Continually posting content across social media accounts is not an easy task – it takes surprisingly long to develop and post the content. One key approach to reduce the continual effort required to manage your account is to establish a social media calendar – a plan in advance of what content that you will be posting. Developing a calendar helps avoid the constant pressure to post material while allowing you time in advance to plan the material to be posted.
What is a social media calendar?
A social media calendar is your plan for what you will be posting over the next few weeks, months, or even the coming year. While individuals on personal social media accounts will typically post without any pre-planning, when you are posting for a business, this is unlikely to be the best approach.
Your calendar lays out what the wording of the posts will be, the graphics that you will be using, and the times that you will post the content. When it comes to the scheduled post date, you can either copy and paste the material from your calendar (or spreadsheet), or – as discussed below – use a scheduling tool to automatically post the content at specific times.
Advantages of developing a social media calendar
Reduces the pressure of having to continually find material
A particular challenge with managing a business social media account is finding material to publish – coming up with content on a daily basis is not an easy task.
A social media schedule allows you to developed content in advance. By gradually building up the content, adding it to your schedule as you think of new ideas to share, you can avoid the last-minute panic to find content.
Allows you to produce the content in batches
Beyond the constant pressure to think of new posts to publish, is the day-to-day time involved in producing the content. By scheduling the content in advance, you can produce the content in batches – potentially saving time, and avoiding the constant pressure of having to generate graphics on a daily basis.
Reducing sporadic posting
Sporadic posting is not a great way to manage a business social media account. Posting nothing for months, and then multiple posts in a single day is unlikely to develop an engaged following. Long gaps make your account look inactive, and multiple back-to-back posts can cause your followers to unsubscribe from your account.
By determining in advance when the material will be posted, you can ensure that content is spread out and posted frequently, without intense bursts.
Ensuring balance to your social media posts
The final benefit of scheduling your content in advance is that it allows you to give consideration to the diversity of content that you are publishing – interspersing product information with more engaging content, so as to not overload your followers with any particular format of content.
Scheduling posts in advance
Once you have developed content in advance to share, an important next stage to reduce the ongoing effort to manage your profiles is to schedule the posts to share using a scheduling service. You can either use (typically only available using the business version of social media accounts), or a third-party service.
Some of the most prominent third-party services to consider include:
Whether you are using a third-party service or the platforms provided social media tools, you will be able to set the time that the posts will go live, as well as to see a preview of how the posts will look.
The benefit of the third-party program is that they allow you to schedule posts to be shared on multiple social media platforms. This can simplify the approach – allowing you to re-use, or adapt, the same content across multiple channels that you are managing.
Final thoughts: Developing content to post
While a social media calendar is a great way of managing the content to be posted, you still need to come up with engaging content. For ideas on material to post, see our guide on the top post types for your business social media account.