One question that plagues every social media manager is “What should we post next?” An editorial calendar is a tool you can add to your social media toolbox that will save you and your team time and frustration.
Just as it sounds, an editorial calendar is a lineup–by week, month, quarter, year, whichever you prefer–of topics you want to cover with posts on your social media platforms. There are some things you can add to the calendar without even thinking about them; holidays, for example, are pre-set. If you know your company always has a summer party July 4th weekend and a holiday party mid December, you can pencil those in, too.
Then, it takes a bit more effort. It’s important to consider your company’s goals for the upcoming period of time. Are you launching a new product or service? Is the main goal hiring more employees? Do you like to tie current news to your posts?
An editorial calendar is an important part of the content strategy process. By determining which topics you want to post about in advance (think quarterly or a six-month calendar), you can coordinate the content strategies for all your platforms. You can post blogs, for example, that match up with the topics you are posting about.
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An editorial calendar is pre-planned, so you know what the focus of your content should be for a month, a quarter and even a year. Many companies set up an annual editorial calendar and fill it in with the known dates worthy of a post. Holidays are a great example. You know you will want to always wish people a “happy” whatever.
Your calendar should also include the best times for your content to be published. This step requires some knowledge about your target audience, too. For example, if your business wants to attract young working professionals, your content might not do well when it is published at 8:30 a.m. People are commuting at this time or already in their first meeting of the day. This audience may respond better to a post during lunch hours because they are available to check their social media.
It’s not unusual to start off with general categories on your editorial calendar and add in specifics as you come up with them. For example, you can decide you are posting three times a week to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Make note of which days of the week you will be posting on each platform.
Don’t get overwhelmed! You can plan topics as far out as you wish; or plan for the week or month ahead. The idea is to use the calendar to make your life easier. It’s a road map to help you keep on track.
Having a calendar doesn’t mean sitting down and writing everything in advance. No one has time to create 20-30 posts at a sitting. But, with a calendar to guide you, you won’t usually have to create content on the fly.
It’s a good idea to remember that having a calendar doesn’t mean “never” having to bang out some content at the last minute. Things change and you may have a comment or new focus at some point in the future. Be flexible!
However, since keeping your social media platforms current requires you to be organized, an editorial or content calendar can help you by detailing what and when you will post–and when you will be posting it. Furthermore, when you and your team sit down to brainstorm topics for the calendar your creative energy will trigger each other to continually come up with better ideas.
More Reasons to Create a Social Media Editorial Calendar – And to Stick with It!
1. Editorial calendars can help you with consistency. Social media posting should be a regularly scheduled thing. You want to be constantly touching your readers to stay in the conversation and keep your company top of mind for clients and prospects.
2. Editorial calendars help you keep the conversation flowing. Posting consistently will increase engagement with your audience, provide you with feedback and give you valuable insight into your audience preferences. You can apply these insights to future content and create a valuable asset to your business.
3. Editorial calendars help you save time! Keeping a calendar will save you from scrambling at the last minute to get a post published. Once you have your strategy, you can establish the type of content that will help you meet your goals on all platforms and your blog.
Don’t let creating content stress you out. Manage your content as well as your time by using an editorial calendar. Or you can take a completely stress-free approach. Talk to Harmonia Media about managing your social media content. We will help deliver fresh and engaging content to your audience so you have more time to focus on your business.