Supercharge Your Social Media Strategy – A Calendar is Key

To say that a social media strategy plays a huge role in your organization’s presence is an understatement. Long gone are the days when the phone book was the go-to resource for potential customers and career fairs were the first place applicants might go to find a job. Even posting job opportunities on social media is antiquated, if that’s all you do. No, today, your social media presence must be carefully calculated and planned out as part of your overall digital marketing and SEO strategy. A social media calendar will help you do just that.

What is a Social Media Calendar?

In its most basic form, a social media calendar provides a way to plan and organize upcoming content to post across the social media platforms that are important to your audiences. Or, more simply, it’s a schedule of what you’ll post, where you’ll post and when you’ll post it. Typically, marketers manage that information in one of three ways:

  • Spreadsheets. Yes, the humble spreadsheet can offer a simple, effective way to organize content, resources and deadlines – especially if you use the collaborative editing capabilities built into Microsoft Office or GoogleSheets.
  • Printed Calendar. A printed calendar is just what it sounds like – a tangible calendar showing each day of the month, throughout the year, on which you write down what will be posted. It’s definitely old-school and will require careful attention to details to update amidst changes. But many people find that a tangible option helps them work more deliberately and better remember tasks. If you are collaborating with multiple stakeholders, however, this old-school method may not be ideal.
  • Social Media Apps/Scheduling Tools. Apps like Hootsuite and scheduling tools like CoSchedule come at a price, but they are highly efficient and effective, as they feature built-in automation that the other two options can’t provide.

Why You Need a Social Media Calendar

The saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” holds true for social media. And a social media calendar helps you avoid the unnecessary stress of scrambling at the last minute to come up with something to put in front of your online audience. More importantly, your social media calendar can be a game changer for your business, helping you achieve:

  • Strategic Alignment. Maintaining a calendar will help you plan and create your posts in accordance with your overall online marketing strategy (which should be aligned with your overall corporate strategy).
  • Message Consistency and Topic Diversity. Your social media calendar gives you a visual metric against which to measure your key messages. It enables you to make sure that you consistently communicate the most important things your audiences need to know. And, it enables you to stay on-message, focusing on what is most important to your audiences.
  • Consistent Presence. Developing and sticking to a consistent posting cadence is crucial when it comes to social media. Your strategy should focus on building a relationship with your audience, and as in any relationship, consistency matters. If you normally post five times a week on Facebook, and then go a few weeks without posting anything, you can lose attention – and credibility.

We’ll share more details on what goes into creating a social media calendar, including our own template, in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

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