Creating a Social Media Content Calendar and Strategy Plan That Works for Your Business
Staying on top of your business’ social media and juggling multiple platforms and engagement can feel overwhelming and unsustainable. A clear and concise content calendar is a great way to keep your ideas plotted out and your posts organized. Having a calendar with potential posts and automatic scheduling allows you to provide real time updates to your networks. Your planning should be strategic, streamlined, and effective. Creating a space where your ideas can be organized and well-developed presents so many benefits, especially when your time could be better spent on other important tasks.
What is a social media content calendar and why should you incorporate one into your business strategy?
A social media calendar gives you a detailed overview of your planned posts and helps keep your ideas organized. This mapped out content will save you time and energy in the long run and diminish the last minute anxiety of having to come up with new ideas on the spot. There are numerous benefits to creating a social media content calendar.
1. It will help to keep your ideas organized
A content calendar can help you stay on top of brand and marketing strategies. This sort of organized planning will allow you and your team to brainstorm new ideas and elaborate on your scheduled content.
2. Helps to maintain consistency
You want to be sure you are offering your followers valuable and relevant content. Maintaining a consistent posting schedule can help build trust with your followers.
3. Keep your audience engaged
With so much going on around you, it’s so easy to forget important dates and deadlines. Planning your content at least a month in advance can give you the time you need to plot these important dates and create an engaging post to showcase it.
4. Tracking performance
A social media calendar isn’t only an incredibly useful tool to save time. It allows us to look back on past content and track the performances of certain posts. This is a great way to see how posts performed and adjust marketing plans accordingly.
How to create a social media calendar
The primary purpose of a social media calendar is to set a consistent schedule for sharing and planning content that will reach a targeted audience and drive traffic to your profile and website. Before creating your calendar, you should plot content and post types around any business campaigns and set your goals.
This is the point at which you can determine your social media needs. Will you be incorporating blog posts, holiday content, UGC (user generated content), product promotions, and event announcements? Be sure to plot out asset needs, URL’s, and action items for your posts and organize these action items with your team.
Determine what your calendar should include
The first thing to decide is where your target audience is and what they are using. Understanding your audience will help you determine what kind of content you should be creating. At Stellaractive, we tend to recommend Facebook at the minimum. Depending on your services and your customers, you might want to consider adding Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. If you are considering creating multiple social media channels for your business, consider checking out some online resources on how to get started.
After you have your platforms selected, deciding how often you want to publish your content is a good next step. There are factors to consider when making this decision such as resource availability, free time, and business size. Communicating what posts will go up on a certain date can get your followers excited and will allow them to know when to expect certain posts.
Publish time (and time zone)
Your posting time is very important. Instagram favors posts that have a higher amount of engagement shortly following when it was posted. In order to find the best times to post, you should do an in depth review of how your audience interacts with your content. By using this data, you can evaluate the best times to post for the highest level of engagement.
Copy and creative asset needs (e.g., photo, video, illustration, infographic, gif, etc.)
Consider the sort of content you would like to post for the month. Is there a holiday coming up or is there a topic you would like to highlight? Find the right photo or graphic and write your copy and you can send it to your team for review. Use the feedback to improve the content and get it all scheduled.
Determine if you need to use a social media scheduling tool
If your business is just getting started on Facebook, this option might not be for you. However, if you’re posting on multiple social media platforms and are looking to increase your posting frequency and customer engagement, then we often recommend using a scheduling tool to streamline your process. Options like Gain, Zoho (both of which we use at Stellaractive), Hootsuite, or Sprout Social might make sense for your needs. There are many other options available, and many provide a free basic account or a trial account. These tools let you schedule many posts at once so you can set it and forget it! A scheduling tool is also perfect for collaborative work with a team or a great streamlined process for approvals.
Why is a social media calendar important for your business?
- It helps organize your thoughts and streamline content. It is also a massive time saver, and who doesn’t want to take a vacation without worrying about posting?
- There is an immense ease to consistent posting.
- Help to reduce typos and greater mistakes that can be avoided in the earlier stages of planning.
- Allows the ability to create higher quality content and gather supportive graphics and videos.
- You can time out your content for important dates and holidays and give you the opportunity to leave space for emergencies if they come up. You can also map time-sensitive content ahead of time and plan ahead for launches and important announcements.
- Tracking what is working and what isn’t. This can be really helpful when A/B testing or tracking analytic data to create future posts.
Need a little support elevating your brand? Contact Stellaractive for your website and marketing needs!
Stellaractive is a strategy-driven creative agency in Portland, Oregon. We help companies elevate their brand through websites, print, branding, and digital marketing solutions that connect, engage, inform, and inspire. We’ve been helping clients across the U.S. build their online presence for more than 15 years, and we can help you, too. Request a quote or call us at 503-384-2413 today!