A beginners guide to content scheduling
How to post in advance and set your busy content calendar up for the days, weeks and months ahead.
So, it’s Monday evening and you’ve had a busy day in the office trying to sort out what you have to do next week and the following weeks ahead. The thought of logging in to all your social channels and ‘setting up’ is pretty painful.
How can you plan your content posting tasks so that it doesn’t take up all your week?
Planning content and campaigns is a common element of many marketing strategies, and the ‘content calendar’—in its many shapes and forms—fits this role perfectly.
Michele Linn of Content Marketing Institute believes editorial tools are critical to “keep your content consistent and relevant.”
Sometimes companies can churn out social posts very quickly. Oreo, a company known for their strong Twitter presence, was able to send out this tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl mere moments after the power went out:
What’s the point in a content calendar?
- sharable resource that can used across your business
- helps you visualise just how busy you are
- helps you plan around key dates and events and campaigns
- highlights your publishing timelines
- planning ahead will result in a better flow of content
4 steps to create a content schedule
- identify your topic/product/event/and audience
- set a schedule of themes to your day i.e. Monday-News , Tues-Wellness, Wed-Images, and so on..
- what content resources do you have? i.e. press cuts, launch photos, staff pics, product images, client stories, social pics from staff etc, reports that can be used as infographic content, extend your resources to include external sources back linking come to mind here!
- Schedule, publish, promote, track, and tweak your content
Hold content meetings
Weekly content meetings are a great way to talk about what is being planned for in the next few weeks, just make sure you schedule in the important ones way before the publishing dates. These meetings are also a great opportunity to review content that may have been super successful or not. It’s good to share the bad stories too!
Constant Contact wrote a post containing guidelines on how often to post to social. Here are some of the highlights:
- Facebook: 3-10 times per week
- Twitter: at least 5 times a day
- LinkedIn: 2-5 times per week
- Google+: 3-10 times per week
- Pinterest: 5-10 times per day
There’s a great chance your post frequency will depend on the amount, experience and authority of your social media team, so don’t feel pressured to meet these guidelines. Do what works best for your business.
Content calendar tools
Allows you to organise your social posts, monitor keywords, search your competitors content and look out for your brand mentions plus lots more.. a free tool that allow you to add up to 3 social accounts. Add more and pay a monthly fee. A great option for small businesses that just want to get used to the concept of pre-scheduling content across various channels. Comes in a mobile app for on the go scheduling.
Hootsuite also comes with a few analytic reporting options so you can see how effective your content is.
You’ll want to use a tool that allows you to schedule your social messages and visual your entire content calendar. Sprout Social has built a publishing tool for this purpose. Check out a completely free trial and schedule a months worth of content today.
Fill in the calendar with links to relevant content, resources and your own posts. These social messages will ensure you’re providing your audiences with smart, useful content and give them a reason to follow you. Additionally, you can find relevant holidays or events–from Thanksgiving to National Ice Cream Day–that you can tie in with your business. In fact, Sprout Social created it’s own hashtag holidays calendar so you can keep track of all the eccentric holidays. These timely events will help populate you calendar and bring personality to your feed.
Basecamp is a project management app, and it can be used effectively from the content creation part of the process all the way through to scheduling. It’s easy to manage multiple projects at once, and even comes with a free trial.
If you want to keep it simple you could always just create a new Google calendar for the process and invite everyone on the team to view it. Those teammates could also add all of their own posts and ideas to the same calendar.
Coschedule pulled together a great Infographic on content scheduling along with some posting tips and we love it!
Might be an idea to have this as a visual in your office.
Finding the right schedule technique, calendar and approach will take a bit of time. As your business grows so will your confidence in managing and posting on social media.