Social media is one of the most volatile and fluctuating marketing channels you will ever come across.
Every single day, the entire landscape of social media marketing changes by a little bit. So, it only makes good sense to have things planned out at least a month in advance.
How do we do it?
Short answer – use a social media calendar to have everything ready ahead of time. This is without a doubt, one of the best social media management tools that anyone could ever recommend.
What is a Social Media Calendar?
A Social Media Calendar is a simple, effective tool that documents when your next post goes up, what it is about, and what you expect from it.
There are three basic components to building a social presence – intent, behavior, and demographics.
Why is this simple document one of the best social media management tools ever?
A social media calendar will help you build an social media marketing strategy based on all three.
Curious to see how it’s done?
Fixing the Categories
The first thing that you need for an effective social media marketing strategy is content. Not just ANY content, mind you! You need content that is useful and shareable.
This is where we start with the Intent behind social media management.
There are two ways to look at the intent – your side and the consumer’s side.
Your side is to get the most out of your content and automating your social media management.
The consumer’s side is always – “What do I get out of this click?”
Any content category that you set up will play to both.
how do you get this done?
Step 1: Take your niche market and search for the following in your specific niche:
- Fan Pages
- Associated Groups
- Books and Authors
You can find ALL of them with a simple Google Search. Just use the query “your-niche” + “magazine” to get results related to your niche.
This can take some time, but the good news is that a simple spreadsheet helps. Save all your findings in a spreadsheet and log into the Ad Dashboards for the social media platforms that you are targeting.
Step 2: Look for these points of interest within the Ad Dashboards. If you get results by plugging these points of interest into the ‘Interests’ section, it means that these are good places to start.
Most of these points of interest will have at least a Fan Page or a Business Page on Facebook.
Here, you take a quick look at your audience’s behavior.
Just take a quick look at the engagements on different posts on the pages. This will give you a great idea as to what kinds of content your audience responds to.
Create a separate spreadsheet to include all the different types of content that get awesome responses. These are going to be your content categories.
The most common content categories for social media management are:
- Blog Posts
- Influencer Quotes
- Multimedia Content
- Curated Content
- Public Conversations
Are you using any of these right now even without the social media calendar? Let us know in the comments below!
Step 3: Create Awesome Content. Now that you know your audience by their interests and behavior, create content that caters to a certain demographic.
How do you get the demographics of your target audience? Social Media Ad Dashboards will tell you that too!
So, now you have content that is useful and shareable. You also have the content categories that you needed to tailor your content around.
Great! What’s next?
Set Up Category Placements
The Content Categories are only useful when you leverage them properly.
Set up a fixed schedule to post each content category and come up with fun names for them.
For instance, at Socialhoox, we have Social Saturdays where we talk about social media management every Saturday on YouTube.
Using these Categories to streamline your content will help you organize your team towards working on each task in a focused manner.
Fill in your Social Media Calendar template using day of the week, categories, and the chosen platform to post on.
You already have a great start to your social media calendar!
Timing is Key
Everything you do on social media has to be done according to a specific time.
According to SproutSocial, the best times to post on social media are:
- Facebook – Wednesday (12:00 pm and 2:00 pm) & Thursday (1:00 pm and 2:00 pm)
- Instagram – Wednesday (3:00 pm), Thursday (5:00 am, 11:00 am, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm) & Friday (5:00 am)
- Twitter – Friday (9:00 am – 10:00 am)
- LinkedIn – Wednesday (3:00 pm – 5:00 pm)
When you set up the social media calendar, remember to set up the time as well for each post.
The Post Copy Matters a Lot
The post copy has to make people want to click on your link. This does not mean clickbait, though!
Why shouldn’t you go for clickbaiting?
The problem with clickbaiting is that people click the link with a certain expectation and then get disappointed.
Even worse – they comment about their disappointment for everyone to see.
The best way to go about the post copy is to have a simple, concise copy with no more than 50 characters.
Sounds weird, right? Why would we deliberately say less?
Here’s the deal:
On social media, less is more. A short, attractive description stands out by a mile from the usual generic stuff.
If you are not sure about the copy, split test it on different Ad networks. Better still, plan the same post with 5 different copies and check the engagements on each.
Keep Your Fans in the Loop
Posting updates ahead of time can be one of the most powerful ideas in terms of content promotion.
