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“What should we post next on social media?”— One question that has burdened all of our minds.
However, you can save your team from this nuisance with a pre-planned social media content calendar. Hubspot research states that companies that publish more than 16 posts a month generate 3.5 times more traffic than those which publish less than 4.
But it does take a considerable amount of time to produce 16 well-researched and valuable pieces of content a month, and it’s difficult to conjure impactful topics out of thin air without having some semblance of strategy.
And oddly enough, 63% of businesses don’t have a documented strategy, which means they resort to an ad-lib approach and come up with the topics they will cover on the fly.
While the impromptu technique is good for some businesses, it is still no excuse for low-quality content. That’s why brands eliminate the risks and start out with strategic planning of a social media content calendar to churn out high-quality posts.
Now that you know that your marketing ventures need to be documented, let’s find out how a social media content calendar can help you with that effectively.
Need for a Social Media Content Calendar
A social media content calendar helps you organize your upcoming content by detailing what and when you will post.
With this document in place, you’ll spare yourself the terror of coming up with the topic right before it’s time to get down to work and write your next post as the deadline is looming large on the horizon.
Some of the main benefits of building and maintaining a social media content calendar include:
1. Keeps You Organized and on Track
Scribbling your content topics on crumpled pieces of paper, post-it notes, and in random notebooks isn’t a particularly reliable method. Also, it’s likely to drive you away from what’s really important amid so many ideas and things to think about.
A content calendar will give you a better perspective of your overall marketing strategy. You’ll be able to align your post topics with your social media and email marketing content.
Besides, it will help you mend content gaps and prevent you from missing your content’s mark (or a deadline!).
2. Excellent for Brainstorming
When you start organizing your content topics with your team, the chances are that new concepts will start popping out, and you will end up with a plethora of new ideas. This’ll help you select better topics and reserve some for later use.
By monitoring and analyzing your audience’s engagement and feedback, you’ll gain valuable insights into their preferences which you can later apply to your content and adjust accordingly.
3. Maintains Consistency
The 3 Cs of content marketing might as well be consistency, consistency, and consistency. The key to always being on your audience’s radar is offering them educational, relevant, and entertaining content day after day.
Irregular posting leads to an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of scenario no matter how much your audience likes your writing efforts.
You can make use of a social media calendar tool to keep things in check.
4. Keeps Your Audience Engaged
Sometimes, you can indeed wing it, but that’s not a method that will work in the long run. When you’re in a hurry to publish something, you might fail to check if it’s a repetitive topic covered beforehand.
Similarly, randomly picked topics that don’t resonate with your audience also hurt your engagement. However, a planned social media content calendar will allow you to spot such blunders, so you only publish fresh and relevant content.
5. Crucial for Staying in the Know
With such a hectic daily routine, it’s very easy for some important dates to slip your mind. You don’t have to memorize every holiday and be aware that tomorrow is, say, Canadian Thanksgiving Day.
Your content calendar, which is planned at least a month in advance, will inform you about that in time to prepare blogs, social media, and promo posts, so you stay ahead of the curve.
Needless to say, this approach reduces stress and allows you to take your time and craft the best possible post for the occasion instead of whipping something up at the last minute.
6. Provides Visibility Across Departments
Successful companies have their sales and marketing aligned. Stats reveal that when working together, these two departments can close 67% more deals.
A social media content calendar is a highly useful resource that will keep all your teams on the same page. Your sales team can see what the marketing people have planned and give them tips on addressing their audience’s pain points more precisely.
Also, the executives can take a quick look and see whether the planned activities support the overall marketing plan. This transparency is essential for honing your content strategy and improving communication among teams.
7. Executes Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Content and social media marketing are intrinsically connected. A social media content calendar can help you identify your successful content pieces and use them in your paid social media advertising.
Find out your best-performing e-books, reports, infographics, whitepapers, and other valuable content organically on social media channels. Then use them for paid promotion via Facebook ads, Instagram ads, or LinkedIn-sponsored content to get your message across to your audience.
Given that organic reach on Facebook took a nosedive, meaning that your business page reaches less than 6% of your followers, it’s more than evident why paid advertising is a must.
8. Keeps Track of Your Performance
Measuring the effectiveness and success of your content and overall marketing efforts is possible only if you track your metrics.
Also, establishing certain benchmarks is necessary. By keeping an eye on these numbers, you’ll be able to tweak and fine-tune your content and give your audience what they need and want.
It’s worth noting that many renowned digital marketing agencies recommend building a social media content calendar. If you take a look at their websites, blogs, and social media channels, you can conclude that they have one themselves.
Planning A Social Media Content Calendar
Creating and planning content for any sort of platform takes a lot of time and attention to detail. But formulating and strategizing for social media content, specifically, is a different story altogether. When we get to the social media content calendar, some critical factors which come into play are
- Goals of each campaign listed with crystal clarity
- Details of the specific social media platforms you are targeting
- Prime times and days you aim to post on
- Call to actions being used
- Link to the creatives and visual content
- Empty slots for ad-lib posting
- The distribution of the posts in a specified timeline
- Advanced content plans for the whole month
- Segregation based on different content types
Here’s a free social media calendar template for you to get started:
You must be extremely meticulous while maintaining a social media content calendar. After all, it’s a daunting task, and there are so many details to look after. And the trickiest part of it is that any new trend or event can trigger a need to make changes in your scheduled posts or post something new for that moment.
So an ideal social media calendar should give you transparency of being able to see your pre-planned and scheduled content. Along with this, you should have the flexibility to reschedule your content or easily edit it if an unexpected need arises.
SocialPilot’s social media content calendar is a space where you can find all of these needs taken care of.
SocialPilot’s Social Media Content Calendar
When it comes to social media management as a whole, SocialPilot knocks it out of the park, no question. There’s little that isn’t within its capabilities, let it be content scheduling or analytics
But one of its most distinguishing features, which makes it such a user favorite, is its social media content calendar
- Content visualization: A bird’s-eye view of all your upcoming month’s, week’s, or day’s scheduled posts is perfect for visualizing your social media content strategy. To create a post right from the calendar, all you have to do is click on a particular date, and the post scheduler will automatically pop up for you.
- Content creation: You can easily create posts for multiple social platforms, customize them, and even make edits to the pre-scheduled content from the calendar itself without much hassle.
- Content realignment: Rescheduling and moving posts around becomes much more convenient when all you have to do is drag and drop them on the new date and time. You can even choose any of the 4 pre-defined time slots at every hour of the day to drop your post on. This will directly reschedule the item for that specific time directly without having to manually change the date and time.
And you know the best part?
No need to manually record a post in the calendar! Once you create and schedule the post on SocialPilot, it will automatically appear in the calendar.
Essentially, you get all the benefits of having a social media content calendar and none of the worries of maintaining it. The management part is a cakewalk!
Creating content is fun, but you won’t get away with an ad-hoc approach if you want to do it properly. Brainstorming a couple of ideas on the day you’re about to write your next post simply isn’t a trade of profit. Moreover, it can hurt your content marketing in the long run.
Success lies in aligning every piece of content with your overall marketing and branding strategy. And for that, you need a detailed and itemized content calendar to create a consistent schedule.
There are multiple excel and spreadsheet templates available online. But if you are a budding agency or SMB who posts on social media frequently, use a tool like SocialPilot to keep track of your social media content schedule from scratch.
Take its free trial, and you will see its wonder in growing your audience, producing top-quality content, and distributing it successfully.