Are you still posting social media content willy-nilly as ideas ping into your head, without much thought?
We’ve all been guilty of doing this at one point or another, pressing the ‘post’ button and hoping for the best, with no clear reason as to why we are posting the content, other than the fact that we ‘like it’. Well, just as you’d plan your summer vacay in spring, planning your upcoming social media content is essential to success – and content calendars help you do just this.
A content calendar is … well pretty much exactly what it sounds like. One space where all ideas, dates, audiences, imagery, links and emojis-galore come together so you can successfully plan and schedule all of your content ahead of time. Here at Likeable, we couldn’t live without them!
But we understand that you might need a little more convincing than us … so here’s our top 5 reasons why WE think YOU should dive head-first into content calendar creation.
1. Plan content alongside a calendar of events
There is literally* a day for EVERYTHING.
*Slight exaggeration, but it was National Exaggeration Day last month so we’re totally on-brand! The great thing about content calendars is that they allow you to plan far, far in advance. Look out for and highlight the most suitable events for your business over the upcoming months in your calendar, and ensure your content is always relevant and topical.
Own a photography business? Look out for World Smile Day on the 4th of October. Own a bar? Probs want to get some offers out there for World Gin Day on the 8th of June. Have an exclusive range of healthy cat food products? Would you even believe that Pet Obesity Awareness Day on the 9th of October is actually a thing – because it is. Check them out. We love to use Days of the Year.
Content calendars are also a great way to pinpoint significant events in your calendar. We’re talking workshops, staff birthdays, product launches, Christmas shindigs – whack ‘em in the content calendar so you can plan engaging, newsworthy content when the time is right.
2. Work collaboratively as a team
Fortunate enough to work in a team? Content calendars are a great way for designers, strategists and copywriters to collaborate on social media campaigns in one space. Google Docs is a real game changer here because it can be accessed both internally by staff AND externally by clients. You can even work on the same doc simultaneously from multiple devices (which sounds cool but can be sort of creepy.)
You can also use content calendars to track comments and feedback. So when Jane didn’t make the amends you recommended a week ago, you can hold her to it. DAMMIT JANE.
3. Dumping ground for ideas
If you work in content creation, chances are you work with some pretty cray-cray, chaotic creatives. (And if you do not know this person, it’s probably you.) Cray-cray creatives (technical term) often have ideas here, there and everywhere, at all times of the day. Content calendars allow you to dump these ideas in one place and come back to them at a more suitable time. So bid farewell to the used napkin covered in lipstick notes – you won’t be needing it anymore.
4. Reach your goals and stay on track
Content calendars allow you to be creative with purpose, make long-term goals and create content strategically around them. Having each month carefully mapped out allows you to zoom out and consider content at a macro level.
We suggest looking at your content week by week and considering why you are posting each piece. Ask yourself the dreaded question, ‘So what?’ when you read posts. If you have no comeback, consider changing up your content to something that’ll really capture your audience’s attention.
5. Reflect and perfect
Just like looking back at your favourite holiday snaps, try gazing nostalgically at previous content. Consider what worked (and what didn’t) and use this to influence your future content. Performance metrics come in really handy here when understanding which type of posts resonate well with your audience and which ones royally tank.
Bonus tip – add a column to track all of those juicy metrics, like engagement rates, reach and leads, to spot patterns and changes! Then repeat. Simple.
NOTE: Cheeky disclaimer, content calendars are great and all, but one thing a Google Sheet can’t do is spell check. We advise writing your content in a Word doc (or something similar like Pages) first, then transferring it to the sheet once it’s good to go.
Don’t say we didn’t warn ya. 😉
Ready to give it a go for yourself? Download our FREE social media content calendar template below.
Or if you wanna chat, send us a message.