Crafting a Social Media Calendar: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Content

social media calendar

February 15, 2024

Every experienced marketer knows that the successful social media strategy can be boiled down to a well-organized creative chaos. As the world of digital marketing often requires managing content for multiple clients across multiple platforms, organisation tools are a godsend for every content creator or manager trying to stay on top of their game. In this post, we’re going to dive deeper into the realm of content planning by focusing on one such tool, essential to the success of any marketing strategy – the social media calendar.

What is a social media calendar?

A social media calendar is your window to the “big picture” of your upcoming posts – it allows you to map out, track and analyze the content you share across your preferred social media channels. Essentially, this tool is what you make it – its components and features should be tailored to your own marketing goals and resources, so it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all type of tool. However, to create an efficient content calendar, you first need to know:

  • In what ways can it enhance your social media strategy?
  • How can you achieve them?

Let’s begin with the first question.

Benefits of having a social media calendar

Maintaining a social media calendar holds numerous benefits other than saving you time and keeping you organised. We compiled some of them to give you a taste of what this tool can do for your business:

Improve posting consistency

To remain relevant in today’s overcrowded digital space, you must be consistent with your posting schedule. The “right” number and timing of social media posts essentially boils down to your marketing goals, available resource pool and audience engagement. Regularly analysing engagement patterns is the best way to pinpoint the most suitable posting frequency for your audience and a social media calendar is one of the best tools to help you maintain it.

Align content with important events

Keeping an eye out for current events and major holidays can be an effective shortcut to posting content that appears trendy and relevant to your viewers. As your social media calendar keeps your focus ahead, it will also enable you to nail the timing on your marketing campaigns.

Enhance collaboration

Having a detailed outlook on upcoming posts is beneficial not only to you, but to everyone on your marketing team. Maintaining a clear workflow and keeping everyone informed of what’s expected of them could be beneficial to preventing posting mistakes. You can also use content planning tools (for instance, Planable) to manage marketing campaigns that require client approval prior to publishing.

Identify partnership opportunities

Many social media influencers tend to have their own content calendars, which allows for comparing upcoming posts and identifying potential opportunities for collaboration to enhance user engagement. Social media calendars are also a useful tool when it comes to paid content ideating or advertising budget management.

While the list doesn’t stop here, perhaps one of the best features of content calendars is that they are entirely adaptable to your business goals and current stage of brand development. Whether you’re looking to establish a unique brand voice, stick to a more effective posting schedule or optimise your content coherence, having a strategic vision of your online presence is a must.

Key steps to building an effective social media calendar

Now that we have shed some light on the why’s, let’s move on to the how’s of crafting a social media calendar.

Analyze your current online presence

Knowing where to prioritize your available resources is essential for the success of any social media strategy. A good way to achieve that is to analyze your current digital performance. Which platforms have a higher audience engagement? What type of content do your followers enjoy most? When is your target audience most active?

If you’re completely new to the digital realm, you can always take a peek at what your competitors are doing. A useful tool for that is Semrush’s Social Tracker, which allows you to track other companies’ performance on various digital platforms and compare it with your own.

Identify suitable content type

Deciding on a mix of content that would perform well on your selected social media platforms is the next crucial step towards crafting an effective content calendar. Some significant factors to consider here include platform specifics and industry requirements. While the art of drawing audiences to your brand can hardly be reduced to a single strategy, you should always try to implement an informed approach with the type of content you share online.

Outline your content calendar components

Apart from media and copy for your posts, think about what other components would be relevant to you and your marketing team. For instance, your content calendar can include publishing dates, post topics, names of people in charge, relevant hashtags or other SEO-related details, etc. If applicable, you can leave some room for approval steps, too.

There’s no “right” way to build a social media calendar, as its effectiveness relies on details that are unique for your business (e.g. established brand voice, respective industry, business goals and so on). Still, if you’re looking for a place to start, there are some tools that you might find useful.

  • Notion: Notion is a great tool to help you stay on top of your marketing goals, especially if you’re looking for an option that is highly customizable and free to use. With this app, you can manage every aspect of your content strategy – from publishing schedules to blog drafts. You can explore all the platform has to offer and tailor your content calendar precisely to your own vision, or you can get inspired from the various Notion templates for content creators available online.
  • Hootsuite Planner: Designed to help users effortlessly map out marketing campaigns and track results, this tool is a great way to drive more traffic to your social media channels. With features like automated post captions or recommended times to publish your content, Hootsuite Planner is beginner-friendly and suitable for managing a strategy across multiple social media platforms.
  • Loomly: Loomly is an all-in-one tool that allows you to link your social media channels and schedules upcoming posts for you. The app offers post mockups, so you can see exactly what your content would look like when it’s live, provides optimization tips and post ideas, and measures your posts’ performance to help you identify successful practices.

Still need some help planning your content? Shoot us a message and let our creative experts reveal their geeky side by crafting you a posting strategy that will transform your business in no time.

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