Everyone is competing for attention on social media. Trying to make your way through a cluttered content feed can be a difficult task. Using a social media content calendar can help you reach your audience better.
Setting up a social media content calendar can be a little time consuming, but once you write out your posts ahead of time, you will see how much easier it is as you go along and continue to plan ahead. However, there is no need to re-invent the wheel. There are plenty of social media content calendar templates you can find online, for example, I like to use Hubspot’s template.
Utilizing a social media content calendar has many advantages. Essentially, post planning helps improve your social media content by driving it to be clear, concise and purposeful. There’s nothing worse than posting on the fly or saying to yourself, “OH CRAP! Today is the first day of National Yoga Month!” and you are a yoga instructor. With no planned post, you just missed an opportunity for optimal engagement. Having a great social media plan takes careful consideration, innovation, and a fresh approach to each post. Most importantly, be yourself, stay on brand and create content that resonates with your audience.
Post planning is an important component of successful social media campaigns. Here are six reasons why you need to create a social media content calendar and the benefits of doing so!
Posting social media content just for the sake of posting is never a good thing. It’s ok to post something off-the cuff if there is a purpose. For example, there is breaking news in your industry. However, usually posting on the fly isn’t the best strategy. By planning out your posts through a social media content calendar, you will stay on track, post consistently and you won’t miss putting out valuable information for your audience. Staying organized keeps your message cohesive and consistent. For example, on my social media content calendar, I have Motivation Monday videos scheduled for execution on all of my social media channels. While the posts go out every Monday morning, I plan, record, and edit the content two weeks before posting. Having a clear and concise social media content strategy ensures that followers aren’t confused about your brand or brand message.
If you remain consistent with well thought out content, you won’t feel like you are just throwing spaghetti to the wall to see if it sticks. Posting regular content not only gives you the potential to reach and engage your audience, but it also creates authority. You are the expert in whatever it is that you do. For example, if you are a yoga instructor and you have a blog post about beginner’s poses, you may want to promote this particular blog post to reach people that are interested in trying yoga for the first time. Drive traffic to a landing page where they can sign up to take your yoga class. By consistently posting useful and relative content, you can create a community of people who look to you for helpful advice and information.
Stay on Top of the 4-1-1 Rule
If you are unfamiliar with the 4-1-1 rule, it initially started with twitter. However, it can apply to all social media platforms today. The formula of the 4-1-1 rule is that you should share four new content pieces, 1 re-post, and one self-promoting post. If you follow this formula, it ensures that you are putting out high-value content that is engaging to your audience without being too sales-pitchy. While of course, you need to be able to promote and inform your audience about your goods and services, you have to be very careful in the execution. The posts should be informative and helpful while piquing the user’s interest in wanting to learn more. When utilizing a social media content calendar, your ultimate goal here is to convert the user into becoming a client. For example, if you are a divorce lawyer and your blog has useful information about child custody laws in New York State, you can write something like the following:
“A common concern in many divorce cases that involve children is lawful and fair custody for both parents. Learn more about child custody in New York State and let us ease your worries.” Then provide a link to the appropriate blog post that has a call to action such as, “contact us for a free consultation.”
The above example is two-fold. You are telling your audience about your services, but at the same time, you are solving a problem by giving helpful information and easing fears. It’s imperative to have a balance in your social media marketing efforts between plugging your business and giving out useful and engaging content. Solely promoting your business or yourself will inevitably lead to a lot of unfollows.
Being consistent on social media can only help strengthen your brand and also assists in building a community of followers that like your content. Having a consistent color theme across all social media channels also helps you to remain recognizable as people are scrolling through hundreds, if not thousands of posts each day. If you are creating graphics that go along with your posts, your graphics should reflect your brand’s color pallet. Going back to the 4-1-1 rule, it’s also important to be consistent with the type of posts that you re-share from other brands. Make sure they are a complement to your brand and brand message.
Planning out your posts with a social media content calendar is a time saver. You can also efficiently use some post planning platforms where you can plug in the days and times that you would like to have your posts to roll out. I like to use Hootsuite. Hootsuite has a feature that will automatically schedule posts during peak times. I also like to use Buffer as well. Buffer has a feature in which you can schedule your Instagram posts. Prior to this new feature on Buffer, Instagram content would have to be posted manually. Yup! Pain in the “you know what”! Just take note that Facebook and Instagram do not favor the use of third party platforms. Both Facebook and Instagram want you to spend time on their platform so your audience reach may not go as far when using a third party scheduler. Use your discretion and depending on the content you may want to post directly. For example, I like to post my “Motivation Monday” videos directly on Facebook and Instagram. I noticed that my audience reach and engagement was higher as opposed to using Hootsuite and Buffer.
Never Miss Posting Time-Sensitive Events
If you have an upcoming seminar, speaking engagement that you don’t want your follower to miss, it’s helpful to use your social media content calendar to schedule posts about your events. For example, if you are a financial advisor volunteering at your local library, giving finacial advice to parents, you can have this scheduled out ahead of time so that you can ensure that parents who may need your services, can come to your event and talk to you about their financial goals or issues. So having this as a planned post, you can maximize attendance at your event. The more people you have at your event, the more potential client leads.
If you would like more information or help to create a social media editorial calendar, contact me or leave a comment below! I’m always happy to help!