Creating a Social Media Calendar
Social Media, meaning the myriad of social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and so on, began in the mid 1990’s when Tina Sharkey, CEO of Babycenter.com and a former executive at iVillage and AOL coined the term. Since that time it has really taken hold with millions of users and billions of posts daily. However, social media is a fairly new marketing strategy for some companies. Keeping up with the posts, tweets, and images can be mind boggling to say the least. If you are a newbie to harnessing the power of social media you and your company may need some tips and strategies to get organized and make the social media beast more manageable. One of the best techniques to do this is to create a social media calendar or editorial calendar. Let’s look at the social media calendar, how to set it up and how to use it to benefit your marketing strategy.
While it may take only seconds to read a tweet, post or view an image, creating those posts can take planning and Herculean effort if you are not organized and prepared for what is to come. Here are some steps to start you in the right direction and get you posting, tweeting and linking in with the best of them!
- Brainstorm as a team – One of the first things your company and, in fact, your brand needs is a decision on what the message is that you want to send out into the social media cyber world. Do you want to give helpful tips, announce deals, promote an idea, educate about your field, or all of the above? What value will the reader gain from following your posts?
- Topic Lists – Once your team has brainstormed and decided what the main goal is for your social media campaign, you will want to continue brainstorming a list of topics that will be used for blogs, videos, posts, tweets and “pins”. This list can be linked to your social media calendar so that adding to it and using it will be easy. Be sure to get authorization that each topic is in line with your main goal.
- Write, create, or film –Now that you have an approved list of topics, you can start writing. Stockpile as many of these as possible and keep them linked to your social media calendar. By planning ahead you can be mindful of holidays, special events on the horizon or important dates in your field.
- Start Scheduling – Using your own template or one that you have decided may work for your company such as Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, or Hubspot start scheduling out your posts. Finding the right number and the right time of day for your audience to post may take some trial and error but a quick google for your field of best times to posts can help.
- Use Analytics – Every social media campaign should not only be organized into a day/month calendar but also use the tools of analysis to see if the social media posts are doing what you planned. Did you gain more followers or have a spike in sales?
Creating a social media calendar can hep you clarify your goals, decide on content and get your social campaign organized right down to the day and time you want your audience to see your post!