How to time, schedule and manage your social media content.

Managing social media for your business isn’t easy. You’re juggling multiple platforms while trying to balance video and photo posts. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with content, but you also don’t want them to forget you exist. It’s a lot to handle, particularly when you’re running your business at the same time.

That’s where a social media calendar comes in handy. It’s designed to give you visibility over your social posting across all channels and greater control of the content mix. Instead of wondering whether it’s time for a post, you can see exactly what’s next on the list and when. Better yet, automation tools can do the posting for you.

Here’s how to create a functional content calendar.

1. Find your content mix.

Audiences don’t want to see pushy sales posts every day, so it’s important to include other types of content. This can be user-generated posts, behind-the-scenes insights, how-to guides, thought leadership pieces and even links to curated content from others in your industry.

Many marketers swear by the 80-20 rule for social posting. That is:

  • 80% of posts are informative, entertaining or useful
  • 20% are sales drivers.

If that sounds like a lot of non-sales content, remember that it helps boost brand awareness – and contributes to building trust in your business.

RELATED: How to create standout online content for your business.

2. Set parameters.  

What details will your calendar include? No single format works for everyone – it depends on the size of your business and the scale of your social marketing.

Basic details include:

  • Date
  • Platform
  • Time (including time zone)
  • Content title
  • Content details – copy, visuals, and other elements
  • Link to post once published

If it’s all pretty straightforward, a spreadsheet can probably handle it for you – if it’s more complex, a social calendar tool could be useful.

RELATED: How to automate your social media marketing.

 3. Talk to your team.

Next, check in with the people who’ll be using the calendar and ask for feedback. Is it easy for them to understand? Does it feel overly complicated and clunky, or does it need more detail? If your team struggles to get their heads around it, you’ll need to look for a different solution.

4. Get started.

Next, it’s time to fill your calendar and start posting. Make sure you create content ahead of time and include all the elements you need, so you’re not searching for an image at the last second. If you use a social calendar app, it can link your calendar to your social platforms and automate posting – making life even easier. It’s about careful planning so the right content pops up in the right place at the right time.

Need to assess your social media performance before you dive into scheduling? Start with a Social Checkup.

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