Smart Social Series: Ultimate Social Media Content Calendar Guide

Phil Garbrecht

The Smart Social blog series helps brands step up their social media management with tips, tricks, and trends that Khoros has learned as the leader in the space.

How do you plan and organize your social media content strategy?

According to a GlobalWebIndex report, digital consumers have an average of seven social media accounts — up from just three in 2012.

Keeping up with the growing demand for content across an increasing number of popular social media platforms means businesses need to plan posts well in advance to prevent gaps.

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about social media content calendars and even show you how to create one to help you stay organized when planning posts.

What is a social media content calendar?

Social media content calendars are calendars or spreadsheets used to plan social media posts in advance. Typically, businesses will plan out their social media posts at least one month in advance. Social media content calendars help businesses organize when they’re posting, which platforms they’re posting to, and what content is being published on each platform.

Benefits of a social media content calendar

There are countless reasons to use a social media content calendar, but we’ll focus on the three biggest benefits including providing a consistent stream of quality content, planning ahead, and identifying opportunities.

1. Provide a consistent stream of quality content

    Trying to post on the day-of can lead to some platforms being overloaded while others are neglected. Content gaps may cause users to forget about your brand, so it’s essential to make sure each platform has a consistent stream of content.

    Content calendars allow your team to map out posts in advance to prevent gaps. Plus, setting deadlines early gives your team more time to work on the content, leading to a better finished version.

    2. Plan for upcoming events

      Is an important event for your business coming up soon? Maybe you’re launching a new product, or maybe there’s a specific holiday relevant to your business. For example, #NationalCookieDay is December 4th, so bakeries might be interested in doing something special on social media such as an infographic on the most popular types of cookies or a BOGO cookie coupon to celebrate the occasion.

      Use a content calendar to research events like these in advance and ensure you have relevant content queued up ahead of time.

      3. Identify opportunities

        Creating a content calendar allows you to reflect on which strategies worked well and which might need improvement. Dive into the data to determine what your audience enjoys and how you should adjust your content strategy moving forward. For example, you may find that your Facebook followers enjoy blog posts while your Twitter audience prefers promotional content.

        Learn how Khoros Deep Listening can help you understand how your audience engages with your business on social media to maximize the impact of every campaign.

        How to create a social media content calendar

        Keep in mind that your social media content calendar will change over time due to the unique needs of your business. To create one for the first time, audit your current social media strategy, determine your goals, find an ideal posting cadence, choose a content mix, delegate responsibilities, and compile important information.

        1. Audit your current social media strategy

          Before making a calendar or opening a spreadsheet, review what your business’ social media activity for at least the past six months. Identify what’s worked well in the past, and what should be avoided in the future. Find out which platforms your customers use the most and which platforms receive the least engagement.

          Make a note of any trends you find and consider how you should adjust your content strategy based on the results.

          2. Determine your goals

          Create short- and long-term goals for your content strategy based on the results you want to achieve. For example, do you want to boost brand awareness, increase engagement, or drive sales?

          Consider what’s going on with your business and develop goals that support larger company initiatives. Incorporate these goals into your content calendar when planning upcoming posts. For example, if your goal is to generate sales for a newly released product, make sure that product is heavily incorporated throughout the calendar.

          3. Find an ideal posting cadence

            There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for determining how often you should post on social media, so tailor your cadence based on what you know about your customers. Use the data you found from step one to identify which social media sites your customers use the most and make sure these platforms receive extra attention. It doesn’t make sense to allocate resources equally if 75% of your customers use Facebook but only 10% use Snapchat.

            Although posting frequency will vary based on the unique needs of your business, here are our general suggestions based on industry research we conducted for a prior article.

            (Source: Khoros)

            Use these suggestions as a starting block and adjust based on the usage stats of your audience and your goals for your business. Need help managing content across multiple social media platforms? Find out how Khoros Marketing can simplify social media management and elevate your brand.

            4. Choose a content mix

              Avoid repeating the same type of content by determining the right ratio of content for each platform. Generally, there are four types of content:

              • Informative: This type of content aims to educate your audience about subjects relevant to your business. They can be simple fun facts or blogs that go more in-depth. A cookware website posting recipes is a great example of informative content on social media.
              • Entertaining: Give your audience something fun to read or watch. Entertainment posts give your audience a break and serve as a nice distraction from the stresses of daily life. Share fun stories and other content to help your audience relax.
              • Interactive: Connect with your audience by posing questions and creating polls on social media. These can be fun and light to encourage engagement, or more serious to generate relevant feedback from your audience.
              • Conversion-focused: These posts are designed to generate a desired action from your audience such as buying a product or booking a service. Highlight the benefits of your product or service and consider offering bonuses such as discount codes or free shipping to encourage users to check back frequently.

              Experiment with your content mix to find what your audience likes best. Finding the right content mix and delivering value through relevant posts will help your business build strong relationships with your customers over time.

              5. Delegate responsibilities

                Assign social media content strategy tasks to specific team members. Determine if you’ll want specific people on your team to be in charge of posts for particular platforms or if you’ll want to delegate responsibilities by day or project. Include tasks and deadlines in your content calendar to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities.

                6. Compile important information

                  Now that you’ve covered all the aspects that go into a social media content calendar it’s time to put all the pieces together. Khoros Marketing makes even the most complicated content schedule easy to organize and understand — with a robust calendar view that your whole team can see and use to align their efforts. For simple planning, you can make a Google Calendar and invite your team members, or use a template.

                  Simplify social media management

                  Engage customers with meaningful social media marketing campaigns through Khoros’ easy-to-use marketing solution. Find key insights about your audience and use data to deliver exceptional content that creates long lasting relationships with customers.

                  Spend less time scrambling and more time strategizing ways to develop and scale marketing campaigns. Visit our Khoros Marketing page and request a demo today to learn how Khoros can help your business simplify social media management.

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