Using a social media content calendar is essential to successfully managing social media in your business or blog. A content calendar allows you to consistently post engaging content every day. This can help you grow your followers and increase engagement on your posts. Plus, the calendar offers a streamlined process that saves you hours of time and stress.
This post will show you how to create and use a social media content calendar to ultimately master social media for your business.
How a social media content calendar can help
How to create a social media content calendar
- The first step in creating a social media content calendar is deciding which calendar tool to use. You can use free tools like Asana, Google Calendar, Google Sheets, and Excel Spreadsheets.
- Identify the holidays you want social media to recognize and add them to your calendar. Then look up days/weeks/months across the country, such as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month or National Friendship Day. If you live in the US, NationalDayCalendar.com is a great resource for finding holidays relevant to your niche. No matter what kind of business you own, there are days to celebrate.
- After you’ve done your National Day research, focus on your local community. Is there an important day, festival, or sporting event you’d like to commemorate in your community?
- Then focus on yourself and your business. What important milestones would you like to achieve next year to celebrate on social media? For example, McDonald’s proudly touts the number of customers. Also, think about anniversaries you can celebrate. Create fun infographics.
- Now let’s take a look at the strategic growth plan for the year. Are you planning a major product or service launch? Are you planning promotions and special offers throughout the year? Are you planning to attend industry trade shows and events? If so, be sure to add it to your social media content calendar. Once you’ve added all kinds of holidays, events, celebrations, and promotions to your calendar, fill the rest of your calendar with basic daily posts.
Social media post ideas
Questions are a great way to increase engagement on social media channels and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Don’t ask questions five days in a row or post inspirational quotes for weeks. Keep your audience engaged by sharing different types of content.
Also, you need to be flexible enough to change things throughout the year. Your strategic plan changes throughout the year, and you may need to adapt to special promotions or want to share updates on important trending news stories. The social media content calendar is a guide, not a rigid plan to follow in every detail.
Content calendars are most useful when used to schedule posts on a weekly or monthly basis. However, most people prefer to schedule their monthly posts as it is easier to block part of their time once a month, get into the zone, and publish a month’s worth of posts at once.
No matter what cadence you choose, you should sign up for a social media scheduling tool like HootSuite, Buffer, SmarterQueue, Sprout social, or MeetEdgar. Expect to pay between $10 and $50 per month depending on which tool you choose.
Start with SmarterQueue for just $20/month and customize your plan to fit your unique needs. Tailwind is recommended for scheduling Instagram posts. In addition to using Tailwind for Pinterest, you can also choose additional subscriptions to manage your Instagram posts.
Tailwind helps you organize your posts and make your grid look great before sharing images or searching for powerful hashtags for your niche. Posts can be scheduled in advance and Tailwind will automatically post at the specified post time. These features are pretty standard for any Instagram scheduling tool, but one feature that makes Tailwind so much better than others is its smart hashtag recommendations.
Just enter a few different hashtags and Tailwind will automatically recommend the best performing hashtags for your niche. This feature is a game changer as hashtags can help you get discovered and grow your audience on Instagram.
How to design images for social media
- Once you’ve identified your social media scheduling tool, you’ll need to find or design images and videos for your posts. Whatever you do, only share images that you have the rights to share. Copying images from Google is illegal and can cause serious legal problems.
- Another option is to take your own photos/videos with your smartphone or design your own photos/graphics.
- You can also design your own images and graphics for special holidays, quotes and questions. To design your own images, you can use free online design tools such as Canva.com. Canva.com has dozens of great templates that make creating professional-quality images quick and easy.
- If designing your own graphics feels impossible to add to your already busy plate, there are other options available… Hire a professional designer or virtual assistant, or custom artwork templates can be purchased. Ready-made templates are an affordable solution if you don’t have the budget to hire a designer or VA.
Once you’ve identified all your tools and created your images and videos, take the time to plan your post.
Once you have all the necessary resources, it’s time to get to work. Start with the next day on the calendar that needs planning and work through each day you want to plan in the block of time you have.
After choosing the quote you want to post, customize the artwork with your logo. Then, load the images into the schedule tool, add captions to your quotes, and schedule a third run. Then proceed to the fourth schedule.
Then add it to your scheduling tool, add a caption describing the problem and solution, and schedule it for 4 days.
Continue this process until you have scheduled all your social media posts for the week.
One of the most notable things is that over time your creativity will expand and posts will become easier and faster to create. Having a content calendar with prompts at your fingertips can take the social media posting process from frustration to fun.
Read more on Why to create a Social media Content Calendar