5 Reasons Why A Social Media Content Calendar Is Important For Your Business

By Olsy Sorokina

Social

Image by Maurizio Abbate via Flickr
Image by Maurizio Abbate via Flickr

Now that you know that your social media marketing plan requires a stellar content strategy to support it, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Creating and publishing great content can be a lot of work, so you need to get organized and figure out a schedule that works for your business. When you’ve got a content calendar you can commit to, social media marketing becomes a lot less daunting.

Creating a plan, a template, or a calendar simply means that you make all the necessary information available to all the relevant stakeholders in one place. It takes in all your channels and resources and organizes them in a way that makes it easy to access information you need when you need it.

What is a social media content calendar?

A social media content calendar should organize the way you curate and create content, and help develop your editorial strategy. A social media calendar cuts extra time out of your content marketing strategy and helps you allocate your resources wisely, to help ensure your brand consistently publishes high-quality, well-written, high-performing content pieces.    

Your social media content calendar should be easy to read without a legend, and contain all the necessary information for your content marketing strategy. The easiest way to organize a content calendar is by using a separate sheet for each month, with activities further broken down by month or day, depending on the volume of content you plan to publish. If you have more than one copywriter, your calendar should reflect which of your writers is responsible for writing, publishing and promoting each piece of content. If you have several social media channels for content promotion, it helps to include icons representing each network next to the title of the post—this way, you can streamline your content marketing and social media strategies.

Social media content calendar example A
An example of what a social media content calendar can look like

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So why does your business need a social media content calendar? I will go over several consequences a content manager risks if they decide against keeping a social media content calendar for their team, and how keeping a calendar can help avoid these issues.

5 Challenges Solved by Keeping A Social Media Content Calendar

1. Posting content that performs poorly

You have a team of talented writers, a great social media promotion strategy, and a lot of interesting topics to cover. Despite all of these resources, your content marketing efforts are not meeting your own expectations, and the executive team at your organization is starting to question whether an investment into a content marketing strategy is worth it.

Many publishers new to the field of content marketing make the mistake of funnelling all the resources in the direction they think is best, without listening to the needs and interests of their audience. If you don’t have a target audience in mind, then you risk inconsistent performance for your content, and a questionable ROI for the entire strategy.

How a social media content calendar can fix this:
The best way to see what kind of content to plan for the future is to perform routine checks on what kind of content is well-liked by your audience, and make regular adjustments based on these insights. Set up regular check-up times to record the important metrics on your content. Platforms such as Google Analytics help you track the vital numbers for your content’s performance. Some important numbers to take note of are unique pageviews, number of clicks, and referral source. This data will help you figure out which ones of your posts get the most readers, which ones are good for generating leads, and what social channel is referring the majority of your readers. Use this information to adjust your publishing schedule, as well as the type of content you post and the social media platform you use to promote this content.

2. Missing important dates

You’ve probably experienced this: you go about your day, only to realize halfway through the afternoon that you forgot a good friend’s birthday, only because you saw the reminder on Facebook. It feels bad to have forgotten it on your own, but it would feel a lot worse to miss the birthday altogether. Organizing all your content in one place is a safeguard, like Facebook reminders—it exists to ensure you don’t miss crafting content relevant for holidays important to your industry, product releases, or campaign launch dates.

How a social media content calendar can fix this:
Populate your content calendar with all the dates important to your business. Set up reminders at a reasonable interval to put the date on your radar in advance, in order to adjust your writing and research time to the deadline. Add holidays that may affect your business, whether they mean low or high reader traffic—depending on the nature of your business, holidays can mean either ramping up efforts, or doing some housekeeping, such as repurposing old content.

 An example editorial calendar
An example editorial calendar

3. Overwhelming your content writers

If you run a small business, you want to make sure your resources are allocated in the most beneficial way for your brand. Hiring people dedicated to your social media channels may have been a smart cost-saving move, but their schedule doesn’t seem to have a consistent amount of work—it’s impossible to predict whether the day will be a slow or a hectic one. As a result, the quality of work they product is also inconsistent.

How a social media content calendar can fix this:
Use the content calendar as an assignment calendar for your copywriters. As soon as you know the topics you want to cover in your next few posts, start assigning them to writers based on their schedule, strengths and level of expertise. This will give them time to do in-depth research and think of an engaging way to frame the issue at hand, as well as ensure you have the most capable writer working on that piece of content. If you have more than one copywriter working on your content, plan your content calendar in a way that keeps everyone busy: if one writer isn’t working on a piece with an imminent deadline, focus their efforts on social media promotion or brainstorming ideas for the future.

On days when you anticipate no published content or a lower volume of content, keep a writer on the lookout for any previously published posts that can be updated, or any extra social media efforts (as determined by your weekly analysis from #1).

4. Spamming one social media network and neglecting another

Once you figured out your publishing schedule, you settled into a comfortable routine: plan, write, publish, and promote. But even after all the research into the topics and audience insights, your content is still not reaching the desired audience. Your promotion schedule for your social media content has made it too easy for your audience to dismiss your content on one channel, and it doesn’t have the visibility it needs to attract readers on another channel.

How a social media content calendar can fix this:
For each piece of content planned in your calendar, assign the social media channels you want to use to promote it. Add social media network icons underneath the content title and author name. If you see that one icon comes up too much, and another has not shown up in a while, it may be a sign that you need to rethink your social media promotion strategy.

Ensure that your social referral source metric during your weekly analytics check dictates the social channels you use. You want to promote content on the network frequented by your target audience, but you also don’t want to give up a network that refers the most readers.

5. Not doing your research

You have a brilliant post planned, but when you or your copywriter sits down to create it, you realize that it requires a lot more knowledge on the subject than what you have at your disposal. The deadline is looming, the bosses are angry, and you struggle to produce what you know is a mediocre piece of content. All of this can be prevented by doing background research before setting the due date, but you can’t do that unless you have all your content planned out ahead.

How a social media content calendar can fix this:
If you have the publish date set and the writer assigned in advance, this allows the copywriter to evaluate their expertise on the subject matter. If there is more research to be done, or another writer is better suited to support on the task, a content calendar allows your brand to do this without disrupting the deadlines.

Streamline your publishing process and boost your content marketing strategy by using Hootsuite to schedule your posts. Try it free today.

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