How to Create the Perfect Social Media Content Calendar

 In Blog, Social Media

A social media content calendar helps take the stress out of curating successful digital content. Picture this scenario: you juggle many different responsibilities at work. You work individually with clients, manage accounts, and so on. Before a meeting, one of your teammates asks you what you have planned for social content for the week. What… oh no! In your work-induced haze, you completely forgot to brainstorm any ideas (let alone schedule anything out)!

Crafting engaging social content on the fly can be incredibly taxing, stressful, and sometimes impossible to pull off. Content calendars help alleviate this by doing the following:

  • Keeping an organized schedule of future posts in a single document.
  • Cultivating collaboration across teams and departments.
  • Streamline the process of posting and scheduling social media posts across platforms.

There are social content calendar services and scheduling services like Hootsuite, Sprout, and Coschedule. Agencies use this software to keep everything organized and running on schedule. But what good is a tool if you don’t know how to use it? Save your brain the pain with our guide on how to build a social media content calendar.

Understand Your Audience

The first step in creating a useful social media calendar is understanding your audience demographics. Additionally, it helps to identify what your audience wants, needs, and dislikes. This is accomplished by creating audience personas: fictional people who represent your target audience based on data and market research.

Another way to accomplish this is by analyzing your existing content! Ask yourself these questions when looking at your account:

  • Which posts get the most likes?
  • Which posts get the most comments?
  • Which posts get the most shares?
  • Which posts get the most overall engagement?

From here, you can determine what your most popular themes are! Perhaps your followers go crazy over Instagram-able product pictures, or maybe they love cute dog videos (to be fair, who doesn’t). This will help when you’re planning out content for the week, month, or year

Create A Bare Bones Calendar (Ahead of Time)

After you’ve figured out what’s working for your business, it’s essential to plan out important dates and events. Make a list of noteworthy events throughout the year. These can include holidays, product launches, campaign start dates, annual events, sales, anything that is important to both your business and your audience!

Once you’ve created a rough skeleton of your content calendar, sort through your library of existing content. If you determine that the content is still usable, can be updated, and can be repurposed, consider marking it as “evergreen content” (content that is always relevant). Types of content that generally fall into this category include blog posts, videos, and Q&A’s.

These two categories of content will serve as the backbone of your social media calendar for the time being! Now, you can brainstorm a plan of attack for your weekly content.

Make A Game Plan

The next step in creating a successful and well-organized social media content calendar is determining your posting frequency.  How many times will you post per day? As a general best practice, businesses should aim to post 1-2 per day on Facebook and Instagram, 3-5 per day on Twitter, and ~20 times per month on LinkedIn.

Next – what type of content will you prioritize? Try utilizing the 80-20 rule: have 80 percent of your content aim to educate or entertain your audience and use the remaining 20 percent to promote your business directly. Loosely following this rule will help generate an engaged following, as well as further establish your business’ branding through your social content.

That being said, there’s no one definitive way to make a posting schedule. How often a business should post also depends on its industry, size of business, and demographics! These samples can give you the creative jump start you need to start your social media content calendar!

Then, create a plan with your team. How often will you meet to talk about ideas? The best designs happen when people come together. Scheduling out brainstorming sessions could lead to your next viral post!

Helpful Tips

  • Sectioning your social media calendar in weekly chunks will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by content.
  • In your social media calendar, be sure to include the post’s publish time, the theme, the copy, the post type, and the goal. Doing so will help you stay organized through your creative process.
  • Assessing how your content performed each week will give you continued ideas for social content, as well as ways to tweak your posting schedule.
  • When in doubt, look at what your competitors are doing!
  • Use a scheduling tool! Both Facebook and Twitter have built-in scheduling tools to use at your convenience. They will help keep your content (and your team) highly organized and will reduce stressful last-minute posting.

All of this a little too overwhelming? That’s okay – Social Fire Media specializes in crafting quality, relevant social media content for your brand! We can take the stress out of juggling the many platforms, scheduling options, and post types that work for your company. Contact us today to ask about our social media marketing services.

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