How many times have you heard that content is king? Many for sure. In fact, a lot. But it could not be more true.
In a previous post we talked about content programming, the advantages, limitations, and the best tools for this. In short, we concluded that it is a good way to organise yourself and save time. Today we go one step further to talk about how to make a social media publishing calendar. In other words, planning contents for social networks and blogs.
The purpose of a publishing calendar is to create content for the different channels and clients (if applicable), define its features and set the times of publication. The top priority is that the contents are original, valuable, attractive, involving and interactive with the users so that it can be termed ‘inbound marketing’.
Defining the goals
The first step is to define the goals for the contents. The contents have to be in line with the social media goals, but also the global goals of the company.
These goals will depend on the expectations of the company and its social media strategy. Therefore, it is recommendable to divide them up into categories, for example:
– Promote the brand/product/service
– Enhance the personal brand
– Obtain corporate collaborations
– Attract or keep clients
– Promote job positions
– Teach and inform people in the industry
It is crucial to manage each channel individually. Each platform or social network works very differently: they require independent strategies and different procedures on each. If you want to promote and boost your brand, Twitter is the most effective way. If what you want is to have corporate collaborations or promote job positions, the best option is LinkedIn. But if your goal is to teach and inform people in the industry or related industries, our recommendation is to do so through a blog.
These goals have to meet the SMART criteria:
Specific – clear and precise about how, where and when will the goals be met.
Measurable – using statistics and tools to track the results.
Attainable – for the company. It has to have the qualities and skills to meet the goals.
Relevant and realistic resources available and factors that could affect the process.
Time-bound – to set a specific deadline to meet the goals. Set a starting and ending date to evaluate if they have been met.
This is without doubt one of the most important processes in a project.
Spend some time to find ideas and sort them. It is better if you do this in groups so that you can compare and combine different perspectives, key to achieve good results.
Not only it has to be interesting and original content, but it also has to meet the needs and desires of the clients. Therefore, a crucial factor to take into account is the target of your project. Identify who it is and what it wants from you, ask for its opinion. Find out what are their preferences, what would they like you to talk about… In the end it is your public the follower of your work, so give them a voice.
One of the advantages of brainstorming is the possibility to group ideas by topic. With this you can arrange the topics that pop up in the category they belong to. For example, our blog covers different categories: social media, SEO, our things…
It is important to take into account the competition too: evaluate what they do and do not do to differentiate yourself and have a better ranking than the rest.
Choosing the content
When you have a first idea about topics and categories to include, you can now choose the best ones.
Take into account the focus, style and tone that you will use for each post so that you can decide which will work better and on which networks and platforms.
Make sure that the topics are relevant and interesting. Sort them by priority and do not forget the special occasions. These are not only Christmas, Easter, summer or anniversaries, but curious dates, saint’s days, launches of products or movie releases, among others. These contents are very effective to reach a wider audience and establish personal and human contact. Get informed, choose those relevant for your brand and use them to publish intelligently.
Planning refers to the frequency, time and order of publication. You can do the same every day, change depending on the day of the week, or other circumstance you have studied previously. But it is very recommendable that you keep a pattern from week to week, so that we are regular with our publications, which can help have loyal readers.
The most efficient way to have a planning up-to-date is to create an actual calendar on an Excel spreadsheet, for example. Each social network or platform has to go on an individual sheet (Twitter, blog, etc.). And within each sheet, divide the posts by category such as time of publication, the content, picture and URL, and others.
This will give you a broad view and will help you organise. Once this is done, you can use it to programme contents, e.g. using Hootsuite, where you just have to copy and paste the elements of the post and programme the time.
If the calendar is not for you but for your clients, we recommend you to create a different one for each client and share it with them. If you make them part of the calendar, this will stimulate their interest and will make collaboration easier.
Time for you to make your own social media calendar and tell us your experience. We want to read it!