Meltwater NV

06/14/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2024 15:59

How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar

Many social media marketer typically starts their day by scanning their social listening platform of choice, maybe sharing a few interesting articles, thanking new followers, responding to mentions, wondering where the past two hours went, and then starting the cycle all over again.

They also need to respond to whatever requests land in their inboxes from PR and marketing teams. Sounds a bit haphazard, right? This recurring set of activities isn't a sustainable or efficient social media workflow.

For one thing, having a casual approach to social media activities can make it nearly impossible to go on vacation. For this reason and more, it's important to create a social media calendar.

Get pro tips on how to run a successful social media program by studying some of the brands that are doing it right. Download our Ultimate Guide to Social Media Management today or read our Social Media Management Blog.

Table of Contents

What Is A Social Media Calendar?

A social media calendar is a working document used to schedule the social media content you will post across all of your platforms for the month, week, day, or even the time of day.

A calendar like this serves as a communication tool for content review, putting the copy, images, and hashtags all in one place. It is often a feature of social media publishing tools and social media engagement software.

Social media calendars are crucial because they allow you to plan ahead and make sure that you send the right message, to the right audience, at the right time.

Tip: Download our free Social Media Holidays Calendar and check out our Ultimate Guide to 2024 Social Media Holidays.

What Are The Benefits Of A Social Media Calendar?

Preparing and following a content plan for planning and scheduling social media posts has many benefits, including:

  • Aligning your long-term strategy
  • Ensuring cohesion across platforms
  • Enhancing your planning and time-management

There's more, so keep reading to get your social media marketing workflow right with a content calendar.

Here's a free social media content calendar template you can use to get started!

Why You Need A Social Media Calendar

In today's marketing landscape, social media management goes far beyond just posting content on TikTok and Instagram. It's become very important to ensure that your brand's social media presence and activity coordinates with other time-sensitive content like TV ads or PR campaigns.

Having a central place for different teams across your organization to see what social media content is planned, and when, allows you to better implement strategies to meet your social media marketing goals.

When your content consistently appears on your audience's feed, it becomes much easier to create two-way engagement on social media. Impressive online engagement increases your organic reach through a platform's algorithm, which means that your posts get shown to new people, and you're more likely to get more followers.

Another reason why you need a posting schedule is to be more organized. Who doesn't want that? When you stick to a social media content calendar, you're able to plan ahead and create larger volumes of content so you're not scrambling day by day.

Advantages of a Social Media Calendar

From saving you time to allowing you to align your content to your business objectives, let's explore the many advantages of planning out your content according to a social media content calendar.

1. You can share an engaging mix of content types

Once you start documenting social media content in a calendar format, you'll notice posting patterns that lean towards sharing certain content types significantly more often than others.

While it's unlikely that you'll ever end up with a perfect balance of videos, visuals, and written content, a social media calendar makes sure you won't leave out key content types on a regular basis. This approach also provides you with more data on the kind of content sparks the most engagement.

For example, you might share a new blog post each Wednesday and an inspiring image each Friday. Create placeholders in your social media calendar for these recurring activities so that you can effectively plan around them.

If you know you have a new blog post every Wednesday, you can plan a lot of content around it each week.

Here's an example:

Weekly blog post content workflow

  1. Post the blog on your website
  2. Share the blog on your social media accounts
  3. Add the blog to your next newsletter
  4. Plan recurring posts on social media, switching up the text that accompanies the link

2. Helps you create consistency across channels

While you don't want to use the same tone and copy across all social channels, keeping consistent messaging in your content strategy and adopting a distinct voice will keep you on-brand, regardless of channel.

Viewing copy for each channel will prevent you from sounding like two or three different personalities. And will help avoid misfires, such as sharing conflicting information about the same event.

3. You have defined objectives

Ask yourself, "What's my goal with this post?" Do you want to generate traffic, increase engagement, or share important information without engagement being the main goal?

