Tuesday Tip #15: How To Create A Social Media Calendar
Raise your hand if you’re fed up with social media! Just when you think you’ve figured out the secret to success in growing your fan base and increasing engagement … BAM! … another algorithm change is announced. Not to mention, it’s one that will turn your current strategy completely upside-down. Ugggghhhh.
Ok, don’t throw in the towel yet. Instead, first read our post on How To Grow Your Social Media (which outlines ways to work with the latest algorithm updates). Then, get yourself organized. It’s hard enough to try and stay current with the constantly changing rules of engagement on social media. Combine that with the energy it takes to create interesting posts on a daily basis … we’re talking lots of EFFORT, folks! That’s why putting together a social media calendar is so critical.
A social media calendar will help you stay on point. Yes, it will take some work on the front end but that work will pay dividends later on. By strategizing and outlining your posts in advance, you’ll drastically reduce the daily stress that comes with managing social media accounts. Staying organized and consistently posting great content will put you at a major advantage. Try it for a month and you’ll see exactly what we mean!
So where to begin? Well, right here, actually. We’ve developed some simple guidelines to help you create your first editorial calendar for social media!
Determine what kind of content has performed best for you in the past.
With Facebook’s new algorithm change, content that doesn’t spark reactions/comments/shares has no chance of reaching a larger audience. That said, you’ll need to rely upon analytics to see what has worked for you in the past. On Facebook and Instagram, you should take a deep dive into your Insights and make note of the posts that outperformed the rest. This will be a great starting place for building your calendar.
Figure out your optimal posting times.
To get the biggest bang for your buck, you'll want to publish content during the times your audience is actually using social media. On Facebook, you can go to Insights and look in the Post Engagements section. This is where you’ll be able to see what days and times your audience engages the most.
Build your editorial calendar.
Now that you know what content resonates most with your audience and when to post, you’re ready to start building your social media calendar. First, let’s highlight some of the tools you can use to do this:
After you pick the tool that will work best for plotting out your posts, you can fill in your calendar with content, links, images, infographics, and more.
“These social messages will ensure you’re providing your audience with smart, useful content and give them a reason to follow you. Additionally, you can find relevant holidays or events–from Thanksgiving to National Ice Cream Day–that you can tie in with your business.” (Sprout Social)
Prioritizing content should also be a part of your process. Sprout Social makes some great recommendations for doing this:
“Think through your must-haves, whether it is a product release or scheduled company announcement, and develop content to promote those initiatives. Additionally, make sure you’re planning out how much promotion each initiative warrants; some large releases should have multiple social posts while others only warrant one. Lastly, pump up the personality of your editorial calendar by planning out posts that highlight company culture or showcase who you are as a brand.”
Organize your hashtags.
Adding hashtags to your social media posts will increase their chances of getting discovered. Do some research to determine which hashtags are trending in your industry. Jot them down in a Google doc along with any other hashtags that are specific to your brand or simply ones that you see a benefit in using. Organizing your hashtag library in one place will save you from trying to remember what to use with each post.
Master the art of repurposing great content.
If you published a case study or blog post that your audience loved, come up with fun ways to continue promoting this high performing content on social media! For example, you can design an infographic to highlight takeaways from a longer piece of content. Or how about creating a short little video that ties in with the topic as well? There are endless ways to draw more attention to the great content you already own.
Yes, managing social media can be stressful … but when you plan ahead, the process is so much easier to handle!
If this post persuaded you to try making your first social media calendar, comment down below!
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