Creating a Social Media Content Calendar
When your organization is active on social media, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you need to do. Which blog post is being linked on Facebook today? Have we found enough relevant content to post on Twitter today? Are those new product photos up on Pinterest yet? Has anyone figured out how to use LinkedIn yet?!
A social media content calendar is one of the best ways to keep track of what you are doing, when you are doing it, and who is responsible. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a great calendar that will keep you and your team on the same page.
Pick Your Calendar
Having an actual calendar is an important part of creating your social media content schedule. You can use free tools like Google Calendar to create and share a calendar with your team. Or if you are already using a tool like Basecamp to manage your projects, you can use the built-in calendar to manage your schedule there. Heck, if you want to, you can even use a large whiteboard or paper calendar in your office!
Decide Who is Responsible
No matter how many members of your staff participate on your social media team, there should be one person who is responsible for the master schedule. This person should be able to perform the following tasks:
- Review existing content and decide when to best promote it on social media
- Schedule new or upcoming content in advance
- Check in with team members to ensure they hit individual deadlines
- Monitor social media activity daily to make sure all dates are hit
- Regularly review the process for possible improvements or issues
This person should also be capable of making decisions, sometimes on the fly. If there are two pieces of content with equal priority or importance, this person should be able to decide which goes up first. They should also be able to quickly cover for any missed deadlines, and fill in content “gaps” without consulting someone else for help.
Start Planning Your Schedule
With the help of your designated social media lead, start planning your posting schedule. How far out you do this in advance is up to you. If you work in an industry where you may need to post timely content more often than “evergreen” items, you may only want to loosely plan two weeks out in advance. Or you may have a very strict schedule based on when your major product releases occur.
Follow the Schedule Closely
Although many companies find that they don’t need to schedule all their social media posts in advance, and can be flexible about dates and times, you should still aim to follow your calendar as closely as possible. Try not to get too lax with it. Your lead should do his or her best to keep up with the dates and times of posts, and fill in any gaps quickly. If they start slipping, the quality of your social media outreach might slip too.
Keep Up With It!
A good social media content calendar requires regular updates and attention. You may want to schedule periodic check-ins with your lead or the entire social media team to make sure that everyone is on track, that the calendar is helpful (not detrimental!), and that any potential issues are addressed before they cause problems.
By keeping up with your social media schedule, you will be less likely to experience confusion, or wonder “what am I going to post today?” A little bit of planning in advance can be beneficial to your whole team!
Do you have a social media content calendar, or are you thinking about creating one? Let us know in the comments!