Four reasons to use a social media content calendar
Creating a monthly social media content calendar for your small business may seem like a big commitment but getting organised now will save you heaps of time, hassle and effort down the line.
A content calendar doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. As long as it suits the needs of you and your business, a simple spreadsheet or paper planner can do the trick just as well as a fancy app.
What is a social media content calendar?
A social media content calendar is a document used to plan when you’ll post content across your social media platforms for the month.
A content calendar may include a summary of the copy you’ll post, details of images or graphics you’ll create and hashtags you’ll use.
If you tend to write short captions, you can write the copy straight into the calendar and copy and paste it into a scheduling tool when you’re ready.
Why do you need a social media content calendar?
A well-maintained social media content calendar will help you keep a strategic eye on your content marketing efforts.
It will help you to:
Improve brand awareness and audience engagement
Consistently post a variety of content across your channels
Identify content which does (or doesn’t) resonate with your audience
Improve, reduce or increase certain types of posts depending on their performance
Here are four reasons why you should use a social media content calendar for your small business.
Reason 1: To save time
A simple spreadsheet with the days of the month down the side and a column for each platform is all you need to get started.
Brainstorm ideas for your social media content calendar days, or ideally weeks, before you need to post to get ahead, reduce stress and prevent panic posting.
Planning content in advance not only keeps you organised but allows time for creativity to flourish.
It saves time during your working week and makes life easier as you don’t need to hunt for content when you’re busy and distracted.
Rather than scribbling content ideas down on a scrap of paper, write them straight into your content calendar so they can be easily located and shared with other members of your team.
Create a batch of blank calendars for the coming months and drop ideas into them when inspiration strikes.
Reason 2: To create better content
Your social media content calendar provides an invaluable visual overview of what, when and where you’re planning to post across the month.
Planning ahead allows you to fill your calendar with content which is helpful to your audience rather than posting poor content on the hoof.
Focus on creating valuable content which will educate, inspire or entertain your audience and encourage them to like, comment, share or save your posts and boost your engagement.
Map out important milestones or events for your business (such as product launches, promotional periods) and national days or public holidays that are relevant to your industry (such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween or Mother’s Day) for more topical content.
Use your calendar to identify any gaps in content or whether you’re focusing too much on a particular topic while neglecting another one.
Planning your content ahead means you’re more likely to spot mistakes, avoid unintentional repetition and create a variety of content, including stories and videos, to keep your audience interested.
Reason 3: To plan ahead
Use analytic tools to help you post when your audience is online and to gain valuable insights into their preferences. Did your content plan achieve your goals? Look at what worked and didn’t work and adjust your content accordingly for the next month.
Your content calendar needs to be refined and improved each month to achieve your marketing goals.
Scheduling content is an invaluable time-saver but don’t auto post and ghost – be online before and after you post to engage with your audience.
While it’s a good idea to schedule the bulk of your posts, you should build in flexibility to react to trending news in your industry for a balance between automation and organic content.
Reason 4: To be consistent
Pre-schedule posts to a regular routine to create a consistent flow of content, a unified brand voice and to become a reliable source of information for your audience.
By consistently posting educational, relevant and entertaining content week after week, your audience will get used to your presence and think of you when they need your product or service. Irregular posting leads to an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ issue no matter how much your audience enjoys your content.
With highly visual platforms such as Instagram, creating a consistent grid is especially important. Creating an appealing grid pattern, by posting alternative graphics or quotes for example, can be easily achieved with a content calendar.
Getting into the habit of creating a monthly content calendar will help you to create more powerful content and save you time, energy and stress in the long run. It will also help you to become more strategic with delegation and outsourcing.
I can help you to create a quality social media content calendar for your business which you can reuse again and again, saving you stacks of effort.
Get in touch to book a 15-minute discovery call to discuss your requirements.
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