What do you think of when you consider creating a social media calendar? Would it be a complex document, filled with charts and graphs, passed around at long meetings? A calendar is simply a tool to help you, a structure that can assist you with your overall goals (including your time management)–nothing more. You don’t even have to follow it all the time. And if you want to know why you need to create a social media content calendar, this Sprout Social article has plenty of reasons.
Keep it Simple
First, create a very high-level, daily structure. So for example, say you are a new zoo. Your schedule could go something like this: Monday: Monkeys, Tuesday: Toucans, Wednesday: Warthogs, Thursday: Tortoises, Friday: Flamingos. You can always revisit your daily calendar later and tweak it to suit yourself or your team.
Decide When to Post
Let’s use Facebook as an example. If you’ve set up a business page, you might want to post once a day to begin with (two or three times a day is fine). So, keeping with the above example, find content that matches your strategy of Monday Monkeys. What do they eat? Where do they live? You might start your search with Google and then find more specific sites to search.
Find a Model
Say your zoo is in Sydney, Australia. Find another zoo in a different part of the world to model your account after. (Maybe the San Diego Zoo?) Then find two more. Examine what the zoos are posting. What posts are getting the most traction, likes, comments? How often do they post? Adjust your schedule. “Monkey see, monkey do” could work for your social media editorial calendar.
Learn from What Doesn’t Work
You may not find another account you like, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from someone else’s failures. You can often learn more from someone’s failures than their successes. If you had to write the headlines for someone else’s Facebook posts, what would you do differently? What makes you want to comment on a post? Is there a particular writing style that you like?
Use Analytics Combined with Common Sense
Try using analytics, but also experiment with posting at different times. For instance, you may see that everyone is online at 5:30 pm, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re active then–lots of people leave their Facebook accounts open while they watch TV or eat dinner. Also, your followers may not be online on holidays.
Track Good Sources of Content
You might have your own blog, but you may also need content from other places. Could you share content from another zoo? Or is there enough going on at your zoo that you can post every day? When you find a good source, record it somewhere. I like to throw everything into a Word doc, so if I’m half-asleep looking for content, I’ll have some ideas. Images are becoming increasingly important in posts, so make sure to have a good source for images. Huffington Post has a great article on how to create engaging images.
What Else Goes Into Your Calendar?
What has helped you create your content calendar? Please leave a comment!