Do you still plan your social media posts daily or weekly?
If yes, it surely takes a whole lot of brainstorming every day or every week to do this effectively.
Do you want to create a social media content calendar for one complete year without losing on the recent trends?
The first thing that strikes here is ‘for a complete year’? But Why?
Because, maintaining a calendar helps you deliver the right content to your audience at the right time.
In this guide, you can learn everything from, how to start planning the social media content calendar to how to execute it. So, here is your guide to prepare social media content calendar for 2017, without losing efficiency.
1. Develop A Spreadsheet
The first step in creating a content calendar is to set everything up in a spreadsheet. You can do this with Excel or Google Sheets.
On the top line of the sheet, fill in the days of the month.
Next, add a line for each month of the year to separate your content by weeks. The left half of your calendar will look something like this:
Fill out your calendar for the entire year. After you add the days, you may want to apply color so you can more easily distinguish the sections.
2. Mark All The Events and Holidays
The next step is to do a Google search to find out what events are happening in your industry so you can add them to your calendar.
If you work in fashion, for example, look up the major events that happen throughout the entire year, such as the tradeshow Magic or Fashion Week.
If you work in healthcare, identify all of the awareness days, weeks, and months. In healthcare, there are dozens of these lists available.
In your empty calendar template, enter the events into the particular days, weeks, or months when they’ll happen. This way, you can plan your content according to when those events occur.
Your content calendar will begin to look like this:
Next, add national holidays like the Fourth of July, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and so forth. You can see Thanksgiving is mentioned on line 333 in the image above.
Think outside the box, too. Does your business or social pages have a tie-in with other industries? For example, in healthcare, voice treatments can relate to music, and orthopedics can relate to sports. Find other events that are going on, such as the World Series or the beginning of basketball season, and add them to your calendar.
3. Classify Content Themes
Now you’re ready to start brainstorming content themes. Take into consideration what your audience wants to see, how you can educate or entertain them, and what products and services you want to promote.
Also identify what your business’s internal priorities are. If you’re a fashion line, your primary priority is to sell clothing. If you’re a musician, your primary goal is to sell albums or book shows. Start thinking about how you can incorporate your business priorities into your content.
Once you’ve compiled a list of themes, assign two themes for each day of the week on your content calendar. I recommend a 60/40 or 80/20 split between educating and entertaining, and promoting your business, products, and services. You don’t want to promote your offerings all of the time or people will lose interest and stop visiting your page. Here’s what the themes might look like on your content calendar.
4. Create Topics As Per Each Theme
Once you have your themes in place, you need to generate topics for them.
It’s important that you produce the types of content that your target audience is looking for. To find out what people are interested in, use a tool like BuzzSumo to research the content that other people are sharing.
Use these insights to inform the headlines and introductions for your content. Remember to put your own spin on the content you create; don’t plagiarize.
Now tie your topics into your calendar of events. If you’re in healthcare and basketball season is starting, your topics might relate to common injuries that basketball players face. If you’re in the fashion industry and Fashion Week is coming up, start showcasing your new inventory and do previews of what’s in store during that event.
When you add topics to your content calendar, break down your primary topic and secondary topic on a weekly basis.
Sticking to a theme for the week helps you break your calendar into bite-sized chunks. For the topic “food,” for example, you can showcase foods that help improve skin health.
You want to tie your content into a theme that your audience can relate to, as opposed to the random generation of content that may not be appropriate for the season. For example, an article about how much water you need to drink is probably more interesting to people in the summer months than during the winter.
5. Detailing For Each Individual Post
Do your social media accounts focus on images? Video? Writing? Figure out how to incorporate all of your main content types into your calendar.
If articles drive your account, for example, have some ready to go, Monday through Friday, which relate to both your primary and secondary themes.
Quote cards are an easy way to cover your main weekly topic of focus. In healthcare, for example, you could cover health facts or share health tips. A tool like Canva makes it easy to create quote cards and images.
Now start filling your calendar with the content you want to create. Eventually, it will look something like this.
It doesn’t really matter if you post once a day or 10 times a day. What matters is to make sure you can maintain the volume of content for your calendar. If you work at a large company and have a lot of resources dedicated to content creation, publish as much as you can. If you work at a small company or by yourself, try to publish at least two pieces of content each day.
Preparing a calendar beforehand helps a content marketer to focus on creating engaging & appealing content and delivering it on time every week. Making sure that you are finished with content creation ahead of time is always preferable.
With regular posting and sharing of social media posts, audience starts getting familiar with the content & the brand. They start expecting posts from you. Keeping the schedule and posting content at the same hour each day makes your content and brand relatable and memorable.
You can use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to do this, and the best part about these tools is, they’ll post on multiple platforms for you.
What are your views over this guide to prepare social media content calendar for 2017? Do you practice any of the above mentioned tactics? Do you have any tips on how to prepare social media content calendar? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.