Plan ahead with this social media content calendar template

A social media content calendar template is one of the most useful things you can create for marketing your business. It keeps you focused, organized, and working towards your goals — plus, it can save a lot of time and headaches thinking about what to post every day.

It can be tough thinking of fresh content to keep the social media monster fed, so if you’re stuck for ideas, we have an unlimited supply for you in our social media calendar.

Open the calendar below and then hit ‘Sync to your calendar’ to get daily videos, ideas, and tips.

How to make a social media calendar

A social media content calendar is the secret weapon (you need) for creating and launching successful posts and campaigns.

It helps ensure that:

  • You’re creating and planning content for specific goals
  • You don’t forget important dates
  • You have a balanced variety of posts
  • Your posts are consistent and relevant throughout the year
  • Everyone involved with your social media content knows what they need to do, and when it needs to happen

When you’re planning your social media content, there are a few key things you need to think about to ensure you’re creating strategic posts that will grow your following and encourage sales.

What’s your goal?

Each individual post should have a single goal. As social posts are very short by nature, trying to cram too much into each one can ruin your message. Keep things simple by deciding on that one goal. Will it educate? Inspire? Entertain? Sell a new product?

Source: Unsplash

Your content calendar can help you see at a glance what’s coming up. Whether you need to create one-off posts for special dates or a sales-focused series as part of a wider campaign, a calendar will make sure you never miss a beat.

Plan your content

Set aside blocks of time to brainstorm new ideas, write your posts, prepare your images, and plan out your campaigns. Focusing deeply on content creation helps your creative juices to flow fast and free. It will also save you more time overall than going back and forth between social posts and the hundred other things you need to get done each day.

Even though you might have all your posts planned in advance down to the last emoji, it’s important to leave room for flexibility. Current events, exciting updates, and other unexpected happenings can all be great opportunities to post something spontaneous for your audience.

Be consistent

Posting consistently on your favorite channels is one of the best ways to build a loyal and engaged following. Customers will be less likely to check in on your feed if you forget to post for weeks at a time. And no, posting ten times on the same day to try and make up for lost time won’t work!

Source: Unsplash

Regular posting is rewarded by the algorithms on all of the social channels. It also means your followers will expect to see your posts in their feed, so they’ll keep an eye out for your updates.

People notice when businesses invest time, thought, and care in their content. This helps increase sales and build long-term customer relationships. Don’t forget about your customers, and they won’t forget about you.

Mix things up

Droning on about yourself and your business can get boring for your followers. To stop your audience tuning out, mix it up by including a variety of different content in your feed, such as:

  • Curated content that’s relevant to your audience
  • User-generated content
  • Gifs and memes

A handy tip is to use the “rule of thirds” when you’re brainstorming post ideas and scheduling them into your social media content calendar.

  • ⅓ of posts promote your business
  • ⅓ of posts are interacting with your audience
  • ⅓ of posts are relevant shares that will be useful, entertaining, or inspiring for your followers

This ensures a healthy blend of content that will keep your audience coming back for more.

Special event posts

Holidays and other special dates are great for tying in with your social content. We all remember the big days like Christmas and Halloween, but lesser known celebrations like Cheese Toast Day, Penguin Awareness Day, and Lost Sock Memorial Day can all help you create fun and engaging content for your customers.

Don’t forget big sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These are two of the most important days of the year for business marketing. Add them to your content calendar now so you can remember to plan and share relevant content in the weeks leading up to these sales.

Different content for different channels

Content calendars help you plan out each piece of content, and the tweaks you’ll need to make for different channels.

For example, a Facebook post idea might need to be trimmed right down to fit into Twitter’s character count, and a post you have planned for LinkedIn might not work at all on Instagram.

Each of the social channels have different formats and nuances, as well as a unique audience. Tracking your content on a calendar helps you pinpoint which content is performing the best on each channel. This means you can create a platform-specific strategy for your future posts.

Post scheduling

Scheduling regular posts boosts your engagement and reminds you to send your content out to the right place at the right time. If you’re sticking to the best practice times to post on different channels, it’s important that you don’t forget and post things when engagement is low or your audience is asleep.

If you have a team helping you with your social media, your content calendar will show them which channel to post on, who’s responsible for posting, and the time every post needs to go out. This ensures your content strategy runs as seamlessly as possible and your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

Social media calendar template

Now you know what you should be creating in terms of your social media content — how do you prepare and schedule the posts to keep everything running smoothly?

Source: Unsplash

Many people use social media software such as Buffer (our personal favorite), Hootsuite, or MeetEdgar. But if you’re not ready to invest in a hi-tech solution just yet, a good old-fashioned spreadsheet is equally effective.

We’ve made a FREE social media content calendar template to get you started.

The template is in Google Sheets format, but you can easily make a copy and save it in Excel format by clicking into the template and selecting File > Download > Excel.

We’ve designed this content calendar to be as simple to use as possible so it gets you into the habit of regular posting and scheduling. The template covers all the important aspects of your social content, including:

  • Posting days and times
  • Goals of each post
  • Campaign details
  • Sales cycles
  • Image details
  • Tabs for each social channel

Every month or so, it’s important to go back through your social media content calendar template to see what worked…and what didn’t.

Tracking and measuring your most popular posts (and examining the content that was a major flop) enables you to build more content around what your audience really wants to hear from you.

Creating a social media content calendar means no more guesswork and no more pulling your hair out trying to think of fresh posts every day.

When combined with our social media calendar, you’ll never be stuck for content ideas again.