Social Media Calendars: What They Are and Why You Need One

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Social media opens up a world of possibilities for businesses of all sizes and types. It allows your company to connect directly with consumers and build a better brand voice. Social media is an effective way to shuffle consumers along the buyer’s journey, boosting conversions and driving revenue. There’s a good chance your company already has an account on at least one social media platform, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube. But if you’re like a lot of other business owners, you have trouble posting to those accounts regularly. The solution? Develop a social media calendar. (And hire a freelancer to liven up your social media presence!)

Overview of Social Media Calendars

A social media calendar is an editorial calendar that’s developed specifically for posts uploaded to social media platforms. It can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. Like all editorial calendars, it lists topics and their posting dates. If you have multiple freelancers working for you, your social media calendar might also specify which freelancer is responsible for managing the different posts. You could add another section for the deadline on which the post is to be completed, ready for uploading. A spreadsheet is helpful for keeping track of multiple categories of information. For example, your social media calendar might look something like this:

January: Week One

Content URL Image Link Date & Time

Of course, you can tinker with the layout to fit your needs. If you plan to upload one or more posts each day to each social media account, then the title “January: Week One” could read “January 1st” instead.

Importance of Social Media Calendars

Social media calendars help businesses avoid one of the most commonly made mistakes of social media marketing. Lots of businesses start out sending multiple tweets per day and uploading tons of Facebook status updates. But it doesn’t take long before the posting schedule starts dwindling down. This lack of consistency can subsequently lead to a loss of credibility. Disengaged followers will look elsewhere for content. They also might not take your business seriously enough to convert to paying customers.

Social media calendars are a proactive way to prevent this problem. By posting consistently according to your calendar, your company can keep its followers fed with a steady diet of quality content. They’ll know the typical dates and times that your account uploads content. Therefore, they’ll be ready and waiting to check it out.

Benefits of Social Media Calendars

In addition to getting your company on track with a consistent and predictable social media posting schedule, social media calendars offer lots of perks.

Optimize Time

Science says that focusing on one task at a time is the key to better productivity. By planning out a month or two of content in one go, you’ll save time later.

Reduce Stress

Social media calendars eliminate the last-minute rush to find content to upload in order to meet a deadline.

Set Clear Expectations

Your freelancers’ work will only be as good as the directions you provide and expectations you set. Establishing a social media calendar that’s shareable and editable among your team will help your freelancers be more productive—no more second-guessing as to what the client (that’s you) wants.

Eliminate Duplicative Posts

It isn’t always easy to come up with fresh content for a niche business (say, pest control, for example). When freelancers have access to all current and past social media calendars, they can cross-reference their new ideas against what’s already been posted, so they don’t post the same content dozens of times.

Another benefit of establishing editorial calendars is that they help your company stick to the 70/30 rule of social media marketing. This rule states that a business should strive to post content that is self-promotional about 30% of the time and content that’s not self-promotional about 70% of the time. The 70/30 rule might seem counterintuitive—after all, isn’t social media marketing supposed to be self-promotional? However, it really does work. Social media followers won’t be interested in following a company that only talks about itself. But they will enjoy high-quality industry news and entertaining posts, which will make the self-promotional posts more palatable.

Best Practices for Social Media Calendars

Your social media posts should be aligned with your overall marketing strategy. Each freelance writer you hire should become familiar with your brand voice, and company mission and values. It’s helpful to provide guidelines for the content and style you expect from your social media posts. The more information you provide, the better the freelancer can adapt to your business’ needs. Here are a few more tips for mastering social media calendars:

  • Try to plan out a social media calendar at least one month in advance. However, bear in mind that you may need to make a last-minute swap. If there is some breaking news in your industry that’s going viral in social media, you’ll want to jump in quickly with your own post.
  • Make a note of any special holidays or awareness days you’ll want to reference in your posts. If you run a donut shop, you won’t want to miss out on #NationalDonutDay.
  • Take advantage of the “scheduled posts” feature on social media platforms that offer it, such as Twitter and Facebook. You’ll be able to upload your posts in advance, and specify the day and time that you want them to go live.
  • Use a social media analytics tool to evaluate which posts resonate best with your followers. Tweak your social media marketing strategy accordingly.
  • Pair your content with media, which makes it more appealing and shareable. Use relevant photos, videos, and even memes, if appropriate.

Having trouble getting your business on social media? It’s easy to hire a freelancer to do it for you! Writers Work has thousands of freelance writers of all backgrounds, experience levels, and skill sets. Just search the Writers Marketplace or post a free job ad to find a freelancer who meets your qualifications.

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