How and Why to Build a Social Media Calendar

June 16, 2014

For many companies that have embraced content marketing, editorial calendars are helping keep efforts on track by setting clear metrics for content creation, delivery, and accountability. Social media marketing managers, as well as small businesses that actively market on social media, can harness the same benefits. A social media calendar can help you reach your content and outreach goals, delegate effectively, and ensure that you’re investing enough energy into priority networks. Here’s how to create a social media calendar that can help you achieve your business goals.

What is a social media calendar?

The idea of a social media calendar is borrowed from journalism. Magazines and other publications often create an editorial calendar a year in advance. It breaks down the themebe locally social media calendar of each month, along with ideas for stories, general topics, and even writers that that editors want to work with. In the publishing world, this helps editors assign stories to freelancers and increase advertising revenue. The same concept can be applied to your business. Look at your business from a monthly perspective. Can you pick a general theme that’s relevant to your company each month to publicize? For example, your calendar from June to August could focus on summer-related topics while the holiday season is another natural focal point.

The elements of an effective social media calendar

A social media calendar should essentially be command zero for your social media efforts. In many cases, you have different people that are active on your social accounts. You might use a writer to create content, a marketing person to handle interactions, people from customer service might drop in to manage customer concerns, and the business owner might pop on to engage with his audience. The following template has been effective for many businesses creating social media calendars for the first time.

Account usernames and passwords: Centralize your usernames and passwords for various networks in a single place. If you use software such as Hubspot or Hootesuite, don’t forget to include the username and password for master account access.

Posting frequency goals: Depending on your business and objectives, you’ll want to determine a posting frequency. For example, you may decide to post to Facebook and LinkedIn once a day and to post to Twitter up to 3 times a day spread out throughout the day. Understanding your audience and the rate at which you want to engage with them – and then reflecting that in your plans – helps create momentum and clear targets for delivery.

Content goals: Establish content goals and due dates for each piece or batch of content. Where possible, create your evergreen social media content updates in bulk at the beginning of the month and schedule them in advance. For example, if you’re going to post to Facebook and LinkedIn daily and Twitter three times per day, you know that on average you’ll need 30 updates for Facebook, 30 LinkedIn statuses, and approximately 90 tweets ready to go each month. You can still log into your accounts at any time to post organic updates, but advanced content creation eliminates the stress of writing good material on the fly.

Organizational time: There’s time that will need to be built into your schedule for factors such as uploading tweets, checking accounts for messages and comments, thanking people for shares, and making time to read and promote other people’s content. This can be scheduled in 15 – 20 minute increments throughout the week, with the total time spent determined by how active your accounts are.

A few final notes on success

One of the major factors that make social media calendars a success is accountability. Confirm that each task has a clear deadline and a point person assigned to complete it. Establish ownership of the overall calendar, so there’s one point person who manages the process and has the authority to follow up with people about content creation, posting schedules, and whether adequate time is being spent engaging with the audience.

There are numerous benefits for social media marketing, from building your brand to reaching new audiences to deepening your relationship with existing customers. Approaching your social media marketing efforts in an organized, systematic way can reduce the time you need to spend while increasing your rate of success. If you’re ready to invest in social media marketing for your business but need expert help, contact us today at Be Locally SEO to discuss how our experienced team of social marketers can help you achieve your business goals.

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