A social media content calendar is the fundament of an effective social media strategy. It helps you to plan well ahead and save loads of time and brainwork when times get tough.
Corporate communication calls for a hell of a lot of different communication tasks with social media just being one of them. And when you are busy, having a plan in place is especially important. Time pressure is a productivity killer. And we all know that time is the scarcest resource.
Just as your corporate blog, a successful social media strategy for corporate communication requires regular publishing of quality content and authentic engagement with followers. Even if you have a solid social media strategy in place, daily routine work can still have a negative impact on creativity. The more time you spend on the process of researching content and publishing posts, the less time you will have for engaging with followers.
Working in a corporate social media team will help you to share tasks, but it can also lead to losing track of tasks and on who does what when. With so many social networks to manage and publish on and so many other corporate communication tasks, it’s important to stay organized and to have a plan for when and what you’re going to share in each of your social communities.
Why a social media calendar is important for corporate communication teams
A social media calendar will help you to:
1. Organize your work to save time
A social media calendar helps you to plan ahead, organize your work with your content and social media team, avoid duplication of work and tasks and as a result, save a lot of your time and effort.
A calendar allows you to plan your regular social media posts for weeks or months in advance, which frees up many working hours you can better spend on creating quality content and engaging with your communities.
The more complex your team is and the more social media channels you have to supervise and fill with content, the more important is it to have a plan in place for organizing your social feeds.
2. Improve content quality and relevancy for your social communities
Content is king! That is common knowledge right now. To stand out from the crowd of millions of posts published every single day, your content must do better than that of your competitors.
A social media calendar helps you plan and customize your posts for each social network instead of spreading the same message in the same way across all platforms. A social media cross-promotion strategy will help you to address each of your communities in the best way with the perfect social media post. Doing this in advance will save time throughout the week and ensure you don’t have to create lesser quality posts just because you are in a hurry to get them out in time.
A social media calendar helps you allocate your resources and organize your team to get all your social media tasks done with enough time to ensure a consistent quality of output.
And long-term planning ensures you have enough time and space for creating a consistent voice and consistent content that supports your brand and fulfills your goals.
3. Ensure a consistent flow of content
Quality and frequency of content and posting consistently are key factors for a successful social media channel with a loyal and growing audience. Planning ahead allows you to ensure to fill your social media channels with a consistent flow of content to keep your followers engaged.
Engagement is an essential indicator to tell the platform algorithms that your content is relevant for your audience. Content relevancy will trigger the algorithms to push your content, so your posts get in front of more eyes.
Populating your social media content channels with posts planned well ahead of time allows you to share your content consistently in terms of what you share when you share it and how you share it.
How to get your social media calendar into action
Setting up a social media calendar sounds like a lot of work upfront, but it will save a lot of your time later on. A social media calendar will ensure a consistent flow of quality content and help you to more engagement on your social media channels.
1. Create your day-to-day schedule
A social media calendar allows you to plan and prepare your regular social media work well ahead and get your content out in time.
First of all, make a plan for all your regular content and events you already have in place. Also, consider social media posts for special events that are relevant to your audience, whether it will be National Chocolate Day or Super Bowl. You can plan for seasonal holidays as well as for special marketing occasions such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. And, you won’t miss out on sending holiday greetings for Thanksgiving, Ramadan, or Yom Kippur, whatever your audience might celebrate. That makes sure you have all your important dates & events covered, even when your daily tasks get crowded.
With a day-to-day schedule covered, you can focus on filling out spaces with curated content and breaking news in your industry. You will find more time to look out for more topics or engage your brand in current social media events and discussions. And you can also react faster in the situation of a crisis.
2. Schedule your posts at the best times for each network
Whenever you post to social media, your reach depends on the level of activity in your community at the time you publish your post. Each audience uses social media platforms for different purposes and at different times of the day. If you hit the rush hours of your audience in each social network, you will increase the chances that your follower will see your post.
However, the best time to post on each social network and can be different for each audience. While Twitter is busy throughout the day, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are mostly frequented in the late afternoon, in the evenings, and on weekends. Business communities on LinkedIn are busiest during the morning hours when people are on their way to work and in the afternoon right before of after leaving the office.
Posting at the right time can make a change for the performance of your posts. Tweets during the most frequented times of the day generate up to 30 % more interaction.
