In this era where nearly every organization has some sort of Social Media presence, it is easy to be deceived that just being on Social Media and making posts randomly is enough. Trust me, it’s never enough!
To assume that it’s enough is as good as assuming that showing up for a tournament is all that you need to emerge as the winner.
In the world of professional sports, professionals understand how important it is to fine-tune your strategy before each game. They understand having a well-thought-out strategy makes it easier to win a game.
In the same way, you need a well-thought-out strategy to win in your Social Media Marketing as an individual or organization. That strategy is also known as a Social Media Content Calendar. This will place you in an advantaged position, and make it easier to meet your goals.
Before we go any further, what is a Social Media Content Calendar? We will be defining that in the next section.
What is a Social Media Content Calendar?
Backlinko defines a content calendar as a written schedule of when and where you plan to publish upcoming content. Content calendars typically include upcoming pieces, status updates, planned promotional activity, partnerships, and updates to existing content. See https://backlinko.com/hub/content/calendar, for more details.
CoSchedule defines a Social Media Content Calendar as a spreadsheet or app, used to schedule social media posts in advance. They are also used to plan when and which content will be shared, manage campaigns, and track deadlines. Visit https://coschedule.com/blog/annual-social-media-content-calendar, for more details.
So from the above, it is clear that a Social Media Calendar is a written schedule of which content you wish to publish on social media, when you wish to publish them, and where you wish to publish them. This calendar covers a specific period, such as a month, quarter, or year.
Benefits of having a Social Media Calendar
The following are some of the reasons why you should use a social media content calendar.
The Cambridge dictionary defines being Organized as being able to plan things carefully and keep things neat. This is what having a social media content calendar does for you.
Just as having a to-do list helps you remain organized, so does having a social media calendar helps you stay organized. You know exactly what you are to do throughout the entire week, month, or months ahead. So it’s easier for you to manage your work properly.
Be more productive
One of the advantages that come with being organized is that you become more productive. The time that would have been spent searching the internet daily for the next topic to post on, will be invested in planning and writing a post that would wow your audience.
This is why having all your social media posts planned in advance on your social media content calendar is always a winner for you.
Just as in blogs, one of the secrets of success in social media marketing is consistent posting. Having a social media content calendar helps you post consistently since you can plan ahead of time and fill all blanks in the calendar with some meaningful posts.
One thing that makes performance evaluation possible is having a yardstick to measure the performance. It would be near impossible to measure the performance of your social media content marketing if you do not have a calendar to measure it against.
With your social media content calendar, you can evaluate what you did poorly, what you missed, and what you did well. Those strategies that did not work can be identified and kickedout, while those that were successful can be fine-tuned and used again.
Plan Properly for Big Seasons
Every organization has its peak season, and seasons when business is barely getting by. For instance, companies in the hospitality industry will likely experience a boost in their business during holiday seasons.
Having a Social Media Content Calendar will help you plan to maximize your peak seasons. It will help you devote special time and resources for your peak seasons to ensure you maximize sales. This is why you are always betteroff with a social media content calendar.
How to Plan the Best 2021 Social Media Content Calendar to Organize Every Post?
So how do you plan the best 2021 social media content calendar?
To do so, follow these steps:
Inspect Your Social Networks and Content
Many times, an effective way to build-on, is to review the effort that has been made so far.
To start planning your best 2021 social media content calendar, simply review the efforts that have been made thus far.
Reviewing your activities will help you identify areas for improvement and other opportunities that could be exploited.
As you review your social networks and content, Hootsuite has compiled a list of what to look out for. Find them below:
- Impostor accounts and outdated profiles.
- Account security and passwords.
- Goals and KPI’s for each branded account by platform.
- Your Audience, their demographics, and personalities.
- Who is accountable for what work on your team.
- Your most successful posts, campaigns, and tactics.
- Gaps, underwhelming results, and opportunities for improvement.
- Key metrics for measuring future success on each platform.
Seehttps://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-content-calendar/, for more details.
Identify Your Social Channels
A few years ago, there would have been no need for this point because the social media platforms available were quite a few. But today, there are several social media platforms available foruse, with more emerging.
This is why your organization should identify the social media channels it wishes to exploit in reaching out toits target audience. Why is this necessary?
Firstly, your choice of social platform determines the kind of audience you would most likely engage. For instance, if you wish to engage young adults, you can consider adding TikTok to your social channels because the majority of her users are teenagers and young adults.
