5 Steps to Drafting the Perfect Social Media Content Calendar

Excellent content across all platforms can boost social awareness and drive business.

It’s the beginning of the month and you need to draft the perfect social media content calendar by next week – what is your first move? Before you throw together a lousy calendar, it’s important to note the significance of quality content.  Excellent content across all platforms can boost social awareness and drive business. Isn’t that what all companies strive for? If you want better optics for better business, follow our simple steps below: 

1.Follow Brand Guidelines

The first step can be considered the most important. Do you have specific brand guidelines that include information such as brand voice, tone, imagery style, color pallet, etc.? It is extremely important to follow this for consistency in all aspects of your social media strategy. Instead of just pulling content out of thin air, make sure to have broad or specific guidelines to help lead you in the right direction. Another aspect, not necessarily part of the branding guidelines but just as important, is to know the purpose of the social calendar. Do you want to gain more followers, attract people to your site, or generate more leads? Keeping this in mind will help you write the perfect message for the right objective.

2. Know the Social Platform

This seems like a no-brainer, right? Unfortunately, this step can ultimately lead to the demise of your calendar if you are unfamiliar with the differences between each social media outlet. Each platform not only has different requirements and limitations, but also different ways of grabbing user’s attention.  You are not going to use the same post for Facebook and Instagram – it just doesn’t work that way. Instead, familiarize yourself with the different characteristics of the two (or however many platforms you are working with) to determine the best strategy moving forward.

3. Do Your Research

This step requires a little more work on your part, but is well worth it. Before beginning your content creation, take a look back at your previous social media posts. This is a great way to see which pieces of content had the most successful audience engagement. Determine what worked and what didn’t. An even more in-depth way of researching can include looking through your social media analytics on each platform or analyzing the data in your Google Analytics account. This will help give you more detail about each piece of content that was posted. If you are interested in the performance of any competing companies, it can also be beneficial to  briefly skim through their social platforms. Is there something they do that you could do better? Although not the most important piece, it helps give you an idea on how to outshine others in your industry. 

4. Create Content

This is the most exciting part – get creative with it! By thinking outside of the box, you are more likely to draw attention to your profiles and get better engagement. One of the best strategies to use while writing, is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. If you were skimming through Facebook, what kind of post is going to grab your attention? A lengthy post with no agenda or photo, or one that is short, fun, and engaging? The purpose of social media is to create engagement, so think about what engages you! Another key strategy is to understand your audience.  Think about the demographics of your target audience and what kind of content peaks their interests. For example, you wouldn’t post about home buying tips if your target audience is between 15 and 20 years old. That would be simply useless to them. By determining this up front, you will avoid wasting your time writing content that doesn’t appeal to those who will be reading it.

5. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

When it comes to social media, consistency is key. The best way to achieve this is scheduling your content calendar in advance. After you have completed your calendar, find a scheduling platform that works for you. This allows you to input the message, photo, and link for the following month. Not only will this save you time in the long run, but it also allows you to work ahead on your next calendar. An important aspect of scheduling is the timing of your messaging. While conducting step three, take some time to consider the time of day that your target audience is on specific social media platforms most. There are multiple studies that show specific times can draw in the largest amount of engagement. You would hate for your perfectly crafted message to not be seen, so do your research!

If you, or company is not currently using social media, consider reading our previous blog post about the five benefits to social media advertising. If you are interested in getting started but aren’t quite sure where to begin, contact a Social Media Professional at Go Local Interactive to learn more about how we can help your business grow.

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