SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR TEMPLATE 201729 of December 2016
Our social media calendar is optimized for 2017, but you can add or remove months easily for future use, or if you begin using this template later in the year.
A social media calendar is the perfect way to keep your post content organized. No longer will you waste time scrambling around looking for an image to post at the last minute. The calendar can become the hub for all your images, text, links and hashtags.
There are tons of reasons why having a social media calendar is important for your business. First off, if you’re sharing the responsibility of posting social media it’s an easy way to record what has been posted and when, so you don’t repost content unnecessarily. When content has been scheduled or posted, you can easily change the status of that particular social media platform, by using the colour coded tabs, so that fellow colleagues or freelancers know it’s already planned. If you’re working as part of a team, it’s also a good way to have your colleagues proofread content or check images before they are scheduled.
Once you reach a certain point in your business, you may want to outsource your social media creation and scheduling. The social media calendar can become the centre of all your content. You can input your social media content into your chosen days and times and then allow your freelancer to take the content and schedule it in your chosen social media managing platform. I have used Hootsuite for many years, as it allows me to access all my social media platforms in one place. I can schedule posts, make comments and message users from multiple dashboards so that I save time and prevent myself from being distracted by Buzzfeed articles (yes, we’ve all done it!)
Additionally, you can also view what content has been scheduled and a preview of what it will look like. Even if you trust your freelancer, it’s worth taking a routine glance over this section to make sure your content is how you want it to be, especially when you first start outsourcing. It’s funny how small things can make a huge difference, like starting a new paragraph for Facebook or Google+ or removing hashtags to prevent spammy content. These things are not necessarily easy to notice when you’re planning content, and only obvious when they’ve been scheduled.
We’re pretty big advocates of Google Drive, so all the images that need to be posted can be accessed by a link to a folder for that specific campaign. Although you can link to each individual image instead of a folder, this creates more work for you in the long run. Numbering your images or giving them a reference code based on the campaign can make choosing the correct image simpler for whoever will be scheduling or posting your content. This is especially handy if your freelancer is not familiar with your content. You would almost certainly want to use a numerical or code based system if you choose not to use Google Drive (or similar system) to make sure your images are matched up correctly to their content.
Before I created my social media schedule, I would get to work and realize I didn’t have anything to post that day, or that there was a special holiday that would make a great piece of content on social. Now, when I set up the calendar for the month or months ahead, I check the calendar for special days coming up and make sure I have an image and text created for that day. Of course, sometimes there may be an event or situation that happens unexpectedly, in which case you add them in when and if they are needed.
Having the social media calendar also creates a sense of accountability for your content creation. If it’s already scheduled in your calendar, then you have no reason not to post. It’s easy to become complacent with social media posts when it’s not prepared in advance. Having to create a post at the last minute may result in poor quality content which will affect your brand negatively.
Although it seems that to prepare your social media calendar will take a long time to arrange, it will ultimately save time in the long run, and reduce the time you previously spent making image and content every day. If you choose to outsource your social media scheduling, the social media calendar will clearly provide the freelancer with all the important details, such as posting time, links and hashtags.
You can add your planned social media posts for all your campaigns and create reference codes for each different campaign you’re currently running or intend to run in the future. You can go even further and create a key to colour coordinate your various campaigns. This is extremely handy if you’re working with affiliates or cross-promoting content. I’ll explain in more detail how to colour coordinate your campaigns in the SOP that accompanies the social media schedule template.
The social media calendar is also a good record of content that you have posted. Although many scheduling platforms provide basic analytics, you can use the calendar to reschedule posts that were particularly successful, or even turn them into evergreen content.
Download this Social Media Schedule Template SOP by going to the top of the page and filling in your details. Your template will be with you in seconds. Enjoy!