A social media content calendar makes all the difference when managing your own profiles. It takes a few hours to do a month’s worth of posts with ready-made content. If you don’t have a lot of content to share right now, you can always share other content made by other people (given credit and links of course). However, make sure you are creating your own so your followers know that you are reliant and relavant source to trust instead of a sharing middleman.
When you rush to post something random and last minute, people can tell. So do yourself a favor and plan to sit down to make a social media content plan template. This will not only save you time, but will make managing your social media profiles a lot easier with consistency.
I personally like to schedule social media posts out a week ahead then take a moment every day to check for messages or comments. As a social media manager, it’s a bit easier to break up those planning hours when you have multiple channels to run. But you can do whatever process that is most efficient for your business. There are many social media calendar examples out there, but I’m going to show you how I do mine.
First and foremost, we will be using Google Sheets for our content calendar. So be sure you have a Google Account ready. You can use Microsoft Excel if you prefer. Each social media platform is different when it comes to image sizes, character restrictions and audiences. Some posts would be perfect for Facebook but too long for Twitter. It is best to create a content calendar for every social media profile you use.
For a social media content plan, will need the following variables for a content calendar:
Obviously, this means the date that the post will be sent out. You can come up with post ideas based on the type of day in the week like #SmallBusinessSaturday or #IHateMondays. It’s up to you!
Believe it or not, it matters when you post during the day. Try posting during peek social media times (a.k.a mid-morning or early evening)
Here is where the written content of your post will be. What do you have to say to the world wide web?
Character count matters to some social media profiles.
Twitter, for example, will only allow you to write 280 characters (or keystrokes). This will include any hashtags you want to slide in. I usually would create a separate sheet for Twitter, unless you plan on staying in that character limit for all of your posts wherever they end up at.
(note: the formula for Google Sheets’ character count is =len(cellnumber), cell example: C2 or click on the cell you want counted)
Hashtags are important for Twitter, Instagram and other social networks as key search words. If you are writing posts for Twitter, include your hashtags in the copy section so your keystrokes are counted. (Instagram is a whole other monster when it comes to hashtags. I will go over hashtags and IG in another article, consider signing up for my newsletter to be notified when that is posted.)
Here is the section of any links you will be using for your post if you have any for it.
If you are using an image, consider writing the file name in this section so it is easy to find when you are ready to schedule your post.
This section serves as a checkbox so you know you have completed the scheduling for this post.
Monitoring Section (add a cell for each type of engagement depending on the platform)
For analytical purposes, I keep track of data of engagement insights for each platform and post. If a particular piece of content does well, I make a note to produce more like it in the future.
Now you have all the variables you need to create a social media content calendar. But to save you some extra time, I have a Free Social Media Content Calendar Template for you already. All you need to do is follow this link.
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