When you’re updating your personal social media accounts, you don’t consciously think about what you’re posting, or how often. You operate more on a spur-of-the-moment basis, so it can seem effortless. But when you try to recreate a timeline for a brand or product, you’ll realise how challenging it is to come up with content on a consistent basis. This is where pre-planned social media content calendar ideas come into play. They help you keep your feeds populated, which puts you on top of the algorithm and prompts your friends, fans, and followers to routinely check your page. Here are some primers to get you started.
- Make it Excel
The main advantage is brevity. Spreadsheets don’t generally inspire long blocks of text (you’d probably write a lot more on Word), so using Excel to populate your calendar will push you to edit. This conciseness makes your updates shorter, so followers are more likely to read it to the end than to scroll past. If you must use lengthy posts, finish with a pithy TL;DR to tie it all off. And don’t forget your call to action.
- Use the actual calendar
If you Google today’s date – or any date really – you’ll receive endless relevant information. Celebrity birthdays, historical events, regional festivities … and every day of the year is a holiday somewhere in the world. Some are quirky, like the International Day of Bubble Wrap Appreciation (last day of January). Use this information to populate your calendar up to a month in advance. Just remember to leave room for spontaneous commentary, relevant (unplanned) exchanges, and tasteful trend-jacking.
- Create a theme
The usual #TBT #WCW #MCM still apply, but you could develop your own themes based on days, numbers, or seasons. Tropical nations have themes like #JacarandaPropaganda, so you can try seasonal directions like #WinterWonderland or #FallCall. You could also pick more topical themes like education (or rather, brand awareness). Use a healthy mix of light-hearted content and heavier concepts as you explore social media content calendar ideas.
- Push your product …
… but not too hard. You should view your social media assets as more of a PR tool than a marketing one. It gives you a channel to engage your customers and get to know them at their level. Talk about things that interest them. But remember, this is still an advertorial, so once or twice a week, include a soft-sell post. You’re still a brand account after all.
- Tie it in
There are several advantages to prepped calendars. They help you set your own tone and express your brand’s character. They keep your timeline regularly populated, which boosts both algorithmic and organic reach. They ease the process of constantly seeking new content. Finally, they let you piggy-back on upcoming events. You can plan for festivals, sports tournaments, movie premieres, and more, fitting your content into their agenda, which positions you as a relevant, socially conscious brand. Facilitating timely social media content calendar ideas keeps you ‘with it’.
Pro tip: Use scheduling software
Once your calendar is prepared, don’t waste your momentum. Programme your posts ahead of time using dedicated software like Agorapulse. It lets you schedule tweets, Facebook statuses, and much more. The software contains free tools like Twitter Report Card and Facebook Page Barometer. You can use them to gauge your performance and compare it with competitors. Agorapulse also has a Facebook Page Contest tool filled with templates that let you generate competitions on minutes.
This planning tool enables you to generate and execute your social media content calendar ideas on multiple platforms. The ability to do this using a single system makes it easier to develop integrated campaigns and tell a cohesive story using all your digital assets. It has rich tracking features. You can review individual posts, monitor hashtags, and see which updates have the best (and worst) effect, allowing you to perpetually tweak your feeds. Plus, you can respond to comments and engage your fans right on the platform without having to toggle between the actual apps.
You can link all your timelines to your Agorapulse account and run everything from there. It also allows different members of your social media team to manage your account, either on a roster or in tandem. While the software has a number of free features, it is a paid app. That said, it has a free trial so you can test run its features and verify whether it works for you. The tool also has superior customer care options, so you can develop and pursue leads, right on social media. Check it out today and see how much easier community management becomes.