If you’re a small business owner, planning your social media is crucial to keeping your digital presence fresh, up to date, and engaging. Creating a monthly calendar is the best way to make this happen.

Have you ever had a GREAT idea for a Facebook post, but it’s the middle of the night and you forget about it by morning?

Have you planned to open a new location or offer a new product, and you realized you missed the window to share information about it before launch. Or maybe you posted about it but only after it happened.

Or . . . you’ve created and posted consistently but when you look back at the past month, you realized your brand only shared images and text posts but forgot videos, polls, or thought leadership content.

Content creation on social media is often challenging for many small businesses, even though it’s critical for attracting new and returning customers. 

The solution? A social media content calendar.

What’s A Social Media Content Calendar? 

Simply put, it is a strategic plan for generating and sharing social media content with your business’s target audience. You can create calendars using various templates or programs but typically it’s best to include the following:

  • WHEN content is developed and posted: Social media content calendars are usually organized by month. In addition to tracking publication dates for all content, they may include writing and editing deadlines for items like blog posts that spend more time in production.
  • WHAT content is being developed and posted: Content calendars list the title or topic of each upcoming post and note which are text posts, videos, photos, or other types of media.
  • WHERE content is being posted: Content calendars track which posts will be published on which social media sites, supporting strategic post-development for different platforms and audiences. 
  • WHO content is being developed and/or posted by: Especially within larger teams or those utilizing freelancers, calendars note who is responsible for each step of the production process.

Why Are Social Media Content Calendars So Important? 

A social media content calendar can reap numerous rewards for your small business. Notably, it can:

  1. Keep Track of Your Bigger Picture. Calendars allow you to map out how your business will communicate about key marketing topics, promotions, and even holiday events. This enables more consistent engagement with your audience and promotes brand loyalty.
  2. Save Time and Energy. A monthly calendar requires post topics to be generated and reviewed ahead of time and consolidated into a central location. As a result, you shouldn’t have to scramble for an idea at the eleventh hour or struggle to decide when to post. Save even more time by automating post-publication.
  3. Minimize Poor Posting Practices. Having a calendar with clear deadlines for review and publication guards against common mistakes like posting redundant or poorly written content or forgetting to post at all, further cementing your company’s image as thorough and high-quality.
  4. Drive Innovation and Expansion. Once your content calendar is in place, you can track trends. Who looks at your posts on each platform? When, and for how long? What else can you incorporate to drive engagement? It also leaves more time to generate the occasional post-on-the-fly that works well for breaking news or current events.

How Do You Create a Social Media Content Calendar? 

Here are five steps to implementing a social media content calendar for your business:

Step 1: Audit your existing social media content and survey what (and when) your competition posts.

Step 2: Brainstorm with your marketing team about potential topics and other content curation strategies.

Step 3: Decide which template or software will work best for your social media content calendar. Check out Social Pilotthe Facebook and Instagram business suite, or comprehensive scheduling tools like Hootsuite. Your choice may depend on:

  • Your company’s social media marketing strategy
  • Social media platforms where you’re most active
  • What features are most important (annotations, analytics, automated posting, etc.)
  • Who needs to use your calendar (individual, small or large team)

Step 4: Establish a workflow and start producing content!

Step 5: Keep evaluating!

  • Ask your team for feedback
  • Study engagement trends
  • Adjust your schedule as needed

Need help crafting a calendar that will strengthen your business’s social media presence? Contact One Part Social for a complimentary strategy session today.