Managing your social media page can be challenging! Building an audience and keeping them engaged is even more challenging but definitely not impossible. You just have to find a way to make it work. And one of the most efficient ways is through a social media calendar. A social media calendar is not the solution to all your content management problems but it will definitely help you get a clear handle on things as well as give you a clear direction. It also helps if you need someone senior to approve your content.
A social media calendar is a pre-planned line up of your daily conversation starters for the various social platforms you have a presence on. It is built for the duration of one week or one month depending on the agreed frequency of post and relevance. The aim is to carefully craft your post in advance so that you can always have content ready to share and with very little or no errors because it will have gone through editing and proofreading.
Here’s how to Prepare a Social Media Calendar
Create Broad Categories
If you’ve not already identified categories or content pillars you want to work with, then it’s time to start doing so. It is helpful to come up with a list of post types that you would like to share on a regular basis, especially if you share many different types of updates. Here are some post categories you can use:
Conversation starters, Lifestyles
Fashion, style and entertainment
Re-shares of interesting content
Quotes and Tips
Images/Videos — Various Multimedia Content
Promotion and Brand talk
Announcements and Events
Now that you have a list of the categories you want to talk about, it is good to streamline this to about 5 or 6. That will help make sure you are not just talking about everything and anything, and you also won’t run out of content fast. You have to decide when (what days/times) you would like to share them. For example events on Mondays, Blog post on Tuesday, quote and tips on Wednesday, conversation starters on Thursdays and so on. Decide what goes where by studying the various platforms.
Come up with all the content you will be sharing under the various categories in the coming weeks. Also remember that your update copy will vary on different platforms. Although you’ll be saying the same thing, it can’t be the same for twitter because if its character limit and the short live span of a tweet. So if you post once or twice a day on Facebook you should post at least 4 times on twitter. Saying the same thing but in a different way.
In addition to regular posts, the year is full of special events. It might be great to plan ahead for them so you can make sure not to miss them and create as much excitement and opportunities around them. Some android and apple calendars provide the international holidays and days worth mentioning like International Youth day or Mothers day. You also have National holidays like Independence Day, New yam festivals and so on (the date may vary) but try to accommodate this holidays so you don’t skip them or start running around on those days
Content of a Social Calendar
I mentioned earlier that your calendar can be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Depending on the frequency of post; if you post as much as the example above which is GTB’s social media calendar, then you might want to do it weekly or bi-weekly because it’ll require some time. It’s best to keep it to bi-weekly if you post at this rate. No matter what format you choose to present your calendar there are certain items to be included, which are:
Creative copy (the text on your visuals)
Link (if need be)
That way anybody can post if the social media manager is not around and also for consistency in the pattern of post. This also makes it easier, because if every single post you prepare contains all this information, then all that’s left for you to do is copy/paste it all.
What To Track/ Evaluate
Once you have your calendar all set and have gotten into a posting rhythm, another element that you might want to add to your calendar is a way to track performances for your posts so that you can update your sharing plans accordingly. Although the various platforms offer insights and analytics on your page activities, but it’s a lot of stress having to go from one platform to another. There are third party tools that show you all of the actionable insights in one dashboard. As a social media manager, the insights you should be bothered with are:
Gender of your followers
If you have 80% male followers and 20% female that should determine the type of content you should put out there, also the age group (are they your right Target Audience (TA) or not).
Sometimes the time of posting affects the reach. Take time to study the various times you post and see which has the best reach and engagement. So experiment with posting at different times before you pick the best pattern.
Two popular tools to create social media calendars are Microsoft Excel and Google sheets (works just like excel).That been said, it’s not easy having to go from one platform to another to post daily or schedule post. What happens on Friday night when you are out with friends or on Tuesday mornings when you are stuck in traffic? You need a tool that not only schedules, but also monitor posts on various platforms at the same time. There are a lot of them, some are paid tools while other offer free services. Here are some few popular ones;
Part of the time-consuming aspect of sharing on social media outside of coming up with the updates themselves is finding the perfect images, GIFs, or videos to share. If you have a creative team, then ensure you have like a week’s creative ahead of time. If you have all the images, save them in a folder for easy access. Ensure you name the folder right so you don’t post a different image for a different update copy
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