While it’s true that keeping up with what’s trending on social media is a good way for a brand to gain traction with content, about 70 percent to 80 percent of social media posts are thought out, scripted and scheduled weeks before. The most efficient way to organize several weeks’ worth of content is through the use of a content calendar. A content calendar allows social media managers to look at important dates, plan out promotions and make sure content is diversified among all social media outlets.

Below, I’ve listed four easy steps you can use to develop a content calendar. We recommend developing your content about a month ahead of time to make sure you have enough time to concept posts, create images, proofread the copy and get everything approved in time for posting.

First, you need to develop what we call your “content buckets” or the different types of posts you want to feature on your social media accounts. These can include promotions, campaigns, aspects of your business that you would like to feature, or even pop culture that will connect with your audience. We normally create six to eight buckets to ensure a diversified editorial calendar.

For example, if I was developing content buckets for a clothing line’s social media calendar my buckets might include:

  • Sales / promotions
  • Seasonally relevant clothing
    • #OOTD (Outfit of the day)
    • General branding
  • Behind the scenes
    • Meet the designer
    • Photoshoots
    • Design inspirations
    • Sneak peek
  • Pop culture
  • Regrams / shares from social influencers wearing my brand
  • Events

After determining the content buckets, you need to determine the posting frequency. This can vary based on several factors, such as which social media platform you are posting to, if your content is time sensitive, and your own ability to monitor your page. While there is no perfect answer for frequency, a general rule of thumb that we go by is:

  • Four to five posts per week on Facebook
  • Three to four posts per week on Instagram
  • Two to three posts per day on Twitter
  • Five to 10 posts per day on Pinterest

These numbers may increase or decrease depending on which platforms you are focusing on. The No. 1 rule with frequency is consistency. We do not recommend posting only one time one week and then four times the next week because it can confuse your fan base.

Third, you need to figure out which method you are going to use for your editorial calendar. I’ve used everything from Excel or Word documents to Google Docs for easy sharing to an online platform with all the bells and whistles.

Some options include:

The final step is to fill your calendar with important dates such as holidays, sales, product launches or grand openings. This will allow you to glance at your calendar when creating content so you do not miss any important events or promotions that you want to feature. Imagine operating a brewery and missing the opportunity to post on National Beer Day. We would call that a #SocialMediaFail.

That’s it! You are now ready to create your social media content editorial calendar. By the end of the process it should look something like this:

Content Calendar Example using Google Calendar

Feeling overwhelmed with your brand’s social media strategy? Contact our team of social media experts to learn how we can help.