Having a certain schedule for updating your website or social networks helps grow internet businesses greatly. This is a very important thing. The thing that helps you a lot in this regard is the social media Content Calendar! By using such a tool, you can easily schedule a specific timeframe and know from a few days or even months in advance what content is going to be shared on your social pages. In general, a content calendar can be considered as part of an internet business strategy! If you’re ready to learn, please follow along as we fully explain a content calendar for social networks.
What is a social networks calendar?
A content calendar for social networks is a simple calendar that includes the details for all the content you must share on your social networks. In this calendar, you can specify when Posts will be shared as well as who produces the content! If we want to look at the content calendar in a simple way, we have to say that the content calendar is a kind of road map for your social pages on social networks, and in it, things that need to be done in the future are added. There are various tools you can use in this regard that will cost you some money! You can easily create and edit a social media content calendar and generate your social network page content based on it using a Word or Excel file.
What does a social networks content calendar include?
There are different sections on a social media content calendar that you can use to generate Instagram page content or content for other social media network pages! Some of these sections are:
What is the subject or title of the content?
To generate excellent content on social networks, you first need to determine the subject. Content can be tailored according to the latest trends in social media; you can also find the most popular content and generate similar content by analyzing your Instagram page. So the first step towards producing professional content is finding a subject or content title!
Who will generate the intended content?
In a business, several people may be in charge of producing content. You have to clearly determine who will produce which content! Simply create a row in your content calendar and include the name of the person who is in charge of generating that content.
When must the intended content be shared?
One of the most important matters in generating content is sharing and publishing it! You must know exactly when the content is to be published. This specific time can be based on the time when most users are active on your profile page; this is because users will interact better with your page and thus, this will have a huge impact on the growth of your page.
On which channels or social networks is the content to be shared on?
You must know that content distribution is actually more important than its production! You need to know exactly on which channels you ought to share your content, for instance, if you are active both on Instagram and Twitter at the same time, you need to know on which social network is the generated content to be shared on.
What is the format of your content?
Before you can generate content, you must specify its format in the content calendar! For instance, you might intend on producing a video or a photo. Mark a place in your content calendar for content format to know what format each content should be generated in.
Specify the category of each content!
There may be dozens of topics in the content section of social networks, and you need to define your preferred categories to generate content. After defining the categories, you need to place your content in the appropriate section so that your mindset is fully focused on it.
Who is your target audience?
To generate content, you need to know who your content audience is! This means that you must clearly know who is going to use your content? Know the characteristics of your audience so you can create content that is relevant to their features.
Other things can be included in the content calendar too; for instance, you can write goals for content generation. If your social media content calendar is for Instagram, you can write down the target number of Likes and Comments over a specific period of time and then compare them with your goals. We’re now going to take a look at what helps to have a professional content calendar:
1. Determine your monthly goals!
The most important factor in having a proper content calendar is having a goal. Unless you know exactly what you expect from generating content, you won’t be able to determine the success rate of your Instagram page or other social networks! By having a goal, you can track how successful your content is. If the assessments indicate the success of the content, you can continue in the current trend, but if the content performance differs greatly from your goals, you should make changes in your social media content calendar.
If you use social media, especially Instagram to market your internet business online, your goal must be to increase the number of customers for your business and direct users to your website! So you need to direct users from social networks to your website in such a way that you can measure the click and conversion rates. You need to have short-term goals in way of achieving your long-term goals! In fact, you should have short-term goals that can help you achieve your long-term goals. The most important factor for success in achieving short-term goals is having a content calendar that includes full details. This means, you must know what goals you should reach in which period of time! For instance, if your goal is to get 500 real followers on your newly created Instagram page within a month, you need to specify the exact timing and type of your content so you can reach your long-term goal in the next month, which would be to acquire 500 purposeful followers.
