The Importance of Content Calendars in Your Social Media Strategy
Published by Spinutech on November 11, 2019
Content calendars serve as the framework for what your business plans to share and promote across all marketing channels. A well thought out and organized social media calendar can help to define your content themes and posting cadences to match each social platform’s audience and objective.
Planning is Important
Instead of focusing on quick posts and wins, content calendars help you to focus on long-term strategy. Organizing the framework of a content calendar and determining content pillars helps you to identify the type of content and when it needs to be posted.
Your business may be using multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and it’s important to recognize that each platform serves a different purpose. Preparing your content calendar with all the platforms in mind helps you to present your content differently to fit that channel’s audience.
Keep in mind that a content calendar is there to serve as a guide, not the rule. Content can be organized and planned in advance, but pop-up, live, and user generated content should be sprinkled in as it arises. The purpose of social media is to be social, and users engage most with timely, relevant content.
Putting Together Content and Strategy
Before diving into planning, it’s important to first do a comprehensive audit of your social media presence and your content across all your social media channels. Gathering data on each of your social media accounts, including engagement, will help you to understand which platforms are performing best and where there are opportunities to improve. Digging deeper into your content will help you understand which type of content is resonating best with your audience on each platform.
Pay attention to the timing and frequency of posts that get the most engagement. While all platforms have their own best practices when it comes to posting, you know your audience best, so be sure to do your research! You might find your Facebook users are more active during a weekday lunch hour, while your Pinterest users are active in the evenings once their kids have gone to bed.
Content calendars show you how to distribute the same piece of content at different times and in slightly different ways to best meet the needs of users on each of your social media platforms.
Armed with the findings from your audits, you can begin putting together your content calendar.
Helpful Social Media Tools
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of social channels to manage and the amount of content you’re scheduling, but there are plenty of tools available to help make it easier.
Social Media Scheduling Tools
Content scheduling tools take the stress out of having to post every day. They allow you to schedule posts across multiple channels at once, and they can even optimize posts to launch at the best times for each platform.
Sprout Social. Sprout Social helps you understand your audience and engage your online community through content planning and demographic listening features, as well as an analytical tool to help improve your social media presence. Sprout Social’s focus is on ROI and optimization of your social content for long-term added value.
HootSuite. One of the most popular content scheduling programs, Hootsuite offers a robust platform for organizing content. A Google Chrome extension that lets you schedule content as you discover it on the internet is a feature unique to this tool.
Zoho. Zoho Social allows you to create a publishing calendar with drag and drop options so you can easily reschedule and manage your content pipeline. They also offer a collaborative tool so you can share your content with your team or clients.
Set Up For Long-Term Success
Planning ahead for your content not only helps to alleviate some of the day-to-day stressors of a social media professional, but it also helps you plan your long-term business goals.
Content banks are helpful to have in your arsenal when it comes to creating a content calendar. A content bank, or repository, is a place to store all existing pieces of content you might want to choose from either now or in the future. This is a good place to store images, videos, and pre-written text — anything you might want to put into your calendar.
Evergreen content that is always helpful or relevant to your audience can be kept in a content bank and is great for filling in gaps in your content calendar. New product updates, promotions, and educational content work great and are always relevant. Focus on sharing events, company news, and behind-the-scenes content as it comes up.
Outlining your social media content in a content calendar helps you to be consistent with your posting, leading to higher engagement rates. It’s important to recognize you don’t need to be utilizing every social media channel that is out there — focus on what makes the most sense for your line of business. Keep in mind that your social media accounts need to be updated and posted to frequently in order to be successful.