When it comes to your social media platform, it can be hard to constantly come up with ideas on the spot for content. You forget what is needed, content is regurgitated, and you feel lost. This is where a social media content calendar comes in!
Also known as an editorial calendar, a content calendar allows you to plan months ahead what will be written for your social media content. It gives you:
- A birds-eye-view of upcoming promotions or events.
- Updates to your platform or company.
- When, where and what content will be published next.
It allows everyone on your team to collaborate easier and be on the same page.
To know which social media platform you should use for your business, click here.
5 Main points for a Content Calendar
Publishing content several times a week is bound to exhaust even the most skilled writer – especially when you don’t have an idea of themes or what is happening in the company.
But never fear! That is why you have landed on our page! Here are some tips for filling out your editorial calendar so you can publish fresh, new content without exhausting yourself:
- Write out your goals.
When you know what you want to achieve as a business, what goals you want to achieve and when, you will find it much easier to create your content. You don’t necessarily have to create a specific post, e.g. ‘We want to sell 100 copies of our book by this week, so share with everyone you meet.’
Instead, write in your content calendar your goal, then create a post such as, e.g. ‘Our book is selling out fast! Grab a copy for you and a friend before you miss out.’ See the difference?
Knowing your goals also helps you to create content suitable to your target audience. If your goal was to reach people in their 20s looking for their own home, you wouldn’t use phrases that only corporate businessmen would understand or create content they would be interested in. You would use proper lingo and interests suitable to your specific target audience.
- Determine your customers’ problems and how you solve them.
What challenges does your target audience face? What problems do you solve for your customer? These are two of the most important questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to creating your content.
Knowing what problems you solve for your customers allows you to create the appropriate content to post on your platforms.
Once you have identified what you solve, find out the keywords (yes, plural) you need to include in your social media posts and blogs.
These keywords are then added to your calendar, so your writers know what to include and write about for both your posts and blogs. E.g. keyword: soft sheets. Content: say goodbye to rough sheets that interrupt your sleep. Say hello to soft sheets that lull you to sleep.
- Engage your audience
Your audience loves to be engaged. They want to feel important, know their opinion matters and have questions answered.
Your audience may have questions you never thought to answer, such as, ‘Are your sheets good for those with sensory issues?’
This allows you to acquire more ideas for content and can be a good tool to use when you don’t know what to write about! Two birds with one stone. You can also answer questions with testimonies or by linking one of your relevant blogs.
Another option is to take your audience behind the scenes. Let them know how your product gets made, packaged, and even a small snippet of why you decided to create your business – but be sure not to overdo it!
A behind-the-scenes post every now and then (e.g. twice a month) draws in and sates your audience’s curiosity, and makes them feel included in the process.
- Ask your entire team for ideas.
Remember you are not alone in your business. You don’t have to come up with every idea; you just have to flesh them out and make them interesting.
Asking your team in a meeting lets you bounce ideas off people and gain insight into the public views. Setting up a poll or ‘idea box’ lets your team give you ideas they didn’t think of in the meetings.
Involving your team in the idea-making process lets them feel included and reminds you that you’re not in this alone; you have people who can support you.
Constantly coming up with ideas on your own will exhaust your mind and drain your energy. Allow yourself the freedom of grabbing hold of the fresh minds around you. Working with your team will also give you main themes to run with each month in your content calendar, which in turn keeps everyone on the same page.
- Monitor your competition.
This may seem like cheating, but there are no rules against analysing your competition and ‘stealing’ their posts. Obviously, you use what they have and make it BETTER, but look at what they are doing well and ask yourself how you can make that fit your business’ social platform.
What topics are they talking about that you could use and modify to suit your business?
If they’re doing the same as you but getting more likes, what are they doing that is working better? Your competition is there to challenge you to create an even better business; use them to your advantage.
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The priorities for your Content Calendar
- As stated above, it is important to know your goals for your business; however, you also need to define your goals.
When doing so, the biggest question to ask is ‘What is the main goal of creating social media content for my business?’
This helps you and your team to use the right channel, use the right format, and create content suitable to your audience.
- Choose the correct platform for your content. You don’t have to use every social media platform, but if you do choose to use more than one, it is important to prioritise one and make it EXCELLENT by creating quality content instead of putting everything out there on every platform.
- Start with the year, e.g. Jan – Dec, Aug ‘22 – Jul ‘23, and write out all the important dates, events, holidays, releases, etc. This helps to determine seasonal contents, workloads, and when things need to be prepared.
- At each month, add the main ideas and themes, e.g. Summer drink promotions, New store set to open, Christmas promotions, Valentine’s specials, etc. These can also include articles that have been written that you want to be linked to, testimonies, behind the scenes and FAQ’s.
- Prepare ‘timeless content’ or content that can be posted whenever as a backup, such as articles that speak about your brand, what you help solve, etc. These are handy when you have delays in schedule, unexpected cancellations, or writer’s block.
- Decide on the frequency of your posts. Your audience is looking for reliability and consistency in this ever-changing world. Be sure to stick to posting at the same time and days each week.
- Remember, a content calendar isn’t set in stone; it’s simply a guide. When plans change, be sure to update your calendar along with it.
- Monitor your posts! What posts are doing better than others, what sort of engagement are they receiving, and could you do something better? It is vital you monitor your posts and adjust your content accordingly.
3 Tips to remember
- Focus on one theme, service, offer, or product to use as a seasonal promotion. Doing so entices potential clients to take the leap of faith and buy your product or use your service. E.g. Spring dresses Christmas half-off prices, Winter drinks.
- Choose three areas of your business each month that you will educate your audience on. This is to sate the curiosity of your audience, so these can include behind the scenes the story of how your business came to be or the charities you support.
- Select a way you can upgrade the quality of your content this month. These can include photos of your team’s hard at work, FAQs, promotions, and video testimonies.
To conclude, a content article allows you to have a birds-eye-view of your social media plan for the next few months or years.
Your team is able to collaborate easier and have a clear idea of what direction the company is heading.
Lastly, remember you are not alone in the process of writing; you have your team whom you can ask for ideas from, and your audience is more than happy to be involved in the idea-making process.
Have fun and enjoy our tips on how to make writing your social media posts easier.