When you sit down to an empty calendar, knowing you have to fill it up with great content, it can be a little daunting. I mean, what do you post? What’s interesting to your followers? How do you know what they want to see or what you need to share to increase business? Are you even cut out to do this? Is it getting hotter in here or are you just having a mild panic attack?
The first post is always the hardest, so breathe and know it’s just a bunch of words and pictures. Creating the ideal social calendar is important, and knowing how to do it month after month is a skill you continuously build upon. As a digital content writer, I regularly build many of these for clients across different industries, and it never gets easier, just more comfortable. Here are a few tips and ideas we’ve gathered over the years that can help you succeed.
If this is the first time you’re really digging into your content calendar, you first need to see what’s working well and on what platform it’s working. Start by looking at your target demographics, and go to them, don’t make them come to you. Luckily, there’s so much information available on the user demographics for each social media network as well as individual demographic information on your individual platforms.
Next, start paying attention to what type of content works best on each platform. Some of these types of content are universal, but don’t share the same thing across all platforms each time you post. For example, Twitter is mostly text-based, while Instagram is mainly image and video-based.
Finally, you should look at your competitors. What platforms are giving them the most success, and how can you optimize that platform in your calendar? By answering those questions, you’re setting yourself up for actual results.
You need a nice blend of post types, and these can be organized into categories such as blog posts, quotes, tips, promos and more. I keep them color-coded to quickly distinguish the types of content I’m sharing in a given week or month. There are certain post types I do on the same day of the week every week, like Motivational Monday quotes or always sharing new blogs on Wednesdays, and this helps start things off.
I use the rule that for every one sales-based post, there should be three educational or expertise-based posts. Telling someone to buy a cup of coffee isn’t as entertaining or useful as showing the benefits of that cup of coffee or even telling them why they should choose your coffee over a competitor’s.
Whether you do this by bolding completed items, highlighting them or using columns, it’s important to keep track of updates as there are usually moving parts of a calendar. You may have the text completed but the graphic hasn’t been completed yet, or perhaps you have someone else who designs while you write and schedule content. If you don’t have an area where that designer can show the status of their tasks, you won’t know when it’s completed and ready to share.
I also have columns for things like links to be added in posts, dates they should be posted, who is in charge of writing and/or designing, whether it’s been proofread, and if the post is scheduled or published. When you’re looking at upwards of 31 posts in a calendar, it’s crucial you keep organized.
I could go on and on, because creating the ideal social calendar is a large chunk of my week, but instead of telling you generalized rules of thumb, we would much rather have a conversation with you about your particular company. After completing a brand audit, our Marketing team at Rooted Web can show you the best strategy for your social media moving forward. Let’s chat!
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