How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar

Creating an amazing social media content calendar

A social media content calendar plays a key role in helping businesses distribute their content on various platforms, helping companies target the perfect audience at the perfect time. 

However, the majority of articles on the subject appear to be directed to large and/or established businesses, alluding to multiple teams that create content and a number of social media marketers who then distribute it. This gives the impression that social media content calendars are a luxury beyond the reach of small business owners, who should just be pleased they remembered to post to Instagram last week.

The reality is that even small- and medium-sized businesses can benefit from the use of a social media content calendar, as it helps ensure consistency, organization, and efficiency—and will likely save you time in the long run. If your team is looking for help with creating social media calendars or any other digital marketing services, Clavis Social can definitely help!

To help do this, we at Clavis have outlined the key steps every business should follow when creating a social media content calendar:

Take stock of your current social media accounts

Perhaps your company is already posting 3-4 times per day on Facebook, 1-2 times on Instagram, actively chatting with customers on Twitter, and even uploading a video to your YouTube channel once a week. If so, now is the time to conduct a detailed social media audit to evaluate your existing social media strategy.

On the other hand, you might have posted on Facebook a few days ago and be currently editing a photo for Instagram, but have accounts on Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn that have never been used. That’s ok too—part of this process is determining which social media platforms are best suited to your business and focusing on those.

Consider the audience you’re trying to reach and the content you’re able to create, then select the platforms that will reach your target demographic and best highlight your chosen media.

office desk with a social media content calendar on a tablet

Find your ideal content ratio

Always keep in mind that your business’ social media feeds are not meant to center solely on, well, your business. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the majority of your time on social media should not be spent directly promoting your brand. Instead, highlight interesting articles or videos created by others in your industry; this indicates that you are aware of current trends and the conversation surrounding them. 

Responding to users’ questions shows that you are dedicated to customer service, which can improve brand loyalty. Running a campaign that showcases user-generated content is a quick way to increase engagement—and can translate into future posts. Each of these methods will likely raise awareness of your brand; in other words, you’re promoting your business without inundating your audience with a flood of posts about your current sale.

Hootsuite suggests using these 21 social media best practices.

lighbulbs hanging

Setting up your social media content calendar

After you have determined which social media platforms work best for your business, the number of times it’s best to post on each, and have a general idea of what type of content you should be posting, it’s time to set up your social media content calendar. 

There are a number of different templates available online. Hootsuite offers a spreadsheet outlining a number of posts on four different social media networks; it might seem intimidating, but it’s easy enough to delete the slots you won’t be using, or eliminate the platforms that don’t serve your business. Of course, using a spreadsheet or Google calendar will require that you schedule each post on each platform individually.

Alternatively, you might choose to invest in a social media content calendar that schedules your posts, offers analytics, or encourages collaboration among teammates.

Remember, your calendar is not set in stone. Check the news: perhaps an evergreen piece of content can be adapted and shared in conjunction with a current headline. Conversely, in the wake of a tragedy, it’s probably best to hold off on posting the Boomerang loop of an employee downing a quadruple espresso for #NationalCoffeeDay. 

Finally, keep an eye on your competitors; if one of their campaigns looks to be taking off, consider whether certain elements might be integrated into your own strategy.

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