How to Manage Your Social Media Content Calendar

Social Content Calendar

Whenever I ask small business owners why they are not active in social media, the answers are very similar. “I don’t have enough time,” or “I don’t know what to say,” usually top that list, and to that I say - stop, don’t overthink this.

Social media marketing is like any other type of marketing you engage in. It just takes some thought and some planning. The rest is basic execution.

The Content Calendar is Key

Knowing what to say is half the battle. Start with monthly planning increments where you formulate all of the messages you would like to post. Rather than try to craft each message individually, begin by identifying eight to ten topics (maintenance, hydration, or a new bike release) that you want to talk about. This will serve as a source of ideas, and insure that you touch on everything you want to cover.

Next, pull up your calendar and identify the days during your month-long period that you would like to post. It helps if you can overlay them with existing store promotions, holidays, and other major events, so your social messaging is consistent with shop-wide efforts. Consider setting up a spreadsheet with information like post date, day of week, post copy, links, creative, and any other tagging options you normally use. Yours can be more or less complex, depending on your setup.

Now that you know the topics you want to cover and the days you plan to post, you just need to dedicate time to write your social content and place it on the calendar. Once this is complete, the heavy lifting is done. Just copy and paste content the day the post is set to go live. If something new pops up during the month that you want to push out to your followers, just rearrange your calendar to fit.

Enriched Content Through Curation

I will be the first to tell you that generating original content to share is a challenge, and is not always your best solution. Often times it is the online content that we discover ourselves that will provide the most value or joy to our social followers. Content curation, when done in a transparent way that gives credit to the source, is a wonderful way of delivering something fresh that may not be found and enjoyed otherwise. I said as much when I was a guest on Jay Baer’s SocialPros Podcast this past year.

Consider all of the industry-related content that you or your employees have discovered recently. So much of that was found because of your industry knowledge and relationships. For the average customer who does not have either, that content, though very interesting and valuable, is hard to find. By curating the best of the “insider content” you discover, you not only have a great post, but you also make great strides towards solidifying yourself as an expert and trusted resource.

The Takeaway

Delivering a solid social media presence is less about spontaneity and more about executing a plan that provides the most relevance and value to your followers and customers. Take the time up front to plan what you want to say and when, and don’t be afraid to lean on the great content of others to help tell your story.

About The Author

Paul Haskell

Paul Haskell

Paul Haskell led social strategy at one of the country's largest gourmet food companies, and now offers independent social media consulting for small businesses.