Social media can be a gold mine for promoting your business—but only if you know how to use it. Keeping track of trends in the industry and crafting the right response to breaking news can consume your day as a social media manager. But just staying on top of the news cycle doesn’t work if you’re looking for brand consistency and evergreen content that doesn’t disappear after the next big headline.
Striking the right balance on your social media accounts can be daunting. That’s why the most successful social media managers use social media calendars to organize their content, schedule posts, and stay on top of trends.
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The Benefits of an Editorial Calendar
Creating a functional, well-organized social media calendar has many benefits—the least of which is that it saves you from the frantic daily hunt for relevant content.
From an organizational point of view, a social media calendar will keep you and your team on top of deadlines and allow for greater brand consistency. By determining what content you want to post and having a calendar with clear deadlines, your team members will get a better idea of your overall social media marketing strategy.
Even if you’re flying solo, adopting an editorial calendar makes sense. Having a social media calendar will save you time and allow you to pre-schedule content for major events, like holidays, the Super Bowl, or your next big fundraiser. And when you pre-schedule content, you are more likely to double-check your work. That means fewer embarrassing typos and deleted posts.
From an analytics point of view, having consistent content will make your data more valuable and give you a better sense of how well your social media marketing strategy is working. With a regular posting schedule, you’ll have a better sense of how engaging your posts are to your followers. You’ll also know which platforms work best for your target audience, and the kinds of content your followers like to see.
Creating Your Social Media Calendar
After you’ve armed yourself with premium social media marketing training, all that’s left is developing a system to organize your content. In a few simple steps, you can create an individualized editorial calendar to help you meet your marketing goals.
Find the Right Platform
Choosing your platform is important because you want your calendar to be functional, efficient, and accessible to your team. If you have many people posting content each week, having a digital platform is probably most efficient. You might choose a paid program like Loomly or Sprout Social, or you might opt for a shareable spreadsheet. If you are the main social media manager, you can even choose a paper calendar.
Set Your Goals
Setting goals is a crucial part of any marketing strategy. If you’re not sure where to begin, analysts have already done the hard work of determining where and how often to post for maximum visibility. You should also set a target for engagement—how much growth would you like to see by the end of the month, quarter, or fiscal year?
Create and Schedule Your Content
This is the most familiar part of the process—creating and scheduling your content. Begin by pre-scheduling content for important events. After that, look for gaps in your calendar and make a plan that allows you to balance evergreen and responsive content across platforms.
Check Your Data
Finally, check and record your data. Ask yourself: which posts are most popular? What time of day are your followers engaging with your content? What platforms work best for your content? Adjust your calendar as needed based on incoming data.
Calendar Ideas for Social Media Success
With so many options available, it’s important to remember that whether you use a day planner or a high-tech platform, the best social media calendar is the one that works for you and your team. Thankfully, the internet is full of templates and calendar ideas to inspire your individualized editorial calendar.
If you don’t have a huge output of content to manage, you might consider a simple editorial calendar with a list of article titles by month or week. You can then disseminate this calendar to your team.
If you need a more flexible template across multiple platforms, a spreadsheet is often the easiest way to go. A spreadsheet is shareable, collaborative, and easy to read. You can create columns for each social media platform and get a quick snapshot of your weekly or monthly goals. Templates like the one shared by Digital Opportunity Trust show a column for status (posted v. scheduled content), and different tabs for content and analytics. Hootsuite also has a social media calendar template that is so good, they use it themselves. It enables you to strike out posted content and track data in one easy platform. With a wide variety of calendar ideas available online, it’s easy to find a template that will work for your team.
The Value of Consistency
An editorial calendar is one of the easiest ways to ensure your social media marketing strategy is consistent, thoughtful, and effective. Creating a social media calendar enables you to be intentional about your marketing strategy and meet deadlines. Whether you’re working alone or collaborating with a team, having a functional calendar is the first step toward a proactive social media marketing strategy that will boost your brand and support the growth of your business.
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Strike the Right Balance on Social Media with Simplilearn
Social media is an essential component of any digital marketing campaign. New platforms and proven techniques are constantly evolving and being added to the mix, so it can feel overwhelming for professionals to keep up. That’s why it’s a great idea to keep your skills up to date through training from top experts in the field. Simplilearn’s Advanced Social Media Certification Training provides everything you need to become a top-notch social media marketer. Enroll today!