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How does your business plan and organize its social media content?
In the past, social media managers for brands had to log in to post content throughout the day — sometimes individually for several social media channels. Today, businesses have access to a seemingly endless supply of tools and resources to help with nearly every aspect of social media management.
Perhaps the most important tool for any social media marketer is the template. These are ways to organize your social media strategy — from posts to calendars to competitive analysis — that will keep your brand ahead of the game. While the template isn’t the only weapon in the social media manager’s arsenal, it’s certainly an important one.
Of course, it’s important to remember that templates can take your brand only so far. Larger, enterprise-level brands looking to take their social media presence to the next level need to invest in a digital-first social media management and social listening solution, where you can get insights and tips directly from an AI-powered platform.
In this post, we’ll show you the three templates that our own social media team considers absolutely essential. These templates aren’t just easy-to-use and powerful ways to drive digital engagement; they can be customized to fit any business’ unique needs. Best of all, they come as Google Sheets templates, so they’re ready to boost your brand’s digital presence right out of the box.
A social media content calendar is the single most important document you can use to plan and manage your business’ social media content strategy. A content calendar allows you to provide a consistent stream of quality content, plan ahead, and identify future opportunities.
Most businesses plan their content out at least one month in advance, although they allow themselves flexibility so that they can keep up with trends and respond to current events. Of course, it’s always best to customize your content calendar based on what works best for your business. Try a few different ways of doing it, and see what works best; there’s no single right answer. But however you manage your calendar, you’re going to need a template — and this is one of the best.
Our Social Media Content Calendar Template allows you to easily plan content across all of your customers’ favorite channels. The template is set up in a weekly format, but you can adjust it to be a monthly planner or even a yearly content calendar. Simply save a copy to customize a content calendar that’s catered to the unique needs of your business.
Is our social media content calendar template not specific enough for your business? Take the next step and learn exactly what you should be expecting from your social media solution with our Social Media Management RFP Checklist.
In order to ensure your content strategy is working, you should perform an audit across all of your channels at least once every three months. By performing an audit, you can make better sense of what’s working well and what should be adjusted for the upcoming quarter.
Our Social Media Audit Template pictured above provides an easy way for you to keep track of each channel’s performance and even features a sheet for each quarter so you can reference data throughout the year.
Use this google sheets template to track metrics on each channel such as follower and engagement growth. Additionally, the template includes a section for your business to review its most and least successful posts so you can adjust your content strategy to reflect audience preferences and performance.
Up to this point you’ve created a content calendar and can easily audit your own social media channels, but is this enough to beat your brands’ competitors? To find out, you’ll need to do a competitor analysis.
At its most basic level, a competitor analysis is simply an investigation of what your competition is up to on social media. Perhaps they’re doing something particularly well, and that can give you a starting point to figure out how to do it better. Maybe they aren’t doing something that you are, and you can emphasize this difference to highlight how your brand adds value. Or, maybe they’re doing something poorly, and you can use this as an example of what to avoid. The ultimate goal is to see how you stack up against the competition and identify ways to outdo them. Competitor analysis almost invariably yields valuable insights, so don’t skip this important step!
Your competitor analysis should put your brand at the top and separate information by social media channel, like this:
This Social Media Competitor Analysis Template is similar to the audit template mentioned above, but this one focuses more on understanding how competitors are putting out content, as opposed to profile growth. In addition to auditing competitors’ social media channels, it’s also a good idea to see what content they’re publishing in their blog, as these posts will likely be featured on social media eventually.
Remember, mentions of your own brand aren’t the only things you should be tracking with your social listening solution. It’s also important to track brand mentions of your competition to have a better understanding of what’s going on in the industry — what brands are doing well, and what they aren’t. The more data you have, the more likely you are to succeed in your social media strategy.
As we’ve seen here, social media templates and other monthly planners are a great starting point, but at some point, your business will need to invest in a platform that goes beyond the capabilities of a google sheets calendar.
Digital-first social media management and social listening solutions, such as Khoros Marketing, help brands simplify the process to spend less time organizing and more time creating exceptional content. Learn how our easy-to-use marketing platform helps brands identify audience insights so you can build a data-backed engagement strategy.
To learn more actionable strategies for social media marketing and management, read our Social Media Pocket Guide.