Writing a social media calendar for your brand?
Planning it out months ahead is a must to save you from the unnecessary stress of browsing the net for new post ideas every day.
Also, having a well-planned calendar gives you more time to build greater consistency in terms of brand voice and style.
So, let’s learn how to create a social media content calendar the right way.
In this guide, we’ll go over these steps:
- Analyze previous social media campaigns for insights
- Decide calendar format for ease of use
- Organize content in your calendar
- Plan the posting schedule for maximum engagement
- Define visuals for posts
- Plan inspirations quotes for content variety
- Create a content development process.
Are you writing a content plan to start your first social media campaign?
Read this section – it’ll help you a lot in the future.
Run campaigns before?
Great, they’ll help you one more time.
Past social media marketing campaigns are a great source of information to boost your next ones. Take a look at their performance data in your social media analytics tools and look for these:
- The best-performing types of posts
- The most popular content types
- The times and dates of peak of content engagement
- Data on demographics and interests of the users who interacted with content.
Consider these insights when planning your calendar. For example, if infographics generated a lot of engagement for you in the past, ensure that the future campaigns include them, too.
With this in mind, let’s plan some content.
Your social media content calendar is going to be a living document. Graphics designers, marketers, copywriters, and other folks in your team will be visiting it and making updates.
So making it accessible is a good idea.
A Google spreadsheet is the most common format for calendars. It’s easily sharable, plus everyone can make updates at any time.
Share this spreadsheet with your team and ask for feedback. You can improve it as you go to cover all bases.
Done with creating a spreadsheet for your calendar?
Excellent, time to put in some amazing ideas!
Gather from your team for the first brainstorming session. Your task is to come up with ideas for posts and add them to the calendar.
Places to look for good ideas:
- Previous campaigns
- Customer research findings
- Competitors’ social media profiles
- Social media content discovery tools
- Content from successful social media influencers from your industry.
Challenge yourself to plan content ideas for a few weeks. This timeframe will give you just enough time to see what works.
Every social media platform has the so-called “peak engagement” times when posts get the most views, likes, comments, and shares.
For example, folks check out Facebook during launch to see updates from friends. Professionals return to LinkedIn to get some innovative business ideas and do some networking throughout the day.
That’s why you need to decide when to post.
Sit down with your marketing team to decide:
- Posting times for each social media platform
- Which content pieces to post on those dates.
Social Media Today reported these dates and times to be the best for engagement:
- Facebook – Wednesday, between 11 am and 12 pm
- Instagram – Wednesday and Friday, around 10 am
- Twitter – Wednesday and Friday, between 9 am and 12 pm
- LinkedIn – Wednesday between 8 and 10 am and Friday at 9 am.
Treat these as a starting point for your future campaigns, though.
Every brand’s “peak engagement times” are unique, so begin with these times and experiment as you go.
Want to get 2.3 times more engagement from your posts?
Then add visuals.
Can’t stress this enough, really.
Social media posts with visuals are more engaging, compelling, and plain nicer, which is exactly what you need to promote your brand.
The best visual content for social media platforms?
Here you go.
- Facebook–infographics, memes, charts, photos, quotes, blog headers
- Instagram–product images, photos, quotes
- LinkedIn–photos of people, blog headers, banners
- Twitter–GIFs, photos of people, blog headers, quotes.
A great advantage of using visuals is their ability to make information digestible and attract attention.
This Instagram post, for example, grabs the attention with the visual first to generate interest. After reading the text on the visual, social media users get essential information about the competition.
Source: Hototaco, Instagram
That’s why try to plan a visual for most of the content in your social media calendar. A good way to make planning visuals easier is to describe them.
Try writing a concise description like this.
The descriptions of visuals will help your social manager and graphic designer to work together to plan content when the campaign goes live.
Pro tip: Don’t spend too much time creating unique visuals from scratch. With free tools to create unique social media graphics, you can do unique designs in seconds.
Writing for social media is essentially writing for scrollers or skimmers.
Whether it’s a professional looking for a freelance developer resume tips on LinkedIn or a famous singer just checking out Instagram, people spend seconds looking at posts. So, the more concise posts you plan in your calendar, the better.
So, you need social media content that’s concise, memorable, resonates with your followers, engages, and refocuses their attention. Like an irresistible headline that people stop and read before scrolling down their newsfeed.
You know what fits these requirements perfectly?
From small brands to large companies like Forbes, social media managers like to share quotes on social media.
You, too, try engaging followers with:
- Inspirational quotes
- Quotes of people you target audience treats as thought leaders
- Positive quotes to start the day.
Tips to maximize social media engagement with quotes:
- Create your own graphics for quote post backgrounds—original content is a better way to build your brand
- Share quotes that support your brand’s mission and values–stay on point and relevant to resonate with your audience
- Don’t spam–avoid overwhelming people, try posting only one quote a week.
The bottom line is that by creating quotes for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms, you’re making it easier to consume and engage with your content.
Now, you know what content to post and when.
The next step is to create a workflow with your team. It’s better to plan this ahead and document the process step by step, so everyone knows their duties.
The most important points to plan:
- Weekly or bi-weekly content brainstorming sessions with your team
- Appropriate visuals for every post
- Content writing process (who writes social media copy and when)
- Content review process (who reviews posts before publishing and when)
How much content should you plan ahead?
A month is a good idea.
This time gives you an opportunity to see how your content performs, what works, and what could be improved.
Also, be sure to monitor social media trends – it’s a must to keep yourself updated on events in your industry. You never know when you’ll need to make an unplanned post.
A well-planned and documented content calendar is a powerful tool for boosting the awareness of your brand. It keeps your social media presence consistent and well-thought-out.
Plus, it puts you ahead of many competitors. Publish great content regularly, and you’ll get more of your content in front of potential customers.
Remember, victory loves preparation, so creating a plan is a good start. Fingers crossed for your success!
Dorian Martin’s digital marketing experience extends from blog writing to link building with expertise in both B2C and B2B industries. Whether he’s writing a piece on how to find leads with chatbots or essay writers for hire, his research skills result in value-packed articles. To balance her lively personality, Dorian does yoga and public speaking classes.