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Get Your Sh*t Together: Creating a Social Media Content Calendar

Get Your Sh*t Together: Creating a Social Media Content Calendar

A content calendar is the structure you need for planning strategic content for social media, whilst also helping you track your efforts, create content your audience loves, and meet your marketing goals faster.

 

If you’re reading this article then I have a sneaky suspicion that:

A.) You’re struggling to keep up with your social media posts and think it’s about time you got your sh*t together and created a content calendar.

B.) Your current content calendar isn’t quite doing the job, but you’ve been putting off creating a new one for a while, now you’re hoping this blog post will do all the hard work for you.

C.) You couldn’t care less about a social media content calendar, you just needed to click on something that you could get away with leaving on your work screen, whilst you daydream for a little while.

A, B or C this blog post will will give you a kick ass social media strategy

Getting your social media together consists of:

  1. Why do you need a content calendar?
  2. Planing your content
  3. Build your content calendar
  4. Have a 6 week review

Why do you need a content calendar?

Simply put- to save you time and money. But to also drive engagement. Not just likes, we all know Instagram likes could potentially be leaving us.

Just like a regular content calendar, you’ll decide what and when to publish—but with the added specificity of social platforms.

Treat reach platform differently. Your audience will interact with you differently on each.

Your business will need to generate enough return on investment (ROI) to justify the time and money you’ve invested in your social media strategy. If you haven’t already built one, head over here.

A content calendar is the structure you need for planning strategic content for social media, whilst also helping you track your efforts, create content your audience loves, and meet your marketing goals faster.

Planning your social media content in advance allows you to find a posting schedule that works for your brand.

This also means you can cultivate a posting schedule that is consistent. Consistency is key for building your brand awareness and following.

A content calendar allows you to leave room for time sensitive content. Typically, we allow for 20% of the strategy for time sensitive information.

You wouldn’t want your business to miss out on a good opportunity to jump on the bandwagon for a national hashtag or important date. Use this National Days calendar to stay on top of popular days.

Remember how impactful the World Cup was? Imagine if you hadn’t allowed any time to talk about it!

Let’s say your business is an Italian restaurant and #NationalPizzaDay is coming up, you’re going to want to use this as an opportunity to tweet about your amazing range of delicious artisan, wood fired pizzas- right?

contentcalendar

Or take the chance to engage with your followers on holidays like Mothering Sunday or Halloween!

These aren’t the only reasons why creating a content calendar is vital for your social media strategy.

There’s a whole list of benefits and we could keep singing its praises till the cows come home, but to name a few more:

  • Find a good mix of content, paid for, owned and earned.
  • Encourages the whole team to collaborate and pitch ideas.
  • Time saving
  • Avoid cross-platform errors
  • Ensures fresh content
  • Helps you figure out what works

Planning your content calendar

Planning your content calendar is a good idea for many different types of businesses from marketing teams to bloggers, here’s why:

Marketing teams: Marketing campaigns often include a lot of different components, including social media.

Organised teams  ensure everyone involved in a project understands the social promotion schedule.

Provide your marketing departments visibility on what’s going out and when, helps everyone know what’s going on and specific deadlines.

Small businesses: Stay organised with a calendar.

Not only are you going to save time, you are also going to maintain consistency. This is even more important for small businesses, where resources are limited.

Consultants: If you’re managing social media marketing for a number of clients, you probably sometimes wish you had an extra set of hands.

Getting each client organised on their own calendar can help immensely- especially when you add automation.


Media companies: If you’re creating editorial content, it’ll need social media promotion. Keep it all together on your content calendar.

Bloggers: If blogging is your business, you won’t have time to waste with dysfunctional tools and systems. Make sure every post gets promoted on your calendar.

When you’re planning your content calendar, at the core should be communicating your sales cycles, offers, new products/services.

In an ideal world you would have already downloaded our Ebook How to build a Kick Ass Social Media Strategy and followed the steps to understanding more about your content.

If you haven’t… go download it. Seriously, it will help.

It’s time to begin assessing your existing social media content offers. Creating informed and researched content from this is just the natural flow of your content calendar.

These next steps will allow you to assess your current social media content efforts so that you can create informed and researched content inside your calendar.

  • Set your goals

As a rule of thumb when setting goals, we always use S.M.A.R.T goals. Smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals allow for all employees, across all teams to be working cooperatively towards the same goal.

Add something funky, SMART is important.. But it’s very theory based,

Look at your current social media efforts, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What platforms are you using?
  • Which ones are performing the best?
  • Should you continue publishing to all of them?
  • Or are there any that can be deprecated?
  • Are there any imposter accounts that need to be shut down?
  • What are all the usernames and passwords of each account?
  • How many times per day are you currently posting to each network?
  • What are the goals for each network?
  • Who is responsible for each channel?

     

It makes sense to attract and engage new prospects you need to be on the same channels as them, right?!

Turn each of your target customers into a buyer persona- give them a name, a job and think about their interest, what are they passionate about?

Find out what they like engaging with, this will be crucial when turning prospects into leads and in turn, customers. Maybe they might even start building your brand for you.

Ok, so you have compiled your audit. Analysed it and you are pretty confident on your buyer persona. It’s time to choose which scheduling tool you’re going to use to start inputting your content.

This could be:

Implementing your content calendar

So now we’ve taken all the relevant steps to start creating our content calendar, fully optimised for your target customer, to drive engagement, build followers and brand awareness.

Your content calendar needs to be scheduled in 12 weeks blocks  6 weeks in, review, review and review some more on what worked well, and what might need some improvement.

Dependent on which template you decide to use, or how you create your own you will organise your content differently.

We recommend splitting your content in to topics.

Each week will cover a different topic, and then each day will be split further into subtopics of that topic.

For example a main topic would be, Inbound Marketing.

This can then be split into subtopics of, Social media marketing, SEO, Blog writing etc..

The content will be broken down into month, week and days and by social media platform.

HubSpot has a really great template.

content calendar

6 Weekly Review

You’re not going to get your social media strategy right first time, if you do- kudos.

Once you’ve been through a 6 week cycle it’s time to take a step back and analyse your results.

You should be reporting on your social media marketing every week.

Take everything you’ve learnt from these reports and compile them into a list of learnings for you to start making changes to your content schedule.

Variables to analyse and test could be:

  • Posting time / day
  • Hashtags
  • Tone and Voice
  • Type of content- videos, infographics.
  • Target audience

We’re constantly playing with and testing different factors to see what works best or alternatively, if something could work better.

You should review your social media content calendar every 6 weeks, it may take awhile before you get the recipe just right or you may get it right straight away!

Be patient.

Its very much a snowball effect.

Now you have the knowledge and template to start building your very own social media content calendar, there is simply no excuse for not getting your sh*t together.

Now if you’ve got to the end of this article, let’s go back to the beginning and determine how you feel after reading it.

A.) You’ve found this really useful and feel like you can officially start to get your sh*t together.

B.) This has been helpful, and the process of building your content calendar is easier than you thought it was going to be.

C.) You’ve successfully managed to daydream for 5 minutes without your boss suspecting a thing.

Whether you’re A, B or C, if you’re still struggling with getting your sh*t together (your social media content calendar, not your entire life- Sarah Knight can help you do that..)

Schedule a face-to-face or book in a 15 minute phone call.

 

Communicate Your Brand

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