Are you looking to improve your social media strategy? We might have the answer to your problems.
We have prepared a list of best practices for a social media calendar that will improve your reach and engagement on all your social media platforms. Keep reading to get a glimpse at a high-performing content calendar strategy.
What Is a Social Media Calendar?
A social media calendar is used to plan and schedule posts for months or even a year ahead of time. Why? Because it offers the possibility to follow deadlines, analyze results, and contribute to an easy-going workflow within the team. You can create the calendar in paper form, spreadsheets, or simply by using a software.
We know that organizing a social media posting system is not an easy task. Luckily for you, we have all the tips and tricks at your disposal.
1. Choose Your Social Media Platforms
The first question you need to ask yourself is: which social media platforms would be relevant for me and my target audience?
You don’t want to put a lot of effort into a content marketing strategy and not have people engaging with it.
The first step is to research your consumer’s behavior online and base your social media strategy on this valuable data. Just because there are many online platforms out there, doesn’t mean that you should have an account on all of them. This will just lead to a waste of time and resources that won’t bring significant results.
2. Review Your Social Media Activity
Before developing a social media posting system, conduct an evaluation to learn how you can improve your content strategy. Next, look at what you are doing right and find out what you can change for the better.
Pay attention to:
- Information about your audience and their activity online
- Well-performing posts
- Unsuccessful content
- Essential metrics for awareness, engagement, and conversion
Your own experience is the best teacher. So make sure you reinvent your strategy to surpass past results.
3. Decide on Your Social Media Posts
Planning is not the most creative part of your content strategy, but it can save you from the times when you lack inspiration. How? Well, having an organized posting schedule takes away from the pressure of social media management. This way, you never have to stress about what and where to post next. All that is left is to give some thanks to your past self.
Ideas for social media posts:
- Creating posts with helpful information for the audience
- Sharing blog posts
- Resharing older posts
- Posting images and videos
- Letting people know about your promotions
- Making announcements
- Promoting events
- Covering holiday topics
It all comes down to four types of social media posts: text, images, videos, and links. Therefore, a mix of these posts can diversify your content on social media.
By coming up with content ideas for a longer period, you have the time to reflect on your campaigns and find ways to make your social media management more efficient. Moreover, keep in mind any sales, events, and product launches you might have prepared during the year.
Also, don’t forget to add holidays as a part of your content calendar.
4. Stay Organized
Give your calendar color and structure. As a result, you will have a plan that is easy to read and follow.
Social media posts need to be organized based on the social media platforms you are using. A helpful way to keep the process easy to manage is to use a color-coding system. Assign a specific color to each platform so that it is easier to keep track of your schedule. You can also assign colors to months, promotions, or different campaigns you planned ahead of time—the opportunities are endless.
Map out the most important information you want to keep track of in your content marketing plan. Keep in mind that there is no universal formula for a calendar. What structure works best for you is the right choice.
The most common elements of a content calendar:
- Social media platform
- Date specifications
- Posting time
- The copy text
- Additional visual elements
- Links leading to the content
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5. Search for Useful Visuals
A great copy needs to be emphasized by the right visuals, but finding the appropriate material can be time-consuming. To avoid wasting time while writing the copy, keep a folder with valuable images, videos, or gifs that can be used for your planned posts. Furthermore, make them easy to find by coming up with an efficient naming system. This way, you will be able to find them without going through all the images in your folder.
6. Set a Posting Time Interval for Your Posts
Deciding on how often you should post your social media content can be difficult. Naturally, you want to be an active presence on social media, not a spam account.
Consistency leads to engagement. Therefore, you need to be active to grow organically on social media platforms. How does a social media calendar help in this case? It assures a consistent posting pattern even in weeks of slow activity.
The goal is to reach as many people from your target audience as possible so that you can increase your following.
Post frequency on the main social media platforms
You might find it helpful to learn what are the best posting patterns for each platform. Keep reading for some helpful insight into the most popular social media channels.
One post per day for Facebook would be ideal. At the same time, posting more than two times a day can be considered aggressive. However, it is important to not go to the other extreme and keep posting at least three times a week.
The posting schedule should be customized to your audience. Use Facebook Insights to find out when your following is online to increase the reach of your posts.
Instagram is a visual platform with a similar posting pattern to Facebook. Therefore, you can post from one to three times a day to get the best results, and at least three times a week.
Don’t forget about the hashtags.
On Twitter, more is more. That is why successful accounts post dozens of times a day.
To balance the amount of time put into posting on Twitter and to maintain a good level of relevancy, it is recommended to post at least five times a day. Moreover, if you want optimal results, a good 15 to 20 posts would do the trick.
LinkedIn is not a high-maintenance platform. It is like the cat of all social media platforms.
A good posting schedule on LinkedIn consists of two posts per week and a maximum of one post each day.
When it comes to Youtube, a weekly schedule is ideal. Becoming a dependable source of information or entertainment for your audience is detrimental. Moreover, quality is a must in the world of video creation, and typically it takes longer to get your content ready for posting.
TikTok is still new uncharted territory with plenty of influence, making it a great social media channel to have. What we know until now? TikTok offers freedom, meaning you don’t have to worry if you post too much.
