5 ways to create a world-class social media content calendar for your brand
By Abdul Govender
Reading time: 4 minutes
As social media becomes more prominent for businesses, it has become that much harder to communicate with your audience due to over saturation. To stand out from the crowd, it is crucial that your content is engaging – to the point where people want to share it with their friends and family.
But before you start creating content, sit down and develop a content calendar and plan out your content for all platforms for a month, quarter or potentially six months ahead. Your content calendar could be really simple, using an Excel spreadsheet or a Google document, or you can use a specific app or template.
If you’re not yet convinced that you need a contact calendar as part of your content marketing strategy, read on and let us weigh in! You can include your newsletter, blog posts, activations and PR too – but this article will focus on social media.
The importance of date(ing)
Is it important to celebrate days such as #NationalBraaiDay or #StarWarsDay? It depends on your brand, your industry and your audience.
A social media content calendar can help you stay ahead of all the relevant social media holidays (not to mention ‘real’ holidays like Good Friday and Youth Day). You won’t miss any opportunities to elevate your brand and engage with followers on special dates. Here is an example of an Instagram grid we created leading up to #StarWarsDay – this was for our client hi-online.
Consistency is king
Posting consistently is one of the best ways to grow your brand’s social presence — as no one will want to follow you if the most recent post on your profile is from a couple of months (or worse – a year ago!). A consistent posting schedule shows potential followers you are invested in the channel—meaning a follow will be worth their time.
Better yet, consistency trains your current followers to expect and engage with your content on a regular basis, nurturing long-lasting relationships that could ultimately lead to sales.
A social media content calendar will help you post consistently across all platforms by ensuring that content is planned and scheduled in advance.
Mix it up
No one enjoys friends who only talk about themselves – the same goes for brands online.
If you only post when you have a sale on, or a new product to offer, you’re not going to attain nearly enough engagement; and with the constant change in the social media algorithms, it’s guaranteed your once-in-while posts will get lost amongst the many brands who post consistently.
Of course followers will want to know when you’re having a sale, but they also want to see other types of content from you, such as curated articles, videos, user-generated content, personal interactions/ responses to questions and news from your industry.
There’s always the rule of thirds to remember:
– 1/3 of your content should promote your business or generates leads
– 1/3 can come from other sources that align with your business
– 1/3 should engage with followers directly, either through answering questions, responding to comments, or reposting user-generate content.
Time is always of the essence
People may ask: “Won’t it take more time to keep a content calendar up to date?” While it may seem so, the answer is “not at all”.
In the long run, making use of a social media content calendar (and keeping up to date) will surely save you time, especially when working on multiple campaigns at once. If you have a plan for your future social content, you can schedule your posts in advance (with tools like Business Facebook, Hootsuite or Planoly). Then, you won’t constantly be watching the clock. You may even be able to take a vacation.
Avoid cross platform slip-ups
It is known as a grave sin to post the exact same message on all your social media channels. Let’s be honest, we’ve all experienced it – asking your Facebook followers to ‘retweet’ you or tagging a brand on Twitter who only has Instagram – but it’s less likely to happen if you plan ahead.
As you can see, a social media content calendar is a continual work in progress. Always ensure that it’s up to date and that whatever you add is strategic and aligns with your overall business objectives. Also, don’t forget to have some fun!
Not sure where to start? Get in touch with us. We’d love to help you put your brand’s best foot forward and develop a sound social media strategy for your business.