Generally speaking, short-term goals may include the following:
- A) Content: One of the most important goals you can set for a short period of time is determining what content to share. To say it in simple words, you can determine to generate a certain amount of content over a given period of time. For instance, you can say that in a month, you must generate 1 content each day that sums up to 30 valuable contents on your Instagram page or other social networks at the end of the month. You can easily achieve this by setting the time for publishing each content in your social media content calendar.
- B) Targeted Follower: The goal of some pages for generating content and having a social media content calendar is to acquire targeted followers. A targeted follower is one that has the potential of becoming a customer and making a purchase! For instance, you can specify that you will acquire 1000 followers in a certain period of time in order to be able to begin marketing your business products or services.
- C) Views: Another short-term goal you can set is to increase the number of views or interactions that a Post receives to a certain number! For instance, you can set your goals in your content calendar in such a way that you will reach your desired number of 1000 Likes for Posts within a month. Of course, for businesses that have products or services to sell, acquiring user Likes is not enough and they should be able to increase user-to-customer conversion rate; but overall, this can still be useful for starting an Instagram page! Because the more users can interact with you, the more likely it is for them to become customers.
- D) User subscription: For some businesses, user interaction is not enough and users are required to subscribe to certain thing such as the newsletter of a website. This can also be put in the short-term goals section; the reason behind the tact of these businesses is that they can always keep in touch with users using email newsletters, but when using Instagram, users may not see our Posts. This depends entirely on the type of business you own, but if content is generated correctly, you will be seen by users in every field of work or activity and there is no need to worry.
- E) Selling a product or a service: Another short-term (or even long-term!) goal of a business can be to sell a product or service. If your page has been active for a long time, you can set goals – such as the amount and rate of sales for products and services – for your page. For instance, your goal can be to acquire 100 customers from 1 Post in a 1-week period of time! You must however bear in mind that this goal may not be achievable for small and newly established pages, but for a page with a lot of followers, it can be a great and important goal.
Bearing in mind the above mentioned tips, you can easily determine your goals for generating content and put them in your social media content calendar. You must know that without a goal, you can never assess and measure the performance of your Instagram content; because you will not have a basis or scale with which to measure the success rate of your content calendar!
2. Deciding to share content on social networks
The goal of creating a social media content calendar is to have a roadmap for generating content! Because if you don’t know what you are aiming to achieve or what content you are going to generate, you have to look for new ideas on a daily basis and thus, you will not be able to share a variety content with users. The first step in creating a social media content calendar is to create a list of the topics you want to generate content for. If your goal is to increase the sales of your business, you will need to generate content that encourages customers to make purchases from your website.
Consider the categories below:
- Weblog Posts; such as educational Posts in your field of business
- Quotes and motivational talks; such as the words of well-know people
- Advertising and promoting your business products or services
- Holidays and historical occasions
- Content generated by users
- Informing users about business related events, conferences and news
The 6 categories above are a type of content generation category that can be placed under the content calendar section! You can easily create organized Posts categorizing social media in a content calendar. The most important advantage of categorizing content generation calendars is that you are generating various content types! For instance, in the above list of categories, users will both read your business news and see the advertisements for your products or services. This means that users will both read valuable content and benefit from your products or services too. So it’s very important to know your content categorization and generate content for all of these categories.
However, you must bear in mind that that your categories may be different! For instance, a bodybuilding club could include the following categories in its social media content calendar:
- Challenges for bodybuilding
- Training videos of athletes
- Gyms sports clinics
- Instructions or an exercise program
- Nutrition required for athletes
However, you should see what categories in your field of activity can help you and put those categories in your content calendar. Some pages on social networks are public and some are private and according to this, the categories might be wider or more limited depending on their type.
Now that you have categorized your content, you can put it in the content calendar according to its importance, the number of content generated, and its format! For instance, you can include a monthly number of 10 contents for your important categories and 5 for other categories. Bear in mind that you mustn’t advertise or promote your products or services too much, because if users feel as though your content is all about advertising, they won’t pay much attention to it. So I suggest generating content that you feel is more valuable to users and advertise your products or services in a very limited way.
