How To Create a Social Media Content Calendar

Create a Social Media Content Calendar

byWinfred Kimathi

If you’ve ever wondered how some businesses post from January to December without missing a single day, the answer is a social media content calendar.

A content calendar saves business owners time and keeps your brand on people’s minds.  Let’s dive in and discuss how to create a social media content calendar for your Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and X pages.

What is a Social Media Content Calendar?

A social media calendar is a strategic plan that allows you to organize and schedule your content for publication across various platforms. It tracks what you post on various platforms — and coordinate your social media content for the upcoming months and weeks.

A social media calendar contains the following details:

  • Time and date you will publish your content
  • Social media platform where you’ll post the content
  • Post format
  • Hashtags and links you will use
  • Media to accompany the content – images, videos, GIFs, infographics, or LinkedIn PDFs

Benefits of a Social Media Content Calendar

You’ll enjoy these benefits by creating a social media calendar:

  • Plan new content around your business needs, like product launches, or client onboarding
  • Centralize the planning of your social media content
  • Plan your next content
  • Allow you enough time to edit your content
  • Track your social media content performance
  • Evaluate your social media strategy using KPIs
  • Post quality content consistently
  • Manage your social media team

Now let’s discuss how to create your first content calendar.

1. Audit Your Social Media Channels

A social media audit assesses your social media presence, engagement, and accounts. It establishes the following about your channels:

  • Highest and lowest-performing posts, tactics, and campaign
  • Social media goals and KPIs for each platform
  • Target audience and buyer personas
  • Account security and passwords
  • Content posting frequency
  • Key metrics for measuring future success on each platform
  • What your competitors are doing differently

You’ll get these details in your social media analytic tools, such as Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, LinkedIn Insights, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social. Here is an example of audit data collected using the Hootsuite analytic tool.

audit data collected using the Hootsuite analytic tool

This analysis doesn’t show what competitors are doing. Therefore, remember to analyze your rivals and see what they’re doing well and where their strategies are lacking. You’ll learn a few things that’ll help you strengthen your social media strategy.

2. Choose Ideal Social Media Channels and Content Mix

Are you going to be on Facebook and Instagram, or does your business need LinkedIn only? Choose a channel where your ideal customers spend most of their time.

Next, decide what content mix will keep your audience engaged.

For example, if you choose Instagram as your channel, the platform favors images and short videos as the dominant content. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule of content creation — 80% of your content should educate, inform, or entertain your audience. Promote your products and services in the remaining 20%.

3. Outline Your Social Media Goals

Your social media goals determine what to include in your calendar. Start with broad goals and then turn them into specific objectives.

The following is an example of broad social media goals that you can use to create your specific objectives.

  • Increase your brand awareness
  • Improve community engagement
  • Improve customer service and experience
  • Generate leads
  • Boost conversions and sales
  • Enhance brand reputation
  • Increase website traffic

To avoid losing focus, highlight all your social media goals by order of priority in your calendar.

4. Decide What to Include in Your Content Calendar

No two businesses should have the same calendar. Your business has unique features that should reflect on your calendar. Ensure that your calendar includes the following basic components

  • The platforms you will use
  • The day and time you will publish your posts
  • Visuals like videos, infographics, gifs, photos
  • Links to external resources
  • A copy of your posts

You may also want to customize your calendar to include specific details like:

  • Platform-specific materials (reel, polls, live streams, ads, TikTok Live, shoppable posts)
  • Associated social media campaigns, e.g. product launches

5. Create a Social Media Content Calendar

With the foundation laid, you can now create a social media content calendar. There are various ways to create a social media content calendar. A template allows you to visualize what your final calendar draft will look like.  It also ensures consistency, especially when collaborating with a social media team.

Color coding is another important tool when creating your calendar. The codes help you categorize the information you‘ll include in your calendar. Create as many color codes depending on the content you will create, as shown below.

Create a Social Media Content Calendar

With the templates and color codes created, you can now start filling in the details you want to be part of your calendar. The following is an example of a filled one-week social media calendar template from Semrush.

example of a filled one-week social media calendar template

6. Set Your Social Media Posting Schedule

Like with blogs, your planner is incomplete until you define the ideal time for posting on each social media channel.

Determine how frequently you’ll post on your page. Some businesses perform best when they post every day, others three times a week, and others several times a day.

The following is an example of a posting frequency schedule based on HubSpot’s 2022 state of marketing report.

example of social media posting frequency schedule

The social media audit you conducted in the first step should inform you when your target audience is most active on each channel — so they can interact with your content for better performance.

7. Invite Feedback

Your social media content calendar must make sense to all your team members. That is the only way to enjoy the full benefits we stated above.

Share the calendar with your social media management team members and encourage them to share feedback. Use their feedback to improve your calendar even further.

Create Your Social Media Content Calendar With Expert Help

Are you a busy entrepreneur wanting to succeed with your social media marketing efforts? We have a solution for you — contact us today to discuss how we’ll help you prepare your calendar and manage your social media pages.

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