how-to-create-social-media-content-calendar-2021

Social Media Content Calendar Guide 2021: Everything You Need To Know

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Today, the internet is flooded with an incredible list of content types.

Videos, images, GIFs, animations, audios, & illustrations are just a few to name.

There is a massive amount of content created every single day.

Marketers need to promptly organize content promotion across social channels to make the most of their content.

One of the best solutions for effective content distribution is to create a social media content calendar.  Unfortunately, not every marketer knows how to deal with the calendar on the fly. This is such a shame because content calendars are an essential part of using social media for small business.

This guide will take you through the social media content calendar concept and create it without any fuss.

Let’s start!

What Is a Social Media Content Calendar?

Simply put, a social media content calendar is a spreadsheet or app that you use to schedule social posts. It helps planning, scheduling, and tracking social media content campaigns you run.

You can use whatever platform you want for creating the calendar. The goal is to keep social media content in one place and have a simple input option for social media automation tools.

What Should a Social Media Content Calendar Include?

A social media content calendar should consist of the following items:

  • Posting schedule (date when the post goes live)
  • Sales cycle
  • The topic of the post
  • Text (URL)
  • Image (URL)
  • The goal of the post
  • Social media channels

You can make a list of items depending on your business needs. You don’t need an exact calendar, just like the above example. It is up to you how you want to create it. You can either use simple Excel or create a content calendar with a custom calendar maker to make it more visually appealing.

Here are 30 days of social media post ideas which you can use to schedule post through a social media scheduling tool.

Social_Media_Calender

Who Can Use a Social Media Content Calendar?

Everyone in the business uses social media channels to push their product to the masses. Businesses apply different techniques and strategies – starting with social media outreach (to build connections), running ads (to sell out a product), ending with content promotion.

Consequently, using a social media content calendar is “a must” option for anyone who creates content.

Let’s review in more details which can benefit from it:

  • Bloggers – there are lots of people who make money blogging. Hence, they need to make their post highly promoted across social channels.
  • Business representatives – social media calendar helps businesses stay organized with content promotion. Plus, if business owners have a tight budget, using calendars can save their money.
  • Marketers – if you run marketing campaigns, you would know that it involves various steps. One of these steps is social promotion. Thus, by creating the calendar, your team will never miss a deadline for specific post promotion.
  • Business/marketing consultants – these people work with many projects at the same time. It is pretty easy to get into a mess with all this stuff. Likely, if you organize your projects with the calendar, you won’t have any difficulties in work.
  • Media companies – creating editorial content takes lots of time and effort. Also, it needs to be promoted on social channels. Create the calendar and promote your content in time,

To conclude, everyone in digital marketing needs to have a social media content calendar for multiple reasons.

Make Your Process of Social Media Content Publications Easier​​

Once you’ve planned your social media content calendar, use Social Champ’s Calendar to schedule all your social media posts effortlessly. Sign up today

What is the Purpose of a Social Media Content Calendar?

Focus is everything. Did you know that holding too much information at once will make you confused? It’s proven; look it up. That’s why they say multitasking isn’t good for productivity.

The core purpose of a social media calendar is to organize your ideas & tasks in one place. To make sure that nothing gets lost. To plan & manage your daily tasks efficiently.

There’s no way you can maintain a consistent social media presence without a dated plan. Sorry if this sounds discouraging, but let us explain.

You’ve so many other things to do. Content creation and editing, marketing plans, negotiations, SEO, backlinks, and a lot more. And even if you don’t do it all yourself (which you shouldn’t, there are great professionals for each), you have to be updated on the progress. It’s essential knowledge management.

Then, you may have these incredible ideas and even note them somewhere, but they may get lost. It’s wise to let it out and leave it on paper, in a calendar app, in Google Sheets, anywhere you want. You’ll refer to the outline whenever needed without having to remember everything.

Luckily, to help the overworked marketers & content managers, there are so many social media content calendar templates & tools available that can help them succeed in their role and stay productive.

What are the Benefits of a Social Media Content Calendar?

There is a lot of time and effort that goes into creating a social media content calendar. However, the benefits are worth the time and effort!

So, what benefits will you get from creating a content calendar?

There are tons of benefits that you can get from using the calendar in practice. Here are the most common ones:

1.     It helps organize your time

 Timing is crucial when you plan to post your content on social channels. First of all, by maintaining a social media calendar, you will plan publications ahead of time.

Secondly, you won’t have any issues brainstorming new post ideas that you need to publish during the month.

Your calendar organizes the process of publications and saves your time drastically.

2.     It helps you post content consistently

If you want to increase your social media KPIs, you need to post content consistently. If you wish to get a higher number of likes, subscribers, followers, whatever – keep on posting regularly.

Other than that, when you post content across social channels consistently, you engage with the audience more, which leads to building brand awareness.

