How to Build an Incredible Social Media Content Calendar in 10 Steps.

Behind every great social media strategy, there's a fine social content calendar. Here's how to build yours.
Chris Sugrue
September 3, 2021 - 7 min. read

Content is the king on social media these days, period. But you need to take good care of your kingdom and organize it properly.  

A social media content calendar can help you with that. 

In this article, we will be sharing some tips and tricks on how you can manage your content on social media in the best way to drive excellent ROI. 

Read more on: 

  • What is a social media content calendar anyway? 
  • Why build a social media content calendar? 
  • 10 tips on how to build a social media content calendar.  
  • Step to your own rhythm.    

What is a social media content calendar? 

At the most basic level, your social media content calendar is a plan that maps out deadlines and important dates relevant to your business and its customers.  

Your calendar needs to serve two masters: 

  • Subjects that interest your customers. 
  • Content your team is willing and able to deliver. 

The calendar is a shared resource that gives everyone involved in content production and marketing an at-a-glance timetable of how (and when!) content is to be produced and distributed. 

Your social media calendar needs to clearly define: 

  • The required content. 
  • The timescales allowed for the production of each asset. 
  • The input and expertise required to craft outstanding content. 

The content calendar also acts as a to-do list, helping you keep production on track. 

By making every date and deliverable available for scrutiny, it becomes much easier to keep your work on schedule and provide a constant stream of valuable content to your brand fans. 

Why build a social media content calendar?  

More than simply acting as a timetable of events, your social media calendar is also a vital tool for improving the quality (and success!) of your campaigns. As your plans begin to take shape, you will also be able to address these issues: 

  • Ensuring a proper spread of content. 

Using a social media content calendar can help you avoid bias towards a single platform. You can secure a fair distribution of content and ensure it is properly tailored to your different audiences. After all, your messaging will be quite different on TikTok than on Instagram or LinkedIn. 

  • Aligning all your content assets. 

Digital marketing is driven by content, and it’s highly unlikely that your social posts will exist in complete isolation — particularly if your business uses inbound marketing techniques.  

Building a social media content calendar will ensure that all your assets are properly aligned to create a coherent, consistent experience for your audience across every platform. 

The calendar also allows you to plan a steady drip of useful information that works to draw prospects into your sales funnel. 

  • Assigning roles and tasks effectively. 

The highest value content is produced by your in-house experts, those with the deepest knowledge of their specialty. However, there’s a very real chance that these specialists do not work in the marketing department. 

Preparing a social media content calendar well in advance gives these experts plenty of time to put together the content you need. 

10 tips on how to build a social media content calendar. 

Keeping your content pipeline fed and impactful takes a level of planning and overview that only a social media content calendar can provide.  

The big question is: “How do I build the best-performing social media content calendar?” 

This will naturally vary depending on your industry, target audience, and marketing strategy. But here are some essential steps and recommendations to help anyone working with social content.  

  1. Find out what your audience cares about.

Like any creative process, inspiration is where content begins and where it can quickly stumble. Your target audience and market are the best places to seek inspiration, and social listening is the smartest way to find it. 

Tracking popular topics, trends, buzz, and hashtags across social media and the internet will help you discover and create the kind of content that will resonate with your audience. 

If you are looking for precious help, we can find it in our Listen tool. It monitors mentions and makes you understand what your target personas are looking for on social media. 

How to Build an Incredible Social Media Content Calendar in 11 Steps.

If you don’t have the luxury of a listening tool, here are a couple of free/freemium online options available to you: 

  • BuzzSumo 
    Just enter a website domain, topic or keyword and BuzzSumo will show you the most shared related content. 
  • Google Trends 
    As easy and accessible as any other Google engine, enter a search topic to see how it is trending. 
  1. Map anything that could matter.

The ability to visualize the coming weeks and campaigns is the most obvious benefit of a social media content calendar. Before you start planning content, a smart step is to map out any events that could influence or inspire you in the coming weeks. 

