Need to create a content calendar to organize your social media marketing strategy?
We’ve got you covered.
In today’s article, we’re walking you through how to set up your social media content calendar, step-by-step.
Ready to see how it’s done?
Let’s get started.
1. Get clear on your content goals
Content planning can’t begin until you understand what your objective is and how you’re going to get there.
So, consider your business goals and how you plan on using social media marketing to help you accomplish them.
For instance, maybe you’re looking to …
- Raise brand awareness
- Turn qualified social media leads into customers
- Get more eyes on your product launches
- Build a loyal social media following
Getting clear on your “why” is key to understanding the type of content assets you need to produce to align with your target customers.
Two simple, but crucial questions to consider are:
“What do I want my audience to know and why should they care?”
“What problems can I help my audience solve better than anyone else?”
You’ll also need to decide which social media platforms you’re going to use and why they’re a good fit for your brand.
For instance, are you passionate about adding a YouTube channel to the mix because you’re eager about taking advantage of the channel’s 2.5 billion users?
Are you interested in growing a presence on LinkedIn to build relationships with B2B brands?
Carve out time to finalize your targeted channels, types of content, and content goals.
2. Firm up your social media marketing schedule
Work with your marketing team to plan your content schedule according to when your audience is online most often.
If you serve a global audience, this will obviously vary. But if you target an audience living in a specific region, conduct research to uncover which days and times they’re usually online.
You’ll also need to decide which team member is responsible for what.
For instance, you’ll need someone to produce your copy, someone to create your visuals, and someone to upload your content batches into your content planner tool.
We also recommend creating an approval process for one of your marketing directors to oversee. This doesn’t have to be super complicated. In fact, most content planners have a button you can click or slide to quickly approve each post.
If a change needs to be made, your director can simply add a comment specifying their request. Or, make the change themselves.
RELATED: How To Use A Social Media Planner
Pro-Tip: If you’re planning a robust content initiative, you may need to ask team members to work in pairs or groups in order to meet your publishing deadlines.
3. Choose content themes and content formats with your audience in mind
Plan relevant content focused on your audience and business goals.
For instance, let’s imagine you’re a travel agent targeting digital nomads on a budget. Your goal is to raise awareness about your nomadic travel packages and position yourself as a trustworthy travel expert.
After careful thought and research, you decide your content goals are teaching your audience how to become digital nomads and sharing budget travel secrets.
With that in mind, the themes and formats you decide on include:
- Budget travel advice
- Budget travel steals and deals
- Motivational quotes about travel-confidence
- Digital nomad job industry trends and news
- Digital nomad job market insights
- Digital nomad resume building and interview planning tips
- Current digital nomad job postings list
- Digital nomad career-building secrets and shortcuts
- Evergreen content, i.e., timeless travel advice
- Inspirational quotes
- Tips and tricks
- Timely content (for instance, recent travel news, events, and trends)
4. Choose your visual themes
Now that you know what you’re going to write about, decide which visual themes you’ll be using to support your copy.
For instance, if we piggyback on the travel agent example from above, you might choose:
- Infographics that display current digital nomad job market insights
- Photos of real digital nomads (ideally your customers) traveling in airplanes, automobiles, busses, trains, etc.
- Videos or Reels of yourself on camera sharing your best travel budget tips and digital nomad career advice
- Travel quote images customized in Canva with your brand logo
- Carousel images that break down in-depth digital nomad trends, news, and career tips
- Real drone shots and videos of impeccable places around the world your digital nomad clients have traveled to
5. Plan your hashtags and CTAs
Conduct SEO research for each social media channel you plan on using. Use the insights you discover to plan hashtags based on search intent and relevant calls to action (CTAs).
(Image Provided by Ioana)
However, when finalizing your CTAs, don’t rely solely on SEO — be sure to circle back to your business goals, too.
For instance, if you’re looking to raise awareness about your nomadic travel packages and position yourself as a trustworthy travel expert, then you might include CTAs that invite your audience to book a package, download a guide, join your newsletter, or schedule a free informational call with you.
Here are some examples of CTAs you might use in this case:
- “Want to live the digital nomad life? I’ll tell you everything I know. Book a free call with me, today.”
- “Curious how to nomad on a budget? I got you covered. Download my free Digital Nomad On A Budget eBook — link in bio!”
- “Can’t stop dreaming about Chelsea’s digital nomad experience in Brazil? Don’t be jealous! Be a copycat! Book your own package at the link in my bio!”
- “Love our travel and digital nomad tips? Sign up for super secret deals and tips. Newsletter link in bio!”
6. Batch your captions and visuals
If you want to create consistent, high-quality content for your target audience, then you need to build a strategic content workflow.
Our best advice? Treat content production like an assembly line by bulk creating or “batching” your captions and visuals.
To do this as efficiently as possible, create a theme map your team can follow and rotate through. Refer to the themes and CTAs you created earlier as well as the schedule you planned to create your map.
Here’s an example:
- Mondays at 11am Central Standard Time: Infographic, current digital nomad job market insights, join our newsletter CTA.
- Tuesdays at 10am Central Standard Time: Video, best travel budget tips, book a travel package CTA.
- Wednesdays at 10am Central Standard Time: Carousel image, digital nomad trends/news/career tips, download our eBook CTA.
- Thursdays at 10am Central Standard Time: Real drone photo or video, real digital nomad travel experiences, book a free call CTA.
Then, give your content production team a deadline to stick to and access to any tools they may need.
And speaking of tools …
7. Use a social media marketing tool to schedule your social media posts
Have your team use a social media management tool, like Agorapulse, to seamlessly plan, organize, and schedule posts on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google My Business, and/or TikTok.
If you need a tool that connects to Pinterest, check out Tailwind.
Once you’ve chosen your scheduling tool, ask the appropriate team members to schedule your upcoming posts according to the publishing timeline you created earlier.
Here’s our advice:
Have your team members pull up blank posts and enter all planned dates and times until the entire calendar is scheduled. For instance, if you need them to batch 90 days worth of content, they should have a total of 90 blank scheduled posts.
(Image Provided By Ioana)
They can also paste the theme map into the comments or caption sections to act as placeholders, as shown in the image above.
Next, have your team members paste and upload the batched captions and visuals into the blank scheduled posts — along with corresponding hashtags and CTAs.
At this point, each post inside of the social media management tool should have:
- A scheduled date and time
- A caption
- A visual asset
- Relevant hashtags
- A CTA
Instruct your team to wrap each of these up with a comment that says “ready for approval”.
Then, have your marketing director or assigned approver comb through each post to make sure it’s on-brand and hits the target goal. Ask them to approve posts that are ready to go and leave constructive feedback on posts that need edits.
After all of the posts have been approved, ensure there are no glitches in your posting sequence. Then, sit back and watch your scheduling tool take it from there.
Pro-Tip: Allocate specific team members to keep an eye on the software in case one of your social media profiles disconnects or you run into another technical snag. Staying on top of this is crucial to preventing a disruption in your posting schedule.
And there you go! Today we created a content calendar for your social media marketing strategy from start to finish.
Now it’s your turn to put these insights into action. Gather up your marketing team, firm up your posting plan, content strategy, and produce your social posts! Then, schedule your batches, upload your captions and visuals, wait for approval, and voilà! You’re all done.
Rinse and repeat this process when it’s time to produce your next social media content batch.
Are you ready to take the stress out of social media content planning? We hope today’s guide has given you the breath of fresh air you needed.
PS: Craving more tips on social media marketing? Check out our in-depth library of social media articles.
Here’s to your success!