Sharing relevant content that your followers want to read is vital for a successful social media campaign, but managing multiple accounts across a variety of platforms can be a tricky task, especially if you don’t take the time to plan your posts in advance. If you’re not using a social media calendar then you may find yourself rushing around, desperately trying to find something to share.

Whether you’re planning, days, weeks, or even months in advance a structured social media calendar will help ensure you always have content ready to be shared, saving you lots of time and stress in future.

Why should you set up a social media content calendar?

Before we get into the details of how to set up a social media calendar, it is important to understand how it could benefit your business.

1. Organised social sharing

It’s vital to ensure your social media calendar is organised with a clear structure. This way, you will have a clear understanding of what content you are sharing across each of your accounts and when – something that is particularly important if you are using a variety of platforms. On top of this, having a calendar will also help ensure you don’t miss any vital dates throughout the year. Whether you’re running a summer sale or if you’re posting about smaller ‘fun’ holidays, by having an organised social schedule you can be confident in knowing you will always have relevant posts ready to publish. Additionally, a content calendar helps you to spread your content across all of your social channels. You don’t want to run the risk of spamming one network full of content while neglecting other, potentially more important, channels.

2. Allow collaboration

Another great reason to use a social media calendar is that they make it easier to work as part of a team. A collaborative calendar will act as a single workspace where everyone can work together and know what is being shared and when. Additionally, having a place where your team can work together will help reduce the chance of replicating posts and allow other members of staff to add their opinions.

3. Measure success

Carefully planning your social media activity will help you develop a deeper understanding of what works well and what doesn’t. By planning all of your social media activity in advance it will help free up time that might otherwise be spent publishing last minute content, allowing you to take a deeper dive into your social analytics. Furthermore, by having a clear structure to your social calendar you should begin to see potential trends and patterns in your engagements. Do your posts receive more engagement in the morning or afternoon? Is it better to post on Wednesday or Thursday? By finding out this information you will be able to tweak your social schedule to further improve your strategy.

How to set up your social media calendar

So now you know the importance of a well organised, structured social media calendar it’s time to look at how to set it up.

1. Work out what content performs

The first step to setting up your social calendar is looking through your previous social posts to see what has worked well and why. By taking the time to look at what posts performed best, you will be able to develop an understanding of what social media success might look like. Armed with this information, you can start scheduling posts that are more likely to interest your audience, and potentially lead to a rise in engagement.

2. Highlight major events/dates

Once you’ve set up your calendar, it’s key to first mark any important dates throughout the year. These could include anything from internal company events, sales or promotions, national days and holidays, or anything other days/events you need to be aware of.

By highlighting key dates throughout the year you can plan your social media activity accordingly. This is especially important if you are targeting small, quirky ‘holidays’ that might not gain as much global coverage as these days can be easily missed so having a clear schedule is vital.

3.Work out a calendar process

Now that you’ve highlighted key times throughout the year and gained an insight into what content might work well it’s time to plan how often you are going to post on each channel, and how often you will share each type of content.

This stage will help to ensure you are not spamming your audience with promotional content about how great you are. Your followers will soon get bored of this and stop following you so it is key to make sure you are sharing content that will benefit your audience, as well as your business.

During this stage, it is equally important everyone in your team has a clear understanding of their roles. Will it be someone’s responsibility to source content to share? Who is in charge of scheduling posts to the relevant channels? Ensuring everyone knows exactly what they are supposed to be doing will help everything run smoothly.

It’s time to start planning

Now it’s your turn! Go and create your social media calendar and start sharing fantastic content across all of your social channels.