A content calendar is a marketing roadmap plan. It outlines when certain pieces of content should be created and published based on user needs, business priorities, potential ROI, and seasonality.
At Sperling Interactive, we always advise people to use a content calendar. Utilizing a calendar will not save you time, but it will allow you to track and test different strategies to see what resonates most with your audience. Additionally, it builds greater consistency in terms of your brand voice and style. You can lose that consistency when posting in a reactive or unplanned way.
While a content calendar may sound like a big commitment at first, rest assured it’ll pay that time back in the future. What’s awesome is there are a lot of social media calendar tools out there that allow you to schedule social media posts ahead of time and manage audience engagement.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need some help, let us guide you through the necessary steps in order to make your own content calendar.
One of the biggest roadblocks in creating a content calendar is knowing what to post. The first question you should ask yourself is: “why am I posting on social media?” To gain website traffic? Interact with customers? Increase sales? Manage my brand’s reputation? Conduct market research? Save on advertising?
You should take the time to look at what you’ve previously posted in order to identify areas of possible improvement, as well as uncover new ideas and opportunities. An audit is key to fine-tuning your strategy and maximizing your ROI.
Begin by examining channel specific metrics such as likes, shares, retweets, and repins. Rate the reach and engagement of your posts.
Develop a brand manual for social media that includes recommended post types, frequency, tone, and visual content guidelines.
Businesses should not be on every social media channel. The four biggest social media channels for businesses- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn- all have different demographics and content strategies.
According to Sprout Social, Instagram is most popular among millennials and gen Z. 72% of 13-17 years old and 67% of 18-29 years old use Instagram while only 8% of people over 65 do. People who live in rural places tend to use Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn significantly less than their suburban and urban counterparts. LinkedIn skews to individuals with higher incomes and levels of education. 32% of people with a college degree use LinkedIn while only 13% of people with a high school degree or less, are on the platform.
The posts that do best on Facebook are announcements (new employees, new projects, awards, etc.), relevant news, engaging blog posts, and upcoming events.
Instagram is where users go for high quality photos, quotes, videos, and behind the scenes content. Users on Twitter crave news, polls, blog posts, and GIFs. LinkedIn is for long-form business and professional content.
Evaluate your business model and where your target audience spends their time online, and then determine which platforms will be most effective for your business.
Now it’s time to start thinking about when you’re going to post. Here is a list of a few things to think about:
If you’re just getting started with a social strategy or don’t have old posts to refer to, do an audit of a competitor in your industry.
If you don’t have enough data to accurately gauge what your audience likes, create different types of content to see what your audience engages with the most. Use a combination of promotional material, entertaining content, or user-generated content.
Social media is all about appealing to the people who follow your brand and providing them with value. That means testing different strategies and types of content to see what your audience likes best.
Posting frequently is one way to try to stay in front of your audience, but don’t emphasize quantity over quality.
Once you’ve finished creating posts, it’s time to show them to your colleagues for feedback. In today’s day and age, this is especially important. You want to be sensitive to the current crisis.
Once you have an idea of the types of content you’re going to post, it’s time to create a posting schedule. Make a note of any specific themes around the post. That information will help you organize and plan your posts to get the most visibility.
We hope you found today’s blog post informative. To learn more about content creation, check out our last blog post on the subject, Tools To Enhance Your Blog.