When you first dive into the world of social media, creating posts may seem like an easy task. With new and fresh ideas and a lot of excitement about the brand, creating content may come easily. But, what happens after three months of consistent content creation? Most likely, you’re going to get stuck and the creative process will slow down. This is completely normal!
Even the best content creators struggle to consistently create new and exciting ideas to keep posts fresh and innovative. Mathematically after four months of consistently posting content 3x a week, that is 48 ideas and designs already used! Creating a content calendar can greatly assist in the content creation process. While it’s not a magic genie, a content calendar will allow you to plan ahead and take the time to create new ideas for your social calendar without the stress of posting on deadlines.
Benefits of using a content calendar:
A Content Calendar Keeps You Organized
One of the most obvious benefits and uses of any calendar is to track content and keep it organized. After many weeks of content creation, you may start to forget what you posted or how many times you’ve covered a topic or theme. When you are posting sporadically with no plan in place, you may find a lack of consistency in your social media strategy. Because social media posting is about engagement and setting expectations for our viewers, we know that consistency is key! A content calendar will ensure consistent weekly postings on all channels, make sure diverse media are being used, and verify that you aren’t posting the same topic or covering a theme too closely together. Also, if your strategy is to post three to four times per week, you’ll be able to visually see if you’re hitting this goal and maintaining your visibility to your audience.
Calendars Keep Everyone on the Same Page
If you have a collaborative team, a content calendar is the best way to keep everyone on the same page. This doesn’t just include your social media team…but EVERYONE involved. When you have several people working on different aspects of your marketing strategy, it’s important to all be on the same page. If your social media team is talking about one topic and your blogging team is talking about another while your email campaigns team is talking about something else, your audience will be pulled in too many directions. A monthly content calendar will inform everyone on the topics their content should be focused on for the month, ensuring a consistent message to your audience.
Creates a Visual for your Strategy
It's easy to come up with a strategy in your head and think it all works out, but most of the time it’s really hard to visualize how something will play out in your head. A content calendar allows you to lay out your content for all platforms and take a visual approach to see how the content flow will work. Without a content calendar, you may be missing the mark on your strategy or skip timely deadlines because they come and go before you get to them.
Helps Keep Track of Performance
Not everyone utilizes paid platforms to track their social media performance and analytics. A content calendar is a great spot for keeping track of basic performance metrics to see which content is performing the best. Not every content calendar tool has a performance section, but we highly recommend that you begin tracking your analytics to find trends in followership, topics that relate best to your audience, and motivators for engagement! The beauty of content calendars is that they can be adjusted to fit your company’s needs. Many tools help plan social media posts, provide analytics, and even assist with content creation.
Calendars are Great for Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a MUST in any creative field. Group think tank sessions can be very helpful when multiple people are contributing to content ideas. Content calendars aren’t just used to display a single person’s interests or ideas. With sites such as Canva, you can create a graphic calendar, share it with your team, add/delete ideas and leave notes on your thoughts. This process can help organize thoughts and make sure that great ideas don’t get lost. Not only does this help organize the process, but it builds collaboration within your team.
What Should Be Included in My Content Calendar?
The beauty of a content calendar is that it can be geared towards the needs of your company and serve as a graphic representation of your content plan. Not all content calendars are the same, but there are certain elements that most content calendars include. Some of those features are:
Every media channel/platform you use and the frequency goal for each
Key themes or topics to be covered
Color indicators to identify the platforms
A headline of the topic
A section with 1-2 sentences explaining the topic
Preset Holidays or events to cover
Performance indicator box
Team members responsible for each piece of content
Any approval processes required
These are only a few of the elements you can include on your content calendar. Remember, it is completely up to you and should be geared towards your strategy so create a document that works for your company or brand.
What are the Best Social Media Calendar Tools?
You can create a content calendar on Google Docs or Microsoft Excel, but these will be more manual to create. If you would like to use a template or web-based application, several tools can help:
There are many benefits to having a social media content calendar to help streamline your brand’s messaging strategy. Having a content calendar can help develop your strategy and organize your team. 30|90 Marketing works with marketing teams to plan their monthly social media content and implement easy-to-follow plans to increase visibility and engagement. We’re here to help. Reach out to us today to see how we can help enhance your strategy!