Do you want to post content to your social media page(s), but don’t know where to start? Start with a plan! Your plan can take the form of a social media calendar.
What is a social media calendar?
A social media calendar is a detailed outline of everything you want to post during a given month. It helps you keep track of what you plan to post on any given day so that you are not scrambling for social media content and you are able to visualize before hand how your content will be distributed during the month. A social media calendar should be organized by social media platforms and easy to read.
Now that you know what it is, here’s how to create one. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
First you need to create a document that will house all the content that will be posted on your social media page(s). Open Excel (or Microsoft word) and create a table with the following titles in the first row: Date, Post, Link, and Image. Underneath the date column input the dates in the month you’re planning. Or you can download our basic social media calendar template by clicking here. If you want to get really fancy, you can even add a column for the time of the post. Not sure of the best times to post? HubSpot wrote a blog containing the best times to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Here are the highlights:
|Facebook:||12:00 – 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays & Sundays
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays
|Twitter:||12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays
|LinkedIn:||7:30 – 8:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. & 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. on Tuesdays
Now here is the fun part. Once you have created or downloaded the social media calendar you can begin to input content. When creating content, keep the 80/20 rule in mind. Of your content, 20% should relate to promoting your brand and developing persuasive call-to-actions, while 80% should be devoted to other topics that really interests your audience and engages them in conversation. When creating content, make sure to have a balance between images and text. Images should follow the appropriate dimensions for the given social media platform. If you’re not sure of the appropriate image size, check out HubSpot’s ultimate cheat sheet of photo and image sizes. Below is a summary:
|Facebook:||1200 X 900 pixels|
|Twitter:||876 X 438 pixels|
|LinkedIn:||700 X 520 pixels|
Don’t overwhelm your audience with lengthy paragraphs that may lose their attention. Keep it short and sweet.
Now that you have created your social media calendar, it’s time to share the great content that you came up with. Schedule, publish, promote, and tweet your content. Engage your audience, and most of all, have fun!
These 3 easy steps – create, collect, and share – will help you to develop a social media calendar that will take the pain out of coming up with a topic to post on the spot. The key is to maintain a consistent, sustainable, and engaging online social media presence.
by Jaime Sykes-Summerville