For any marketing professional, one of the most important tools you can have in your arsenal will be a social media content calendar. You can save countless hours by planning and scheduling your content posts, and a great many errors can also be avoided by using this kind of calendar. It will also help you to establish consistency and continuity with all your followers and business associates. Having a calendar will also provide visibility to the rest of your department or your company about your plans for future posts.
That means they won’t have to take the time to query you specifically about what you’re planning to do in the future, because it’s right there in the calendar for everyone to see. This being the case, it would be much easier for your colleagues to provide you with helpful information on social media strategy, and to find content from within the organization which can be used for future posts. Finally, having a social media calendar will provide you with an excellent overview of your social media strategy for the coming months, and it can help improve your approach to posting content.
The first decision you’ll need to make when creating a social media calendar is about the appropriate content for each target audience you’re dealing with. Before you just start churning out content, you’ll need to do some research about which type of content resonates with your audience. You’ll want to know the kind of content that addresses their problems and their needs, so they will find your content compelling and useful.
Facebook users for instance, might not be interested in the kind of content you post on Instagram, so you’ll have to tailor your content to the individual platform you’re posting on, as well as to the target group you’re dealing with. You should also consider how you will determine whether your content has been successful or not. What will you use as a metric for success? It could be the number of sales conversions you have, or simply the number of clicks your content generates. Once you know which kind of content appeals most to a given audience on a given platform, you will be better able to develop appropriate content for each set of specific circumstances.
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Posting frequency is a touchier issue than most people are aware of. If you don’t post frequently enough, it can negatively impact engagement with your users, and it can result in less than desirable brand recognition. On the other hand, if you post too frequently, it can have the effect of driving your audience away, because they get tired of seeing so much content. According to Buffer, each of the major social media platforms has a different ideal frequency for posting.
On Twitter for example, studies have shown that engagement will decrease after a person has tweeted three times in the same day. For Facebook, twice per day is actually the ideal number, since anything beyond two posts in the same day shows a dramatic dropoff in reader interest. When talking about LinkedIn, only once per day will be the ideal posting frequency.
All you have to do on LinkedIn is post once each weekday, and you will have reached more than 60% of your target audience. Strategy would be much different on Pinterest, where you might easily post as many as five times per day without turning off followers. There doesn’t seem to be any drop-off on Instagram when you post twice a day, so that might be a good guideline for Instagram posts.
Choosing a social media publishing tool
When you get around to choosing a social media publishing tool, you’ll have lots of choices at your disposal for uploading of content in volume. All you’ll have to do is create your social media posts in a pre-determined format, and your calendar tool will be able to schedule them all at once, so you don’t have any tedious manual scheduling of posts.
Many of these tools operate on .CSV files, so you may want to create your social media calendar in some kind of document which you will be able to export into a .CSV file. This will make the whole process run more smoothly, and it will avoid having to use multiple document formats which might tend to confuse the issue.
Getting your posts approved
When setting up your social media calendar, you may also have to take into account exactly what the approval hierarchy is like at your company. If you have some kind of chain of approval that your posts will have to go through, you should make sure to use a calendar tool which allows for multiple people to review the content and approve it. This is also true if you’re not the only person creating content for social media platforms.
It will be very helpful if all content can be reviewed by whoever has power of approval, and that means any posts other than yours should also be visible to the appropriate manager. This will save you tons of time by not having to do tag-team emails back and forth to obtain approval for content. Then it will be important for you to set up your calendar to accommodate your posting frequency. Once you’ve uploaded your content, you will have a better idea of what your total workload is, and how much time it takes to populate your calendar.
While it may take a significant amount of time to set up your social media content calendar, once you have it all set, it can literally save you tons of time and effort in the future. The advantages you gain from having a social media content calendar in place will allow you to have increased visibility across your entire workplace, you’ll have easier messaging and tracking of posts, and workflows will be streamlined for both you and anyone else making use of the calendar.
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