As your social media marketing campaigns develop in complexity and sophistication, controlling all of the moving parts becomes increasingly difficult. A social media calendar is key to ensuring that each stage of the campaign is completed on time.
What is a social media calendar?
Like a traditional editorial calendar, the social media calendar maps out every deliverable, deadline, and publishing date for every stage of your campaign. A well designed social media calendar will contain several key elements:
Throughout the year there will be a number of events which offer your business a chance to promote your brand, goods and services. You should also factor in key events for your own business.
Your social media calendar needs to record these key dates in advance so that you can plan content and campaigns around them. Factors to consider include:
- Industry awards and tradeshows.
- Your own product release and updates.
- Public events that offer opportunities to engage on a personal level, like the Super Bowl.
You can find more examples of how to add these events to a social media calendar here.
A social media content calendar
Content is the cornerstone of your marketing campaigns, particularly on your social channels. Great content is key to engaging prospects and generating interest in your products and services.
Your social media calendar will need to clearly define:
- The required content.
- The timescales allowed for production of each asset.
- The input and expertise required to craft outstanding content.
The content calendar also acts like a to-do list, helping to keep production on track.
A resourcing schedule
Effective content requires input from experts across your business. The social media content calendar will be essential to ensuring each of those experts is booked ahead of time to meet publication dates.
The resourcing aspect of your social media calendar needs to schedule:
- Initial delivery dates for each asset.
- The specific individuals required to provide advice and expertise for each asset — particularly long form content like white papers.
- Designers to transform copy into something your prospects will want to read and share.
- Suitably qualified people to read and approve all content in advance of the final publication date.
Why does a social media calendar matter?
Regardless of how your calendar is structured, it should be designed to fulfil one key task — to ensure that every aspect of your planning and publication is completed on time. The calendar becomes the go-to resource for tracking tasks that have been completed, and those that are yet to be started.
Without this central timetable, it is remarkably difficult to keep campaigns on track — particularly as so many people are involved in a modern social campaign.
Using social media tools to help
A social media tool that features a calendar at its core will help streamline all of these processes. As well as providing a central reference point for deliverables and deadlines, a social media tool will also help with pushing content out to each of your social platforms.
Centralizing the campaign offers additional benefits, such as simplifying the content approval process so that nothing is published in error, or before it has been properly completed. Improved visibility helps keep every part of your social media marketing campaigns moving smoothly.
Finally, social media tools also allow you to collect and analyze engagement data from every campaign. This information allows you to better tailor content for future campaigns — and to see whether any events or publication dates were particularly effective at driving engagement. These insights will prove invaluable when it comes to planning your next social media calendar cycle.