social media calendar

How to Create a Social Media Calendar That Actually Works

By John Ocampos

Managing multiple accounts or even just a single social media account will take a lot of your time, effort and creativity. It gets hard to organize content, social media images and schedules all at once without proper planning and documentation. To save you from these pain-in-the-head moments, creating a social media calendar is essential.

A social media calendar is considered one of the most useful tools in your marketing plan and one of the most effective tools in social media marketing since this allows you to try different strategies until you find the one that works for you and your brand.

Having a social media calendar, whether just as simple as keywords to outline your plan for the month or a full blown one that contains all the details like content copies, hashtags, emojis and links, will definitely save you time and effort.

But how can you create a social media content calendar that actually works? Here are some tips we’ve gathered for you to guide you as you create your own.

1. Determine Your Social Media Goals

As you start your social media calendar, know what your goals are. Set your long-term and short-term goals. In setting your short-term goals, think and start small, make it specific and set a realistic time-frame.

Do you want to increase your sales through social media or you just want brand awareness?

Each post should also have a clear goal. Will it educate? Will it entertain or will it sell your product?

2. Conduct a Simple Social Media Audit

Conducting an audit of all your social media channels will help determine your goals and allow you to do adjustments if necessary. Doing this process will let you review your analytics, your audience and their demographics. You’ll be able to see also your post performances, campaign results and most effective tactics. Take note of posts that got high engagement from your audience.

Conducting your audit also let you know which social media platforms work well for your brands. Audit also your competitors and learn about their posting pattern and posting time as well as the engagement they get.

3. Find or Create a Social Media Calendar Template

Many social media calendar templates are now readily available in the internet. You just have to choose and download the template that you are most comfortable with. But if you want to create your own, you can utilize a page or spreadsheet to start. You may have the following data in your template:

  • Social media channel
  • Date
  • Time
  • Content
  • Visual material (images, videos, infographics, gift)
  • Link to assets
  • Link to published post (blogs, forum, articles)

4. Know What to Post

Social media is all about reaching to your desired audience, getting your message across your target market and making sure you get back the engagement you want.

Knowing what to post is usually what eats up your time. Having a content plan makes it easier and your content manageable.

The results from your social media audit can help you determine what copies to create as not all content can be shared and not all are suitable to all social media channels depending on your niche market and industry. Here are suggested contents you can have in your social media platforms:

  • Quick tips
  • Memes or gifs
  • UGC – user-generated content
  • Livestreams
  • Infographics
  • Testimonials
  • Company photos
  • Contests
  • Polls and surveys
  • Holiday and special occasion posts

5. Organize a Posting Schedule

After creating your content plan, your next questions should be, when will be the best time for me to post? How many posts should you make in a day?

Posting time should not be based on the time that you feel like it or on your convenience, it should always follow your audience highest peak of engagement. Learn the peak hours of the channel you are using and the suggested number to optimize better your posts.

Facebook:

  • Best time – Midweek, 11 A.M. to 1 P.M.
  • Safe time – Weekdays, 9 A.M. to 3 P.M.

Twitter:

  • Best time – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9 A.M. to 4 P.M.
  • Safe time – Monday and Thursdays 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Instagram:

  • Best time – Midweek 10 A.M. to 11 A.M.
  • Safe time – Tuesday to Friday 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.  

LinkedIn:

  • Best time – Midweek 9 A.M. to 12 P.M.
  • Safe time – Tuesday to Friday 8 A.M. to 2 P.M.

You may follow these time slots and study your engagement after a month. Your next content calendar should be based on the performances of your posts in these time slots. If it works for you, follow through and if not, do some adjustments.

6. Be Consistent

You may be wondering what is lacking with your social media marketing that hinders your brand from flourishing. Sure, it may be your content calendar that you are learning to do right now, or it could actually be your posting consistency.

Now that you have created a somewhat concrete plan for your social media marketing, be consistent and follow your schedule. This may take a lot of your time if you have to do it manually everyday so it’s better use posting tools. Scheduling your post ahead of time is the key for your success as this allows you to do other things like keep track of your engagement, research about latest trends and engage with your audience.

There a lot of options for posting tools and a ton of them are free. Facebook has its own scheduler that you can utilize, while Twitter has Tweetdeck that have a very nice interface. You can also use third-party management tools like Hootsuite, Later, Sprout Social, Buffer, etc.

7. Keep Track of Your Metrics

Your content calendar is not just your cheat sheet. It should be use to track your analytics as well. Track and measure your success and take note of the strategies that worked well. You may save it and reintroduce it in your next content calendar.

The information you get from your calendar is important and can be basis on how you can optimize your next one.

Final Thoughts

Social media is a big world. It may be quite overwhelming at times, but if you have the right tools and the right mindset, you can be part of that world and make your brand flourish. As a social media marketer, always keep in mind your goals in everything that you do. Your time is valuable and a well-planned social media marketing content calendar is key to your resounding success.

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John Ocampos
John Ocampos is an Opera Singer by profession and a member of the Philippine Tenors. Ever since, Digital Marketing has always been his forte. He is the Founder of SEO Guru, and the Managing Director of Tech Hacker. John is also the Strategic SEO and Influencer Marketing Manager of Softvire Australia - the leading software eCommerce company in Australia and New Zealand.

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