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One of the easiest ways to boost your social media game is by creating a social media calendar that helps you plan out, organize and optimize upcoming social media posts. That’s especially the case if your business or organization has a growing presence on several different social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) at the same time. But how exactly do you get started, and what are the key steps in creating a social media calendar that works for you?
Step 1: Get a good read on your existing resources
If you were to hire a social media agency, this is always the first step in any engagement – doing a thorough review and audit of what you have, what you don’t have, and what types of resources you have for managing it. So spend at least a day carefully drawing up a list of existing social media platforms, pulling together all of your account passwords, and figuring out how much time you are spending on social media each week. That will give you a firm baseline for knowing how much you can ramp up your activity without hiring new employees or coming up with completely new workflows.
Step 2: Decide which social media channels are core for your business
For most small businesses, Facebook will be the core social media platform, and the one that they absolutely, positively cannot skimp on going forward. But it’s also possible that you have a multitude of other social media platforms where you create content. You might, for example, have a Twitter account that sends out marketing promotions on a regular basis, or a YouTube video channel where you collect user testimonials or product reviews. And it’s also possible that you might have a LinkedIn account, a Pinterest account, and a TikTok account. But guess what? If you’re simply repurposing content for these additional social media channels, and not creating original, bespoke content for them, then they are not core for your business.
Step 3: Develop a content library and overall social media guidelines
This, too, is a best practice from social media agencies. They will often talk about your “brand voice” when crafting new posts. And they will ask you for overall social media guidelines that outline, in at least some detail, who can create posts, which posts need legal or supervisory oversight, and even how your business will respond in the event of a PR crisis on social media. Within a content library, you can include logos, as well as stock photos of your team or business. All of this will make your job a lot simpler once you start to craft new social media posts.
Step 4: Create a weekly workflow that makes sense for you
While it can seem fun and exciting to craft new social media posts whenever the inspiration arises, it also means that your social media platforms can go dark whenever your business gets too busy. That’s not a good thing, since the key to a successful social media presence is content on a regular schedule. It might seem mundane, but even agreeing on something as simple as “we’ll send out one Instagram post every Friday before the weekend” can go a long way towards building a loyal, engaged social media base.
Step 5: Experiment with different social media dashboard tools
Finally, think about experimenting with different social media dashboard tools. Using a tool like HootSuite, for example, you can schedule posts in advance, see who’s responding to your posts on social media, and track how well each post is performing – all in near real-time. This makes your job of managing your social media presence a lot easier. You’re not scrambling around; instead, everything is in one, convenient place.
That’s it – with just these 5 simple steps, you will be well on your way to creating a social media calendar that works for you. You’ll be able to plan ahead, track how well you’re doing on social media, and avoid any huge mix-ups or gaffes (i.e. your new intern won’t be sending out an embarrassing social media post at 2 am in the morning…). You’ll also free up a lot more time for engaging with fans and customers, not just running around, trying to create content that you think will appeal to them. All of that will make your overall social media marketing a lot more streamlined and efficient.