A beginner’s guide to creating social media calendars

Making social media work for your business is as much about planning as it is posting. We asked our social media expert, Tommy Kuo, to reveal some tips on how he creates functional social media calendars for our clients.

Step 1: Define your audience

It’s important to know who your content is for before you get started. Perhaps your aim is to build a general online audience, or maybe it’s to satisfy new and existing customers. Whatever the case, it’s important to have someone in mind when creating content.

One way to do this is to create a marketing persona or customer profile. Consider your target audience’s gender, demographic, role, location, interests, values, goals and challenges. Creating content with one person in mind is going to be much more effective than making a piece of content try to fit everyone.

Step 2: Decide on content and distribution

Now we get to the fun bit (fun for me anyway), deciding on what to put out and how to distribute it. This is when we think about what is important for the business and what we are capable of creating. There are a few things to consider when deciding on content: image or video? Original content or sourced content? Educational or entertaining? Maybe you want to do a bit of everything; maybe you only want to focus on one kind of content. It’s up to you.

Once you settle on content types it’s time to decide on how you distribute it. Which platform is right? How many times a week? What time of day? Ratio of helpful/sales driven posts?

Getting good at this takes time and experimentation, but here’s a rough guide based on what generally works well for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Facebook: 3-10 times a week, post when your audience is most likely to be online, albums, videos, long form content + links, and relevant events.

Instagram: 3-10 times a week, post when audience is online, entertaining topics, photo + short video, and short form content.

LinkedIn: 2-4 times a week, interesting or educational posts, video, and long form content.

Step 3: Create or source content

Whether you’re a business, a person or a group, every brand needs to have some original content (content that is created by you and unique to your brand). You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you should be making your content distinct from other brands. This is the reason your online audience will engage with or follow you, so make sure you create original content!

Speaking of content creation, here a few things to consider:

Images: should be high quality and well lit.

Video: should have high quality video and audio, and be interesting/educational/entertaining.

Captions/copywriting: should be well written.

Blog/news: should be topical, relevant, useful and feature great writing.

But I get it; it’s difficult to get so many pieces of content out every week. Many brands are outsourcing some of their content. An example of this is cafés sharing posts that they’re tagged in on Instagram, or personal brands sharing related news articles on Facebook. As long as there is a good balance of original and sourced content that works for your brand, it’s all good in the calendar.

Step 4: Schedule your content

This is the easy bit. Follow your original plan on Step 2 to work out when and how often you should be posting and then schedule those posts. To make this step a bit easier, there are sources online that help you schedule and post your content.

Scheduling for Facebook: Facebook (draft/schedule posts) and Hootsuite.

Scheduling for Instagram: Schedugram (posts for you) and Hopper (posts for you).

Scheduling for LinkedIn: Hootsuite.

When using these schedulers for your posts, you should already have prepared your visuals (image/video), captions or descriptions, links, and have an ideal time of day in mind. And now that they’re all scheduled, you can sit back and relax!

Step 5: Monitor and engage

Just kidding, there’s still more to do if you want to improve your social media game. Keep an eye out for which posts perform better or worse than others – knowing what to look for here is a science!

Is your image captivating your audience? Is your content valuable for your audience? Is it simply your luck with the algorithm (more on that in another blog post)?

If you want to continually improve your social media performance, monitoring is the most important step. You can monitor your social platforms with the below programs:

Analytics for Facebook: Facebook Insights and Hootsuite.

Analytics for Instagram: Instagram Insights and Socialblade.

Analytics for LinkedIn: LinkedIn Company Page Analytics.

It’s also important that you keep engaging with your audience as well as who you want your audience to be. This will help you connect with other people, which leads to growing your audience. Put the social in social media!

If you want to discuss your business’ social media needs with Emote Digital, don’t hesitate to contact us for a no strings attached discussion.

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