Social media marketing is hard! Tactics to increase followers and engagement are always changing. Hard doesn’t mean impossible, though—that’s where a strategically constructed editorial calendar comes in. If you’re managing a social media page without a plan in place, you’ll likely find yourself scrambling to develop content, design a graphic or hunt down a photo at the end of the work day.
Social media users want to see interesting, unique and relevant content…and to deliver, careful planning is key. If you’re posting about the 4th of July on the 5th or running a promotion over a period of time your audience isn’t using social media, you won’t see the results you desire. A social media editorial calendar will help you plan out weeks or months of quality posts, saving you time and keeping your social strategy on track and on topic.
Tips for Creating a Social Media Content Calendar
Are you looking to…
- Increase sales?
- Increase donations?
- Increase event attendance?
- Change audience behavior?
Before jumping into a social media editorial calendar’s creation, an objective should be identified as well as the metrics you’ll use to measure your success.
Outline Your Target Audience
Who will be viewing the content you develop? Try to go beyond a basic analysis of your customers’ age, location, and gender. Conduct research that delves deeper into their personal lives to identify their hobbies, values, behaviors, etc. This information is key in turning a social media follower into a converted customer.
Check Out the Competition
Alongside audience analysis, competitive research will also help with building an effective social media content calendar. To start, take a look at some of your closest competitors. Browse through their blog, social media and any other marketing materials available online. What are the topics of their blogs and articles? What type of content are they sharing? What products or services are featured in their content? What type of content sees the most engagement from their followers?
The goal here isn’t to copy what they’re doing; it’s to identify content/messaging opportunities and understand what your target audience is responding to.
Select Your Channels
Content should be published on the social media networks your target audience uses most.
Choose Content Categories
Make a list of content categories in which your followers would find interest. Social media should be “social.” You don’t want to just post trade magazine articles…and you definitely don’t want to just promote your products or services. Brainstorm content ideas that will educate, engage, and inspire your followers to act.
Identify Significant Dates and Events
Conduct ongoing research on events and holidays relevant to your industry and business. The more dates you can find, the easier it will be to develop consistent content. For example, if you own a coffee shop, it would be a good idea to put together a posting campaign for National Coffee Day and National Tea Day. Similarly, if a polar vortex is sweeping through your city, you may want to focus content and promotions around drinks that will “keep followers warm” during the cold snap.
Based on the dates you’ve identified, select broad topic themes for each month (e.g., seasons, holidays, events your company is participating in or sponsoring, trade shows, etc.). The themes can also be broken down into sub-categories.
Additionally, each month or week can include a featured product or service that’s highlighted through content such as photos, graphics, videos and blogs.
Social media content calendars shouldn’t be overly detailed. Your followers will be engaging with your posts, and those conversations may lead your messaging strategy in an entirely new direction.
Also, be prepared to respond to followers’ comments, messages and reviews (both positive and negative). During business hours, keeping response time under an hour is critical. If you don’t reply, you’ll be sabotaging your marketing efforts. Social media is meant to be a two-way (ideally, a three-way [between a business, customer, and prospective customer]) communication channel.
Hire an Experienced Team
If you and your employees, like many businesses, don’t have time for regular social media upkeep, it’s important to delegate the work to a team of professionals. Contact Baer Performance Marketing in Green Bay, WI for help with social media content creation, monitoring and management!