While you might not think it’s too necessary at first, a social media calendar is akin to cleaning up and organizing your house. Sure, you could leave it a mess and try to fetch things from random places as required, but that wastes a lot of time and is genuinely frustrating. Setting up an efficient social media calendar, on the other hand, allows access to whatever you may need in the blink of an eye, plus it helps you track different strategies and monitor their success better.
What a social media calendar contains?
- Predicted date and time of every upcoming post
- The name of the platform you plan to post it on
- The posts’ text, as well as any media attached to it
- Links, tags, and hashtags you plan to include
- Any other relevant information the team needs to keep in mind
Depending on the social media platforms you’re focusing on, the calendar can include just one or multiple social media networks. However, if you do post on various platforms, we suggest you organize them well to eliminate any confusion or mistakes that may come to pass. Posting on Facebook is great, but posting on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter is even better.
Now that you know what a calendar should contain, it’s time for a quick overview of how it can help you out and its most significant benefits.
This is self-explanatory, but social media strategy is important, and well, finishing up your posts in a hurry after your 3rd cup of coffee at 11 PM won’t do anyone any favors.
Planning ahead allows you to stay organized and avoid unnecessarily stressful multitasking.
In addition, having a calm mind might even stimulate your creative ganglia ( if you’re working at 11 PM, it’s probably the sole survivor) and help develop more creative ideas.
Improve Social Media Strategy
We never know how much time we have on our hands until we actually jot it down and see what a mess we’ve made of our workday. By implementing a calendar, you’ll have a clear line of sight on everything you’re doing and will finally be able to let your brain explore new avenues and expand the strategies already in place.
Many brands run multiple campaigns at once, and whether you’re the head of a small team or an enterprise, a well-organized workflow takes you to infinity and beyond.
Never Miss Something Important and Post Consistently
Keeping a tight schedule makes room for important moments relevant to your brand to be noticed. So, you never again have to check socials near the end of the day, only to witness that an egg has broken the internet. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.
By knowing exactly when you’ll be posting in advance, you’re allowing your team time to prepare and create excellent material. If everyone’s in a hurry, it’ll show. The last thing any marketer wants is for their content to seem pushy or simply there to fish for likes, except, in this case, the bait doesn’t seem all that alluring.
How to Create a Social Media Calendar
Steps towards creating a killer social media calendar:
- Auditing content
- Deciding what the calendar needs to track
- Creating a media resource database
- Establishing a workflow, reviewing and improving
Keeping with the organization’s theme (Marie Kondo would be proud), the first thing you have to do is audit your social media content. This way, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of your efforts so far and see what works and what needs to be improved upon. Nothing can help you move forward but clarity.
Dedicate some time towards fine-tuning everything related to your socials, such as; who’s responsible for what, goals for each account by platform, where you did the best, and where you did the worst, and monitor target audience stats such as demographics and personas.
Deciding What the Calendar Needs to Track
The first thing we want to mention here is not to rush into joining a platform that might not be the best option for your brand at this very moment. Before you decide to expand to other social media channels, you should track their demographics and see how viable joining that platform is at the moment.
If you’re heading a small team, a simple spreadsheet might do the trick. However, if there’s more than one platform involved and more than a few social we suggest you put the following parameters in place.
- Date and Time (include the time zone also)
- Copy and visuals attached to it
- Links to assets and the post once it’s published.
- Format specific to the platform (Insta story, a poll, an ad, a live stream, etc.)
- Geo-targeting ( is it for Europe only, global, South America, you get the point)
- What the campaign is affiliated with ( a product launch, brand awareness campaign, an ad, a collaboration…)
Creating a media resource database
In essence, this is the place where you’ll be storing everything required for socials. Instead of creating a desktop folder named “work stuff” or “socials images 1, 2, and 3,” you’ll have a dedicated space where not only you but also your team can add media files and browse through if there’s anything they need. Many use cloud storage for this, and for the most part, this is probably the best solution. Just make sure that the one you decide on has robust security features, as many services lack this.
Browse online and find the best cloud storage service with the following features:
- Can store large files
- Accessible from mobile and home computer in case of remote work
- Easily shareable with team members
- Provides links for each asset, so you can include them in the calendar
Establishing a Workflow, Reviewing and Improving
Once you’ve hoarded everything into one place, it’s time to think about the basic structure of your workflow.
Here are some factors to consider:
- How often to post (do this for every social network)
- Do posts need to be approved, and if so, who needs to do it
- Assign roles for content creation and create a rough draft of brainstorming sessions
- The ideal time to post based on analytics
Tip: According to recent research, the ideal number of posts for Facebook is 1-2 times per day, 1-3 times per day for Instagram, and 1-2 times per week for LinkedIn. Twitter is a bit more demanding, with the ideal number of posts being 3-10 each day.
The final step is to make sure that the calendar is completely intuitive and that the team doesn’t have to ask special permission to access each task assigned to them. It’s also essential to leave some time between content creation and the actual publication to ensure enough time to review and improve anything that might need improving.
What to Use for Your Social Media Calendar?
Many brands just opt for a simple Excel spreadsheet, but if you have little to no idea on how to create and organize one (not everyone is an expert in organization, some of us are just naturally chaotic), there are quite a few free social calendar templates you could utilize.
Free Social Calendar Templates:
Some of these require registration, while others do not, but all of them are completely free of charge.
Ready to Slay the Game
The key to the success of any project is a good organization, and social media is no different. There’s no magic wand that can do all the work for you, but a well-maintained social media calendar will almost feel like one if you get it right. It takes a bit of work and some elbow grease, but it’s well worth it in the end.