Creating and Managing A Successful Social Media Calendar

Social media has become an integral part of many business models and how companies can interact directly with consumers. Many companies promote sales, company happenings, utilize polling mechanisms, use it for customer acquisition, gather consumer data, and more. Creating a social media calendar is the first step to success on social media, and managing it is the next step.

Each industry and company will have their own social calendar format, and utilize different strategies for each platform. What your audience responds to on Facebook may not work on your company’s LinkedIn page. Perhaps your company doesn’t use Twitter, but sticks to utilizing a Google Plus business page. In effect, before you get started in creating the content calendar layout, you’ll need to determine which platforms are right for your business and industry.

Once you have narrowed down the channels that will reach your target audience or assist your company in accomplishing its overall goals then you will need to create your content calendar. You’ll need to determine who is best at your company to manage your social media campaigns, and then create work schedules to include managing these campaigns. With social media managing platforms out there it is possible to schedule posts in advance so your employee (or yourself) isn’t wasting time every day logging in to make posts.These social media content managing sites are also helpful if you are posting across many channels as it keeps the management to a single location.

Portrait of two colleagues working together at a cafe, discussing business ideas and plans, using laptop computer: African man holding a pen, pointing at the screen while presenting his project

You can use a spreadsheet to manage your calendar for the month. Begin by determining what days of the week your customers are using social media the most. Many social media sites will offer some sort of advice on peak user times. You can test as you go along and modify your content calendar for your customers’ peak user times.Next, create columns for each of your social sites. Within each of those columns create the content specific for each site so you can easily copy and paste the message to your followers. Save a column for any images or video you plan to insert to accompany your message. Research has shown including a video or images significantly increases participation. Use a column to specify what it is you plan to accomplish with each message. Is it for branding purposes, or perhaps a sales promotion/pitch?Include any links or hashtags in a final column. Feel free to add or delete any of the mentioned columns as you see fit to accommodate your business’ needs. You can do this for each month, quarter, half year or get it all done at once for the entire year.

Once the calendar has been created, and approved you can then schedule your employees to perform maintenance on each site and also assign a moderator to reply to any consumer comments or messages you might receive.Creating and managing a social calendar takes time, persistence, and commitment. Think outside the box, research other top performing companies in your industry or outside your industry for unique ideas. Most importantly, communicate with your customers when they engage with you, and remember your social media calendar is a living document that will change with time as you work to perfect it.