Make sure that you note the specific purpose of your post directly on your social media calendar. This will help you to understand which metrics you should be using to measure whether or not you've successfully met your objective.

Tip: Add a note detailing the type of content you are posting (e.g. event, blog, campaign, etc).

Having this information visible ensures you plan for a good variety of content. Try to alternate between different types as much as possible. When the content is promoting your brand, it's generally best practice to avoid "sales-y" language and use engaging CTA's.

4. Post about what your audience is interested in

When planning out your posts, it's important to know what topics are dominating the conversations online and use those trending themes as inspiration when creating your social media posting schedule.

To help you choose subjects for your social media content calendar, take a look at a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner to understand what your audience is searching for, then engage around these topics.

You can also use a social listening tool like Meltwater to uncover trending themes in your industry, which will not only help you be seen but also help boost your status as a thought leader.

5. Avoid click-bait sounding copy

Make sure the subject of your post is clear and engaging. For example, the headline "10 easy tricks for irresistible headlines" is much more attention grabbing than "How to write a headline."

Keep this in mind when titling your content and drafting your captions. But don't get too "clickbaity" with your post copy! The caption you write must accurately describe the content your linking to; otherwise people will bounce off the page.

6. Incorporating important corporate initiatives

Rather than leaving social media boosts for crucial promotions to the last minute, plan for their broadcast well in advance. When you schedule social media posts for your content, this allows you to plan for significant announcements, prepare appropriate images, create landing page URLs, etc.

7. Getting your whole team involved

It's not much of a vacation if you're checking your cellphone every few minutes to monitor workplace social media accounts. But with a social media content calendar, your team has everything they need to keep the social content flowing in your absence. You can provide a detailed overview of the daily to do's, write copy they can schedule, and ensure your team feels secure in knowing the status of social media programs, whether or not you're there.

What to Include in a Social Media Content Calendar

There are calendar, workflow, and strategy tools available for managing social media content calendars, including Meltwater's social media management suite, CoSchedule, Kapost, and Divvy HQ. However, you can get started by using a simple spreadsheet [Free Template].

The tool you use is less important than its ability to assist you in documenting social media activities in an easy-to-navigate manner.

So what to include in a social media calendar? Here's some ideas:

Day of the week

This may seem a bit obvious, but the days of the week can also directly inspire your social media content calendar. Certain days of the week even inspired their own hashtags. Think about #TBT (Throwback Thursday), #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) and, of course, #TGIF!

Date and time of the post

When planning your content, organize it by date and time. This may seem intuitive, but many professionals forget to do this and lose sight of their weekly, monthly and daily routines. Planning your social content calendar chronologically ensures you can see the frequency of your posts at a glance, and identify the times that work best for your audience.

Specific messages for each channel

Each social media channel has its own characteristics, which is why some users favor one platform over another. For instance, on X, users log in to get real-time updates on the topics or events that they care about, whereas users on Facebook are engaging with content that tends to be more evergreen.

Because of this, you need to adapt the copy of your posts to the different platforms. For example, a food brand would use Facebook to post a recipe, but turn to Twitter to make a PR crisis comms announcement.

A hashtag library

Manually copying and pasting the hashtags for all of your posts can be a tedious task and you run the risk of getting lazy and using the same hashtags for all your posts. Creating a space in your social media calendar to save the hashtags you'd like to use for important subjects ensures consistent or varied use of hashtags and of course, saves you time!

Getting Started with Creating a Social Media Calendar

To create your own social media posting schedule, you can start with a simple spreadsheet. However, using a community management tool such as Meltwater's engagement platform will allow you to create a more visible, practical and actionable calendar through which you can plan, schedule and publish your posts.

If you're ready to get started with your own social media calendar and need a tool that you and your team can use to start implementing the tips above, get in touch with us using the form below for a free demo of our social media management platform. Plan, edit and publish your posts in a collaborative environment, and maintain an overview of your upcoming content.

To read more about how to run a successful social media program, download our Ultimate Guide to Social Media Management today.

Access your free social content calendar template here!