How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar in 7 Steps
If you want to implement a concrete social media content strategy, there’s one tool you can’t do without – your social media content calendar. Preparing and following a set editorial plan has many benefits, including:
- Aligning your long-term strategy
- Ensuring cohesion across platforms
- Enhancing your planning and time-management
Organise & Create your Social Media Content Calendar in 7 Steps
So, what should you include in your social media content calendar? Here are our top 7 suggestions to get you started!
1. Days of the Week
For organisational purposes, this may seem a bit too obvious, but the days of the week can also directly inspire your social media content calendar. Certain days of the week even inspired their own hashtags on social media. Think about #TBT (Throwback Thursday), #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) and, of course, #TGIT!
Here are a few suggestions for hashtags centred around the days of the week.
- #Selfiesunday – People make brands so don’t be afraid to put a face to your brand name as this can help humanise your company
- #SundayBlues – Share something uplifting like a motivational quote or a competition you’re running to start the week
- #Sinfulsunday – Similar to beaches and cats, everybody loves to indulge now and then. Share a post of your sweet spot and ask your community to comment on theirs
- #ManicMonday – Share a time-saving tip
- #Men2Follow – Mention a top male influencer in your industry found through a social media monitoring tool
- #MondayFunday – Share a behind the scenes clip of your office”
- #TravelTuesday – Everybody loves a holiday, so this hashtag is relevant to most companie.’ Ask your followers which beach they’d rather be lying on or city they’d rather be exploring
- #TuesdayTreat – Share a competition
- #TipTuesday – Share a thought leadership blog post
- #GoodNewsTues – Use a social media monitoring tool to spot trending keywords around a particular subject in order to monitor industry trends.
- #WellnessWednesday – Working within the Comms industry can be stressful. Post a stress relieving/unwinding tip
- #WisdomWednesday – Share a quote from an industry thought leader. Use a social media monitoring tool to make sense of the real-time conversation online, and then rank posters by their influence.
- #Women2Follow – Mention a top female influencer in your industry to follow
- #ThrowbackThursday – Share a fact about how far your company has come in X amount of years
- #ThankfulThursday – Share something around a thought leader who has significantly changed your industry
- #ThursdayThoughts– Ask your community a question
- #FollowFriday – Mention an expert/ top brand you’d like to collaborate with
- #FridayReads – Recommend a good blog to follow
- #FeatureFriday – Profile your employees/top customers in a “10 questions with..” post
- #FridayFact –Share a fact about your company/industry/influencer and ask your community, “True or false?”
- #Caturday – Cats on social are kind of a big deal. Whilst our furry felines may not directly relate to our company, they’re an easy way to connect with our audience on an emotional level
- #SaturdayShenanigans – Show the fact that you promote a good work-life balance with images of what your employees get up to on the weekend, for example, hiking
2. Date and Time
When planning your content, organise it chronologically by date and time of publication. This may seem intuitive, but many professionals forget to do this and lose sight of their weekly, monthly and daily routines. Planning your social media content calendar chronologically ensures you see the frequency of your posts at a glance and identify the times that work best for your audience.
You can’t do this alone. Use tools like monday.com, Meltwater, an excel worksheet or even Google Calendar to plan content together with your team. This way you make sure your plan is clear for yourself and everyone else who needs to be in the loop.
3. Define your Objectives
Ask yourself, “What’s my goal with this post?” Do you want to generate traffic, engagement or share important information with your followers?
Make sure that you note the specific purpose of your post directly on your social media content calendar. This will help you to understand which metrics you should be using to measure whether or not you’ve successfully met your objective.
Don’t forget to add a note detailing what type of content the post is. Having this visible ensures you plan for a good balance. For example, only pushing promotional content will soon make you feel like you’re shouting into a black hole!
Try to alternate between posts about your products, sneak peeks behind the scenes, industry news, posts from third parties etc. As rule of thumb, aim for 20% of the content you share to focus on your company and 80% from third parties. When the content is promoting your brand, use engaging CTA’s so that your followers don’t get bored.
Bonus: For extra insight into how to create a compelling content strategy, watch this free on-demand Webinar on How to Evolve Your Marketing Strategy for 2019 with Principal of Africa Trust Group, Lelemba Phiri.
4. Subject of the Post
Following that same logic as the point mentioned above, both you and your audience will soon get bored if you constantly post about the same subject. Include the subject in your social media content calendar for an easy overview of your key topics. This will act as a reminder to keep things fresh and interesting for your audience! To help you choose subjects, take a look at Google Keyword Planner to understand what your audience is googling, then engage around the topics via social, preferably answering their questions.
You can also use a media intelligence tool like Meltwater to uncover trending themes in your industry that you can then jump on and become a thought leader by doing so.
Trending Themes: Word Cloud
Make sure the subject of your post is clear to your followers, particularly when it comes to the title and caption. Not all headlines are created equal. “10 easy tricks for irresistible headlines” is already more exciting to the reader than “How to write a headline.” Keep this in mind when titling your content and drafting your tweets and captions. Don’t get too “click baity” however. The content you link to must reflect the caption you’ve used or people will bounce off the page very quickly and you’ll lose the trust of your audience too.
5. Specific Messages for Each Channel
Each social media channel has its own characteristics. Some users favour one platform over another because of this. Twitter people engage little and often with the content leaning more towards real-time updates. When we compare this to Facebook, the content tends to be more evergreen. Because of this, you need to adapt the copy of your posts to the different platforms. For example, a food brand would use Facebook to post a recipe, but Twitter to make a PR crisis comms announcement.
We also need to take note of the different image sizes per channel, we’ve included them for you below!
6. Reserve Spaces for Recurring Content Activities
Your editorial line will definitely contain recurring elements. For example, you might share a new blog post each Wednesday and an inspiring image each Friday. Create placeholders in your social media content calendar for these recurring activities so that you can effectively plan around them.
If you know you have a new blog post every Wednesday, you can plan a lot of content around it each week. Here’s an example of what we mean:
Weekly blog post content workflow
- Post on blog
- Shares of post on
- Add blog post to Friday’s newsletter
- Plan recurring shares, switching up the text that accompanies the blog link
Setting recurring content that you can easily integrate into your workflow saves time and takes a lot of uncertainty out of your schedule. Consistent content helps your followers know what to expect and the chances of them unfollowing you are reduced if you consistently post content that sparked their interest in following you in the first place.
7. Returning Hashtags
Manually copying/ pasting the hashtags for all of your posts can be a tedious task and you run the risk of getting lazy and using the same (less relevant) hashtags for all your posts. Creating a space in your content calendar to save the hashtags you’d like to use for important subjects ensures a consistent/ varied use of hashtags and of course, saves you time!
To create your editorial calendar, you can start with a simple spreadsheet. However, using a community management tool such as Meltwater’s engagement platform will allow you to create a more visible, practical and actionable calendar through which you can plan and publish your posts.