Social media calendars. On paper, they sound like a lot of work. You might even think they’re unnecessary. However, you’ve got to work smarter and not harder when it comes to social media management tools! Social media calendars are indispensable if you want to save time (and paper! People love eco-friendly companies). You can even create a social media calendar template from scratch with nothing but a spreadsheet!
Well, you might be thinking, you’ve got a pen, some paper — maybe one of those oversized calendars with holiday reminders, too. And, don’t forget your memory! So then it’s OK, you’ve got this covered, you assure yourself. Hate to burst your bubble, but the truth of the matter is there’s only so much you can do. Your mind is fallible. You probably don’t have stationery to write with or might run out of space for written reminders. Or, you might even forget to write those reminders in the first place.
Using a social media calendar: what’s in it for me?
For Loomly, a social media calendar is “a tool used to store and schedule social media posts.” Having a digital social media scheduler, for one, can help circumvent the need for paper; you don’t have to worry about writing updates for a single day over and over again! There are a lot of other benefits a digital scheduler can offer you, so here they are:
- You never miss a beat. Social media schedulers make sure you never miss out on the most significant moments of a social media user’s life.
- You get more organized. In return, you have to have well-timed, engaging, and relevant content.
- You oversee how everything’s coming along. You’ll see how your audience engages with your posts as well as current trends.
- You lessen the chances of making big mistakes. With a scheduler, you get to witness everything that goes into the metaphorical pot and check if anything’s amiss.
- Your calendar is scalable. Depending on the circumstances, calendars can be as complex or as simple as you need them to be!
- Your media sources are verified. Visual-minded people don’t mesh well with exclusively written or spoken descriptions, so picture concepts make it clear.
- Your team stays in the loop. Social media schedulers let everyone see proposed content at the same time.
Now, you don’t have to go out and look for tools that can post things for you right away! If you’re not ready to get a tool — for any reason at all — then you can start small.
Creating calendar templates for social media: First things first
Social media scheduler tools can take care of assembling, scheduling, and automatically posting your content! But some do tend to ask for a bit of money. And what if your new expenditure doesn’t work out? It sounds like a dilemma.
But what if we told you you don’t need either of them?
Yes, you heard us right! Creating a spreadsheet is the happy medium — it’s an affordable (read: free) in-house solution that you can tinker with to your heart’s content. Who knows? You might be able to avoid paying money for a scheduling tool if you end up being a whiz with a spreadsheet! With an Excel-like spreadsheet such as Google Sheets, you don’t have to pay up; you can always DIY a social media scheduler! (Or you could test a tool for a bit, see how it works, and then DIY a scheduler based on how the tool worked).
Figure out the kind of metrics you need to display on the calendar.
There is information every social media scheduler needs. So by having all the information needed ready and set, you’re prepared to post at any time!
- Shorthand and acronyms
Things such as color-coding, acronyms, or codenames/nicknames for common concepts. There’s only so much space on your scheduler to get everyone up to speed, so don’t worry about using jargon.
If you have the web address for your post planned out in advance, you can avoid having two separate posts leading to the same URL! Furthermore, don’t forget UTM parameters, AKA that “string of tracking code that’s appended to the end of the URL.”
- Date and Time of Posting
You may already have a posting schedule that mainly cites dates, but for time, you can check analytics to see the ideal time for posting content.
- Overall Theme or Message
Coordinate with the content people by telling them how the concept should look at the very end of the process in a short yet concise message. Of course, this should be reflected in the images as well.
If you’ve got an initiative with a particular end goal, you’ll want specialized attention for it.
You have to have media or photos in your calendar. Otherwise, people won’t be able to see half of the concept for a post. Add a thumbnail, or if your spreadsheet doesn’t allow for it, you can always input a link. For best results, use software or sites that are optimized for social media platforms.
Don’t forget a quick caption to go with your content! Unfortunately, a caption usually is at the mercy of social media users’ short attention spans.
- Guidelines on the Platform’s Nature
Note things such as character limit and best dimensions for media or the best FPS for video. If it’s got something to do with making your content look pristine, write it down!
These are all essential ingredients for your social media calendar — this way, everyone involved in creating the post knows what should go into it.
Tips on how to create your social media calendar template:
Draft your goals.
You’ve got to have direction when it comes to social media. The internet is a vast place, so you have to find the path you want to take and plot your route accordingly. Whether your social media goals are to raise awareness for a cause or educate your customers about your product or service, you have to make your intentions clear.
Plan for holidays.
Everyone loves holidays. So many people are in engaging moods during their days off, raising the chances for engagement. You can even fill out a social media scheduler at the beginning of the year because of holidays!
Specialize your content according to the uniqueness of each platform.
No two platforms are the same; you can’t put a 10-minute video on YouTube and expect it to do numbers on Instagram. Likewise, you can’t put the entire text from a Facebook post into a Twitter post unless you want to go through the trouble of numbering your Tweets. You need to know your platforms just as you know your audience; customize each post’s dimensions and character count according to their respective platforms.
Avoid posting erratically; you want to have a constant yet organic presence on your socials. Be consistent with posting because you can’t break your streak once you start. Be present on your channels as much as you can to cultivate engagement — nobody can engage with an account with a post that dates five years back.
Color-code your calendar.
When it comes to marketing, you may have more than one project going on at a time. So when creating calendar templates, assign colors to specific initiatives so that it’s easier for people to figure out what they should be looking at rather than reading through everything — it’s a massive time-saver!
A social media calendar or scheduler is an indispensable tool; it keeps your socials organized, allows your team to oversee the creation of the post from concept to completion, and automates posting. However, not everyone can rely on a tool for one reason or another. Instead of paying to use a tool, a business can instead make use of a worksheet. Here, a template is helpful as one can tailor the scheduler however they need it to be, without any need to spend.
To create a proper social media calendar template, one must include dates and times, URLs, media and captions, and the like so that people can clearly understand the concept of the post. When handling the template, one should note tips for addressing the requirements of each platform, as well as curate initiatives and plan for set holidays. Social media marketing services in the Philippines are always open to assist with calendar tools.