Writing & Blogging

Why You Need a Social Media Content Calendar

Social media is a huge part of online presence, especially if you are a blogger or have an online business of some kind. Most people know this and have various accounts where they promote their business or blog, but you should do more with your networks than promoting your own work. I’ve been using a social media content calendar since October of last year, and today I’m going to talk about what it is and why you need one.

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Why You Need a Social Media Content Calendar

What It Is: It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a calendar for social media content, or rather a schedule of social media posts according to category and purpose. Most are created in Excel rather than an actual calendar.

It’s Purpose: They’re used to make the most of social media networks, and to help grow them. By scheduling posts throughout the day to share posts from a variety of topics, you can ensure that you don’t use your social media networks to post things that are only about getting traffic to your site. Social media is fun and all, but one of the main purposes for bloggers and online business owners to have social media accounts is to grow reach and gain followers to then drive traffic.

Why Bloggers Need One: You already know that you need social media networks to promote your posts or business. There are a couple reasons why this helps. One, people are more likely to follow you if your networks provide more than promotions. Two, if you share other people’s posts (something I’ll get to later), then they might follow you, and other people are more likely to follow because you share helpful and/or great things. Three, by scheduling posts ahead of time, you can worry less about growing your networks if you don’t have time to be on social media much. Of course, you should also post things on your accounts that show your personality and who you are, but that’s a topic for another day.

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Why You Need a Social Media Content Calendar

How To Do It: Since I’m not an expert on how to create the best social media calendar, I’ll leave that to the posts I refer to when I work on mine (Creating an Effect Social Media Calendar, Organizing an Effective Social Media Calendar, 11 Tips & Ideas for Filling Your Editorial Calendar). However, there are a couple of things that I can help with. Before you start creating any kind of calendar, you need to decide which networks you’re going to make your calendar for. For the rest, decide which you’re going to post regularly on but not have an organized schedule for and which you’ll automate without a calendar.

For example, my social media content calendar is for my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I post on Instagram 1-2 times a day, and I try to post things at times that will maximize exposure and engagement, but I don’t plan it ahead of time. I try to post on Snapchat and Instagram stories, but that’s even less organized since I just try to share my life on there. I run my Tumblr on queue, and that’s more because I enjoy Tumblr but just don’t have the time to be on there regularly. I do something similar with my Pinterest; I use Tailwind* to post pins at certain times of the day. Keeping my Tumblr and Pinterest running like this – sharing things just for fun 90% of the time and not focusing on blog things – builds followers and therefore a larger audience for the 10% of the time that I share things that are for the blog.

Tools needed: Microsoft Excel or Google Docs; social media scheduling account like Hootsuite*, Tailwind*, Buffer, or Board Booster*; and a way of finding the things you share (I use Pinterest).

Do you use a content calendar? Do you have any tips for creating or using one?

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