When you try to reach a large percentage of the world’s population, a good marketing strategy is essential. Social media helps us keep track of our friends, family, and favorite brands. It is even ideal for business-to-business marketing.
However, social media for business can sometimes take precedence over other important day-to-day activities. Knowing that your social media is taken care of in advance allows you to focus on the day-to-day happenings of your business. The best way to do this is to use a social media calendar.
WHAT IS A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR?
A social media calendar is an overview of your upcoming social media posts. It helps you create a framework of what your social media will look like over time. Social media calendars are cost-effective tools to not only help you organize your posts, but also keep track of your goals.
You should have a very simple idea of what you want your social networks to look like. We often tell our customers to post a number of holiday posts, quotes, testimonials, blogs, information, and engagements throughout the month. A social media calendar will allow you to effectively stagger these posts and schedule them for specific dates and times.
Social media timelines can be as detailed as you want. They may include only copy of publications, definitions of copy and graphics, or copy and completed graphics. They’re a great tool for tracking your results, as you can easily go back and see which posts performed well.
BENEFITS OF A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
Creating a timeline can do wonders for your social media marketing strategy.
It helps take the stress out of trying to create a social media post on the day you want to post it. When you think ahead and schedule posts a week or month in advance, you can save time and productivity.
Social media calendars allow you to take advantage of all holidays that are relevant and beneficial to your business. They encourage you to research holidays ahead of time so you can think about how you can connect each holiday to your brand. If you’re working on social media for a mental health practice, for example, the last thing you want is to realize you missed an opportunity to post on World Mental Health Day.
Consistency is the key to good social media. A social media calendar can go a long way in helping you keep your social media posts consistent.
HOW TO CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
A social timeline is a great way to visualize your posts. The first step is to decide what you want to include in your calendar. Would you like it to include hashtags and links, or just copy and graphic information?
Then choose your model. You can use Google Sheets, Google Calendars, a Microsoft tool, or any number of free sites you can find to help you create it.
CHOOSE YOUR CATEGORIES
Decide what kind of posts you want to post. You can choose to do a weekly view or a monthly view.
Some messages we ask our customers to include are:
• Reshares of useful content.
• Blog posts.
• Conversation starters.
Next, decide how many posts from each category you want per month (if you choose a monthly calendar view). This part will also require researching relevant holidays that fall each month.
Finally, create a color code for each category. Keep your saved color code at the top of each calendar template for easy access. When you write your posts, be sure to highlight the text according to your color code so you know if you are staggering the posts well. You also want to make sure you have a consistent theme for each post style you create. Again, consistency is the name of the game.
CHOOSE YOUR HOURS
Now that you know which categories you plan to post, decide what time you want everything to be posted. Include these dates and times on your calendar so they are ready when you schedule posts.
Decide if you want to post daily, only on weekdays, every other day, etc. Now is the time to take a look at what will work best for your business and decide how much content you want to post during the month.
Each platform has different optimized posting times, so do your research and create custom times for your posts based on the platform.
From there, all you have to do is create your content for your target audience and make sure you publish it on time. Knowing in advance when you want to post something will give yourself time to create something that matches your brand and style.
GET ORGANIZED WITH A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
Say goodbye to manually posting inconsistent social media posts at odd times. When you take the time to create a social media calendar, you’ll have a better overall perspective of your social media marketing strategy. Save time by being organized.
Whether you’re B2B or B2C, social media calendars help you spot potential mistakes and ultimately help you post fresh, relevant content. Once you’ve created and implemented your first social media calendar, you’ll wonder how you survived without one before.
Jason Hall is founder and CEO of five channels, specializing in building brand awareness, traffic and lead generation, marketing funnels, social media and more.