in addition to the time you plan on posting. Once it’s scheduled you can highlight it to signify that it’s ready to go. This will help you stay organized and know which posts still need to be published.
In addition, you should decide who’s responsible for filling out the calendar and who must approve the content before it’s published. This can be time-consuming, so having an intern fill out the calendar with a manager’s final approval could be beneficial.
6. Use Software to Schedule and Publish Your Content
It’s time-consuming to manually post content each day, so software like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social can be invaluable. These programs will not only publish the content for you, but they’ll let you schedule the content in advance and tell you optimal times for posting based on data. They can also integrate with your social media calendar for a seamless experience. You can take an hour on Monday morning to plug in all your content and you don’t need to worry about publishing for the rest of the week. These programs will also allow you to respond to comments in the program and engage with your followers.
Having a social media calendar can be integral to your social media strategy and overall marketing strategy. It keeps all your social media efforts organized and allows you to view your content in one place. Social media posts might influence consumers to purchase your products, so make sure that you put focus on this channel by using a social media calendar as your guide!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.