To succeed on TikTok, you have to practice and see what works. The algorithm works in mysterious ways. But what we know for sure is that following the relevant trends and using popular sounds can significantly boost your reach.
7. Organize Your Workflow
With all the details in place, it is time to decide on the best course of action. The goal is to make the process smoother and easier to follow. As a result, you will have a work plan that will give structure to a workday.
Next, inform your team about the logical steps of the process to ensure efficient collaboration. The team needs to review and understand the calendar because they will be the ones to use it. This will help make the system more intuitive and clear for all teammates.
8. Start Working on Your Social Media Content
All the details are set. Now it’s time to get creative!
First, check all the information available to you and create the content with it in mind. Secondly, look at the platforms you need to create content for and pay attention to any character limitations. During this step, introduce the practices that will lead to better performance on that platform, for example, hashtags, image size demands, emojis, visuals, and other useful details.
Lastly, respect the deadline and stick to the schedule. A social media calendar is developed to increase performance. Moreover, all the details have a purpose, and by ignoring them, you will ruin your chances for a successful content marketing strategy.
By putting your calendar to practice, you will find out how efficient it is and what could use improvement. Don’t be afraid to change it as you go, it’s part of the process.
9. Schedule Your Posts
If you don’t have the necessary analytics, you can always research your competition to see their most successful posts and their timing. Furthermore, use the data available to your advantage, but customize it to your target audience. It is important that your audience is online when you post your content.
Diversify your content topics. Make sure you keep things interesting for your followers. If you have multiple posts on the same subjects, don’t post them one after another. Rather, find a formula that excitingly mixes your content.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your schedule. At the end of the day, developing a content calendar is a constant work in progress. What you need to focus on is understanding the audience and fine-tuning your content based on their needs.
We have prepared some tool suggestions that will help you get started with your social media calendar:
Excel is gold for staying efficient and organized at the workplace. How many benefits can just one tool have? From financial plans to social media calendars, you have an all-in-one tool that can manage your business. Also, with Google Sheets, you have the flexibility to access and modify the document whenever you want. Excel is a great partner for your social media management journey.
If you want a tool that already has a calendar structure, Google Calendar is for you. Also, it has visual features that allow you to highlight with the color of your choice to stay organized. As a plus, you will have a well-designed calendar that it’s also pleasant to look at.
However, it is best used for simple, more short-term-oriented social media calendars. A definite advantage is a feature to set up reminders. As a result, you will not forget about your tasks, and you will maintain an organized workflow.
Trello is a great way to keep you and your team coordinated. You can make lists that provide a comprehensive look at what you have to do, what is being done, and what you have to deal with. It also offers transparency since everybody can see all the work that happens within a day.
Moreover, Trello has a calendar feature used to set reminders for each task created. It is a workspace that works with cards where you can place text, images, create checklists, and set deadlines.
If you want an all-in-one tool that can organize, schedule, and post your social media content, you are in luck. SocialBee provides a series of advantages to help you with your social media strategy. Here are some of them:
- Create content categories for your posts: You can move your content from one category to another, schedule based on categories, and also pause or reschedule the content you want. Moreover, you can also organize hashtags by categories
- Customize your content: Adapt your content based on the platform you are posting for optimal results
- Edit posts: You can make adjustments to your category post for more at the same time, such as assign, approve, dismiss and delete
- Share content on social media: You can post the content on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google my Business
- Expire posts: You can always set for a post to expire after they reached the optimal amount of posting times
- Email notification: You can follow the posting process by receiving a notification for every important action
- Calendar view: You can see the big picture and track your content strategy
- Import and edit your content: You have a multitude of uploading formats, from different sources in record time
- URLs customization and tracking: Make your links short and track them by setting custom UTM and Ref parameters
- Improve teamwork: Create workspaces, assign roles and improve your content with valuable feedback. Furthermore, you can check the posts that need approval before going live
The Benefits of a Social Media Calendar
A social media calendar not only organizes your posting patterns but also provides a better working strategy for your team. Still not convinced about the benefits of such a practice? Let’s review some of the benefits of social media planning:
- It maintains a consistent posting schedule: Your audience will gain more trust in your efforts to provide quality information. As a result, you will have a higher reach and engagement. Moreover, you will stay on schedule and reach all your deadlines
- It offers a big picture view: By having all the planned content in front of your eyes, you will be able to see if all your efforts are painting the picture of your brand that you envisioned. Are you putting out the right message? Is your content a good representation of your company?
- It provides an efficient workflow: Because all the elements of a social media post are in place, the content creation process is automatically faster and easier to manage
- It enables you to track your social media results: After every post, you can write valuable information about the performance it had on social media. All the data will give you the right insight that will help you improve your influencer skills
- It optimizes your results: Nothing is worse than having a great post get lost on social media. With such a huge influx of information, your target audience may never see what you post. But don’t worry! With a social media calendar, you can plan and set posts at the optimal time, when your audience is online and scrolling through the feed
The most powerful social media strategies are based on research, strategy, and organization.
Implementing a calendar in your content planning can help you do all that. By using all the information above, you will improve your social media presence, and also enhance the workflow of your team. So, what are you waiting for?
If you need more help with your social media strategy, book a walk-through of our app to find out more about building a social media calendar in SocialBee!