Do you have a hard time being consistent when it comes to sharing on social media?
Do you want a better way to plan, organize, and publish your social media content?
Looking for a solution that doesn’t cost anything, noda, zilch!?!
In this blog post, you’ll see how to set up a social media content calendar.
Click the image below to get the template. Make sure to customize it to fit your needs.
Step 1: Set monthly social media goals
It’s important to set goals for every piece of content you share on social media so you can track what’s working.
For most people, goals fall into the categories of generating more leads and sales. If you work backwards from your long-term goals, you can create short-term goals that will help you achieve them. Start with the end in mind!
The key to short-term goals is to start small, be specific, and set a realistic time frame to achieve each goal. At the end of each month, you want to be able to track your growth, see what worked, and set new goals for the next month. Smaller goals can be:
Decide what you want to achieve for each goal on social media and add it to a goal-setting spreadsheet.
Step 2: Decide on the content you are going to share
The purpose of a social media calendar is to have an idea of what type of content you are going to share on your different social media platforms. Think about what resonates with your audience while still trying to sell to them. Before creating your calendar, make a list of content you can share that aligns with your social media goals.
What types of content makes sense for your business and audience? Some common categories include:
- Products and Services
- Events and Announcements
- Blog Posts
- Holidays (there’s a holiday for almost every day!)
- Photos (staff, behind the scenes, at events, etc.)
Depending on the type of business you have, your categories may look different. Once you’ve chosen your categories, create another spreadsheet so you can plan your content, products, events, and promotions.
You can include dates, descriptions of each post, links, images (file name and where it’s saved), any items needed (freebies), and any other details needed to make this easier for you.
Plan your content at the end of each month that way you are ready when the first of the month rolls around. During the week, you can create your content, design any images you may need, and schedule your posts. Keep reading to learn what has worked for me and my clients.
Step 3: Create or customize your calendar
You can either create your calendar, or customize my template by clicking on the image at the beginning of this blog post.
To create your own calendar, you can use Google Drive or Excel. If you are going to be sharing this calendar with anyone, then your best bet is to create your calendar in Google Drive.
If you are going to print the sheets out, make sure the Scale is right for each sheet. Some sheets you may want to print to fit height or print to fit width. Just look at the preview before hitting that print button.
Step 4: Add content to your calendar
Now that you have a better idea of what type of content you are going to share, now it’s time to add it to your calendar. Choose which days you are going to share your content and make sure to color code it to match each category you created on the Content sheet.
- You don’t have to share something every day
- Share the same post on your channels but at different times OR
- Share that particular post on different days to different channels
- Remember the 80/20 Rule – 80% of your content should be educational, inspirational, engaging, etc. and 20% should be about your business
For more ideas, click here!
Step 5: Create, schedule and publish your content
Now that you have planned out all of your content on your calendar, it is time to find third-party articles, write your blog posts, design images, create events, etc.
Have a list of places you like to find articles – they can be in your niche (it’s ok to share your competitors articles – those influencers may take notice and may want to work with you), inspirational articles, business related, or current events.
Not sure where to find third-party content? Here is a list of places:
- Twitter Search
- Facebook Business Pages (great for seeing what your competitors are sharing)
- Pinterest Search
- YouTube Search
- Newsletters that you get
- Pocket (also great for saving articles you find)
- Google Alerts (learn about the importance of these here)
There are so many ways you can create great looking images. Most of them are free! (some of these may be affiliate links)
- Smartmockups (good for branded images)
- Piktochart for infographics
- Quote Maker (make beautiful quote images easily)
Not sure where to find free feminine images to use for quotes or blog posts? Sign-up for access to my Resource Page and not only will you get a whole list of places to find free feminine images, you will also get access to my freebies, my recommendations for websites, business, mailing lists & opt-ins, my favorite plugins for WordPress, and more! I am always updating this page with my favorites.
Scheduling Your Social Media:
In order to make social media easier, you should be using some sort of scheduling tool. My favorite is Hootsuite. Not only do I use this for my social media, I use it for my client’s. I sit down at the end of every month and schedule content for the coming month. During the month, all I have to worry about is engaging with the audience and sharing things that I find to be relevant. I don’t have to worry about creating images, finding content and making sure to share it. I get it all done at the end of every month. My system may not work for you so make sure to find what does. Maybe it will be easier for you to schedule content every week.
Step 6: See what worked and didn’t work
Once the month is done, look at your insights for all your social media platforms and see which content worked – engagement (likes, comments, shares), did you gain any new followers during the month, have you answered everyone’s comments, etc.
If you notice a particular post worked really well, try and do something similar the following month. Keep a sheet for each social media platform to track your stats. Get a stats tracker for each social media platform here.
Using a social media calendar will not only help you plan your content, but it will save you a lot of time, frustration and aggravation. If you use the ideas mentioned above to create great content and share posts at the right time on each channel, you’ll likely see better results from your social media.
One thing to remember, and I stress this all of the time, you need to gain the KNOW, LIKE & TRUST of your audience. Social media is about being social, not treating your audience as a number. You need to show there is a human being behind your brand and also treat your audience like humans. Yes, as a small business owner, we all want sales, but social media is about building that relationship with your followers.
Now it’s your turn….
How do you keep track of your social media? Do you use a social media calendar? What methods do you use for creating and scheduling your social media. Please comment below.
In my next blog post, I am going to provide you with the ultimate marketing calendar for 2020.