As compelling as social media can be for everyday individuals, it’s a little different for businesses. Facebook and Twitter aren’t just fun ways to check up on friends, they’re tools to reach a target audience in meaningful, creative ways. With a business objective, of course, comes the need for a plan, and a plan means a schedule. Here’s how to create an effective social media calendar to assist you in achieving your every marketing objective.
Set Up Categories
Any good social media strategy takes into account multiple categories of content, ranging from images to blog posts. Determine what options are most effective and most receptive for your audience and which are the least useful to your overall objectives. In order to build an effective calendar, you must know what you are scheduling, so setting up the categories you need, how they will be distributed, and who will be handling them is an important first step.
Once you’ve determined the categories you wish to include, it’s time to enter them in your calendar. Decide what posts you want to place and when based on factors like peak traffic, audience engagement, and business cycles. Consider setting a schedule that is largely consistent, like blog posts on Monday and Thursday and video content on Wednesday, in order to create a manageable work flow each week.
Plan Your Content
Now comes the fun part: planning your content. What do you want to distribute, and when you do you want to distribute it? Come up with ideas, prompts, themes, promotions, and quotes that can be shared and assign them to spots on your calendar. Create the Facebook posts and tweets you want to distribute, assign writers and topics to blog posts, and devise an organized, systematic approach to content curation and distribution.
Schedule Special Events
Regular posts are a great start, but every year is full of special moments. If there’s a holiday coming up, a special promotion you’re planning, or a key date in the industry, work this into your social media calendar. Create special posts centered around these days, whether blogs to explain a new product launch or promotional tweets to advertise a contest. Make sure these special posts are clearly labeled to ensure they aren’t missed in the hustle and bustle of your standard calendar events.
Find Content in Advance
Images and videos can be a serious challenge in a marketing strategy; unlike written content, visual media can’t be created out of thin air. Instead, consider the content coming up on your calendar and do your best to find appropriate pictures and footage ahead of time. Planning ahead is a big part of an effective campaign, and without the time to secure material worth sharing, it will be much harder to make a difference with your followers.
Decide What to Track
Setting up a social media distribution calendar and following it blindly isn’t necessarily the best choice. Instead, it’s important to stay on top of what’s working and what isn’t in your marketing strategies. Once your calendar is in place, you can decide on what metrics to track, focusing on things like which posts get the most views and shares and what leads to traffic on your site, as well as what messages get ignored.
Explore Outside Tools
Making a calendar doesn’t have to be done by hand. As a necessity for every company with a social media marketing presence, calendar tools and templates are widely available online in both free and paid forms. With web-based tools, you have the ability to build social media teams, create interactive calendars, set deadlines and due dates, and automate posting across multiple platforms. With the right technology, it’s easier than ever to bring your social media strategy into the forefront.
Managing a social media calendar can be extremely time consuming, demanding energy and commitment to ensure a proper release of content on a relevant schedule. If you’re not great at prioritization or you’re struggling to make the time to stay organized, that’s okay. Resources like Ensuite Media are a small company’s biggest asset, providing the necessary tools and options to help you manage your social media presence in an impactful way. No matter your favorite platform, your campaign goals, and your chosen techniques, the right calendar can make all the difference.