If you’re anything like me, when I first came across the idea of a social media content calendars, I thought, “I don’t need one of those – it’s just me here!”
I could easily see how multi-author blogs could benefit from creating one, but I’ve been so busy (thankfully!) with client work these last few years that I haven’t even been blogging much, and social media? Hit or miss, at best.
Then I saw this infographic from QuickSprout and it finally clicked with me that maybe – just maybe – a social media content calendar might make my life easier, not harder. Take a look and see if you don’t feel the same way:
How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar that Works for YOU and YOUR Business
Every business is unique and every business owner, even more so. Finding a way to create a social media content calendar that fits you, how you work, your business objectives and doesn’t end up just creating more busy work can be a bit of a trick.
There are plugins you can use on your WordPress site, there are templates galore in Google, and there are online services you can use.
Before you go diving in, though, there is one activity I recommend you do first: a social media audit.
Conduct a Social Media Audit
Do this step. It will pay dividends throughout the rest of this process. Promise.
Choose a Tool
You might choose to use a spreadsheet because you control the elements that way. If you think you might go that route, here are some templates to get you started.
- Social Media Content Calendar from HubSpot
- Content Calendar from ConvinceandConvert.com
- Content Calendar from PopulateDigital.com
- Printable Content Calendar from CoSchedule.com
- Content Calendar from ContentMarketingInstitute.com
WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin – the drag-and-drop interface updates both the calendar and the unpublished posts themselves. Easy to use. No social sharing capabilities, though, so you’d have to use something else for that. But hey – this is a great and FREE way to start the habit of planning your content instead of flying by the seat of your pants.
CoSchedule.com – Content marketing editorial calendar for WordPress. Use as a standalone tool, or from your WordPress Dashboard. All the features of the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin PLUS social sharing and scheduling. Pricing: starts at $10/mo for 5 users and 10 social profiles. Free 14-day trial, no CC required.
ContentDJ – track and plan original content, optimize social media posts, and source content for curation from the dashboard. Pricing starts at $29/month per user.
Hootsuite – Manage social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, and measure ROI right from the dashboard. No facility for creating posts at your blog – this is just for managing social media accounts. Free plan will work for most solopreneurs. (Pro plans start at $9.99/mo, which you might want to consider if you opt to use a spreadsheet for planning and managing your content.)
Buffer – Simplify your social routine by scheduling posts on all of your social media networks. Like Hootsuite, for the most part. If you opt to use CoSchedule, Buffer is the tool it connects with. FREE.
While it might seem that all this represents is extra work for you, I’m confident you’ll find you make better use of your time, are able to publish and share content more consistently, and will reap the rewards of your efforts in increased traffic and engagement with your content.