Secondly, your choice of social platform determines the kind of content you would most likely publish. TikTok and YouTube require videos. Selecting them would mean that you are prepared to make most or a good percentage of your content to be in video format.
The list goes on and on.
The key here is to understand that even as there are several social platforms you can maximize for your social media marketing; you should carefully choose those that will best help you achieve your goals.
Identify the data it should track
Every social media content calendar needs to track some key data to be useful. However, it is left with you to decide which data you wish for your calendar to track. A few common data tracked by social media content calendar are as follows:
- Time (and time zone).
- Visuals (e.g., photo, video, illustration, infographic, gif, etc.).
- Link to assets.
- Link to published post.
Hootsuite has a list of suggestions your calendar can track to make it more effective. Find them below:
- Platform-specific format (eg., feed post, IGTV, Story, poll, live stream, ads, shoppable posts, etc.)
- The vertical or campaign it’s affiliated with (eg., product launch, event, contests, annual giving, general brand awareness, customer service, etc.)
- Geo-targeting (i.e., is it global, North American, etc.)
- Value (i.e., Is it a short-lived topical post or a big-budget evergreen showpiece that could be recycled or cannibalized for parts down the line?)
- Paid or organic? (If paid, then additional budget details might be helpful)
- Has it been approved?
- Has it been posted? (If so, do you want to include the link with its UTM?)
- Analytics and results (Generally at this level of complexity you probably rely on your analytics reports to contain and explain this information.)
See https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-content-calendar/, for more details.
Make a Content Library
Copyblogger definesa content library as a bank of all the content assets owned by a company that is placed in a central, internal portal so other departments within that company can access that content. Visit https://copyblogger.com/what-is-a-content-library/#, for more details.
Simply put, a content library is a bank or repository, where the content assets belonging to an organization are stored.
Why is having this important?
It makes it easier for multiple persons from different locations to access the content easily. In addition, it will help ensure that content assets are not lost. Regardless of what happens to the computer hard drive of any colleague, the content assets remain safe.
However, before selecting a content library, the following are key considerations to make. Find them below:
- It’s spacious enough to contain large files.
- If it is accessible from multiple devices and locations simultaneously.
- If it has adequate privacy and security features to prevent it from being breached.
- It could provide links to individual files, that could be added to the content calendar for easy accessibility.
Establish a workflow
Another key step to take in your creating your amazing social media content calendar is to establish a workflow.
Establishing a workflow here refers to identifyinghow the activities captured in this calendar will be implemented. The following are some considerations to make as you prepare your workflow:
- How often you should post on each social media channel.
- The best time to post on each social media channel.
- What your content ratio will look like. To gain more insight on how to plan your content ratio, you can check out this article put together by Hootsuite – https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-best-practices/.
- Who needs to approve posts before they are uploaded and how the modalities for contacting them.
- What should be the process for brainstorming new content ideas, assigning them, and creating them?
After setting up a workflow, it is necessary to document it and make it as easily accessible as the content calendar, since it is meant to guide the entire content marketing team.
Start Writing out Your Posts
Having covered the basics, you are probably ready to start filling out your social media calendar with posts. As you write the posts on the calendar, you may want to review past calendars to give you insight on posts to include and ignore.
Furthermore, the insight gained earlier when you inspected your social channels and content, should form the basis from which you would make the decision on which post to choose or to ignore.
Contents that did well should be identified, improved on, and relaunched; while those that were not successful should be kicked out to make room for better ideas.
Topics that attracted very high engagement previously should be noted for reuse, and to inspire similar topics that could produce similar results.
Review it with the team
After filling out post ideas on your social media calendar, ensure to review them with your team. Everyone that is to make use of this calendar should be invited for the review.
In the course of the review, any error that was made could be spotted by other members of the team. Gaps that were overlooked can also be identified and filled appropriately.
In addition, important questions and clarifications that need to be made can also be done. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page concerning the new social media content calendar.
Once the review is done, and your social media calendar has been approved by the necessary authorities, your social media content calendar is ready to run!
You can start publishing your social media posts using this calendar as a guide to keep you on track.
So it is not that difficult after all to design your social media calendar! All you need do is follow these steps, and you will be pleased with the end product.
Wishing you success as go on to design your social media content calendar!