Creating an effective social media calendar that will meet your specific needs doesn’t happen overnight. You need to follow certain steps to ensure your template checks all the boxes. When you’re new to the whole concept of making a calendar for social media, having your goals clear is a must. That’s why you might want to master your social media marketing strategy first. Once you have clearly understood what you want to accomplish, you can proceed to create your social media calendar by following these steps.
1. Have a Look at Your Current Social Media Strategy and Content
Auditing what you’re currently posting on social media and your previous efforts will give you a much clearer picture of what’s working so far and what you need to improve. This will allow you to develop a more efficient strategy to boost your return on investment.
Make sure to go through all of your assets so that you can better determine what gets the most engagement. Other elements to consider while auditing include:
- Impostor accounts among your followers
- Ghosts or outdated accounts that no longer interact with your posts
- Weak passwords
- Account security vulnerabilities
- Short and long-term goals
- KPIs per branded account by platform
- Your user persona
- Who in your team is responsible for certain tasks
- Successful posts and campaigns
- Result-yielding tactics
- Gaps and underwhelming results
- Areas of improvement
- Metrics for future success by platform
Once you’ve examined how you’ve conducted your social media efforts, you can create a refreshed strategy that will resonate with your audience. Make special emphasis to understand your weaknesses so that you’re able to turn them into strengths once you set up your calendar.
2. Select Your Preferred Social Media Platforms to Communicate With Your Audience
Just because a social media platform exists, it doesn’t mean you need to incorporate it into your strategy. You need to understand where your audience is and tackle those channels for more efficient communication. Learn more about each network’s demographics and determine if putting efforts into creating content for them is worth it to reach your goals.
Once you’ve decided where you’ll be posting, you’ll have a clearer idea of how much content you’ll need to generate. Additionally, you’ll be able to begin planning the best times to post on each social media site.
3. Determine the Data You’ll Need to Include in your Calendar
No two social media calendars are built the same way. That’s because each business has different content creation and posting needs to attract and maintain their audience. Decide what your social media calendar is going to look like and start mapping out the information you’ll need to include.
The more accounts you manage, the more complex your calendar will need to be. Some of the details you might need to incorporate into your social media calendar are:
- Time zone
- Visual assets
You can even include additional notes that will help anyone involved to understand if a post is paid or organic, its budgeting details if it’s been approved, and if it’s already been posted. On top of that, adding analytics is an excellent way to keep track of the performance of your posts for future audits.
4. Establish a Clear Workflow
To start drafting your social media calendar, you need to determine if you’ll be working on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Then you can start thinking about factors like:
- How often you’ll post
- The best times to reach your audience
- How much content you’ll post on each platform
- Who’s approving the content you’re posting
- The creative process behind each post
- The production process
This information will let you outline your workflow. Make a copy of it and share it with your social media team. This way, everyone will be in sync regarding definitions and processes. Creating an additional tab in your social media calendar spreadsheet is a great way to ensure this data is available for all other parties involved.
5. Produce and Publish Your Posts
Taking care of the steps above will probably get the ideas flowing. Use that creative momentum to come up with content to add to your social media calendar. The more posts, the merrier. You can always distribute them throughout a certain period. You can add columns, notes, color codes, images, etc.
Brainstorm with your team and evaluate your calendar as you go. The goal is for the final document to be clear for everyone involved. Be sure to include all the details and organize your data in a way that everyone can understand it.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your colleagues, especially those who will use the calendar every day. Check for gaps and make sure that:
- Everyone has the password
- All team members understand the parameters
- Everybody knows how to represent your brand identity and voice in the posts
- Everyone has access to the necessary assets
Once all that’s taken care of, you can proceed to schedule your posts. Remember to publish consistently and, if needed, use an automation tool to handle your feeds.
Pro Tip: Create an Asset Content Library
Having a digital social media database will save you tons of time when you need specific visual content to enhance your posts. Use your favourite cloud storage service to keep copies of pictures, memes, infographics, and any other content that may come in handy at some point. This will spare you the need to spend hours on end looking for the perfect image you swear you saw somewhere online.