Planning a Social Media Content Calendar: Where Do You Start?
Scrambling for every social media post is a stressful and inefficient use of time. However, many businesses leave their social planning until the moment the post is needed. The best way to manage social media posting is to create a content calendar in advance. This allows brands to pre-plan content a month at a time, leaving plenty of room for strategy and fine-tuning.
Want to craft your own social media content calendar? Here’s how to start!
Plan strategy pillars
The backbone of a good content rotation is built with strategy pillars. These are broad areas in which the brand would like to show expertise. Under the pillars are subtopics that can guide the development of social media posts. This will create an interesting mix of content to help retain followers and attract new customers. It may also lay out how many posts you want focused on your product versus, thought leadership, business and employee news, educational content and more.
From your pillars, you can then start building out content.
Visuals are incredibly important when it comes to social media. It’s been found that visuals make up 90% of the information transmitted to the brain, and that they are processed 60,000 times faster than text. This means that investing in good photography, creating custom graphics and developing video content when appropriate are key in connecting with target audiences.
Copy that connects
While visuals play an integral role in the success of your social media channels, copy is also important. Strong copywriting should grab the prospect’s attention and lead the audience to the desired action with a captivating call to action (CTA). Additionally, proper spelling and grammar make a good impression, so much so that errors can actually damage the brand image. Copy can also drive traffic through SEO and search efforts on social media.
Create your calendar
These three areas will help you fill out your content calendar. Many companies offer free versions including HubSpot, ContentCal (Adobe) and HootSuite. Or, you can create your own in Excel or Word. Features such as color coding for strategy/topic pillars and the ability to link to visual assets are ideal. Keep in mind, each social media platform should have its own post that embraces its unique format and features.
Schedule in advance
Once you have your content calendar planned out, you can use technology tools such as HootSuite or Buffer to schedule your posts in advance. This allows you to optimize the day of the week and time of day each post goes live to improve performance.
Get it on the calendar
Social media is a wonderful way to connect directly with your target audience. Businesses shouldn’t be scraping together posts last minute for such a beneficial asset. Taking time to create a content calendar that utilizes pillar strategy, high-quality visuals and exceptional copy will make a huge difference in any platform’s performance.