3.     It helps avoid the risk of making errors

 As a rule, your social content calendar is prepared ahead of time. You know what posts will be shared on socials, when, and where.

You spread out the entire calendar plan before you.

You review it all the time and have dozens of opportunities to explore some possible minor mistakes. Likely, you can fix them in a blink of an eye.

4.     It helps improve the content

 Content creation is a complex process that involves multiple aspects of creativity.

The final result predefines the level of content engagement with the audience.

Your whole creative team should work on content. Copywriters write content & designers make it beautiful. At the same time, video editors adapt it to being posted on video channels.

Now that’s a lot of work to do.

A social media content calendar can help you sort things out with content and set tasks for each team member.

5.     It helps running A/B test

 Remember that you can’t stick to the same social media content calendar. You should run an A/B test just like you do with your email marketing calendar.

It will help you figure out what type of content works the best, the best days to post content, & what social channels work the best.

Now, let’s review some examples of social media content calendars you can use by yourself.

What Are Some Examples of Social Media Content Calendar?

There is no one-size-fits-all social media content calendar to use. It depends on your business, content strategy, marketing goals, and other factors.

To give you a clear vision of how these calendars might look, check out a few examples of social media content calendars below.

1.     Hubspot – Social Media Content Calendar

To give the idea of how a social media calendar looks like, here’s an example from Hubspot.

This one is their social media calendar for holidays created on Google Calendar. It has all the events & happenings you can celebrate on social media every month.

Hubspot offers many downloadable & printable social media content calendar templates. Suppose you’re a beginner looking for some inspiration for your calendar. In that case, you can print this calendar from here & add these holidays to your monthly social media content calendar as you like.

social-media-content-calendar-template

Here’s another example from Hubspot. This is a social media content calendar for Twitter, made by Using Google Drive. You can also follow this pattern for your calendar. Once you have got a clear picture of what you want to post & at what time, you can use a third-party scheduling app to schedule all your posts for a week or month.

social-media-content-calendar-twitter-template

2.     Social Champ – Social Media Content Calendar

To give you another example, we asked our social media manager to provide us with an overview of our social media content calendar. And this is what it looks like:

social_media_calendar_2021

Social Champ’s social media team uses both Google Sheets and the Social Champ Calendar. This is how we plan all our overall monthly activities on social media on Google Sheets. Then, there’s a separate sheet for ideas & copies of these posts. Once the content & design is ready, we schedule all the posts using Social Champ.

Another part of this process is called “Content Repository,” where we maintain a backlog of all folders to keep track of all our content.

These are a few examples of a social media content calendar. If you want to learn more about social media content calendar tools & apps & how to use them to create your calendar, continue reading this blog.

How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar?

Here is a brief step-by-step of creating a social media content calendar. It consists of the following steps:

1.     Start with a social media content audit

Analyze your social media content activities. Try to figure out what you need to improve. Run an overall audit that will help you maximize the ROI. Review the goals and KPIs for each social media campaign you run.

2.     Adapt content to social channels that matter for your business

You can be focused on the same old-fashioned social media channels all the time. You need to explore new social trends and follow them. Thus, if you noticed that your target audience hangs out on TikTok, you should be there!

3.     Create a list of data you need to track in your calendar

The more social channels you embrace, the more specific data you’ll need to track. Of course, your calendar should include the basics like – date, time, platform, copy, visuals, link to assets, & link to published posts.

You can add other helpful data like content format, geo-targeting, value, etc. It depends on your campaign goals.

4.     Create a media resource database

 It is strictly essential to store all social media content components in one place. It will enable each team member to review and use them. Google Drive or Dropbox can help you in this case.

5.     Start mastering a calendar

When you’ve gathered the necessary information, it is time to establish a workflow. Before you start creating your calendar, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the post frequency you want to follow?
  • What is the best time to post to each channel?
  • Who will be involved in this activity?
  • How are you going to brainstorm new topic ideas?
  • The answers to these questions will help you create a carcass for the calendar.

6.     Create posts

 You already have post ideas to work on at this stage. It is time to turn them into reality. Don’t hurry. Start with creating drafts. Afterward, ask your team to review them and improve (if necessary).

7.     Launch your social media content campaign

 Your social media content calendar is ready to go. Create a schedule for publications and launch the campaign.

What are Some of the Best Practices to Create a Social Media Calendar?

Check and audit your social media situation

If you do routine checks for typos and picture lags and think the audit is complete, we have news. There are many more things you can check to improve your brand situation on social. The first thing to do in any project is to define the A-spot. This is the situation you are in at the moment.

By defining the A-spot, you’ll know which direction to move in, adjust the content calendar, and provide the best for the audience. As a result, ROI will reach the maximum (if the content is good, of course).

