Are you struggling to keep up with your social media posts? Do you find yourself posting random content at random times, hoping something sticks? Today, we’re going to talk about creating a content calendar to help you master social media and reach your audience more effectively. Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a content calendar?
A content calendar is a schedule that outlines the specific content you plan to post on your social media accounts over a set period of time. This could be weekly, monthly, or even quarterly, depending on your needs. Why is a content calendar important, you ask?
For starters, it helps you stay organised and consistent with your posting. By planning out your content in advance, you can ensure that you’re posting regularly and that your content is aligned with your overall brand messaging. Additionally, a content calendar allows you to be strategic in your posting.
Instead of just posting random content whenever you have a spare moment, you can plan out your posts to coincide with upcoming events, promotions, or holidays. This will help you better engage your audience and drive more traffic to your social media accounts. So, now that you understand the importance of a content calendar, let’s dive into how to create one.
Identify your goals
The first step in creating a content calendar is to identify your goals. What do you hope to achieve with your social media posts? Do you want to increase engagement, drive website traffic, or promote a new product or service? Whatever your goals may be, make sure they are specific, measurable, and attainable.
For example, let’s say your goal is to increase engagement on your social media accounts. Your objective might be to increase your overall engagement rate by 10% over the next quarter. This gives you a specific goal to work towards and a way to measure your success.
Determine your content themes
Once you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to determine your content pillars. These are the core themes or overarching topics that your content revolves around and that you’ll focus on in your social media posts. They help guide your content creation and ensure that your posts are relevant to your audience, aligned with your brand messaging, and support your goals.
For example, if you run a fitness studio, your content themes might include healthy eating tips, workout routines, and inspirational success stories from your clients. These themes are all aligned with your brand messaging of promoting a healthy lifestyle and supporting your clients in their fitness journey.
Here are some example content pillars for various industries:
- Fashion: Trend reports, outfit ideas, style inspiration, behind-the-scenes looks, and influencer collaborations
- Beauty: Makeup tutorials, skincare tips, product reviews, before and after transformations, and beauty industry news.
- Real estate: Home buying and selling tips, market updates, home tours, neighbourhood spotlights, home improvement projects, real estate investing advice, interior design inspiration, and mortgage news.
- Technology: Product updates, industry news, tech tips and tricks, interviews with experts, future trends
- Food: Recipes, cooking tips, food photography, nutrition advice, restaurant reviews, chef interviews, and brand partnerships.
- Travel: Destination guides, travel tips, cultural experiences, food and drink recommendations, and adventure activities.
- Finance: Personal finance tips, investing advice, tax season updates, financial news, retirement planning, etc.
Brainstorm content ideas
Now that you’ve determined your content themes, it’s time to brainstorm content ideas. This is where you get creative and come up with specific posts that align with your themes and support your goals. Make sure to mix up your content types to keep things interesting. This could include blog posts, videos, infographics, or user-generated content from your followers.
Additionally, consider incorporating current events, holidays, or promotions into your content calendar. This will help keep your content fresh and relevant to your audience. It’s also essential to take note of the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is a principle that suggests 80% of your content should be informative, educational, or entertaining for your audience, while the remaining 20% can be promotional content for your business, such as promoting a new product or service, highlighting a sale, or sharing a customer success story.
In other words, the majority of your content should be focused on providing value to your audience, rather than just trying to sell to them. This helps keep your content from becoming too sales-oriented and allows you to build a relationship with your audience by providing them with content they find interesting or useful. It also builds trust! The promotional content should be used sparingly and strategically to avoid overwhelming your audience with sales messages.
Organise your content into a calendar
Once you’ve brainstormed your content ideas, it’s time to organise them into a calendar. This can be done using a simple spreadsheet or a more complex project management tool like Trello or Asana. Begin by creating a column for each social media platform you plan to post on. Then, fill in the dates and times for each post.
Make sure to leave space for any last-minute additions or changes. And as you fill in your content, make sure to balance your themes and content types. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much of one thing or neglect a theme entirely.
Schedule your posts
Finally, it’s time to schedule your posts. There are a variety of tools available to help you schedule your social media posts in advance, such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Later. These tools allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to post at the right time.
When scheduling your posts, make sure to take into account the best times to post on each platform. This can vary depending on your audience and their behaviour on each platform. Use analytics tools to determine when your audience is most active and schedule your posts accordingly.
It’s also important to review your content calendar regularly and make any necessary changes. Your goals or content themes may change over time, and you’ll want to make sure your content calendar reflects those changes. Keep an eye on current events or trends that may affect your content. If something happens that makes one of your planned posts no longer relevant or appropriate, be prepared to pivot and adjust your content calendar accordingly.
Creating a social media content calendar
Finally, don’t forget to track your results. Measure your engagement rates, website traffic, and other key metrics to see how your content calendar is performing. Use this data to make informed decisions about future content and adjust your calendar as needed.
A content calendar helps you maintain a regular posting schedule, which is important for building and maintaining an engaged audience. Mastering social media requires a strategic approach to content creation and scheduling. By creating a content calendar, you can stay organised, consistent, and focused on your goals.
Remember to identify your goals, determine your content themes, brainstorm content ideas, organise your content into a calendar, schedule your posts, review and adjust your calendar regularly, and track your results. And don’t forget the 80/20 rule. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to mastering social media and reaching your audience more effectively. Not sure where to start? We can help.