Create a Perfect Social Media Calendar for your Online Business
While the pandemic-infused lockdowns have pushed the world apart, they have brought the online communities much closer. Virtually everyone is now live on social media platforms 24/7. And for brands, the opportunity to virtually connect with their audiences and in turn get sure shot results have never been better! In fact, according to The Drum, there has been a 25% increase in engagement on Instagram and TikTok in the past month and a staggering 72% increase in ad content by influencers.
In other words, your market is no longer on the streets, or in the corner coffee shops; they are not in malls, stores, parks, or on lavish restaurants; they are all online! And as marketers for your online business, it has never been more imperative for your business to infuse the power of social media planning & scheduling to make your timelines engaging for your viewers.
What Is a Social Media Calendar?
Social media plays an integral role in an effective inbound marketing strategy. And with so many social networks to manage and publish on, it’s important to stay organized and have a plan for the ‘whens’ and ‘whats’ to share on these platforms. The answer to staying impeccably organized is having a full-fledged social media calendar. Unlike your rudimentary whiteboards, excel sheets, or word documents, a social media tool is a macro-level planning medium that gives marketers the ability to plan out posts for entire weeks or months in advance, thus freeing up the hours spent in strategizing. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 72% of B2B marketers attribute the success of their online business content to the development of a formal content strategy, made possible by calendar tools.
Why Do You Need a Social Media Calendar? What Are Its Benefits?
There’s no way to effectively create consistent content that connects with viewers and helps build businesses, without planning ahead. This is where Social Media Calendars come into play. A solid social media calendar lets you:
- Get an overview of what content needs to be published, what’s going to be published, and the strategy behind publishing on the right dates and times.
- Keep up a consistent posting schedule so you can plan weeks in advance, if not months.
- Line up the tasks, leading to increased efficiency, productivity, and even professional well being of employees.
- Helps you keep track of content posted, so your viewers can get fresher, and more engaging content
- Social media calendar aids in the efforts of reporting and following up. From the execution of your plan, to reaching goals; all data can be made available at fingertips. Such information, in turn, becomes your key to receiving a return on your investment
One of the biggest benefits or advantages of having a social media calendar is that it helps prevent content spamming. By consistently addressing social media channels, and planning for multiple platforms, your viewer base can be evenly addressed on the platform of your choice, with the content that they prefer.
How to Conduct a Need-Diagnostic for Integrating Social Media Calendar
Most people just follow a trend and go for a template for their social media calendars. These spreadsheets are highly generic and without heavy customization, they do not suit specific business needs.
It’s therefore imperative that you conduct a thorough social media audit of your business and answer some fundamental questions that will determine your way forward in choosing the right social media calendar:
- Begin by answering where your audience dwells online, i.e. the platforms they are active on like Twitter, Facebook, or even various email newsletters.
- Then analyze what platform is booming or trending. It is imperative here that you get in-depth insights into what is driving the growth of the platform, do some online proofing and check what content is viewed the most
- Next, focus on where your traffic engagement is coming from. This will depend on answering the question of the preferred platform for your audience. And is this platform driving people to your website? With this, you can determine the right channels to reach your audience, and also direct your team of social media specialists to potentially convert visitors into customers.
What Should You Look for in a Good Social Media Calendar Tool?
A scheduling calendar has the potential to support your entire content strategy by reinforcing goals and messaging, facilitating collaboration, and enabling more efficient, effective publishing. Some things fundamental things that you should be looking in your scheduling template are:
- Platform compatibility – it should allow you to manage multiple platforms
- Bulk scheduling – so you can forget about short-term planning and focus on long term strategies
- Omni-level usage – from scheduling posts, content, to promotional material, your calendar should align with your seasonal and annual interests
- Comprehensive logs – from daily to monthly, to even yearly tracking of your uploaded content
- Multiple users – so managing, viewing and assigning tasks to become as simple as one click
- Analytics – so you get to know what to post, when to post and what content is generating more impressions for you
- Format support – so right from images, text to links, your calendar can function with all formats you use on your social media
- Notifications – so you do not miss a beat on your social platforms
Tips to Create a Social Media Calendar That Fits Your Needs
Social media strategy depends from business to business. But the stepping-stone to having an effective strategy is to have a solid map – which in this case, is your social media calendar. While what to post depends totally on you, here are some must-do things when creating your social media calendar.
1. Pick the Right Platform
This is perhaps the first and foremost step that you need to take as the decision-maker of your online business. Start by creating a spreadsheet that lists out all your active social media platforms and then using analytics, determines the demographic of those who interact most with your posts.
2. Keep a Track of Your Competition
Because it is always a good idea to know what your rivals are posting to not only see if it’s working but also to ensure that there’s minimal content repetition.
3. Define Your Content Plan
Knowing what goes up on your platform matters. That’s why you have a calendar! Define your content, based on the platform you are posting on because what works for one, may not necessarily be ideal for another. For example, your Facebook content can be text-heavy, and may not work for Instagram, which is image-heavy.
4. Identify and Start Exploring Your Content Sources
For example, what is your everyday content going to be? What is time-sensitive content & what is your evergreen content? Identifying such type of content & its sources, will help you create even timelines and give you the bigger picture.
5. Pick the Right Tool
One that allows you to not just plan or schedule posts but also gives you intelligent analytics like SocialPilot and don’t forget to do some online proofing before posting.
6. Even out Your Scheduled Timeline
Meaning don’t make it heavier in one week and light in other, keep it consistent. Most tools let you see your schedule by the week or the month, and just drag and drop a post from one date to another. Use such features smartly, and let technology help your streamline.
7. Decide What Elements to Include in the Calendar
Ideally, starting from the platform(s), date & time, copy, approval, to final publishing, identify and customize the elements that work for you.
8. Decide the Type of Content
For example, videos, images, links, gifs, etc. that you need and spread it out accordingly across your platforms.
9. Pick Your Days With Smart Analytics
Most tools come with intelligent features that let you make the most of certain days like holidays, weekends, or even peak hours! Make the most of such analytics, and plan accordingly.
The most important aspect that you should focus on while creating your social media calendar is to be ambitious enough with your content. Long, medium and short-term, paid, and organic – all the best brands are running multiple content campaigns, even for their day-to-day posts. Once you have your schedule in hand, you can answer result-yielding questions like the type of campaign you need to run, should you reel in influencers, or should you branch to a new platform? In other words, getting your social game to the next level means getting your plan of action nailed down.
What Does It Boil Down To?
There’s no rule of thumb when it comes to creating your social media calendar. Not having one at all puts your online business at a big disadvantage, primarily because, your content schedule will go haywire, and gradually the quality will too! Knowing that your social media content is already written, approved, and scheduled is a huge relief and this gives you more time to focus on developing long term content marketing strategies rather than figuring out short-term posting schedules.
Manvi is a Marketing & Communications Manager at SocialPilot. Social Media is Manvi’s niche area in which she employs an interactive user-oriented strategy. Besides social media, Manvi loves experiencing new things and trying new food!
Learn the Best Tips to Create a Social Media Calendar
Learn the best tips to create your social media calendar and get your affairs in order! Get all your posts, news, and stories scheduled for the perfect time and never miss another day of social engagement using a well-thought calendar!Make Social Media Designs