The Importance of Creating a Social Media Calendar
The majority of people with modern technology have at least one social media account. Whether it’s keeping in touch with friends on Facebook or finding unique and fun DIY projects on Pinterest, the use of social media will continue to grow in the coming years. The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving and now many web users prefer to do business through the Internet. In advertising, the key is to attract the viewer’s attention and encourage them to want to use a product or service. Many big businesses have social media accounts as well in order to attract more customers. In the case of social media marketing, content strategy is key. When a company posts new and exciting content on a consistent basis, they are building credibility with their audience. Their viewers will begin to anticipate their posts and will have a higher chance of engaging with them or sharing their experience with others. While making numerous posts a week and to multiple platforms, the process of following a social media calendar can make or break your social media presence.
Do Your Research
Whether you’re in charge of one social media account or multiple, organizing should be a major step in the process. That’s why it’s important to create a social media calendar. Creating a social media calendar will help you stay organized across all social networks and come up with a strategy that benefits your audience and your company. If you’re stuck on where to start, use your resources. There are many calendar templates that are online and it’s best to do some research and look through as many as you can to determine what’s best for you and/or your clients. Here at POP MKTG, I custom built a calendar that works great for all of our clients. It consists of a monthly calendar view with color-coded content ideas and labels that allow us to visualize the type of content we are posting each week of the month. Including holidays is also important and is a sure way to have content lined up.
Along with the calendar, I have also included a table that breaks down the specifics of the scheduled posts. These can be different for every client depending on their goals and what they’d like to monitor. In my table, I include a space to put the date and time that the content is scheduled to publish, the content/messaging that can be included in the post description, and also the graphic/video/content file that is being posted. This allows for easy access if there needs to be changes before the post is published. An example would be cross-platform posting. A Facebook post description that includes a link isn’t clickable in the description of an Instagram post since they don’t use hyperlinks. Instead, include the link in your page’s Instagram biography and be sure to mention that in the post description. Multiple description types can be added to the sheet for easy collaboration and scheduling. Also in the table, I include the social platform(s) that content is being posted to, an empty space to include a link to the post after publication, and an empty space to put notes. Both the calendar and the table together allow organization and effective time management.
Having a social media calendar allows everyone involved to see exactly what needs to be posted and when. With the flexibility of being able to schedule posts ahead of time, you’ll never be scrambling to come up with content or have to make posts “on-the-go”. This is exceptionally helpful while working in a team because everyone will know ahead of time what is expected of them and when specific deadlines are.
Here is an example of what a finished content calendar might look like after the planning process:
You can download a template of this calendar by clicking here.
Know Your Audience
Before it’s time to post, you should get to know your target audience and how they engage with your brand. Determine what types of content viewers interact with the most. Do your videos get a lot of views and comments? Does your audience click the link to your website to read a new blog post? Does your audience share images pertaining to a new sale from your company? The sooner these patterns are learned, the quicker you can run successful social campaigns.
It can be tempting to post like crazy, but all of that posting is ineffective unless you have a strategy to follow. As mentioned, knowing your audience is extremely important and requires research. The type of industry you are in is also a key factor in deciding what to post and when. For example, say you are posting for a landscaping company. The majority of your target audience will be seeking out your services during the warmer months of the year. That’s when you’d want to be posting quality content that gives your audience a reason to choose you for their landscaping needs. Now, that doesn’t mean the offseason colder months aren’t important as well. During that time, there can always be more information updated on your company’s website. Whether it be new blog postings, new before and after photos from the previous season, or adding customer reviews.
Typically, you’d want to make posts about new updates to the website (blogs, etc.) right as they happen, that way your audience knows they have new content available to them. However, the timing of these posts is also essential. You wouldn’t post a blog about planting flowers in December. Rather, plan months ahead and make a post about how to prepare for the upcoming season. Little things like that can allow for great posts during both the busy and the slower months. Over time, audiences can evolve and grow. As this happens, it’s essential to audit your strategy and content calendar.
Now that everything is in place, it’s time to set some goals. Setting goals and monitoring your progress can help determine how successful specific campaigns will be. Set numbers that you want to hit for page likes/followers, traffic, conversions, etc. Track your growth during this time and learn what is working and what isn’t. From there, you and your team can discuss any changes that need to be made in order to reach your goals.
If you are interested in creating a social media calendar for your business and want to learn more about it, contact us at POP MKTG today!