In content marketing, using a social media content calendar and schedule to arrange your content is vital. By doing this, it allows you to manage your work and ensure your content is being published at relevant times. Using a social media content calendar is what will help you to succeed in meeting your marketing strategy’s goals.
Whether you need to meet a deadline for a client or reach a certain audience with your content, these tasks must be planned and completed promptly. Especially in the digital world – where information needs to be carefully organised to target your audience.
If you fall into random posting habits, this can negatively impact your content’s potential. You could be posting at a time when no one will see your content, or you could simply forget. Without a clear thought process in place, your content creation efforts could potentially be wasted.
What is a social media content calendar?
A social media content calendar is an effective tool to help you stay on track with your tasks. They are also useful for planning, organising, editing and scheduling your content. They are normally created as a written or digital schedule, with information on when and where you plan to publish content.
Usually, content calendars include:
- Incoming or outstanding pieces of work
- Social media status updates relating to each platform (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- Planned promotional activity (digital ads or influencer activity)
- Images to suit the written content
- Links for SEO purposes
- Any edits to existing content
For your marketing strategy, this handy tool will mainly be your guide to checking deadlines and targets are met.
How do I use social media content calendars?
You can easily incorporate a social media content calendar into your everyday working life. A social media content calendar is something that can be purchased as part of a subscription, or you can make your template in-house.
Your content team must be all granted access to the content calendar. This will allow everyone to be on the same page and not miss out on any updates. We advise using Google Docs or Google Sheets so that you can track changes made, leave suggestions and see if someone else is working on the shared document.
While they may take some time to get used to at first, a social media content calendar will work wonders for fulfilling your strategy.
How is a social media content calendar beneficial?
There are several ways smarter content planning can improve your strategic marketing plan. Here are a few we have found from experience:
They provide structure for your team
Whether you manage a team of 5 or 50 content writers, a content calendar will help you streamline their workload.
For example, if you have a social media team within your content team, you can ensure that only selected members have access to that specific social media calendar. You can also allocate tasks to an individual, as well as give others access to edit or simply view said task.
This way, you do not have to worry about content tasks getting confused between your staff and your strategy will continue to run smoothly.
They are useful archives
Content calendars do not just list tasks that are due. They also can be used as a catalogue of previous work.
This gives you the chance to compare content and refer to these documents for inspiration, audits or to see what content could be repurposed. This means you are getting the most out of your past efforts and can also identify opportunities for improvement.
This is also beneficial for writers and new joiners, as you can educate them with examples of in-house writing styles. This allows less time to be spent on training and editing, which will benefit your strategy in the long term.
They boost productivity when content planning
While motivation is key across all workplaces, it is a skill that can be easily lost and hard to regain. Content marketing strategies are not just grand plans that fall into place as we all know. They need to go through detailed stages of planning, executing and monitoring.
Although this is a big task, a content calendar is good for making to-do lists and can be satisfying to tick off once they are done. This can spur writers to focus and have something to aim towards. A content calendar can also measure progress and therefore benefit everyone involved, including your strategy.
They are a shared creative space
A content calendar acts as a hub for all things content related. This is great for creating a collaborative space, where writers can bounce ideas off one another and begin working on these tactics.
They are also a good space to make praises, offer support and suggest improvements. This can encourage professional growth in your writers and boost their morale.
The more your writers feel confident and creative in their roles, the more likely they will be to dedicate themselves to their tasks. As a result, this will aid your projects and also your content strategy progress.
They help decide posting times
If you manage a large team of content writers, social media writers and external copywriters, there is a high amount of content to oversee and schedule.
No effort must be wasted when it comes to publishing written content. Therefore. it is key that these pieces do not overlap or miss peak chances to be seen by their audiences.
A content calendar allows you to decide on enough time between posting content. They can even act as a rota for content, meaning you will get the most out of your work and see continuous results.
In summary, a content calendar is an ideal method for structuring and organising your content. They bring many benefits to not just your company and teams, but also you or your client’s important marketing strategy.
What is needed for a strategy to come to life and meet its goals is a clear path and resilient dedication. A content calendar will provide a plan and structure to help see your marketing endeavours through to success.
What Does A Social Media Content Calendar Include?
So, now that we know the benefits of using a social media content calendar, let’s take a look at what should actually be included for effective content planning. Normally, every social media content calendar should include the following elements:
- The time your social media post will be published on your page.
- The platform the social media post will be published on.
- The topic or event that you are covering in the post.
- Your caption.
- The media file that will be uploaded with the social media post.
All of these elements make up the foundations of your social media content and outlining these critical elements will help you clearly organise your content planning and ultimately save time when it comes to content creation. So, let’s take a closer look at each of these elements.
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive on a daily basis is, “What is the best time to post?”. This is a question that has circulated across different industries and marketers and the answer is constantly changing. However, one of the main starting points to rely on is that it’s important for businesses to identify when their followers are active online to ensure that the content reaches the correct audience at the right time.
With this in mind, a social media content calendar is beneficial for outlining days and times that you will post and use this as a reference when evaluating how your content performed. It is also useful to establish what time you will post as this helps keep your content organised. Therefore, outlining the time that you will publish the content will ensure that your content is organised and informed based on when your audience is most active online.
Marketers and businesses may be tasked with managing several social media profiles and so creating different content can be overwhelming without effective content planning. A social media content calendar is a great way to map out exactly what content will be posted across all of your social media platforms from a bird’s eye view.
In your content calendar, outline which platforms your content will be posted in order to manage content across several platforms. This will help you maintain a bird’s eye view of all of your content across different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Topic or Event
A great way to get a clear overview of your content is by outlining what topic or event your posts is addressing. Examples of your content topics include ‘client testimonial’, ‘meet the team’, and ‘how to use our new products’. Having your topic or event clearly outlined will help you and your team review the range of topics you have covered in the past and allows you the opportunity to identify any gaps within your social media calendar.
The caption with social media posts is one of the most important elements of your content. It can also be one of the most time consuming tasks as researching relevant keywords and hashtags may be required before writing your caption. However, planning your captions using a social media content calendar can help you reduce the time it takes to create the posts themselves and also gives you the opportunity to review your copywriting before publishing your content.
When you’re planning your content using a social media content calendar, it is also important to consider what media file you want to upload with your content. For example, outline whether your media file will be an image, a graphic, or a video so that you can effectively plan your content creation.
If you want to use your social media content calendar effectively, aim to capture or create your images and graphics early on in the content planning process and add these to your content calendar. Creating your content in batch is very beneficial when managing content as it ensures that your media files are ready to publish with your written content.
Once all of these elements are clearly outlined, you can ensure that your content is well informed, planned, and can be ready to carry over into your social media platforms for posting or ready to be scheduled using scheduling tools such as Meta Business Suite, Buffer, and Hootsuite.
If you need advice on content planning, social media or digital marketing strategy off the ground, or simply want advice about how to make your projects more efficient, contact ProfileTree using the links below.