Creating and implementing a social media strategy for your business is unfortunately not as simple as posting a Facebook status or Tweet every so often from your company’s accounts. A successful social strategy that engages and connects with your audience will involve extensive planning, content creation and content curation. This can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you’re developing and managing social strategies for more than one brand. Planning and executing a content calendar that you can commit to will help manage your social media marketing and help make the task seem a lot less intimidating.

According to Sprout Social, “social content calendars allow you to plan out months of quality social posts ahead of time, and save a ton of time sharing it on social.” The creation of a content calendar will help you better allocate and plan your resources to ensure that your business is consistently delivering quality, well-written and engaging content that will attract followers and keep current followers interested. Whether your company is a startup or corporate, this is always an important task.

Content creation for social media does take time–A LOT of time. It may seem like writing a 140-character tweet cannot possibly take more than a minute or two to write. Trust me, it will. For example, it took the digital agency HUGE two months to plan, create and execute this tweet on behalf of their client, President Cheese:

 

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Building and utilizing a content calendar is only half the battle. The other half is sticking to the content calendar and consistently editing and building upon it based on your current social media strategy. Follow these tips to build your next content calendar and stick to it!

 

Build Your Ideal Calendar

There are plenty of content calendar templates to choose from. Choosing the right template or design for your calendar is crucial. For example, if you choose a template that isn’t simple enough, your calendar may become bogged down with content  making it difficult to stay organized. A well-designed content calendar should be able to be read without a legend and should include any necessary information regarding your content strategy. Having this information on the calendar will help you stick to your strategy and stay on track.

The simplest way to organize a content calendar is by using a separate sheet for each month, with activities further broken down by month or day, depending on the volume of content you plan to publish. If your company will be using multiple copywriters to create content, there should also be a space to place the names of each copywriter that will be responsible for writing, publishing and promoting each piece of content.  Hubspot offers a content calendar template that can be downloaded to any device. The Excel template includes tabs dedicated for every social network. Each social media channel works a little differently. It’s close to impossible to craft one single social media message that can be posted across all social media platforms successfully.

Depending upon the needs of your company, you may be able to simply use Microsoft Excel or Google sheets to create a content calendar that fulfills all of your needs.

 

Choose How Often and When to Post

Deciding on how often and when to post on your company’s social media channels will be highly based on your audience, social media objectives and the content strategy established for your company. Choosing and planning the right times to post your content will help develop a consistency in your content strategy and will help you stick to your calendar. Developing a consistency to your content strategy will yield better engagement rates and will attract more followers to grow your audience.

Based on a blog post written by Constant Contact, different platforms provide best results with different posting rates throughout the day/week.

 

  • Facebook: 3-10 times per week

  • Twitter: at least 5 times a day

  • LinkedIn: 2-5 times per week

  • Google+: 3-10 times per week

  • Pinterest: 5-10 times per day

 

Hubspot recently released an infographic that featured the best times, on average, to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

  • Facebook:

    • 12pm-1pm on Saturdays and Sundays

    • 3pm-4pm on Wednesdays

    • 1pm-4pm on Thursdays and Fridays

  • Twitter:

    • 12pm-3pm on Mondays through Fridays

    • 5pm-6pm on Wednesdays

  • LinkedIn:

    • 7:30am-8: 30am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

    • 12pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

    • 5pm-6pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

  • Pinterest:

    • 2am-4am and evening hours every day

    • 5pm on Fridays

    • 8pm-11pm on Saturdays

  • Instagram:

    • Anytime Monday through Thursday except 3pm-4pm

There is definitely room to experiment with the amount of posts and posting times for your content. Try out different options and see what works best for your strategy and your content!

 

Research Content

In order to produce content that resonates with your target audience, you must figure out what content your audiences engage with most. This can be done by doing a social media audit of your past social media posts to see what received the most engagement.

When forming your social strategy for your client or business it may be helpful to develop personas for those you want to reach and engage. Once you have personas to work with, you can search through social channels for users who fit similarly to those crafted personas. Look at what types of branded content they share and engage with. Also, look at what types of brands they follow. Curating content based on brands your target audience already follow and engage with is a smart way to get them to follow and engage with your brand.

 

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Unique social media analytics tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite along with Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights can help when researching content as well as target audiences.

 

Already using a content calendar for your brand? What other tips do you have for sticking to your calendar?!

 

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