If you’re new to the social media world, you might be thinking “what the HECK is a social media content calendar?” A social media content calendar is exactly what it sounds like: A document that keeps track of all your social media posts for the week/month/year. If you’re in charge of organizing your company’s social media strategy, you won’t want to go another day without one of these calendars.
Benefits of a Social Media Content Calendar
- It saves time & stress: With an organized calendar, you can plan and schedule all of your social media posts in advance instead of knocking it out on the day of. For example, If you know you have a new product launching next week, you can create the promotional copy, gather all of your materials, and schedule the post ahead of time. Creating and scheduling your posts ahead of time also reduces the risk of forgetting to post, will ensure your content is being published when your audience is active, and alleviate the fear of forgetting important dates.
- It keeps you organized: Tired of using multiple documents to keep track of past and future social media posts? With a content calendar, all of your posts for the week/month/year can be kept in one place. Seeing everything in one place can give you a better visual of what your feed will look like.
- Ensures post consistency: When using a social media calendar, you can ensure no days or weeks will go without a single piece of content being published. This will create a consistent flow of activity on your company’s social media channels and help your brand develop its voice.
- Encourages Team collaboration: If you’re working on your company’s social media strategy with a team of people, creating a calendar is a great way to collaborate. Your entire team can jump into the calendar together to share ideas, make edits, and plan future content.
What to Include in Your Content Calendar
There’s a few important things you’ll want to include in your content calendar, including:
- Content categories: This is the fun part where you decide what type of content will be published. You can create a different category for every day of the week or keep it simple and repeat here and there.
- Some content category examples: Blog Posts, Product Promotions, About Us, User Generated Content, Upcoming Company Events, etc.
- The day, date, and time that your post will be scheduled
- Post Copy: Use this section to write the text for your post
- Links: Including a link in your post? Include it in this section so you don’t lose it.
- Assets needed: Will this post include a photo? A video?
Social Media Content Calendar Tools
There’s a number of free and paid tools you can use to create your content calendar, Here are a few of our favorites:
Google Sheets: Google Sheets is a great tool to create a social media calendar in. It’s free to use, very user friendly, and allows for collaboration among teams. You can create new tabs at the bottom for different social media accounts, months of the year, or for anything else your team needs for reference. This way all of your information is easily accessible within one document.
ContentCal: If you’re willing to pay for a content calendar tool, Content Cal is a good option. Content Cal is not only a social media calendar tool, but an automatic scheduling tool as well. It’s loaded with great features, too. For example, you can create content categories, add team members and link all of your social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), change the approval system, and customize the dates and times your posts will be automatically scheduled.
HeyOrca: HeyOrca, like Content Cal, is a paid social media calendar tool. If you’re a marketer managing multiple clients, this may be a good tool to use. Each of your clients is given a designated social media calendar where all of their content and assets are kept. You can customize the approval process, organize content by tags or categories, and much, much more.
Sprout Social: Sprout Social is another content calendar/scheduling platform you can use to create your posts. It’s very user friendly and easy to connect social media accounts to. The beauty of Sprout Social is it’s bulk scheduling feature. If you have one post that you want to go out every Wednesday of the month, you can just click through the calendar and it will copy that post to each date you choose. The only drawback of Sprout Social compared to other tools is that it doesn’t have the greatest calendar format. It also isn’t customizable and doesn’t offer the approval process like the other tools offer.
If you manage the social media accounts for your company, you shouldn’t have to think twice about creating a social media content calendar. It will save you a TON of time, stress, and sanity in the long run. We promise that once you have your calendar created, you’ll never look back at your old process.
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