Tackling a new brand’s social platforms and developing a strategy can seem daunting. It’s best to stay organized and strategic in posting content. The best way to achieve these two goals is to develop a content calendar. These six steps can help create an effective calendar that you will want to use.
- Design your calendar or a format that works best for your brand.
Choose a format: use a blank calendar for daily events or Excel sheets for an hourly break down. You can start with a short term plan and expand as you come up with ideas. Here is an example of how a Monday through Friday social calendar could look like.
- Organize your content types.
Before you post anything, sit down and write out a list of what your potential audience would want to see on social media. What voice does your brand represent? Do you want to be casual, professional or somewhere in between?
Make sure to focus on your brand’s identity to ensure your content reflects it. Identify content categories: long or short blog posts, social media updates, photos, videos, infographics and so on. Organize by color what each content post is, that way you can visualize what each day and week looks like, rather than only copy on a document. The variation of content will allow your brand to expand and find what media does and doesn’t work.
For example, YouTube has been steadily growing into a main social media platform and internet video streaming service. However, does your audience even view YouTube? Are videos the best way to exhibit your products? Will your audience engage on YouTube just as much as other social media platforms? These are important questions to feel out with your audience. Take a leap to find the best content and platform your brand needs to succeed, but also recognize the platforms that don’t work as well.
- Determine how often you want to post.
Depending on your resources, you might post on certain platforms bihourly, daily, weekly, or even monthly. No matter what your schedule looks like, it’s important to be consistent. For instance, if you publish an infographic each week, specify a day and time and stick to it. Especially on social media platforms, the more posts can help you stay active with your audience.
The growth of any brand can be a lot to take on by yourself, so take advantage of online social and marketing tools. Sprout Social is a great platform to time out your content for one or multiple brands, and posts automatically for you. Sprout’s optimal time feature allows you to pick the time, platform, message and any many other features you want to post for your brand.
- Don’t worry about reusing content.
Despite the massive demand for new content, you don’t have to come up with original posts for every channel every day. This can get tedious and often frustrating, but it’s not your fault at all. If your brand represents enough topics, you can cover more new content and reuse previous posts as well. For example, if your brand covers 10 different areas, use five topics for one week, five for the next, and half and half for the third. Reusing your content doesn’t make you lazy, it allows your audience to see content they might have missed the week prior.
- Be sure to measure your content’s performance and change what doesn’t work.
As you find content each week, be sure to review what topics and posts did well the week prior. If your target audience enjoys reading about new technology instead of instructional videos, keep this in mind for future content. Whatever the outcome, don’t be afraid to take chances in new content, new topics and learning as you develop.
These six steps can help you organize how your brand wants to approach social media platforms, focus on what content will perform the strongest and how to schedule content easily. Content calendars can be simple and flexible to whatever you need it to be, so take advantage of this organizational tool.