Organize Your Social Media Strategy with a Content Calendar
Written by Allison Cooper, Project Coordinator
Managing social media can be a little daunting at times. Algorithms seem to change as soon as you’ve mastered the previous one, best practices vary from platform to platform, and learning the types of content that your target audiences engage most with can take a while to nail down.
There’s a lot to consider here and different accounts will be fueled by different strategies – but we all have one common goal – to create engaging content that pleases our target audiences and encourages them to take action – whether that be a like, a follow, purchasing your product, or giving your brand a shout-out.
After you set a few key goals that you want social media to accomplish for your brand, it’s time to put some strategy behind it, which is where content creation comes into play. It’s great if you have awesome ideas for content, but if you have no way to get organized enough to make it actionable, it’s likely that your efforts to wow your audience will fall flat. The key to getting an organized social media strategy is planning ahead with a content calendar.
So, What Can a Content Calendar Help You Accomplish?
Content calendars can make it easier for you to plan social media content in advance, whether that be on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Let’s take a look at three benefits of using a content calendar!
- Plan ahead. Using a content calendar can help your team start looking ahead at key dates such as holidays and events that will be important for your brand to capitalize on. This can make it easier to devise a strategic plan for social media campaigns.
- Post with consistency. By mapping out your posts ahead of time, you’ll never be without ideas. Putting a content calendar together will make it easier to avoid writer’s block and will encourage more consistent posting across platforms.
- Save time. Because you’ll be planning content in advance, it’ll save you a lot of time throughout the week. If you set a day each week or month to plan out content, you’ll be able to use your time more effectively. You’ll know in advance what content is being published and you won’t be drafting posts as you go, which will take a lot of pressure off you and your team. Better yet, you won’t be worrying about deadlines cause they’ll already be met!
Content calendars are also a great way to keep track of the types of content you post and posting frequency. By having access to a week or month’s worth of content in front of you, it’s easier to identify the types of content performing well or poorly. From here, you can see if you need to change up your content strategy, and plan out next week or next month’s content accordingly. Having a broader view of your social media posts allows you to more easily flag types of posts that you want to repeat, and if you set up your calendar efficiently, you have a platform to organize this into a content repository.
Make Your Content Calendar Work for You.
To create your calendar, there are a few different routes to go, and some companies have special applications to help you build your calendar and organize posts. For an accessible solution, Google Sheets or Excel are perfect tools to create a streamlined system that works for you. At Harris and Ward, we create monthly and weekly views in Google Sheets and separate these views into different tabs. We place broader content ideas in our monthly view and draft the actual posts in our weekly tab. If your content moves through a line of approval, Google Sheets is also a good system for sharing between team members.
While there are best practices for creating a content calendar – you can certainly customize it for what works best for your respective social accounts, posting frequency, business model, and much more. In a world where best practices change so frequently, it’s beneficial to have a system in place to plan ahead and make changes quickly. For the social media manager, a content calendar makes this possible.
What If I Still Don’t Have Time for Social Media?
Social media offers an easy way for potential customers to express interest in your business and your products/services. But, there’s no question about the commitment for business owners — strategic social media takes dedicated time and effort. Unfortunately, that’s not a luxury most small business owners have. So, if you find yourself lacking the resources to develop your own content calendar or you just aren’t sure how to begin, contact us today to learn more!