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Table of Contents
What is a social media content calendar?
Social media content calendars are spreadsheets or apps that help you to stay organized with deadlines and social media marketing campaigns and let you and your team see the business’s social schedule in a visual format. They also help define your social media strategy ahead of time and ensure consistent posting across all of your social channels.
Why is a social media content calendar important?
A social media editorial calendar is crucial for the organization, efficiency, and overall social team communication of a marketing team.
Let’s explore a few other reasons why business owners, content creators, and social media managers should invest time building a publishing schedule in advance.
Plan around industry events.
In every industry, there are several industry-related events. It’s critical that your business is involved in these. Ideally, your business will have social messaging or an entire marketing campaign around these industry events to get in front of your audience.
Position yourself as a thought leader in your space.
No matter your business’s industry, you want to position yourself as an expert in that field. You can build trust with your audience by discussing innovative ideas and inspiring people to take action. When your audience trusts what you are saying, they should want to learn from you and begin to seek out what your business is posting.
Stay organized and see all of your social posts at a glance.
By staying organized, you will ultimately save time and be able to reallocate that time elsewhere. A social media calendar lets you organize your social strategy at a glance—allowing you to see all of your business’s social posts on 1 screen.
Save time and plan your posts ahead of time.
Planning ensures you won’t encounter writers’ block when the biggest event of the year is right around the corner. Additionally, by planning ahead, you allow yourself time to review and make sure that the right tone of voice and content is used across different social networks.
Consistently engage with your audience and community.
Ideally, your audience can depend on your business to post regularly. This level of consistency helps increase their overall engagement and helps your business’s brand build relationships across networks.
Visualize your social schedule.
Not all social calendars are created equal. What you are looking for is a visualization of your social schedule. This lets you literally glance at your social calendar and see what’s happening and when. Without the visualization aspect, you will be digging through your spreadsheet, looking for individual posts.
Communicate to your team what is going live on social media.
If you have employees, they need to be in the know. Aside from building relationships, social media marketing is all about amplifying your business’s brand. Your team is a great source to help boost all of your social posts.
How to create a social media calendar?
Okay, so it’s clear why you need 1 of these bad boys.
But there’s 1 question left to answer: what should be on a social media content calendar? Work through these 8 steps to perfectly plan your content.
1. Audit your existing social media efforts
Start by performing an audit of your current social media campaigns.
- When you’re posting
- What content is being distributed
- What content types are getting the most engagement (and why?)
- Where any content can be reused or repurposed
2. Determine the social channels and content mix you’ll use
This is really 2 steps.
The first is to determine which of the various social channels you’re going to take advantage of:
Not all of them will be relevant to your audience, so start by finding where they are and then consider narrowing down even further to target just 2 or 3 channels (better to go in strong than spread yourself thin).
Next, what does your content mix look like? For example, what will the distribution between video, image, and text-only posts be?
3. Identify opportunities for partnerships or sponsored content
It’s always a smart move to leverage someone else’s audience.
Look for opportunities to work with:
- Other companies in your field
- Industry experts and leaders
These opportunities might involve collaborating on content or simply resharing each other’s social media posts for mutual benefit.
4. Plan content for specific channels
Now we’re getting to the nitty-gritty.
Let’s say you’ve identified that you’re going to use Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube and that you’re going to aim for a 20/50/30 split of video, image, and text-only posts.
The next step is to plan the specific content you will post on each channel.
For example, maybe you want to create 1 long-form video per month, published on YouTube, then edit it down to repurpose for Instagram reels.
What will that video look like in January, February, etc.?
5. Organize publishing by dates
Now, plug all the content types you’ve decided on into the calendar and organize your publishing dates.
For example, the video for May. Are you going to publish that on YouTube on May 1st or May 15th? And what about the Instagram reel?
6. Assign responsibilities
A good calendar should outline exactly who is responsible for what and when.
So, who is in charge of:
- Content production
- Content editing and approval
- Publishing and scheduling
7. Have your team provide feedback on the calendar
Before launching a social media campaign and executing it, ask your team for advice.
They might be able to provide a better workflow or have concerns with publishing dates. Running the social media calendar past your team is not only going to yield some great advice but will help with getting their buy-in.
8. Decide on a review cadence
Lastly, before you dig right in, determine how and when you’re going to review the efficacy of your social media strategy.
How often are you going to report, and who is responsible for that? When is an appropriate time to make adjustments to the calendar?
Now, you’re ready to get started!
Oh, you haven’t created a calendar yet? Well, you can get started quickly with our free template!
How to optimize our social calendar
The ActiveCampaign social media content calendar template is designed to ensure your business can:
- Maintain a consistent schedule for posting across social channels
- Position your business as a thought leader and not miss holidays or events
- Give your audience a varied mix of content
- Communicate better across your team
- Stay organized, plan ahead, and save time
Features you will find in the ActiveCampaign social media content calendar template are:
- Twitter character counter
- Pinterest character counter
- Social image size recommendations
- Planning messages across 5 platforms—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest
- An overview tab to view all social posts, campaigns, and messaging at a glance
- Automatically pass inputs from the overview tab to the individual social platform tabs
- The calendar can be customized based on your business’s needs. For example, you may want to add a section for Snapchat if your target audience is between the ages of 18 and 24.