Social Media Calendar Guide: How to Create a Great Content Calendar

A social media calendar is a must have for any digital marketer. Having a social media calendar makes it easy to plan ahead and schedule upcoming content and a marketing calendar for social media is a great tool for a business of any size. Whether it’s a simple spreadsheet or an app designed specifically for the job, the benefits of developing a content calendar are endless.

Not sure whether it’s worth the time and effort or how to go about creating a social media calendar? You’ve come to the right place! We’re here to show you why it’s a must and how to get started.

In this article we’ll discuss:

  • Why it’s important to create a social media content calendar
  • The best social media calendar templates
  • How to organize and manage a content calendar
  • Putting it all together

Why Have A Social Media Calendar?

social media calendar benefits

In addition to helping you to stay organized, a social media calendar has many additional benefits:

Time savings

While it may seem like a lot of work right off the bat, developing and implementing a content calendar will actually save you time in the long run! No longer will you be looking to the wide ends of the web for content ideas the day you need them! And, because everything will be planned out in advance, this also makes you more efficient when the time comes to post your content.

Better content

Planning ahead gives you the time you need to create better and more effective content. Creating content the day it’s needed never results in your best work!

Avoiding repetitive content

Planning ahead gives you the time you need to create better and more effective content. Creating content the day it’s needed never results in your best work!

Keeping a record of all the content you’ve posted and all the content you will post is a great way to ensure you don’t double up! With a record like this, you can always look back (and forward) to make sure you aren’t duplicating something you’ve done before.

Preventing overpromotion

One of the worst things you can do on social media is promote too much! Having a planned schedule of posts can help you see the big picture and find the perfect mix between self-promotion and more organic, fun, helpful content.

Keeping on top of important dates 

By planning your content ahead of time, you can stay on top of important industry dates, holidays and other special events. You’ll never miss a holiday or special event post again with the help of a social media calendar!

Collaboration and communication

Creating a calendar and sharing it with others allows you to get their input as well as keep everyone updated and on the same page when it comes to what is coming up!

This can also be helpful for sharing duties – with everything laid out ahead of time, everyone knows what their job is and when it needs to be done!

Keeping things consistent

Keeping a consistent posting schedule by planning and scheduling your content in advance is helpful to both you and your audience. In fact, it has been shown that businesses who follow a consistent posting schedule on social media gain more followers and have higher engagement rates.

Refining your content strategy 

Having a detailed source of all your posts can help you analyze your content to see what is working and what isn’t! This can help you develop the best content for your audience and increase interaction rates.

With all of these amazing benefits, you’re probably thinking – how can I get started?

Social Media Calendar Template

A social media calendar template is a great way to get started! With an easy to use template, you can start to plan your posts and with many template tools you can publish your posts directly from the app!

Here are a few templates that can help you get started with your content calendar:

ContentCal
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ContentCal's tile system provides users with a host of important data. (https://www.contentcal.io/)

ContentCal allows you to create a social media calendar, publish your posts, respond to your audience’s comments and questions and analyze the results all from within its dashboard! The tool also promotes collaboration, allowing you to share ideas with your team and to establish approval workflows. ContentCal offers plans for all business sizes, including a basic free plan.

Hootsuite Planner
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Hootsuite has a variety of useful marketing tools including a social media calendar. (https://help.hootsuite.com/hc/en-us)

Hootsuite is a one-stop-shop for all things to do with social media planning. Hootsuite’s planning tool allows you to develop, schedule and manage your posts (including editing and deleting content), as well as view previously posted content.

CoSchedule
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CoSchedule's integration of other apps make it extremely adaptable to any organization. (https://coschedule.com/editorial-calendar)

CoSchedule’s editorial calendar offers drag and drop functionality to help you create and manage your social media calendar. You can also sync the tool with your WordPress platform and create content directly from your site’s back-end! 

CoSchedule allows users to integrate additional tools like Google Docs, Google Calendar, Evernote, Bit.ly, etc. to help organize everything in one place. In addition, CoSchedule has a unique tool called ReQueue which will automatically publish your top performing content at the right times for optimal engagement.

How To Organize and Manage A Social Media Calendar

Step 1. Audit your current strategy

Take a look at your previous content and how it has performed. Be sure to examine when posts were published, which platforms were used and the level of engagement for each post.

This information will help you determine when to post, where to post and what to post in the future for maximum engagement.

Step 2. Know your audience

Learn as much as you can about your audience. What do they like, what do they dislike? Take a peek at your competitor’s content, in addition to your own, to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Your audience may also be different on different platforms. Make sure you’re familiar with the different audiences that are following and interacting with your business on various platforms and what kind of content they respond best to.

Step 3. Choose the right channels

Based on your internal audit, are there certain social media platforms that you are currently using that don’t provide a lot of value?

Let your research on your audience guide you – where is your target audience most active? Focus your attention on the social platforms that will be most beneficial to you and your goals.

Step 4. Pick the right content

Use the information you gathered from your internal audit and your review of your competitors to determine which types of content will work best for your audience. 

This research should also be able to tell you what types of content work best on each social media platform. For example, Instagram users may prefer aesthetic imagery while your Twitter audience may respond better to educational posts.

Step 5. Publish strategically

Create a strategic publishing schedule. You’ll want to post consistently on your social platforms but not too often that you overwhelm your audience. While there’s no hard and fast rule, many marketers advise the following:

  • Facebook: 1 post per day
  • Twitter: 3 to 30 posts per day
  • Instagram: 1 post per day
  • LinkedIn: 1 post per day

The most important thing is that you respond to each audience’s and platform’s unique needs. 

Analyze your insights and use this info to determine when and how often to post.

Step 6. Track the results with a social media deck

A social media deck is a visual representation of the results from your content strategy. You will want to take a look at metrics such as engagement – shares, likes, etc. as well as any traffic coming to your website from your social platforms and how that traffic behaves on your site (bounce rate, time on site, etc.). This information can tell you a lot about your content and where you can improve.

Step 7. Refine your process 

Using the metrics from your social media deck, refine your content and process. Change up your content to match what works well, adjust posting times and days and work out all the kinks in your social media content calendar process.

Continue this process of planning, creating, posting, reviewing and adjusting and your content strategy is sure to be a success!

Key Takeaways on How to Create a Social Media Calendar 

Creating a content calendar is a great way to plan, organize and stay on top of your social media activity. By doing so, you can create better content, ensure you are posting optimal content at the right times and that everyone in your organization is on the same page. All of this will result in better engagement rates and an overall successful social media strategy.

Just follow these steps to get started with your social media calendar today:

  1. Take a look at your current strategy – Make improvements based on what is working and what isn’t.
  2. Learn as much as you can about your audience – Discover what your audience likes to see and share and what doesn’t work for them.
  3. Only use the most beneficial channels – Focus your efforts on social platforms that are most used by your audience and where you see the most interaction with your content.
  4. Post the right content – Post the right content on the right platforms by analyzing what types of content work best on each social site.
  5. Set a posting schedule – Stay on top of your analytics to see what posting schedule is working best for your business.
  6. Track your results – Use a social media deck to keep track of your metrics.
  7. Make changes as necessary – Based on the outcomes you see in your metrics, make adjustments when necessary to ensure you are getting the most out of your social media strategy.
Thea Christie

Written By Thea Christie

Thea is the Content Marketing Lead at Advesa and possesses a strange love of grammar, syntax and punctuation. In the past, she’s worked as a content specialist for publications in the startup, SME and tech space. When she’s not storytelling, she’s busy being a travel junkie. @theachristie