Here are the things to look after:

  • Imposters of your brand or old accounts people can mistake for the main one;
  • Your password, two-factor authentication, connected mobile numbers;
  • Goals for every platform and how the progress is going;
  • Posts that get the most attention and those with fewer likes. You can do the analysis later to adjust your tactics;
  • Target audience metrics;
  • Account managers and their performance;
  • Budget for the promotion of every account;
  • Fails and gaps for further analysis;
  • Feedback from the audience.

Interlink the social media calendar with SEO and backlink mentions

Social media isn’t only about consuming information and brand awareness. Eventually, you want to get leads and convert them. That’s why it’s crucial to interlink your social media plan with SEO and backlink outline.

Systemize your social media content calendar

Make sure you can systemize your social media content calendar according to:

  • The platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.);
  • The type of content (a post, a story, an IGTV, a tweet, a live stream, etc.);
  • Whether it’s promotional or informative (so you can see the ratio);
  • Brands and bloggers you promote/that promote you for money;
  • A manager responsible for the content;
  • Links to assets (publication drafts, visuals, etc.);
  • Purpose of the post.

You can add more or delete the unnecessary points, of course.

Link it to content depository

Have a database with content drafts, visuals, notes, brand contacts, and everything else needed for a proper content plan in a database. Use Google Drive, Dropbox, or any other secure cloud.

Also, if you order photos before publishing them, it is convenient to attach them as links. Many beginners make mistakes by hosting all those files on their phones or laptops.

Isn’t it easier to have everything in one file? Just link to whatever text or visual information you need for a story, post, tweet, etc., in the social media content calendar.

Pros of cloud storages:

  • They offer a lot of space;
  • You can access them from any device;
  • Offline viewing is available in many options;
  • It’s easy to get a link to any file and post it as a hyperlink in the calendar.

Include specific metrics

Every platform has the best time and day to post content for the most attention from the audience. These are estimates because different people have different lives, holidays when everyone’s off their phones, etc.

However, if you have a chance to boost content for free just by choosing dates, why not use it?

You can use colors to mark days in your social media content calendar, and then, if you want to adjust, you’ll see what date to move a promotional story or post.

The first draft doesn’t have to best ideal

While working in marketing, we’re sure you know that every specialist has their tactics and needs.

Create your calendar and see how it works. During the first couple of weeks, you’ll notice the difficulties, gaps, etc., that can be easily adjusted on the spot or in the next month’s sheet.

Shift categories, use color or text, link to assets in the same file, or create another one. It’s all up to you. Soon, you will have a perfect template that works the best for your marketing methods and the project.

What are the Most Commonly Used Social Media Content Calendar Apps & Tools?

1. Google Drive

The first example is a social media content calendar you can create using Google Calendar. It allows you to synchronize both editorial and social media activities in one place. Plus, you can share this calendar with the members of the team quickly. This means everyone can work on their tasks. You can also use Google Sheets to create one. It’s the most commonly used tool to create a social media content calendar.

google-drive-social-media-content-calendar-tools

2. Social Champ

 Social Champ is an all-in-one content planning and publishing platform. It allows you to schedule posts, manage content assets, and collaborate with your team. You will be able to schedule content publications on social channels automatically. It also allows you to view, edit, delete and reschedule your current and future social media posts in the all-in-one social media calendar. It makes the entire process of social media content publications easier. Note that Social Champ is a powerful social media marketing tool that offers all the features you need to create and execute digital marketing campaigns.

social-champ-social-media-content-calendar-tools-2

3. Trello

Trello is one of the most popular tools for organizing teamwork. You can create a social media content calendar using Trello’s option called “Calendar Power-Up.” Also, the tool allows you to create flexible boards, cards, and lists to keep all tasks under control.

trello-social-media-content-calendar-tools-3

Source: Trello

4. Evernote

 Evernote is a specific app that marketers use to note all their social media campaigns. The tool has a feature that tracks logs hourly, weekly, monthly, and early. Thus, it helps you know when and who publishes content on socials and creates new content and other content management features.

evernote-social-media-content-calendar-tools-4

Source: Evernote

Takeaway

A social media content calendar is your indispensable helper in organizing and streamlining social media content across social channels.

Creating a social media content calendar isn’t rocket science. Everyone can do this if they know the main principles. We’ll soon be sharing a free downloadable social media content calendar template for you too.

You have just found out the basics of how to create a social media content calendar. You are already aware of what it is and how to create it.

If you think this guide lacks some tips, feel free to share your ideas in the comments.

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Saadiya Munir

Saadiya Munir

I'm part of #ChampFam as a Senior Content Strategist. Computer Science graduate who hates to code. Introverted. Mostly hungry or sleepy. Writing a novel is always on my bucket list, and eventually, when I'm done with all the movies on my watch-list and tasks on my to-do list, I'll get to it. You can ping me at [email protected]

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