This is the exact reason why movies release trailers and teaser videos before opening night.
Have updates ready for as far into the future as you possibly can and keep posting updates on it.
If you have a great deal to offer, people will respond to you.
Make a fixed schedule for your updates as well and plan them into the social media calendar.
Fine-Tune the Social Media Calendar
You already have EVERYTHING you need to set up your social media calendar.
The only thing that is left is to set up your own social media calendar template and fine-tune it.
Organizing the calendar can be a hassle when you get started, but it is well worth the effort. Once you have your posts scheduled and ready to roll, you can prepare for your audience engagements.
The best thing that you can do if you are using Socialhoox is to set up the entire calendar right from our dashboard.
If you are not using our software, you can simply build your own social media calendar.
The objective behind social media management is not to schedule posts and forget about them. You need to track the traffic from each platform from Google Analytics.
You also need to interact with each engagement from your audience. That is the real motive behind automating your social media management.
- Tracking Traffic from Each Post
Google Analytics can tell you a lot about the traffic that you are getting from each social media platform. But what about each post?
In order to get the details of each post, you can use a service like Click to Tweet. Click to Tweet gives you a shortened URL that can be tracked for traffic and engagements.
To measure engagements even better, you can use the Insights from your social media account.
Most often, you get a concrete measure of your competitors and their posts as well. This will help you benchmark your reach and your engagements.
- Influencer Outreach
Getting promoted by an influencer can be the difference between ten views and a million.
No, seriously. Even if the influencer does not have a million followers, a post from them can travel across to a million people.
So, how do you find influencers and how do you get in touch?
Remember the spreadsheet we had you fill up in the very beginning? I hope you didn’t discard that one, because you already searched for influencers, brands, celebrities, authors, and fan pages.
Use that list to follow these influencers. Interact with their social posts. Once you have a decent appearance on their social feeds and they know who you are, reach out them by email.
Use Find that Email to get the email ID from the social media accounts of your influencers. Or you can use ContactOut which is a simple browser extension that helps you find email addresses and phone numbers of literally anyone on LinkedIn.
ContactOut has received multiple mentions on the ahrefs blog as one of the best freemium email outreach tools available.
- Finding Video/Image Content Ahead of Time
Your post copy matters a lot but if you can enhance it by including a simple video or image, then why not do that too?
There are lots of places where you can find stock images. If you can create your own images or videos, that is simply amazing.
But a lot of people simply can not afford to do it.
My advice? Find it well ahead of schedule and include the image or video link in the social media calendar.
Having everything stored in one place will help you out a LOT.
Pexels is a great place to get stock videos.
If you need stock images, I usually recommend using Freepik.
Of course, you can also hire a designer online to get the job done, but just get it done.
- Social Message Optimization
Use the Social Message Optimizer by Co-Schedule to find out how likely your copy is to convert traffic. You get a score for each post that you can use to get an idea as to how effective each post will be.
Not a lot of people know about this simple, useful hack.
You can throw in emojis in the mix to see how it changes the score too.
A healthy way to approach this is to benchmark using Twitter’s character count. This way, you have a generalized post that you can use anywhere at all.
The Bottom Line
Having a Social Media Calendar to work your way through social media marketing is one of the smartest decisions that you could ever take.
Not only will you save time, but you can also save a ton of wasted effort by leaving the plan up to each individual writer. That is what makes this simple spreadsheet one of the best social media management tools.
Now, every time you come up with a new social media strategy, you can simple use the same social media calendar template to keep on marketing.
If you want to plan out more than one month at a time, then power to you!
By all means, set it up for the entire year if you can. If you need to change something, change it on the go.
You could also set up another spreadsheet to track your Key Performing Indices such as referral traffic, likes, shares, and comments to track your overall performance for each month across the span of a year or a quarter.
There are no fixed rules as to the timespan for planning out your social media management efforts. The best thing that you can do is start with a single month and see where things go from there.
It’s Your Turn Now
Are you a social media marketer yourself? Tell us what you do to schedule your social media posts in the comments below. We enjoy creative solutions from our readers.
If you have never used a social media calendar before, try it out now and tell us how it changed your social media management experience. If you use some other social media management tool, tell us about your experience with them too.
If you loved this post, then share it with more people today! If you have any questions that you would like to ask us, or any kind of help that you need with creating your own social media calendar reach out to us anytime.