Social media, with its immediacy, can be great for spontaneity and getting involved in the moment. However, if you just react and don’t plan your efforts you could be wasting your time and not making the most of your activity.
A social media content calendar enables you to plan your content across your organisation.
Here is a simple example from social media management tool Hootsuite:
Here is why I think you need a social media content calendar:
1) It makes you plan your content
By taking the time to plan the types of content that you post to social media you can ensure that you regularly post about all the activities of your organisation. You can look ahead to key activities during the year and ensure you are planning enough social activity to support them. It can also help you work out your busy and less so periods.
Planning can also help you focus on quality not quantity. I have written on this blog before about ACCA’s new approach of slowing down their social media output to help them improve the quality, and it has seen an increase in engagement.
2) It helps you to balance your content
Maintaining a balance of different post types lets you engage with the widest possible audience and maximises the engagement potential for your posts. As an example, if you are just posting images then you could be missing opportunities to engage with followers who want more in-depth content.
Planning your content in a calendar can help you take a broader view of your content composition.
3) It helps you to ensure consistency
There is always a temptation to just ‘do social media’ when there is an event or product to promote. This can result in a series of posts and then nothing else for months. You must post consistently to build engagement with your followers. Remember to try to maintain consistency within your posts too, including how your messages are constructed. Your audience should come to recognise your post even without seeing your name.
4) It provides a record for your analytics
Knowing what you have posted and where you have posted it is valuable when you are assessing the effectiveness of your social media efforts. Monitoring and recording which posts receive the most engagement helps you to deliver more of what your followers like, and to strengthen your online brand.
Social media calendars are a vital tool for building an online presence, but the calendar shouldn’t dictate your social output. You need the flexibility to respond to current events and to be spontaneous. Your reactive content should complement your planned content.
Are you going to introduce a social media content calendar at your organisation if you don’t use one already?