Did you know that there are 350 million photos uploaded each day to Facebook alone? With so many people using social media, including businesses, it makes it hard to stand out. But did you know how important preparation is to the process?
If not, then you can greatly improve your online presence with a social media calendar. Read our expert guide on how to create one and improve your social media skills below.
Start With One Platform
When people start making a social media schedule, they plan it for multiple platforms. This is a mistake, especially if you are running a small business. It starts you off on a quantity over quality route, which seldom yields results.
Concentrating on one channel lets you understand its individual nuances. Each platform will have its own demographic and ways of doing things. Everything from the type of content to its advertising options will differ from others.
Look into the types of audiences on different platforms and see which suits your customer base. From here, you can create a calendar that lets you experiment and get to know the platform. Once you have mastered it, you can begin to add others.
Perform an Audit Before You Start
Before you create any posting schedule, make sure you do an audit of current social media accounts. This ensures that you can streamline your presence, only having accounts online that provide value.
Check networks for any impostor accounts and notify the platform of them. If you have outdated profiles or ones that are not in use, remove them. Then go through your followers and purge any obvious fake or spam accounts.
Next, address security by updating any passwords. This should be done by the whole marketing team, not just with your own personal logins.
After this, go over any past campaigns or attempts at social media. Discuss what worked, and what didn’t with your team.
Outline Post Types and Categories
Outlining the type of social media posts you plan to make will improve your organisation. A small text post will be much quicker to make than a sprawling infographic or video, for example. You don’t want to end up rushing posts as it inevitably leads to a drop in standards.
The type of posts you make can be broken down into several categories. We have listed the most common below:
- Blog posts
- Long and short-form videos
- Social Proof
A good way to ensure a mix is to go by the rule of thirds. For this, break down all media into three categories.
The first is about promoting your business and its offers. The second should showcase curated content, either user-created or from leaders in the field. With the last third, focus on posts that encourage personal interaction, such as asking questions and responding.
Add Dates to Your Calendar
Once you have content types, you can begin to add key dates to your social media plan. This allows you plenty of time to create and source relevant, curated content.
Start with national and international events, such as holidays. For example, you may wish to celebrate events like Christmas.
From here, add ones related to events close to your mission or company values. They can be as varied as international odd socks day to Women’s Day. It all depends on what you are trying to promote.
After this, add events or personal importance. It may be the anniversary of the company or a date for a very important trade show.
Add Preparation Dates
Now you know the type of social media posts and when they need to go out, you need to add commencement dates. The amount of time you should leave is dictated by the type of post you are planning.
For example, if you want to put out a quote on Christmas eve, you will only need a few days to plan it and can note the commencement date on the calendar accordingly. However, if you want a professional video, you should start shooting sometime over the summer, or early September at the latest.
Guage how much time you need for each date. Go back to your calendar and add the start dates for content creation in a different colour.
Timing is very important when it comes to social media marketing. Platform and geography should be the biggest influence on when you post.
Firstly, certain platforms have more successful times in which you should post, resulting in more interaction. For example, Twitter is best used at around 8 in the morning when people are getting ready for work. You also need to take into account that posts often have a shelf life, with the average lifespan of a tweet being about 18 minutes before it vanishes into obscurity.
After this, consider the timezone you are posting in. 8 in the morning in the UK could mean a whole US audience misses out. While Twitter is being used as an example, each platform has its own criteria you must take into account.
Know What Metrics to Track
Metrics are vital when it comes to your content calendar. Without them, you won’t know how successful your posts and content are. However, tracking metrics is very easy to get wrong when it comes to social media.
Many people use vanity metrics as their primary focus. These involve looking at the number of likes, shares and comments.
While all lead back to the success of a campaign, they don’t always result in an upturn in profit, which should be the final goal. You can buy likes and comments online, but none of them will convert.
By all means, track these, but the final and most important factor should be how it impacts your profits. Make sure you do this using a short, medium and long-term plan.
Using Your Social Media Calendar
Now you know how to build a social media calendar, you can put it into practice. Don’t treat it as set in stone, but adapt and change as you go. As the years move on, you will be able to improve its accuracy.
Zesty Marketing can help you achieve social media success. From SEO to paid search, we can assist with all aspects of online media. Contact us here and let us help you to thrive in the digital economy.