A social media calendar is a lifesaver for busy social marketers.
You’re more likely to make typos, tone issues, and other blunders when you compose and share content on the rush. Dedicating a particular time in your workday to produce, revise, proofread, and schedule posts is considerably safer—and more efficient.
A social media calendar can help you design an efficient content mix in addition to making your workday less stressful. You can seek for ways to cross-platform reinforce social messaging. You’ll also be able to time your posts to reach the broadest audience feasible.
Continue reading, and we’ll walk you through the steps to creating your own fully working social media content calendar.
What is and the purpose of a social media calendar?
A social media calendar is a list of your upcoming updates on social media. If you’re utilising a social media management tool, it can be arranged in the form of a spreadsheet, Google calendar, or interactive dashboard.
For each post, a social media calendar normally comprises a combination of the following elements:
• The date and time it will go online
• The social network and account where it will be published
• Required copy and creative assets (pictures or videos)
• Links and tags
What are the benefits of using a social media content calendar?
1. Organize yourself to save time.
Every day, creating and posting social media content takes time and effort. A social media calendar allows you to prepare ahead of time, group your work, avoid multitasking, and keep track of all your content ideas for later.
You may also schedule social media posts ahead of time to publish automatically using social media planning calendar tools, so you can share content every day without having to check into all of your social platforms every hour on the hour.
2. Make it easier to post on a regular basis
When it comes to how frequently you should post on social media, there are no hard and fast rules. However, there are several widely accepted best practices to employ as a starting point.
The most crucial rule is to post on a regular basis, no matter how often you chose to do so.
It’s critical to maintain a consistent schedule so that your followers and admirers know what to expect. It’s also a fantastic way to use weekly hashtags like #MondayMotivation in a creative (rather than cringe) approach. (I prefer #MonsteraMonday, but I understand that it isn’t for everyone.)
It’s no exaggeration to suggest that developing a social media schedule is an act of self-care for busy social media managers.
3. Avoid major blunders by reducing typos.
You can double-check your work and add a safety net into your workflow by planning posts ahead of time. When you work ahead of time, copy-editing, fact-checking, and clearing content with organisational stakeholders are all considerably easier.
A social media calendar, especially one with team member approvals built in, is the greatest method to avoid everything from minor typos to a high-profile social media crisis.
4. Create higher-quality content and campaigns that are more cohesive.
Since its inception, the value of social media production has risen. Today, a single social media post may involve an entire team of creatives, including copywriters, designers, video editors, photographers, and sometimes even makeup artists and stylists.
Requesting that your staff drop everything for a last-minute Instagram Reel isn’t going to win you any friends. And it won’t result in the finest possible material or a well-organized account. A social media calendar allows you to properly allocate your resources—both human and digital—so that your team can focus on their best work. You may also create a consistent brand voice and content that supports your social media marketing with a long-term strategy.
How to create a Social Media Calendar
1. Examine your social media platforms and content.
You must first have a clear image of your existing social media accounts before you can begin creating your social media posting calendar
Build an exact, up-to-date record of: Using our social media audit template, create a precise, up-to-date record of
• Fake accounts and out-of-date profiles
• Passwords and account security
• Platform-specific goals and KPIs for each branded account
• Your target market, demographics, and personas
• On your team, who is responsible for what tasks?
• Your most effective posts, campaigns, and strategies
• Deficiencies, unimpressive outcomes, and areas for development
• Key performance indicators for each platform’s future success
Make a note of how often you’re currently posting on each social network as part of your audit. Examine your data for any indications of how the frequency or timing of your posts affects engagement and conversions.
2. Select your social media platforms and content combination.
Choosing what types of material to share is an important aspect of developing a social media calendar and a critical part of your social media strategy. To being started, you can use one of the following typical content mix formulas:
The rule of thirds in social media
• One-third of your social posts promote your brand or drive conversions.
• One-third of your posts share handpicked information from industry thought leaders.
• One-third of your social posts involve personal interaction with your followers.
The 80-20 principle
• 80% of your postings are intended to enlighten, educate, or entertain; 20% of your articles are intended to actively advertise your business or drive conversions
You’ll also have to figure out which social media platforms to employ for different types of material, as well as which ones aren’t necessary at all.
Don’t forget to include user-generated and curated material in your plan, so you don’t become overwhelmed with the task of creating everything yourself.
3. Determine what should be on your social media calendar.
Nobody else’s social media calendar will be the same as yours. A small business owner who manages their own social media will, for example, have a considerably easier calendar than a huge corporation with a dedicated social media team.
Make a list of the information and features that are most essential to you in order to get the most out of your social calendar.
It’s usually a good idea to start with the basics, such as:
• Date • Time
• Platform (and time zone)
• Graphics (e.g., photo, video, illustration, infographic, gif, etc.)
• Link to assets • Link to published article with any tracking information (like UTM parameters)
You might also want to include more complex information, such as:
• Format specific to the platform (feed post, Story, Reel, poll, live stream, ad, shoppable post, etc.)
• The vertical or campaign that is linked with it (product launch, contest, etc.)
• Geographical targeting (global, North America, Europe, etc.)
• Is it better to pay for something or go organic? (If you are paid, further budget details may be useful.)
• Do you know if it’s been approved?
A basic spreadsheet can help you get started. However, a spreadsheet isn’t always enough, which is why we’ve included a list of our favourite calendar tools at the bottom of this article.
4. Invite your team to review and provide feedback so that you can improve.
Your calendar will be most useful if it makes sense to everyone who will be using it at work. To ensure that it meets everyone’s needs, solicit input and ideas from stakeholders and your team.
As you begin to use your calendar, assess how it feels to you and request continuing input from your team. If it’s becoming too demanding and exacting, you might want to tone down some specifics. Perhaps it’s insufficiently detailed, and you’ll need to add a few columns.
You should have an airtight document at the end of this process that even the newest team member can understand.
The big five major platforms are included in this social media content calendar template (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok). It is, however, highly adjustable, and you are free to personalise it with the channels that are most useful to you.
Create a new tab for each month and schedule your editorial content week by week.
Don’t miss the tab for evergreen content, which is among the calendar’s many useful features. This is a collection of blog entries that consistently do well on social media, regardless of the season.
The following columns are included in this template for you to track and schedule:
- Original publishing date (keep track of this, so you know when it’s time to update)
- Best-performing social copy
- Top-performing image
Apps and Tools for Managing Social Media Content Calendars
There are almost as many distinct social media content scheduling tools as there are social media managers, to be honest. These are the ones we like best.
Google Sheets is an online spreadsheet programme.
Sure, Google Sheets isn’t exactly opulent. This free, cloud-based spreadsheet tool, on the other hand, makes life a lot easier. A simple Google Sheet is a wonderful place to start for your social media calendar, especially if you start with one (or both) of our designs.
It’s free, simple to share with colleagues and stakeholders, and it works.
Hootsuite Planner is a social media management tool.
Hootsuite Planner takes things a step further by allowing you to compose, preview, schedule, and publish all of your social media posts right from the calendar. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest are all supported.
Hootsuite’s planner allows you to create an interactive social media calendar. You receive a visual overview as well as all of your materials (copy, visuals, and links) in one convenient location. You can quickly publish, schedule, or update your posts from there.
If you’re part of a larger social media team, you can quickly share the calendar with co-workers and managers, and even establish custom approval workflows to keep your busy content calendar under control.
Directly within the publishing interface, Hootsuite will recommend the optimum time to post for each of your social network accounts.