Please notice the following social media content calendar created with the Microsoft Office Excel software:
This content calendar is very simple and yet very valuable! Because it provides the business that wants to generate content for their Instagram with useful. 3 themes have been created in this calendar:
- The Red theme, for generating useful posts
- The Yellow theme, to advertise, introduce and promote products to users
- The Blue Theme, for free services provided to users
You can also create such themes in your content calendar and provide valuable content to users. Also, if you look closely at the social media content calendar displayed above, you will notice that the details of each content is available to users. This information includes the title and description of the content, the relevant link, the image, the note and the process that users must act upon! All of these details are important, but more important are such details as the date the content was released, its format, and most important of all, your purpose for producing such content.
A Note! You can use Social Media Management Tools to manage your Posts on different social networks and share them at a specific time. Because you may miss a scheduled time or you might get so busy that you wouldn’t be able to find the time to share a Post on your Instagram page. By using these tools, you can give all the necessary information about your Post to these tools and it will be shared on your social networks at the time you have chosen.
A Suggestion! Specify and determine the content you want to share in an organized content calendar before each month starts. In fact, you need to have your content calendar set up before the next month begins so you can start generating your content based on your social media content calendar with the start of the new month.
3. Creating a content calendar using different tools
You can use different tools to create your social media content calendar! Some of these tools are available offline and some others are online. It is interesting to know that you can create your own content calendar even with a piece of paper and a pen, but I suggest using digital tools. The simplest tool for creating a content calendar is the Microsoft Office Excel software! With this tool, you can create custom content calendar tables and insert details. Google also has a tool called Google Sheets that lets you easily share your content calendar online with your colleagues. To use this service, just log in to Google Drive and click on Google Sheets via the New tab:
Clicking on this tab opens a new page on which you can select or customize the template for your content calendar. In this section, you can choose a name for your rows using the Merge Cells tool so that you easily enter your content calendar information:
Finally, you can share this file with your colleagues and other content producers in your business.
A Note! There are many other tools which you may find are more compatible and convenient with users! For instance, the Trello tool is a great tool for creating content calendars that provides you with many useful features.
4. Add the content you desire to the content calendar of your social networks!
It is now the right time to add your content to the content calendar which you created in the previous step! In fact, this is the most important step of creating a content calendar. This step requires research and testing to know what content users like most and what content has the most impact on users. If your page is a newly established one, you can get help from your competitors’ pages and incorporate the most interactive content possible into your social media content calendar.
At this point, you need to enter all the details of the content; for instance, you may want to share it on your website as well as sending it to your users using email marketing. Content distribution networks, along with the date of publication must be fully mentioned in the content calendar so that you can get the most out of your content calendar.
A Note! If you often share a large amount of content on a monthly basis and are active on different social networks, I recommend creating multiple content calendars or segmenting a single content calendar. This will help you manage and increase the conversion rate of your pages more easily! Of course, if the workload will be high, and you might want to hire a few content producers to generate content for your social networks, so you can create separate content calendars for each of your social networks and provide relevant information for each of the content producers.
5. It is now time to research, generate and share the Posts scheduled in your content calendar!
Now that you’ve created your social media content calendar, it’s time to generate Posts. You can use different tools to design images for your social network Posts. In this section, we are going to discuss some of these tools:
Graphic files’ library and automatic sharing of content on social networks using the PromoRepublic tool
One of the most practical and useful tools for designing social networking Posts is the PromoRepublic tool. This website provides you with thousands of intuitive Post generation templates that you can use to share any type of Post on your social networks, such as Instagram. It’s interesting to know that all the designs and templates have been designed by internet designers and marketers and are completely standard. After selecting any of these designs, you can customize or colorize the image or add text to it online with the help of the website’s editor tool.
One of the great features of this tool that sets it apart from dozens of other websites is its ability to share Posts automatically on social networks at specific times! For instance, you can design your own Post, and after linking your Instagram page, give the Post information to share it on your page at a specific time. This website supports social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Of course, this tool is not free, but you can benefit from its great features and link 5 different social network pages to it by paying only 5 dollars a month.
