Natalie Christen, Digital Strategist, Hosting Clues, shares some points to keep in mind when attempting to plan an ‘audience-focused’ social media content calendar.
Social media management and marketing is a time-consuming task, which is the reason why big businesses outsource it. For start-ups and small businesses, however, outsourcing or hiring a social media agency is not always a feasible option due to budget constraints. In such a case, one of the simplest ways to save time and be productive is by organizing or planning a social media content calendar.
From helping you post consistently to ensuring that your content is relevant, interesting, and engaging, a content calendar can help you attain your marketing objectives. Thus, below are a few tips on how to plan a social media content calendar.
Research and select relevant social channels
Based on your target audience, the first step for creating a social content calendar includes research about social media user demographics, which will help you choose relevant social channels.
- Is your target audience from the group of professionals?
- Or are they teenagers and young adults?
- Or are they from a particular location/country?
It is important to find answers for these. Or else you’ll be wasting time, money and effort posting on social channels that are not relevant. Thus, with a vast list of social networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc – narrowing down your choices will help you to create an audience-focussed content calendar that drives conversion.
Set social media goals
As a business or a brand, your social media goals can range from increasing followers to generating leads to increasing subscribers or sales etc. You can set monthly goals. However, it is important to set realistic goals that can be achieved over time. You can make use of Google Excel Sheets to map this out. This excel sheet can also help you to measure and track the performance of your social campaign at the end of each month.
Make use of different content types
When planning a content calendar, you need to ensure that the content you are posting includes a variety of content types, as static can be boring. From quotes to blog posts to videos, infographic and gifs, there is a lot of interesting content ideas that you can work on. You can also run a contest or have live streaming.
For example; here is a Facebook Live event that was hosted by Amul.
Amul has also recently re-purposed old ads on social media, which has proven a great tactic to boosts customer engagement. Apart from regular social posting, you can also leverage Facebook stories and Insta stories, as these appear right at the top and is a good option to announce events and to promote seasonal sales, discounts, etc.
Engaging images and videos are a must
On social media, one of the best ways to boost customer engagement is by using professional images. There is a lot of free image sites like Pixabay and Unsplash that offers high-quality images and videos for commercial use. You can use these for social posting. Also, ensure that the content is short and simple and use URL shorteners if you want to lead customers to a specific web page. Not to forget, make use of relevant hashtags to improve reach.
Set posting frequency and select time
Do you want to post once daily? or Thrice a week on alternate days? Based on your marketing objectives, you need to set your posting frequency. Here, one of the important things to remember is ‘quality matters more than quantity’. As such, consistent posting is much more important than posting frequency.
Likewise, based on research, the best time to post on different social networks differ. The timings would also change based on the location of your audience. Thus, it is important to get this right for higher conversions.
To sum up, these are some of the tips that can help you to plan your social media content calendar. Once you are done with the planning part, you can make use of social media management and publishing tools like Hootsuite that allows you to publish and track social posts across multiple social channels. You can also make use of free Google Chrome extensions for social media that can help you with your social media content and management.
This article piece is authored by Natalie Christen, Digital Strategist, Hosting Clues