So what do cross-country road trips, wedding speeches, and social media marketing have got in common? Preparing.
You could improvise all three, but it’s better to have a plan for what direction you’re heading — especially when developing your social networking content strategy.
By now, many marketers recognize that social media plays an integral role in an efficient inbound marketing strategy. And with so many social networks to manage and publish on, it’s important to stay structured and have a plan for whenever and what you’re going to share on these platforms.
The Benefits of Utilizing a Social Media Content Calendar
All of us are busy. And when we’re busy without a plan in place for that tasks we have to get done, items inevitably slip through the cracks. Social media content is no exception.
Just like with blogging, an effective social media strategy requires regular publishing and engaging along with followers to see positive results — whether that be in conditions of SEO, brand acknowledgement, lead generation, or all three.
So , if you’re not currently using a social media content diary, hear me out:
- Calendars help you get organized to avoid the dreaded scramble when elements come up. With a social media calendar, marketers can plan out posts for entire weeks or months in advance, which frees up functioning hours to strategize for the future — and to dash off any posts about smashing news in your industry. Or else, you’ll spend valuable time every day searching the internet for that day’s content to share, which is a identified productivity killer.
- The calendar helps you plan for every social network to customize blogposts instead of spamming all platforms with the same message. Social media marketers should take the time to craft custom communications for each network, and achieving this in advance will save time throughout the week and ensure you’re becoming thoughtful and intentional if you choose post.
- Calendars can assist you track performance and arrange for future posts. Without a calendar, social media marketing experts are publishing content in to the void and are unable to monitor big-picture and past functionality. With a calendar, marketers can look back and analyze which content performed best so they can adjust their strategy accordingly.
- With the help of a diary, marketers can plan for holidays and observance days , such as National Cat Day, when they can tailor their particular content and engage with the wider audience.
Now that you understand the particular merits of having a social media content calendar in place, have a look at our list of top equipment to stay organized and on best of your game.
Social Media Content material Calendar Tools to Program Your Messaging
1 . HubSpot’s Downloadable Template for Stand out
Marketers might already use Excel for different types of reports and data analysis in their roles, but it’s a highly useful tool intended for social media content calendar business, too. Excel can be personalized according to whatever priorities or even metrics a team is targeted on, so it’s a great device for planning ahead.
The good news? We’ve already done the weighty lifting for you by developing a free, downloadable social media content calendar template using Ms Excel. Marketers can use this template to easily plan out individual social media posts — monthly or annually — while keeping an eye on bigger picture activities, holidays, publications, and relationships.
- Use the Monthly Preparing Calendar Tab above to get a bird’s-eye see of what’s coming down their own content pipeline in a given month.
- In the Content Repository tab , users can record the information they’re publishing on this tabs to keep track of which pieces are already promoted and to easily recall older content that can be re-promoted on social media.
- On the Social Network Update tabs, users may draft and plan out social networking posts in advance. These dividers are for organizational purposes, and the content of the content themselves must be uploaded in to a social media publisher.
For more on how to utilize the templates, check out this in-depth guide from my colleague Lindsay Kolowich.
This free resource can be used to draft social media marketing posts, or it can be bulk-uploaded into a publishing app to increase efficiency. (HubSpot customers: You may use this spreadsheet to organize content material and upload it directly into Social Inbox. For instructions on how to do so, check out the template’s cover sheet here. )
2 . Google Drive
Articles Calendar and Asset Business
Google Drive has many helpful features that make it easy for social media marketers to build out an effective content calendar.
This an example of how a team may use Google Calendar to track both their editorial and social media calendars to make sure these kinds of are aligning posts with new blog content. These calendars can be easily shared with multiple teams to avoid scheduling clashes and ensure that campaigns are usually aligned.
Marketers can also use shared Google Bedding to schedule posts on social networking, track the status various pieces of content, and assign tasks to team members — all on the same platform as their calendar.
With the help of Google Docs, users can keep comments all in one place and can work together on different projects without having emailing back-and-forth or having to schedule a meeting. This is a especially useful feature when editing content for social media, which might need to be drafted and accepted quickly.
(HubSpot clients: You can link your Google Drive account to your HubSpot portal to easily add files from Drive into your HubSpot software. )
a few. Loomly
Content Planning, Development, Publishing, and Calendar
If you want more mileage out of a content calendar compared to publishing dates, you can turn to an all-in-one content preparing and publishing platform such as Loomly.
Loomly offers tools beyond the management associated with content, going even so significantly as to provide post motivation and ideas to help you develop content. It also allows you to take care of your content assets, schedule blogposts, manage them in both a list view and a calendar view, and analyze what’s working.
Their most robust function set, though, includes a collaboration and approval environment so that teams can submit mockups, provide comments, see version logs, and flag meant for approval. This can help you streamline for efficiency when it may otherwise seem as though you can find “too many cooks within the kitchen” on a particular task.
Task Administration and Content Calendar
Trello is another organizational device that’s highly effective for team collaboration. Trello also offers a full calendar view (shown above) which makes it easy to visualize exactly what content is going out, so when. More specifically, social media supervisors can use Trello’s flexible assignment “cards” and customizable “boards” and “lists” to chart out to-do lists, control a content calendar, program a campaign, and home ideas from a brainstorm.
