by Bill Eager

A successful social media editorial calendar helps you map out a schedule for delivery of your stock and evergreen content.  It helps define who is creating, delivering, watching and responding to the content and social messaging about your brand over a period of time.  There are many moving pieces to this calendar.  If you do this process manually, it’s probably a good idea to create it as a spreadsheet.  There are several online platforms that help you with scheduling and automate the process for publishing.  Create a minimum of a four week calendar and a maximum of a six month calendar.  Here are five steps that will help you create your calendar regardless of which system you use.

FIRST  The first thing you have to do is pin down exactly where your content is going.  What channels are appropriate for your audiences.  Where do they hang out online?

SECOND  Make a list of your goals for audience engagement for each brand for a three month period of time.  Awareness, engagement (on social), participation (on your web site), conversion (sales), etcetera.  Connect these goals to the campaigns you are planning on running during that timeframe.

THIRD  With your campaigns in mind, define the types of media that you will create and share and the platforms/channels where this media is best suited.

FOURTH  Create balance in the content to enhance engagement.  Balance means you need to mix things up.  Divide your content into thirds based upon whether you are promoting, sharing or interacting. A second point of balance is how much of the content is yours and how much of the content you curate.  Consider a 60/40% split.

  • One third of your content promotes the brand, products and services and focuses on conversion.
  • One third of your content shares stories, ideas, education, entertainment with your audience.
  • One third of your content is related to personal interactions and online exchanges.

FIFTH  Create a calendar (or spreadsheet) that maps out, each day, the content that will be shared on each Channel.  If the content is planned it is easy.  If it is not planned, pencil in “TBD”.  Every slot, for every day should have a notation.  Add to this calendar/spreadsheet initials for the people that will be creating, posting, watching and responding to the content.  In addition to your in house team you might also have bloggers, ambassadors and even your ad agency.  Consider Room 214 in Boulder, Colorado.  There is definitely a lot to  manage.  Just because you post something the job isn’t done.  If your audience loves… or even hates what you share, you need to be ready to follow-up.  Visit beager.com to get more tips!