I’m a big fan of content calendars. And planning, in general. Give me a list, organizing tools and some creative freedom, and I’ll be your friend for life. Taking the time to plan your social media posting schedule has a host of benefits, and helps to avoid those dreaded “I don’t know what to post!” moments. Here are five reasons why allocating time to develop a content calendar for your social media program makes good, efficient sense.
Your content calendar:
Works as a collaboration & brainstorming tool
Gather your social media team regularly to brainstorm content ideas, adjust the current schedule, and check in with what’s working and what’s not. Make sure you’re not missing important dates or promotions by inviting in your event and/or advertising teams, too. Scheduling six months out with major themes is generally a good practice, and your can even plan a month or more in advance for individual postings.
Serves as a guide posting themes
Even if you don’t schedule every tweet or Instagram photo in advance, a content calendar can be a great tool for guiding the theme and tone of your posts. For example, if you’re a grocer and your monthly theme is local producers, perhaps a field trip and photo shoot at a local farmers market is a good way to gather new material.
Helps make sure you’re posting consistently
Remember, consistency and quality trump quantity. Having your content calendar as your guide, you’re less likely to save all your posting for one sit-down session and more likely to use your analytics and data to guide your posting decisions, such as posting when your target audience is typically online.
Gives you material to present your coworkers or supervisors
Reporting your social media data to a team? Your content calendar is a great tool for assuring coworkers that your social media plan is on-track and in-line with the organization’s broader goals.
Finally, you’ll sleep better knowing you didn’t miss anything
No one likes realizing they’ve missed out on shooting video of a special event because it wasn’t on their calendar. Rest assured you’ve got the most important content for your social media program planned ahead of time and immediately available for viewing and editing. Whew, now hit that snooze button.
Need some layout inspiration for your new calendar? Hootsuite has a great template to get started, and they’re willing to share.