We’ve all heard it said before…for an effective social media presence, you must have a content calendar. We’ve also all thrown our hands up in the air and said, “What the heck does that even mean?” To put it more simply, you need to know what you’re posting and when you’re going to post it. The major benefits of a content calendar are pretty clear.
- It helps you eliminate last-minute stress by planning ahead
- Calendars give you a better “big view” picture of what your social media presence looks like
- Planning ahead allows you to measure what’s working and what’s not working
Alright, now that we got the big benefits out of the way, it’s time to share our best tips for creating a content calendar. These are strategies that we’ve personally found helpful — and we hope you will, too!
Tip #1: Choose a scheduling platform
Gone are the days of setting a million alarms that tell you when to post. Now, you can just sit down for an hour and schedule it all out! Each scheduling platform offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on your budget and how many platforms you want to schedule your posts on.
Here are a few of our favorites that we’ve come across:
Explore each of the above (they all offer free trials) and determine which one works best. From there, get to planning!
Tip #2: Determine your “Top 5”
After you’ve picked your platform, the next step is figuring out what to post. To narrow this down, we like to stick to a “Top 5.” A Top 5 means that all your posts should fall into 5 categories. As an example, let’s say you’re in the fitness industry. Here is what your “Top 5” could look like:
- Before and after photos
- Workout tips
- Nutrition tips
- Client testimonials
- Current offers and deals
Now, it’s important to take note of the content of each of those “Top 5” categories. Four of those categories specifically benefit the audience. They feature members and they provide value by offering free information. Only the last item – current offers and deals – asks the viewer to get out their wallet. Your social media content should always add value first, and ask for a sale second. By doing this, you establish yourself as an added value to your audience, which encourages them to stay engaged with your content.
Tip #3: Track your results
You have a scheduling platform and all your content ready to go. You should be done with our social media planning, right? Well, almost. There’s one last element, and it’s key. You must establish regular “check-ins” to see how your content is performing. Check-ins can look like once a month, once a week or for the super-dialed-in planners…once a day. We like to check in once a week, but that’s just what works for us. When you check in with your content’s performance, it’s important to identify:
- What’s working. Whatever’s working, do more of that!
- What’s not working. Nix that – maybe revise your “Top 5”
- Note high-traffic times. If everyone’s engaged at 5 pm, schedule all your posts for that specific time!
By checking the pulse on your social media calendar, you can work to optimize your content so you can deliver more of what your audience wants.