How to create a social media content calendar that drives engagement
Keeping your social media posts regular is like hanging an ‘open for business’ sign on your door – it lets your customers know you’re still there, ready to take their order. Posting regularly shows that your business hasn’t gone stagnant, but it can be hard to keep up with posting on a regular schedule.
Luckily for you, there are content calendars to help with that! They can help you create a reliable strategy when it comes to posting content on social media, with the ability to track and even automate posts. Interested? Listen up, and we’ll tell you more…
What is a social media content calendar?
A social media content calendar, as well as being a mouthful, is a planning document that can organise your publishing schedule. Depending on the one you use (an online version, like those offered by Monday.com or Asana, or one integrated into another platform like Slack, versus a physical or even digital homemade one), you can do different things.
Tracking deadlines, creating regular posts on a schedule and organising content by type or date is also possible when using a content calendar. They’re great for overall organisation, as they leave you with enough time to plan ahead for posts based around holidays, business topics or recent news.
Social media content calendars pace your team in order to remove overwhelm, and minimise the risk of forgetting a post or mistiming it. This ensures that the content is of better quality overall, as this is how your business is displayed to the world. It’s important to get things like this right!
Why might you be better off without a professional website?
You might want to rush out and get started right away, but you should make sure you’re really ready first. Make all the adjustments you need, and make sure you’re ready before showing yourself off to the world. Check and double-check your company’s branding materials, goals and any other public information again before you even consider a website!
Some brands will purchase the domain in advance and spend their time in the shadows perfecting their website, before debuting when they’re ready. But that’s only if they have designers and coders in-house; crafting an amazing website takes money, experience and time when using professionals.
It’s best to ask yourself whether you need a professional website right now; it might be best to spend your time and money on other areas first, like hiring staff, organising your departments or establishing your brand so you actually have something to depict on your site. There are many alternatives to a website you could focus on first instead, such as active social media profiles or an informational LinkedIn page.
Where do you start with a content creation schedule?
If you want to make your own, you should include a tracker with some key information:
- A colour-coded key to separate between post type (social teasers, blog advertisements, product launches or any other post)
- URLs and links so the team can access the post to make edits
- Date and time of the post
- A brief synopsis of the post to make it easier to understand at a glance
- The channel you’ll be posting on to make cross-platform posts easier to manage
Software may have this built in (like Slack), so it may just be a matter of filling in boxes!
Creating an effective content schedule
To make sure your content calendar is as effective as can be, identify what you want to achieve and build it around your goals. Are you posting enough to keep your audience engaged, but not so much that they become annoyed? Make sure you’re on the right channels (and posting matched content, meaning Instagram posts are short and sweet, whereas LinkedIn ones may be longer) and have the right content.
You should make sure all your team members are on the right track, so consider having them sign off to another department to make sure the content is properly polished. For example, have the content writers sign off to the proofreading team before the post reaches the social media team.
Make sure your content calendar takes the audience into account; this may influence posting times or even the content itself. Ensure you’re sharing stories representative of your community – otherwise, your post won’t appeal to anyone. Consider using a template to make the whole process fast and easy, or even a scheduling app like Calendly to ensure consistent posting at suitable times.
I’ll have to check my diary!
That was all about social media content calendars – remember, you can adapt them to be used for blog posts or other things, too. You’ll be able to make your own now by following these tips, with or without an online program, so get scheduling. Just make sure your content plan aligns with your company values and communicates what it needs to, and you’ll be all set!