These could include holidays, events or even popular series’ premieres or finales.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Falcon.io (@falconio)

 

Ask around for ideas or check our monthly social media holiday calendar. From classic calendar events such as holidays to more niche ones, each could furnishideas and opportunities for content.  

  1. Establish your content’s purpose.

Craft content with your goals in mind. For example, if you want to increase awareness and engagement, create shareable content that amplifies your message.  

Focus on the action you wish the viewer to take and tailor your content accordingly. Here’s a breakdown of some goal options: 

  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Product feedback
  • Lead conversion
  • Web traffic
  • Awareness
     

“Good content always has an objective, it is created with intent.” 

Ann Handley 

  1. Pick your networks. 

Hopefully, you will already have some data or at least a feel for which networks work best for you. Ideally, you should be active on more than one.  

It is well worth taking the time to consider which network will be the best vehicle for your strategy. Whichever one you opt for, it’s wise to factor in the time you need to tailor your content to it.  Tone and style differ significantly between the main networks, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. 

  1. Consider content type and be creative.

Content marketing is the subtle art of beguiling your audiences into considering your brand. Here are some ways to consider doing it: 

  • User-generated content (UGC) 

Asking your audience to supply the content may seem too good to be true. But, if you get creative, you may be surprised by how willing people are to participate.  

Go Pro are great at UGC where they engage their community and share the amazing extreme sports stories they produce with their product.  

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by GoPro (@gopro)

 

  • Ask questions 

Social media is where people air opinions with sometimes reckless abandon. Use this opportunity to find what topics people want to talk about and engage with your audience.  

  • eBooks & slideshares 

People like free stuff, and this is a great, low-cost way to recycle your posts and blogs in a repackaged and newly engaging form. 

  • Video 

Long-form video posts, Reels, Stories, you name it. The list goes on and on when it comes to the video formats on social media these days.  

Social networks are scrambling to update their native features to accommodate the medium, so video sharing is getting easier and easier. Aside from demanding attention, social video content is a great way to showcase some corporate personality.  

6. Decide on posting times and frequency.

Here at Falcon.io we believe the ‘best times to post’ will vary based on audience behavior.  But there are some rule-of-thumb recommendations for each network. Just be sure to stick to rule number one: don’t spam your audience or waste their time with irrelevant posts.  

7. Use a content library.

Having a pool of assets to easily repurpose makes life easier on multiple levels. For a start, it is just plain convenient. Then, there is greater quality control and consistency. 

But, most of all, it has you covered for the moments you can’t plan for. Successful real-time marketing is all about agility. With a content library, you can be the first out of the gate when opportunities present themselves. 

8. Assign roles and tasks.

As already mentioned, visibility greases the wheels of a successful social media content calendar. That applies to in-house processes too. It’s the place where everyone can gain clarity, including people outside of your social marketing department.  

Our Falcon content calendar also allows you to set milestones and automatic reminders. 

If your calendar software allows it, it is highly recommended to set editorial and publishing permissions. While ‘good governance’ may sound like something to cramp your creative style, the extra quality and avoided headaches are well worth it. 

9. Apply tracking labels.

This is another step premised on the idea that you have left the Excel sheets and emails behind in favor of smart software. By applying labels to your posts, you can easily filter and track performance. Learning from your successes and misfires is the key to improving your social content strategy.  

10. Use tools to help with the scheduling and publishing process.

Effectively scheduling social media updates according to your calendar means having a tool available that can post updates and collect metrics.  

With Falcon’s Publish, you can compose each post in the correct format for each network and preview its appearance in the native setting. This is yet another time-saving feature as you don’t need test accounts to check your posts are up to par. 

If you don’t analyze the results of each campaign, you won’t be able to improve your content, or prove ROI to your superiors. 

Over the course of the year, you will also be able to see which events or dates yielded the greatest engagement. Even this basic level of insight will help you plan your social media content calendar for next year.  

Step to your own rhythm.  

These are the basic steps we recommend to make your life easier, your workflow smoother, and your content engaging. Now, it’s time for you to find your own recipe for success. 

If you want to learn more about building a social media calendar and how Falcon can help streamline the process, please get in touch to arrange your free demo.