Yet you’re not limited to just one structure: Users can customize planks according to their needs. For example , a team could produce a board to organize social media content for a given week, on a specific platform, or posting ideas around a topic, such as a campaign or awareness time.
Trello cards allow for a lot of customization as well. You can monitor progress toward completing a checklist, which could be helpful for social media marketers looking to track campaign progress.
Additionally , Trello cards can be assigned to different team members, marked with due dates, and commented upon. Users can even customize brands with different publication statuses so the entire team can see the particular progress of their social media posts and when they’re due around the calendar. The labels could also reveal different social networks that content is being published on.
Social Submitting and Content Calendar
Sprout Social’s social media calendar and publishing tool makes it easy meant for teams or individuals to plan and schedule all their social posts. You can routine content to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more.
You can also label each social post and add notes to better track and report on your posting strategy and campaigns. In addition , their publishing suite includes a tool called Optimal Send Times which analyzes your own social media data and automatically publishes at a time your audience is most engaged.
Content Calendar, Job Management, and Asset Firm
Evernote is a note-taking app that will marketers can use to keep track of all of the moving parts that comprise a social media campaign.
The particular tool also features annual, monthly, weekly, and by the hour logs, which make it easy to keep track of when you’re publishing content material on social media, when you’re making blog content, and other team-wide priorities. (Evernote offers customizable templates for each of these that can be downloaded into the app. )
Another useful feature? Evernote’s Web Clipper extension designed for Chrome. Marketers can use it to easily save links to their Evernote Notebook meant for sharing later on.
The “mind keep” mobile app also offers some interesting features to assist marketers keep their social content ideas straight. For example , you can easily snap a photo and save it to your Evernote files for review afterwards.
This feature is of specific valuable for social articles creators looking to maintain the backlog of photos to create on Instagram.
Social Publishing and Articles Calendar
Hootsuite offers a built-in Planner tool to help you create strategies, identify publishing gaps, plus collaborate with your content creation group. Its primary features are usually in social publishing so that you can discharge content to your networks ahead of time, but it also has rich functions for collaboration and write-up approvals. You can even curate content from other sources without signing into your account. Once your content is created, you can preview it with the Composer tool, which displays according to each social network’s unique format.
almost eight. Agorapulse
Social Publishing and Content Calendar
Similar to Hootsuite, Agorapulse offers social publishing tools and a content calendar so that you can manage your social media accounts with ease. This includes scheduling (or rescheduling), queuing, and mass uploading posts, which is incredibly helpful for those who do quarterly or monthly content programs. What makes Agorapulse different, although, is its social inbox that allows you to manage all the interactions from various systems in a single place. After all, content isn’t just a one-and-done action; it’s about building understanding and engagement with your readers as well.
Content Planning and Distribution
If you want more from your content calendar than knowing when posts proceed live, StoryChief is a good choice. With StoryChief’s smart calendar, you can better strategize and plan your content strategy across channels. It not only displays your timetable; it also enables you to assign collaborators to tasks and filter by marketing campaign. StoryChief self-describes their device as a “content distribution platform” that unifies analytics and publishing across multiple stations for a more simplified method of content creation. Best of all, it syncs with your favorite calendar applications as well as HubSpot.
Content Creation and Management
So what regarding content planning and development? ClearVoice offers content creation tools to fit into your workflow. Whilst their big claim to popularity is their Talent System Search which allows you to find and connect to content creators to work on your projects, ClearVoice also has features for task management for internal and external collaborators. You are able to create, edit, and approve projects in an interface that makes editorial management easy. They also have a dashboard and dynamic editorial calendar with plenty of interactive functionality, and there is certainly integrations with other popular software program.
Content Creation plus Management
Zerys is another platform that will matches you with your ideal content creation freelancers. However , this markets itself as a platform dedicated to content success, providing features for content preparing, production, publishing, promotion, conversion, and analytics. You can control unlimited content projects, program keywords and titles just for blog content, hire writers, and view all deadlines on an integrated calendar. Your in-house writers can use system, too, with the project administration features that Zerys offers. It also integrates with HubSpot so that publishing is a breeze.
Social Media Templates
HubSpot’s Social networking Calendar Template
If you’re new to setting up social media calendars, HubSpot offers a pre-made, free, plus downloadable template that you can use plan out full weeks of posts.
HubSpot’s Social Media Content Calendar Design template for Startups
This design template is very similar to the one seen above but also has tab that work as a repository with regard to content ideas. The template also includes helpful tips to get posting on specific social media marketing networks.
If you are aiming to get all of your ideas down in order to develop a big-picture plan for your social assets, we recommend starting with this template.
Getting Started on the Social Media Schedule
Now that we’ve reviewed a few helpful equipment to kick your social media strategy into high gear, experiment with them. Every social media team is different, and it could be a combination of they that helps you execute your strategy efficiently to drive RETURN ON INVESTMENT.
Editor’s take note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has already been updated for comprehensiveness.