Social media can be an extremely effective tool for your business when used correctly. One of the most impactful ways to set up your business for success is to build a social media content calendar.
Why use a social media content calendar?
At GROWL, we emphasize that consistency is the key to successful social media marketing. A social media plan’s success and effectiveness hinges on the strength of a content calendar. By using a social media calendar, marketers can successfully distribute content, relate to consumers, and build a strong digital community.
Grab a notepad & get started
The first step in creating a social media content calendar is defining a content strategy that aligns with your brand. For this initial step, you’ll need to reference your marketing plan and analyses. Follow GROWL’s 4 steps to lay the foundation:
1. Audit your social media channels.
Use our social media audit, then review your brand’s old posts. Look for design and content aspects to determine what performed well and what didn’t.
2. Review competitors & aspirational brands.
Take a look at companies that you’re in direct competition with, and also those you look up to. Compare these reviews to your brand’s audit to determine successful, and trending, content.
3. Analyze your holistic marketing strategy & goals.
Social media should support your brand’s overall objectives. Review your brand’s mission, vision, and values alongside your goals and overarching strategy.
GROWL Tip: Remember that social media isn’t about sales.
4. Find the why.
Social media isn’t like other marketing channels. Social media is a digital environment that drives community, connection, loyalty, and, ultimately, conversions (read more about our Social Media 80:20 rule). Though social media can advance sales, this is not its’ sole purpose.
Categories & calendars
After you understand why your brand is on social media, and what you want to accomplish, it’s time to build your content calendar. At GROWL, we focus on the strategic process. By developing categories, defining content per category, and justifying a frequency, we curate optimal social media strategies for our clients. With your why on paper, start building your content calendar with steps 5-7.
5. Categorize & list.
Create a list of general posts that you’d like to cover (i.e., community, leadership, tips, deals, how-to’s, etc.). When creating this list, consider top-performing content, competitors, and your brand’s social media why. Narrow your list down to 3-5 categories.
6. Define & conquer.
Taking your 3-5 categories, bolster your content strategy by aligning these categories with your brand’s why and overarching goals. For each category, describe the types of content that apply; list examples along with production ideas. Your social categories should look something like this:
Community – GROWL Abouts
Showcase GROWL in the community, including various events and activities.
– Chamber events – Volunteer – Local events we’ll attend
Content can range from recap images to videos at events.
7. Determine the frequency.
There are numerous ways to approach posting frequency. At GROWL, we calculate our client’s optimal posting frequencies depending on the platform, strategic goals, and availability. Since frequency is key to consistency, we examine multiple factors. If you’re trying to calculate the right frequency for your brand, consider this:
- Research shows that growing brands should post high frequencies for maximum exposure, being:
- Facebook: 1-2 posts/day
- Instagram: 1-3 posts/day
- Twitter: 3-10 posts/day
- LinkedIn: 2+ posts/week
- Maximum exposure is not always the best strategy.
- Due to availability and resources, most brands can’t commit to high-frequency posting strategies.
- Depending on industry, audience, and purpose, your frequency should fluctuate.
For most of our clients, GROWL typically suggests 3 posts/week; however, this changes depending on each client and strategy.
Committing to your calendar.
Once you’ve established the foundation for your social media content calendar strategy, start planning! The best option is to sketch out your calendar a month in advance. At GROWL, we use a customized, blank calendar to record what posts will be published when including the category and brief description. By adding a production type (i.e., video or photo), we can adequately anticipate production timelines. Once your calendar is complete, commit to it!
GROWL Tip: try blocking out an hour every week to write your captions and gather assets.
At GROWL, we focus on strategy. From reviewing your overarching goals to helping you define your social media purpose, we’ll curate an effective, data-driven plan of action. Need a hand taking your social media content strategy to the next level? Contact GROWL today.