Is your social media strategy feeling a little bit like an improvised wedding speech from your uncle—rambling and a little embarrassing? When it comes to toasting or posting, it's better to plan ahead.
Having a space for your team to organize and clearly map out your social strategy will ensure everyone’s on the same page and improve the quality of your content.
What is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is a comprehensive schedule that organizes when content should be published, which channels to publish to, content topics, events, and more. Your calendar could be a simple working document or an extensive spreadsheet depending on your company’s needs. The important thing is that your social strategy is organized in a way that makes your life easier.
Here are some other benefits of having a content calendar.
Planning Ahead Leads to Better Content
Trying to come up with quality content on the fly can be like trying to eat healthy without grocery shopping—you end up in a fast-food drive-through wishing you had planned better.
With a clear plan of what types of content you’ll post, how often you’ll post, and which topics you’ll post about, you don’t have to scramble to throw something together last minute. Planning ahead ensures that your social strategy is well organized and designed to meet your goals.
Find Out What Works and Make it Better
The post-it-and-forget-about-it approach might work for your personal social media, but tracking results matters when it comes to your business.
Content calendars make it easier to understand past performance and improve your game plan. With all of your posts clearly mapped on a calendar, you can easily track which types of content perform best and the best times to post. Plus, it makes it simple to track experiments like A/B tests.
Be Consistent with Your Posting
If you’re trying to grow your audience and create real engagement on social media, posting consistently is key.
Customers don’t like being bombarded by brands that Tweet too much and seem spammy. On the other hand, if you don’t post frequently enough, your audience might never see your content. Mapping your posts on a content calendar will help you find the right balance for your business and create a better relationship with your audience.
Never Miss Out on Holidays and Big Moments
Holidays and notable events usually become trending topics on social channels, which presents an opportunity for you to reach audiences that wouldn’t usually see your posts. All you need is a way to make sure you don’t miss them.
Having big days planned ahead on your calendar allows you to tailor your content and join in on the conversation. Plus, with your regular posts already scheduled ahead of time, you’ll have more creative energy to engage with topical events that pop up unexpectedly.
Take Your Social Media Strategy to the Next Level
It’s hard to get creative and execute ambitious projects if your social strategy is disorganized and time-consuming. Having a well-planned calendar makes the day-to-day posting simple and gives you a chance to start thinking bigger.
With more free time you might consider running a photo contest on Instagram (a great way to promote user-generated content), finding an influencer to partner with, or making a how-to video for your Facebook page. Whatever you decide to do, getting organized is the first step.
Pro Tip: Make sure to pause your scheduled posts in the event of a crisis or tragedy. An ill-timed Tweet could make your business come across as tone-deaf or uncaring.
Here are a few of our favorite templates to help you create the perfect content calendar for your business:
HubSpot offers a simple Excel calendar template that makes it easy to stay on top of all your social channels. Along with the template, they offer a free digital guide with useful tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your calendar.
The clean layout of Hootsuite’s template ensures your content will be organized and ready to go when it’s time to publish. Their calendar has space for specific categories of posts like new blog posts, curated content, evergreen blog posts, and promotions.
Trello provides a comprehensive social media calendar with an aesthetic design that will win the approval of your creative team. The calendar features interactive cards for each social post that let you get more detailed with your scheduling. Each card has options for customizable checklists, color labels, and an activity tracker to view any updates made by your team.