I am sure that if you are doing social media marketing for your brand, you have seen articles talking about using a social media calendar and staying organized. I also know that it can be intimidating and a little scary to think about your posts for the next year. But have you thought about any of the benefits that having one could bring you? Calendars and scheduling apps can bring a new life to your marketing strategies, and free up your valuable time for more important things.
You don’t need to start out planning an entire year’s worth of posts because let’s face it, things change and that might be difficult for a small business owner. However, if you just take a little time once a month or even once a week, using the calendar will open a world of other opportunities for you and your brand. Think of it this way, if you or your social media manager take an hour a week to upload your content to your calendar, you are freeing up time that you can use to grow your brand!
Auditing Your Current Content
The first step in your calendar journey is to audit your existing content. Your insight tools will play a big role in this. Check to see what content has done well and try to figure out why. Certain types of media perform better on specific platforms so if you see that a video did better on Facebook, you should play into that rather than only posting low-res pictures to the platform. You have to understand or listen to what your audience wants to see for you to get your desired engagement.
If you see specific platforms that are not performing as well as others, take a good look at why. It’s so easy to say that you are doing everything right and it’s the audience that doesn’t care, but if you are posting low-res silly photos that do not accurately show off your brand’s message. Instead of just putting all of your content everywhere at once, see who is looking and at what times they are engaging. By doing this, you will further your bond with your audience, they will trust you and think of you as a part of their day.
On the other hand, if you are just starting in the social media game, you might not have a lot of this data to use. Then what? Play around with your posts! This can be a fun way to get your feet wet on different platforms. You can still gather the necessary data in order, and meet your goals. Try out different times to post, different types of content (whether it’s a video or an infographic). The world is your oyster when it comes to content, try it all or what excites you the most and see what your audience likes!
Organizing Your Social Media Calendar
Next, we’re going to navigate the muddy waters of all of that content. We know what performs the best and we know when it should be posted, but what do we do with all of it? There are several different ways that you can start a calendar: Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or any of the scheduling apps online. The level of organization just depends on you and how your brand operates. Some people need structure on every level, others can fly by the seat of their pants. As long as you feel comfortable with how you choose to schedule, you can make it work.
Personally, I need a lot of structure. I love color-coding spreadsheets and filing everything in what I see as its right place. Below is an example of a day’s worth of posts on our social media calendar.
Decide What Information is Important to Your Brand
We started by separating our posts into weeks, then days, then by channel. Then describe the content that will go up on each platform. I do this so that I can see what does well on each platform in the future. All of this information will help me keep track of all the data we will be mining from each post.
You can curate this for your business as well. You might be the only one doing social media for your brand and therefore might not need the image link and URL. We share responsibility here and sometimes have to share our content so having a link or URL helps us stay connected and organized.
A very important category I do recommend is what time to post. This will come from your insights or other articles on the internet about the best times to post on each platform. Each social media platform is different and has people on them at different times. Think about what times you are online. The peak times for Facebook and Instagram may be after work hours or during lunch, but the peak posting hours for Pinterest may be about 9-11 PM.
For further organization, I have a checklist for when I add the content to our scheduling app (we use Later but there are so many more out there). Once I have added the content to the website, I add a little checkmark (√) and that day is complete for me.
Different Types of Content
There are several different types of content that you can be utilizing
- Promotions and Sales
I completely understand that coming up with a month’s worth of content might seem crazy or unattainable, however, think of all the events that you know are coming up. Odds are you have something planned, even if it’s months in advance. Create some engaging content around this even and slap it into your calendar. You just started your social media calendar!
Promotions and Sales
Go through all of the events that you know you will have at some point during the month or year, (if you’re feeling daring). Memorial Day sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, all of this is content you can add to your calendar. This will help chip away at your regular, everyday posting.
Another great idea is using monthly themes. This is my favorite way to organize content. Choose a theme and just base your day to day posts around that. For example, our theme this month was Social Media, so we curated blog posts, PDFs and content that focuses on how to make small businesses better at using social media.
Once you have set your calendar, you unfortunately cannot “set it and forget it”. Even though this is a tool to help free up your time for other important things, you still must pay attention to it. Like anything else in marketing, these things take time. It’s all about trial and error. You might be running content that you don’t think is performing well, you can see that with the calendar and tweak it by using all of your gathered data.
Social media and digital marketing strategies are constantly changing. That’s why it is so important to be on top of your content. Just putting out content won’t help you in the long run when you are trying for conversions or leads. By using some sort of calendar or app, you can easily look at all of this information and make some sense of it.
Now that you have your calendar the way that is working for your brand, you can take a step back and take some time to look at other parts of your brand. Just check on it once a week to make sure everything is still working for you. There are loads of tips and tricks that you can pick up from online resources, but sometimes you need extra help getting started. Reach out to us and we will help you start a strategy that will knock the socks off of your next promotion!
Adrimedia is a Graphic Design Studio located in Orlando, Florida. Bringing brand identity to Florida is a passion for us all. Let us help your business be the very best it can be. Contact us at: [email protected] or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @Adrimediadesign