Social media is here to stay. As of 2021, over 4.26 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 6 billion in 2027, according to Statista. These stats also mean that if you wish to stay relevant, you must have a social media presence. Presence here does not mean creating an account and sitting back. You will have to put out relevant content for people to know your existence, what you do, and the value you bring to the table. Now that you have realised that consistency is the only way you’ll be able to make it, how to move forward with that? How to come up with new and fresh ideas every day? How to ensure that you don’t miss out on posting content? The answer to these questions is by planning a content calendar for your social media. It doesn’t matter which platform you’re going to consider; this calendar works for each one of them. A content calendar helps you to create a process of consistency with your social media posts. Further, this calendar will also help in batch creation of content, thus beating your procrastination of putting out content.
Before figuring out your Social media content calendar, you need to research and brainstorm to understand the platform and audience you will cater to. Once you are through with this, you can pick any free content creation tool, like Notion, Trello, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, etc., to make your content calendar. Now all you need is to sit and build your social media content calendar template. Let’s learn about the essential factors you must consider before planning your social media calendar.
Factors to Consider Before Planning Your Social Media Content Calendar
1. Finalise the content pillars.
Simply put, content pillars are the pillars that serve as a foundation for your content. These are broad topics or themes around which your content resolves and are based on the purpose you want to serve your audience. Do you want to educate your audience through your content, entertain them, promote your products or services, motivate them, or share insights? Having a content pillar gives you clarity of your niche and services as it makes you narrow down your content.
You can follow the 80/20 rule when deciding the content. This means that 80% of your content should focus on providing value to your audience through educational and informative content. In comparison, the rest 20% can be used to promote your services and share client testimonials. This serves as a great balance across all social media channels.
2. Decide the content types.
After you have made your content pillar, it’s time for you to decide the type of content that will go under these pillars. You can imagine the entire system as an inward pyramid with the content pillar on the top, followed by topics, subtopics, and then the actual content.
Let’s say you run a skincare brand. Considering the content pillars mentioned above, you can talk about the following.
- For educational content, you can focus on the importance of skincare, skincare for all age brackets, beginner-friendly guides to skincare, etc.
- For informative content, you can talk about how one can care for the skin barrier, signs of early ageing, ingredients you should incorporate based on your skin type, etc.
- For promotional content, you can talk about your product range and its benefits, new launches if you have any, free skin test if you are offering, etc.
- Simultaneously, you can also showcase customer reviews or testimonials to establish credibility. If you wish to make your content engaging, you can ask your audience about their skin problems and share their skincare journey. The possibilities become endless when you have a content pillar handy.
3. Create the content strategically.
Further, it’s time to decide what kind of content will work on social media, specifically for different social media channels – tweets and threads for Twitter, long posts for LinkedIn, and visual content like reels and posts for the Instagram audience. Common content forms include static posts, infographics, GIFs, illustrations, videos, etc.
You also need to decide what kind of CTA you want and where you want your audience to redirect. Is it to your website where you want them to purchase your services or get access to any free resource?
Another tip here is to repurpose your content if you are actively posting on multiple platforms. The biggest perk of repurposing is that it helps your content to scale with the least effort. This way, you not only save time in creating the content but also never run short of content ideas. The core value of each piece of content is intact, serving a diverse audience group.
Say you are creating a piece of content for your content calendar; a segment of your audience will prefer crisp and concise content, and others would like in-depth content better. While posting on Twitter with the critical elements in bullet format would be best for the former, an extensive blog on the same will cater best to the latter group that wants to understand things in detail. Similarly, to make this content more engaging, you can turn this into a carousel with some information on the topic on Instagram.
4. Keep a check on special dates/days.
Planning means seeing if the coming week or month includes any essential holiday, festival, or special days to create relatable and engaging content.
For instance, considering the example of the skincare brand, you can plan content around it during festivals like Holi. Put out how the skin is affected by chemical colours and how your products can help them restore their skin health. In the same way, you can even create theme-based posts on occasions like Halloween or Christmas.
Keeping such occasions in mind and curating content around those events helps the audience engage more by tapping their pain points or simply by making the content real and relatable to them.
5. Schedule the content.
Deciding when to post plays a vital role in deciding the engagement of your content. No matter how valuable your content is, if it’s not reaching the right audience, all your efforts are in vain. You need to consider the date as well as the time before posting. See when your audience is most active online, whether it is in the morning, noon, or late at night, and then post accordingly. Once your content is ready, you can even automate your posts using certain tools. This way, your post will have the maximum engagement.
6. Decide the posting frequency.
The next big question is how much content is too much content? Your posting frequency is platform-dependent. For instance, the lifespan of a Twitter post is merely 15-18 mins, meaning that you must post at least 3-5 posts in a day to be discovered and gain engagement. On the contrary, the average longevity of an Instagram post in the general feed is 48 hours, meaning you can put out one post or reel a day to gain discoverability. Likewise, the frequency will differ for every platform, and you’ll have to decide the number of posts accordingly.
7. Set monthly and weekly goals.
Simply putting out content is not enough. You must keep an eye on how effectively your content is working out. Your goal can be gaining 2,000 organic followers in a month by posting X number of posts daily, with a certain number of static and motion posts. Later on, by the end of the week or month, you can review if your content outperformed or underperformed.
Make sure you have social media metrics to track your progress. Some of the most common ones to consider include the following:
- Audience growth rate
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
- Number of times the content is shared
- Number of comments
Keep in mind that your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will vary as per the social media platform that you are using.
8. Ask for content ideas from the audience.
Having a small space in your calendar for writing future ideas will help you in the long run. The ideas could come from the audience engaging with your content and giving suggestions and feedback or asking questions about the content you have put out. You can also get ideas from people in the same industry by observing what’s working in the market and experimenting with the same by adding more value.
Don’t forget to keep a tab of what’s trending and build content around it. You don’t have to create content from scratch. Instead, you can always tweak your content; and boom, you are part of the trend now! The scope of ideas becomes endless with these little tips. All you need to do is keep your individuality intact to stand out from the crowd.
Keeping the above things in mind, you’ll be able to create a perfect social media content calendar and never fall back on ideas or deadlines. Do let us know what you struggle with the most while planning a content calendar for social media management?