The elusive social media algorithms keep changing, making it more confusing and harder to reach your audience every day.
One thing we know for sure is that staying consistent and posting as often as you can helps your audience connect with you online. But, that doesn’t mean it always happens, especially for busy small businesses! Scrambling for social content is nothing new. That’s why it’s better to plan ahead. Learn how to create one of the most important tools in your digital marketing toolkit, the social media content calendar.
What is a Social Media Content Calendar?
Before we jump into creating a content calendar, let’s discuss what they are and how they help your business. A content calendar is a tool that organizations use to plan and schedule all marketing content in advance. It allows you to visualize how your content is distributed each week, month, quarter, or year.
Content calendars can be created in many different ways, depending on what works best for you. Some like a physical pen-and-paper calendar, a Google calendar works for some, or a spreadsheet with all the information you need.
Why Do I Need a Social Media Content Calendar?
Content calendars can make or break the implementation of a successful content marketing strategy. Besides helping you maintain consistent content, social media content calendars also help to keep you on track, identify and fill any gaps, ensure your content is fresh, improve efficiency, and avoid the panic of having to write something at the very last minute.
A content calendar will also help you to stay ahead of key events, holidays and other important dates. You won’t miss the opportunity to elevate your brand and engage with followers on work adversaries, birthdays, national holidays, and even the weird social media holidays like National Workaholics Day and National Get to Know Your Customer Day.
Our Marketing Manager, Allison, says “Content calendars are key for keeping up your posting consistency online! For busy business owners, it’s all too easy for social media to slip your mind. When you sit down and dedicate an hour or two to planning out and scheduling your media calendar for the week (or even better, the month!) you don’t have to keep up with creating new content each and every day. It’s a great way to get content done in batches and it saves you time in your day to day schedule.”
Types of Content to Share Online
Before creating your social media content calendar, you need to plan content around specific themes, goals, and campaigns. You have to think about what type of content makes sense for your business, brand, and target audience.
Here are the four main types of posts you can share online:
- Reels/TikToks. Short vertical videos are the number one way to grow your social media following online right now. These videos need to be snappy and share valuable information in order to be seen.
- Text. A text post is just what it sounds like, a post with only text. The copy in the post should include keywords that is relevant to your business, location, and industry. To further the reach of your post, we recommend adding 1-2 hashtags where they seem natural and fit.
- Images. Visual content catches the eyes of your audience but doesn’t add visuals just for the sake of it. Your pictures or graphics should be relevant to the post, your brand, and your voice. It’s also important to use quality images on social media.
- Videos. Video content can be either live-streamed or uploaded. Your video allows you to tell your audience a story while marketing your business at the same time.
- Links. Whether it’s a link to your site or an external link to an article by an industry leader, you should include relevant links on your social platforms. Need ideas of what to link? Think blog posts, service pages on your site, client reviews, Youtube videos, and more.
You can share blog posts, product/service promotions, user-generated content, articles, holidays, quotes, stats, or reviews. Depending on your business and industry, the type of content you share may be different. For example, a restaurant may share pictures or videos of food, promotional events, their seasonal menu, and user-generated content. Whereas a therapist may share blog posts, relevant articles, a voucher for a 30-minute session for new clients, or event invites.
In our free content calendar download (available below) we’ve given you an example of one week of content for a fictional eye doctor. We’ve based all of the posts for the week on a blog post that drives readers to make an appointment. Get the download to see six ways to share this one blog post!
Content Creation Tips
- Structure it around your sales cycle. Your content should always support at least one business goal whether it’s making a sale or increasing brand recognition. Creating a monthly theme will help keep you on track with your goals and planning posts that support making sales.
- Creating individual content for each social media channel. Though cross-posting saves time, it’s also important to create platform-specific content. Content that may perform well on Facebook may not get any engagement on Instagram or Twitter. Remember that every platform is different so you need to tailor your voice and visuals to each one.
- Allow for a bit of flexibility. Leaving an open space on your social media content calendar allows for authentic posting in real-time without spamming your followers’ feed. Whether you share relevant content from an industry leader or announce breaking news, it’s important to be authentic and allow for spontaneity.
- Get those creative juices flowing. Brainstorming content with your team and map out as ideas as you can. You can start by reviewing your best performing content, investigating your competitors’ social media presence, review your goals, and review popular industry hashtags. Use this brainstorming worksheet (a freebie from us) to structure your brainstorming for social media content.
Free Content Calendar Download
Get started with your social media content calendar! Download our free content calendar template and start using it to track your social media marketing efforts. This template is blank and just waiting for you to mark it up with your content. It’s a freebie so feel free to download and print as many as you’d like!
Planning, creating & scheduling content is our jam. Overwhelmed by scheduling your social media content? Let’s chat about it, click the button below to schedule a free strategy session.