An Operating Guide to Social Media Content Calendars

Tackling Social Media for Your Business

content calendars help social media maintenanceMaintaining Social Media outlets for your business can be a bit intimidating and time consuming, if not addressed in the right manner – but fear not! This guide will outline how to set up and execute social media for your business, and best of all, will delegate the work so that you aren’t spending hours a day maintaining Social Media.

Decide What Social Networks You’ll Be Using

If you are monitoring Social Media for a small company, your Social Media site of choice will probably be Facebook. But why stop there? With Auto Scheduling features and sites (Hootsuite is an industry fav!), it is easy to schedule posts on various social media sites months in advance! Curious as to what other sites you should be using? Check out our blogs on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter  for an in depth analysis into what each of these networks can do for your business!

Marketing Plan and Content Calendars

The best way to develop a marketing plan for social media maintenance is through a Content Calendar. Planning and executing a Content Calendar allows you to not only post in advance, but to fully execute marketing strategies.

A Content Calendar is a monthly calendar that will define what you post and when: it serves as an organizational guide and allows you to stay on top of your marketing strategy. When developing your Content Calendar, start by asking questions that will help you focus on when to post what content, and then focus on what potential customers and current clients may be looking for:

  • Is your business seasonal?
  • Are there industry trends or information you want to be relaying?
  • Are you introducing new products or specials? Do those have deadlines?
  • Are there engaging photos and videos you want to share? Are these time sensitive?
  • Do you plan on executing contests to promote new products?
  • Do you have blog posts, case studies, or articles that relate to your business?
  • Are there funny videos/images/articles that pertain to your company and audience?

A Content Calendar not only allows you to stay organized throughout the month, but also helps you keep track of information that you want to share. We recommend using Google calendar, or an Excel spreadsheet via Google docs because both allow for easy share capability and both save automatically to your email drive – meaning you can’t ever lose your content! Whichever you choose, set it up in a format that will carry over through various months. Here is the format we use:

With this format, you can adjust the content as needed, and clearly see what is planned for each day. The best thing about this format is that all of your links are organized in one place and what you have not posted yet is obvious; an ideal Content Calendar can easily be passed off and understood by anyone reading it.

social media for your business

To aid in organization, most social media sites also now feature an option to schedule in advance, up to a year! Despite the length of time allotted, we advise to only schedule a week in advance because often the marketing focus will change based on sales, season, and a thousand other unforeseen factors! Auto scheduling is especially helpful because it allows you to spend a concentrated period of time finding and scheduling compelling content, which is the most time consuming part of social media maintenance. Despite using an auto scheduler, you will still have to check your social media sites to respond and engage with consumers.

Track your Analytics

The best way to develop your initial marketing plan is to keep track of your analytics for the first month that you use social media. Regardless of what social media outlet you use, each will offer a different form of analytics that will help you track how many people see your posts and who responds through different levels of engagement. You will want to pay particular attention to which type of posts receive the most reaction from potential and current customers. Through doing this, you will quickly discover what your audience is looking for! No matter what the focus of your business, it is best to post an array of images and links – both promoting your company, but also supplying consumers with interesting content that allows them to engage with your business. Remember when posting to always link back to your company website, as that increases your SEO and, if shared, will generate leads!