Graphic design using RelayThat
Another one of the great graphic design tools is the RelayThat website. By using this website, you can use the graphic files produced by designers to generate great graphics at high speed. With this tool, you can quickly choose the size of your image, set its background and paste your desired text onto it.
Then you can share it on your social network pages based on your content calendar.
Manage your content production team with Trello!
In the previous sections, we have introduced the Trello website in general, but we will review its details in this section! Trello is one of the most useful and professional online tools that you can use to manage and organize your content production team. Its difference with Google’s services, such as Google Docs, is that it offers a more user-friendly and graphical interface. You can also specify when employees must share a content and they will be notified a day before. You can also create categories and customize each category with your own color in this tool! If you use the free version, you can only attach to a limited file size and if you need more space, you can take benefit of the website’s business accounts.
Another advantage of this tool is that is provides mobile apps! You can install this website’s Android and iOS apps and manage your content team using your cell phone. There are hundreds of other free features and I suggest that you use this website at least once. Because you can easily share whatever you want with your team wherever you are in the world, and everything you need will be accessible through it.
Schedule sharing content on social media using the SmarterQueue tool
You’ve probably noticed up to this part of the article that the exact time a certain content is share is one of the most important parts of a content calendar on social media. But people’s working times are sometimes so limited that they don’t have the opportunity to share Posts on a regular basis, so they either have to hire a new employee or use the tools available. Hiring a new employee requires funding, but using these tools is usually free of charge or requires a very low budget.
SmarterQueue is one of the tools that helps you schedule content for your social networks. By using this tool, you can set your content information and specify the time it is shared! This tool automatically shares your content to the target social network at the pre-specified time.
6. Keeping track of the publication of Posts at their specified times
Part of your content calendar is dedicated to when a Post is to be shared! So you need to keep track of Posts at the specified time. Sometimes the tools malfunction and they don’t share your Post at the intended time; of course this seldom happens, and sometimes you have not chosen the exact time of sharing the Post correctly, so your Post will not be shared at the intended time. So I suggest checking out your page on social networks at the pre-set times to make sure they have been shared.
To ensure this, just add a column to your content calendar, and after each content has been shared, put a tick in front of the relevant Post column. Also, if you are using a tool like Trello, just specify the release date and tick it after it’s done:
The image above shows the timing of the release of the content in Trello and it means the release of the content has been done at the pre-specified time.
Having a social media content calendar is very important for businesses that care about their business future and are seeking to expand their social networks. In order to have a successful content calendar, you need to have good information about your business. It is true that startups and newly established businesses don’t have the required analytics data and can’t have a successful content calendar; but don’t worry! Although your competitors make your job more difficult, they can also help you out at times. For instance, when creating content calendars, you can visit social pages or competitors’ websites to find out what their favorite Posts are. Your target audience and the target audience of your rivals are pretty much the same! So if the targeted users Like a Post on your competitor’s page, they will most likely Like the same kind of Post on your page and will interact well with it.
Finally, you must: analyze your content calendar based on your goals! You have to see how successful you have been in achieving your goals. Keep in mind that having a content calendar or engaging in any kind of activity you do on your social networks will not be useful without a purpose! In this article, we have discussed the two sets of short-term and long-term goals together with examples that we hope you will find useful.
In this article, we covered a complete overview of a social media Content Calendar so you can easily create one if you intend on organizing your business content. I also recommend creating your own calendar using digital tools such as the Trello website so that you can share content calendar information with your colleagues anytime you want. The most important thing on the content calendar is WHEN Posts are shared! The advantage of using digital and online tools over other tools such as the Microsoft Office Excel software is that they can remind you before the due date for publishing Posts, so if you have forgotten to design and generate the required content for that Post, you can get to work before the specified time arrives.
Now you tell us! If you are using social media for marketing purposes or even promoting your business, what advantages do you think a Content Calendar has to offer and what features should it include? Please share your experiences with us and other users in the Comments section so we can make this article even more complete.