A successful social media strategy requires organization, valuable content that resonates with your audience and a well-curated content creation plan in order to engage your target audience and achieve key business objectives. At the foundation of this strategy is the development of a social media content calendar.
According to HubSpot, companies that publish more than 16 social media posts per month generate 3.5 times more traffic than those that publish less than four posts. Despite this, a shocking 63% of businesses do not have a well-documented content marketing strategy in place—including even a content calendar.
What is a Social Media Content Calendar?
A social media content calendar allows your business to organize upcoming social media posts into a publishing schedule by date—allowing you to keep track of deadlines and better manage your content creation team. While each content calendar should be customized to your unique social media strategy, it will usually include the following elements:
- Date and time each post will go live
- Social network and account where the post will be published
- Each post’s copy and visual assets (e.g., photos, video, graphics)
- Links and hashtags to be included in the post
- Any additional relevant information (e.g., Instagram feed post vs. Instagram story?)
5 Key Benefits of a Social Media Content Calendar
There are five key benefits of developing a content calendar to manage your social media strategy across various platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram:
1. Supports a Consistent Stream of Social Media Posts
Regardless of whether your objective is to grow your followers, increase engagement or promote an upcoming webinar, it’s vital to maintain a consistent stream of relevant, valuable and interesting content across your social media channels.
Consistently showing up on the social feeds of your target audience is an important key to effectively engaging them. By posting at a regular cadence, you will increase your organic reach through a social media platform’s algorithm—meaning your posts will be shown to new eyes, further expanding your reach to potential customers.
By populating a social media content calendar with posts for each month, you will ensure that your business maintains a consistent posting schedule, regardless of whether your content team needs to come up with creative post ideas during a slower period, or is pressed for time leading up to a major event.
2. Generates Higher-Quality Content
In today’s digital landscape, social media production values have skyrocketed. It is not unusual for a single social post to have a team of creatives behind it—from copywriters and designers, to video editors and photographers.
With these higher stakes, your potential audience is expecting creative, eye-catching social posts on a regular basis. Anything less than high-quality content could mean the difference between a sale or losing a customer to a competitor.
A social media content calendar will help you efficiently and effectively allocate your assets – both human and digital – allowing your team to avoid last-minute social post requests. Ultimately, this will equip your content team will the tools they need to produce their best possible work. In addition, it will help maintain a consistent brand voice through content that supports your marketing goals.
3. Saves Time by Ensuring Organization
Like many aspects of your day-to-day business operations, an effective social media marketing strategy takes time and careful planning. By developing a social media content calendar, you can streamline your content creation efforts by proactively brainstorming and scheduling out future posts across your social platforms.
For instance, if you are aware of a new product being launched next month, you can create promotional copy, gather visual material to accompany posts and schedule your posts for the planned posting dates throughout the campaign. By creating and scheduling these social posts ahead of time, you will reduce the risk of an important post falling through the cracks, as well as ensure that your posts are published when your target audience is most active on each social media platform.
4. Reduces the Risk of Mistakes
Leveraging a social media content calendar to plan out your social posts ahead of time means you can build fail-safe protocols before a post needs to go live. Copy-editing text, fact-checking information and even vetting a post through relevant departments within your company (e.g., legal team) are much easier to accomplish when you can do so days or weeks in advance. This also helps to prevent embarrassing mistakes and typos in your posts, or even a social media crisis for your company.
5. Allows You to Plan For Relevant Social Moments
Last but certainly not least, a social media content calendar equips you with the creative and logistical bandwidth to strategically observe trending social movements such as “National Selfie Day,” major holidays and other national observances in an on-brand way. It will also allow your business to proactively prepare for the event ahead of time, which helps avoid last-minute, haphazard content mistakes that can harm your brand.