Social Media Content Calendar Free Download
Why use a social media / blogging calendar?
Do you find yourself stuck for ideas, last minute panic tweeting or leaving your followers hanging for weeks?
If any of the above is applicable to you, please read on.
A successful social media strategy needs careful planning. Here are a few reasons why:
- Quality content – don’t schedule something in a mad panic just to fill the gaps. Think carefully about what content will interest your audience.
- Organisation - a content calendar organises everything you need for a successful campaign in one place (topics, timings, content, images & hashtags).
- Motivation – you’ll be motivated to keep up the good work when your planning efforts pay off through social engagement, lead generation and sales
3 Essential Tips Before You Start
Know your audience
This is the key to success for all your marketing (not just social media marketing). Take time to understand who your audience is and what they’re interested in. You can do this through online research, customer interviews and some guesswork. There is no point generating content that your potential or existing customers are not interested in. This is a waste of your valuable time.
Find out where your audience hangs out
Discover what social platforms your customers are using and meet them there. The best social platform for your business depends on a variety of factors:
- Type of business eg B2B, B2C
- Age of your ideal customer
Create Quality Content
Successful social media marketing is all about engaging your audience. To attract new followers and keep them interested quality over quantity applies. Aim to delight your audience with content that doesn’t bore the pants off them. Is there a blog post you can share that helps them do their job better? An image that will bring a smile to their face?
Look at the popularity and engagement of your past posts and build on those topics.
Stop the Hard Sell
Top Tip: Don’t sell to your audience 100% of the time – they’ll switch off. Keep your content editorial style and pop in the occasional promotion when it’s appropriate.
How often should you post?
The only firm rule here is: be consistent with your posting frequency. If you leave huge gaps between posting, people will forget who you are and unfollow you. If you spam your followers by panic posting 5 posts in a row, you again run the risk of losing followers.
The timing and frequency of your content scheduling depends on your business and your audience. The best advice is to follow the general guidelines below and test and revise 'til you find the sweet spot.
The people at Coschedule put together a fantastic Best Time To Post graphic after compiling data from 20 studies. They also give some great tips.
Let’s break it down by social platform
Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t want brands posting more than 5 times per week. Anymore then 5 and your posts won’t show (unless you’re boosting them via paid advertising).
You can expect a higher engagement at the following times:
- Thursday to Sunday
- 9am, 1pm, 3pm
Linkedin’s algorithm also wants to stop brands spamming so it will not highly rank more than 5 posts per week.
- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday are the optimum times. Don’t both posting on Mondays, Fridays and the weekend as you’ll find little engagement.
- 7-8am, 12pm, 5-6pm
Pinterest is for night owls or at least a platform people are viewing outside of work hours. It also depends on the topic of your posting. Eg Mondays trending topic is fitness.
- Saturday & Sunday
- 2pm, 9pm & 2am
B2B performs better during work hours and B2C performs better on weekends. Testing then measuring your data is always best practice.
- 12pm, 3pm 5-6pm
Instagram best posting times will vary from brand to brand. Test and measure your results and adjust when you need to.
- Monday and Thursday
- 2am, 8-9am & 5pm
It’s time to experiment
The social media editorial calendar is easy to use. You can adapt it for your own requirements by adding or deleting columns. It’s a great starting point that will save time and get you on a path to success.
Nothing is set in stone. It’s important to test, measure and adjust as you move through your social media plan.