Coming up with new content to share every day can be a challenge sometimes. What if you just had a calendar to look at to quickly automate your social media for the whole week in just a few minutes? It is possible, but your campaigns must be organized in advance.
Let's say your brand has something new coming out soon or it's just that time of year again for something you already sell. Either way, you can center your efforts around this topic with content generation, plus that which you share from others.
To begin your content calendar, you're going to need a few lists and some tools.
- Social Media Automation. This could be through Hubspot or Hootsuite, but whatever you're already using will do as long as you can schedule your content ahead of time.
- Campaign Topics. What are some key things you want your followers to see, read or share?
- Content. Who are your greatest influencers? Is there a brand or company that you often share content from that you trust? Make a list of who you want to grab online content from so when you begin to add to your calendar, you can search through their content. Why share content from others?
- Where will it go? What social media accounts does your business use? If you are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any other social media accounts you will want to make note that you need content for them all.
- Get a Snip.ly account. Why? Because even though you are sharing content from others, you'll want to also drive them back to your website at the same time.
- Find a template online. Content calendars don't have to be complex. In fact, I use this one from Hubspot and I find that it's easy to color code the content and it's perfect if you're a Microsoft Excel whiz.
- Timing. What time of day are your followers interacting with your social media content? For Facebook, adding 2-3 posts per day is about the average for businesses. Twitter, however, requires more scheduling.
- Budget. If you're going to be putting out some good content that you hope will bring you more leads you may want to "boost" your efforts or create some ads. Decide how much money you have for the campaign and be prepared to distribute it on different social media accounts.
What To Put In Your Calendar
As you can see, I color-code my content. Everything pink could be Instagram, Facebook could be blue, Twitter green, etc. However you want to code it is up to you. Also, depending on how many times you're going to be posting to each social media account, the number of rows or squares you'll need for each day will be determined by what goes on at what time. Place the content in the order you're going to want your followers to see it. Don't make it too complex.
Remember to use your snip.ly account to get visitors back to your website when they are looking at content that you didn't create. Use the snip wisely though, because you will want the content bringing them back to your website to be relative to what they are looking at currently. The text should be eye-catching to get them to click too. It is ok to create the snip immediately upon placing the link in your content calendar. When you go to automate your content to post to social media, the link will be ready for you to use.
Within each square in your calendar, you'll want to include the title of the content, the link, and any dollar amount you want to use towards boosting or advertising. Then, color-code that box to where your content will go. There are good reasons for adding dollars to your posts, but mostly for the placement factor in news feeds and twitter walls.
I like to keep track of the amount of followers also on the calendar. It's good to have goals for gaining "likes" and followers to get more exposure for your brand. Your calendar is customized especially for you and your goals.
Social media doesn't have to ovewhelm you. As long as you get organized, it can be easily managed. It just takes a couple of days (depending on your availability) to create a list of your content, plan it in your calendar, and schedule it ahead of time. Best practices are to schedule your content 3 months in advance. If you can't do this, try to at least stay ahead by one month.
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