A social media calendar helps you to prepare and schedule your social media posts for the best times for each social network. Sharing at the best times for your audience can help you to increase your chances for your posts to show up in the news feeds of your followers.
3. Post at the right frequency for each social network
The average lifespan of a social media post is different on each social network. While Pinterest pins can last for up to 4 months, the average tweet will survive only 18 minutes before being lost in the never-ending stream of tweets.
When planning your posts for the various networks, also consider the best post frequency for each social network. While on some social platforms you will generally receive more engagement the more you post, being too active on other platforms can even backlash and hurt the performance of your posts. Also, the communities can react very differently to the frequency of posts depending on your content and your industry. For example, sharing multiple times a day on Twitter might be welcome for your audience, sharing the same frequency on Facebook can annoy your followers.
Spreading your content across multiple social accounts on different days and times will increase your chances of reaching out to as many of your followers as possible. A social media calendar and scheduling tool can save you tons of time to plan ahead and automate your social media posting schedule.
4. Re-Share your evergreen content
Planning ahead with the help of y social media calendar also enables you to re-share your evergreen content regularly. If you have content that performed well in the past, you should not let it rot in your archives. With so much content to process each day, it is impossible that your follower will see all your best stories and updates and they won’t even recall what they have seen or read a few months ago.
Re-sharing your evergreen content is a great way to fill gaps in your social media calendar and keep your social feeds updated with regular content.
However, don’t fall into the trap of automation by simply sending your content into a never-ending loop of the same repeated posts. To get more attention from old and new followers, repurpose and re-share your posts with varying comments, select different images, and use different hashtags. Also, think of varying post formats from link posts or image posts to share more of your visuals.
5. Create the perfect content mix
Creating new content and re-sharing evergreen content is a great way of posting consistently. However, your social media feeds should not only talk about yourself.
If you mix your evergreen content with new content and personal content consistently this will help you to create the perfect content mix for your social media posts.
Curate top content and industry news to mix your content with sharing content from other sources once in a while. It will make your social feeds more diverse and help you to get more outreach.
A social media calendar helps you to have more time and space to look out for top industry news to share with your audience. That will also help you to fill content gaps without having to create new content and to schedule the perfect mix of content.
The 5 – 3 – 2 rule can guide you with a general rule on how many of your own posts, curated posts, and personal messages will create the perfect content mix.
6. Set up a workflow
Once you have gathered all available information, dates, and events for your social media calendar, you can outline these parameters as a guideline for your team. The more complex your team is and the more editorial and design resources you have to take into account for planning, the more important is it to define your guidelines and planning process:
- What to post: Decide on what kind of content you want to share on social media
- Where to post: Select the social media platforms and communities for your audience
- When to post: Define the best time to post to each social media channel or (use an existing best time template for scheduling)
- How often to post: Decide on the frequency to post on each social media channel
- Seeding and Cross-Promoting: Define a schedule for sharing and distribution your content across multiple social media platforms and accounts
7. Track your performance and adapt your social media calendar
The set up for a perfect social media calendar is all about testing, analyzing your results, and optimizing your strategy. Every social media audience has different habits and preferences. Referring to proven concepts and standard templates above can be a good starting point and will help you get going. However, these provide an overview of the general rules, but they cannot substitute the analysis of your target audience.
The regular analysis of your performance data will help you to move on and optimize your social media calendar to adapt to your audience and your marketing goals.
8. Use social media tool for automating your social media calendar
When you start planning and posting consistently, you may realize that manual publishing your posts still takes a lot of time. That is especially true if you manage multiple social platforms and accounts for your brand. It is already a difficult task to keep all the best times and right frequencies in mind when planning an effective social media posting strategy. Creating and publishing every single post manually will fill up endless hours of routine work.
In that case, using a social media automation tool that also has a social media calendar and scheduling function will save you tons of time and fees your team from babysitting your social media channels. However, look for tools that enable you to customize your social media comments, formats, posting times, and frequencies individually for each social platform.
A social media calendar enables you to plan your posts in advance to ensure a consistent flow of quality content on your social feeds.
Social media automation tools allow you to prepare and schedule social media posts in advance and share your content automatically without supervising and performing the publishing process yourself. That frees you from many hours of manual work you and your team can better spend on creating quality content and engaging with your communities.
Hero photo by Jisun Han on Unsplash