But like most things in marketing, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. In order to derive maximum value from your efforts on social media, you should devise a strategy for when, how, and what you post on social media. Just as you might develop an editorial calendar to guide your blog posting, your social activity needs to be guided by its own calendar, a social media content calendar.
Here are some reasons why.
Calendars Keep People Organized
One of the main reasons to jump on the social media calendar bandwagon is because it’s one of the best ways to bring order to your social media content creation process.
Using a social media calendar app — or even just adapting a spreadsheet for the purpose — is one great way to take your social media posting from a frantic last-minute rush and make it into a slick and streamlined activity that you can plan weeks, if not months, in advance.
As you may have guessed, the biggest brands in the world don’t create their social media content on the fly. Instead, everything is logged in a system and reviewed before it hits the internet.
Organizing your social media by finding a social media calendar template you like and loading it with your content is a great way to bring order and efficiency where there would otherwise be chaos.
Calendars Are Great For Reviewing The Schedule
Social media calendar apps, like Buffer, give you a birds-eye view of the content that you have lined up for publication across your social media channels.
If you have any gaps in your schedule, then you’ll literally notice a gap in the calendar. You can then go and have your team come up with some network-appropriate content to keep your audience engaged.
One of the key tips to social media success is being consistent in terms of the volume of content you put out and how often you send updates to your followers. You don’t want to blitz users one day and then go silent for six months. Using a content calendar is a great and easy way for social media managers to make sure that your company is putting out content across all managed channels at a frequency that is going to resonate with your target audience.
Excellent For Content Review
Another massive advantage of using a social media calendar is that they make it easy for marketing teams to institute internal review and approval workflows.
At many companies, social media is handled by a specific team member. But two eyes are better than one. By queueing up social media rather than publishing it on the fly:
- Another team member can make suggestions for ways in which the content could be phrased better
- A second team member can keep an eye out for typos and grammatical anomalies
Makes Managing Social At Scale Easy
If you’re managing social media across multiple networks (such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) then you know how difficult just keeping your schedules and feeds filled up can be. Add to this challenge operating in many geographies, a fact many companies have to deal with, and the headache only becomes compounded.
A huge advantage of developing a calendar for social media is that it makes it easier to:
- See what’s being published on every network. If multiple team members are involved in planning the content, one can use content from another network and tweak the messaging.
- See what the overall social media calendar looks like. This can provide departments that might have an interest in all things marketing - like sales - to chip in with input about what’s being published and what could be done better.
It Helps Ensure Consistency
When you’re publishing your social media without any kind of calendar, you typically publish network by network as inspiration comes to mind. While this is fine if your objective is just to get social content out the door, it’s not an ideal approach for several reasons.
For one, if you’re managing social this way, it’s very hard to ensure consistency between networks. Ideally, your messaging should be at least somewhat coordinated between your various social channels (this doesn’t mean that you should use the same posts for every network - you specifically shouldn’t).
Committing your posts to a social media calendar template before they go live on networks will give you a bird’s eye’s view over your social network and:
- Help you ensure consistency
- Help make sure that each network you’re active on is receiving proper attention
Social calendars Help You Do Social Better
The simple act of adopting a social media calendar in lieu of ad-hoc creation can actually greatly enhance the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts. Social planning templates can help you be more consistent across channels, avoid awkward “radio silence” gaps, and provide other departments with insight into this important aspect of marketing activity.