How to organize your social media posts the easy way
Whether you’re a social media manager in an agency, handling content for various social media channels, or if you’re a freelancer in charge of posting content for your clients, it is crucial to have a social media content calendar for all tasks that need to be done. With so many social networks to manage and publish on, it’s imperative to stay organized and have a plan for when and what you’re going to share on these platforms. A successful social media strategy requires regular publishing and engaging with followers to see the results – that’s why a social media content calendar can help you stay organized and not lose track of anything important.
There are many social media tools you can use to get the most of an established social media strategy. With a social media content calendar, you’ll be able to plan content strategically, set publish dates and times, and even take notes of what is important.
What is a social media content calendar?
It’s all in the name. A social media content calendar is an entire plan of your social media posts for the whole week or month in advance. Depending on how much data you want in that calendar, it can combine the date and time of scheduled posts, visuals, texts, videos and other pieces of content that will be distributed on each social network.
Each brand has its own unique tone of voice, target audience, and social media KPIs they want to achieve. A social media content calendar helps you plan for each social network to customize posts in accordance with these factors and prepare content that brings desired results.
As a social media manager, you should always take the time to craft custom messages for each social media channel. To stay productive and not lose your focus, it’s highly important that you plan everything in advance. By sticking to your social media content calendar, you’ll ensure that you are being thoughtful and intentional with your social media content.
How to create a social media content calendar?
First of all, let me state, there isn’t a template that works for everyone. You can create your own template in Microsoft Excel or you can try out some of the many social media content templates available online. In addition to that, there are many social media tools you can use to establish a publishing schedule:
These are just some that come to my mind that could be universal for most social media managers. Still, for you to be able to fill out your social media content calendar, you need to plan your social media content strategy. Despite knowing your brand very well and having set goals you want to achieve on social media, it might seem overwhelming to come up with new ideas each week or month to fill an entire calendar.
Every brand should have its own unique social media content strategy. That’s why for a winning combination you’ll probably need various social media tools approaches to help you execute your strategy efficiently to drive ROI.
Social media content calendar – Deciding what to post
It doesn’t matter if this is your first gig as a social media freelancer or if you’re an experienced social media marketer – your social media content needs to be planned and not ad-hoc. If you want the job to be done properly and to see the results of your work, you’ll have to be consistent and ensure that your audience knows what they can expect from your posts. That doesn’t mean you can’t think of new things and try some different strategies. It only means you’ll have to maintain an active social media presence by regularly and consistently posting content.
“Social media is all about appealing to the people who follow your brand and providing them with value.” (Sproutsocial)
Think of the topics you can cover with your posts. Obviously, they should be relatable to the products or services that the brand you are representing online as a social media marketer. Think of all the ways you can present those products and services to your target audience: educate them, spread awareness, enlighten them, make them thirst for more. If you’re not feeling very inspired, there are many ways to come up with amazing ideas for social media content: even if you’re in a so-called boring industry or don’t know how to utilize user-generated content, we’ve ensured you a few techniques that will help you create a fixed content schedule for all of your social media accounts.
Once you’ve gathered all the ideas on topics you want to post, plan ahead different types of how you’ll present them online:
- Will you use images? If so, how many? How many of these posts will include single images, gallery posts, slideshows, etc.? Will you need to photograph them or will you have to buy a certain amount of stock photos?
- How many videos will you need? Will this include live video streaming or natively uploaded video content? Do you maybe have a video from before you haven’t used that may come in handy right now?
- Sometimes the catchy text is all you need. That’s why having a good copywriter is essential for a good social media strategy. Especially for social networks such as Twitter where you don’t need visuals with every post you publish.
- Link posts to external content such as your blog or webshop can also be included in his section.
Unless you’re just starting with a certain social network for your brand, don’t forget to look at the performance of your previous posts in the analytics section of each social media you’re using. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat all offer plenty of insights into the performance of each social media post you’ve published. Use it wisely to conduct research of what worked well before, why and see if you can draw some conclusions for your social media strategy. That way, you’ll be able to incorporate successful pieces of content into your next weekly or monthly plan.
Optimizing your posting schedule for each social media
Except using social media analytics for tracking the performance of your content, it’s also important to find trends and patterns in the data to see how people on different platforms react to different posting times.
Every audience is different, and even though your target audience may be the same on both Facebook and Twitter, that doesn’t mean they’ll act similarly. There are many brands that are posing on Facebook in the mornings, but this to scheduling posts on Twitter in the evenings because that’s when their target audience is most active. As always, as a social media manager, you’ll need to conduct analysis and get an understanding of your audience. Once you get into a rhythm, you’ll be able to publish more content faster and conduct a social media content calendar more efficiently.
The stage where you actually create your social media content calendar
Once you’ve decided:
- What you’ll post (topics you’ll cover with your posts)
- Social networks that you’ll be posting on
- Visuals that will go with each post (images, videos, links, etc.)
- Copywriting (texts that will go with each post)
- Time and date when posts will be published on each social network,
you can create a social media content calendar and fill it with everything above. If you need additional data, add some other sections as well: advertising budget for each post, target audience, KPIs you want to achieve, some special notes regarding certain posts (such as hashtags to include)… Curate social media content calendar that will work for you, your needs and your brand, products or services.
Monitor these aspects and make improvements wherever needed. I am sure that few social media content calendars later, you’ll notice your productivity levels have gone up and the time you once wasted on posting content ad-hoc has gone down.