05: Easy-to-Use Social Media Content Planner
BECAUSE GREAT CONTENT DOES NOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT
Social media has become an integral part of our lives. As a result, businesses are leveraging these powerful platforms to connect with their target audience. Yet, without proper planning, maintaining an active and engaging presence across multiple social media channels can be a daunting task.
An easy-to-use social media content planner helps you prepare and organize what you will post on social media. No more scrambling to write something at the last minute, guessing when to publish it, and forgetting that you need to include a visual component like a photo or video.
Continue on to explore what a social media content calendar is, how to create one, and the countless benefits it can offer to your business
If you’ve been following our social media series and completing the steps along the way, you’ve
- Written down 3 SMART Goals
- Documented your audience personas
- Completed an audit of your social media accounts
- Gathered inspiration from around the web
Now it’s time to put it all together and create a content calendar.
What is a Social Media Content Planner?
Imagine going through your work week without a calendar to guide you. Is the quarterly strategy review an in-person meeting, or do I join via video conference? Isn’t it Sue in accounting’s birthday on Friday? Was I supposed to get the cupcakes? Feeling a bit lost?
Simply put, a social media content calendar, also known as a social media content planner, is a centralized document or tool that helps you organize and schedule your social media posts in advance. In addition, it serves as a roadmap for your social media strategy, enabling you to plan, create, and distribute content consistently across various platforms.
Creating Your Social Media Content Calendar
Within your social media content calendar, you’ll want to:
Select appropriate social media platforms: Each social media platform has its own unique user base and content format. Choose the platforms that align with your target audience and business objectives. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other platform, ensure your content is tailored to fit the specific platform’s best practices.
Establish a consistent posting schedule: Consistency is key when it comes to social media success. Determine how frequently you want to post on each platform and create a posting schedule that is feasible and realistic for you and your team. Consistency not only helps you build a loyal following but also ensures that your content reaches a wider audience.
List the dates and times you will publish content on each channel. As you do, keep your audience’s demographics, interests, pain points, and preferences top of mind. This will help you craft content that speaks directly to their needs and desires.
Brainstorm Content Ideas: Generating a steady stream of engaging content can be challenging. Set aside time to brainstorm ideas that align with your goals, target audience, and brand identity. Think about different content formats such as blog posts, images, videos, infographics, and user-generated content. The more diverse your content is, the more likely you are to capture your audience’s attention.
Include several columns to document information about copy, imagery, links, videos, and any other components that make up your social media post. Additionally, your calendar is a great place to capture content ideas for the future.
Determine the right content mix: Before diving into creating your first social media post, think back to the S.M.A.R.T. goals you created earlier, and the purpose of each social media profile.
As you begin to develop content, ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I trying to achieve through your social media presence?
- Am I looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to my website, generate leads, or foster customer engagement?
The answers to these questions will help you tailor your content accordingly. Everything you post should work to support your goals.
Keep it simple or make it complex: Your calendar can be as straightforward or involved as you and your team need it to be.
PRO TIP: Not sure where to start? Follow the 80-20 rule:
- 80% of your posts should inform, educate, or entertain your audience
- 20% can directly promote your brand
The Benefits of Using a Social Media Content Calendar
Improved Organization: A social media content calendar provides a visual representation of your entire social media strategy, making it easier to organize and plan your content. You can easily see what content is scheduled for each day, week, or month, ensuring a cohesive and consistent brand voice across platforms.
Time and Resource Efficiency: By planning your social media content in advance, you save valuable time and resources. No more scrambling to come up with last-minute content ideas or posting inconsistently. With a social media content calendar, you can batch-create content, schedule posts in advance, and focus on other important aspects of your business.
Enhanced Content Quality: Planning your content in advance allows you to invest more time in creating high-quality and engaging posts. You can research, write, design, and review your content with more attention to detail. This results in content that is well-crafted, thoughtful, and tailored to your audience’s preferences.
Consistent Brand Messaging: Consistency is crucial for building a strong brand presence. A social media content calendar enables you to maintain a consistent brand voice, visual aesthetics, and messaging across all your social media platforms. This consistency reinforces your brand identity and fosters trust and loyalty among your audience.
Effective Audience Engagement: A social media content calendar helps you plan content that encourages audience interaction and engagement. You can incorporate polls, questions, contests, and other interactive elements into your content strategy, fostering meaningful conversations and building relationships with your followers.
Streamline Your Social Media Efforts
By setting clear goals, understanding your target audience, creating a consistent posting schedule, and utilizing a content planning tool, you can streamline your social media efforts, improve content quality, and drive better results. So, start planning, get creative, and unlock the potential of your social media presence!
Remember, a social media content calendar is not set in stone. It should be flexible enough to accommodate changes and adapt to the ever-evolving social media landscape. Regularly review and refine your content calendar based on your analytics and feedback from your audience to ensure continuous improvement and relevance. Happy planning and socializing!
Read the first four chapters of the six-step social media strategy guide
01: Create Social Media Marketing Goals >>> 02: Create Buyer Personas to Attract Your Ideal Customer >>> 03: Learn How to Conduct an Audit of Your Social Media >>> 04: Find Inspiration for Your Social Media Content