Contrary to popular belief, the work-life of a social media manager is pretty hectic.
The never-ending task of broaching new social media posting ideas every day for multiple social platforms is a strenuous ritual.
Such a task needs a serious level of strategic planning. But sadly, most brands miss that.
But, it’s time for you to let go of the off-the-cuff postings and turn your scrambled social media posting activity into a solid plan with a social media calendar template.
A social media calendar template will put an end to the last-minute scribbling without a proper social goal.
Read our step-by-step guide to understand the basics of a social media template. Then use our free social media content calendar template to transform your social media game altogether.
What is a Social Media Calendar Template?
Just take a look at it yourself.
The social media calendar template is your one-stop destination for planning, managing, and tracking your overall social media postings for multiple channels.
Like the one above, it’s a spreadsheet to brainstorm and organize posting ideas and assign publishing dates to each post across all channels.
Typically, a social media content calendar template includes the following elements:
- An overview calendar for team members and stakeholders
- Monthly goals
- A separate tab for each social platform
- Post copies and creative assets
- Date and time of publishing
- URLs and hashtags included in the posts
- Campaign name or goal of each post
If you are not a fan of organizing calendars yourself and want an automated way to oversee your monthly social media posting plan, then we just have the right tool for you.
SocialPilot: An Auto-filled Social Media Calendar
SocialPilot is a best-in-class social media scheduling tool with multiple features to scale your social growth.
One of them is its easy-to-use and functional social media content calendar feature.
Since it’s a scheduling tool, instead of writing down post content in a spreadsheet, you can schedule them when they are supposed to be published.
After that, you get a bird’s view with a monthly calendar to see what content is scheduled for which account and date.
Managing calendars to showcase clients’ posting schedules isn’t practical for an agency with multiple clients. This is where you ought to use a social media management tool like SocialPilot.
So, what are you waiting for?
Why Do You Need a Social Media Calendar Template?
Successful marketers agree that brands with a well-documented strategy are much more likely to accomplish social marketing goals than without.
A social media calendar template helps a great deal in organizing your social strategy in one place.
Let’s check out all its benefits before moving further.
Keeps You Organized and Goal-aligned
Without a proper social media calendar template, your posting inspiration comes from ideas you wrote last night over sticky notes, notepads, or crumpled pieces of paper.
Who knows, maybe some of the great ones also got lost due to such mismanagement.
I don’t doubt your prowess to crunch out amazing social content instantly. But without proper documentation, you won’t be able to create content that aligns with your goals.
Of course, you can’t pre-plan topical content in advance every time, but with a calendar in hand, you can schedule it much better.
It’s essential to have a social media calendar to create, organize and align every post through a perspective of your overall marketing strategy.
Remember when Lucy, the intern, got that fantastic post idea during the brainstorming sessions? It couldn’t be used because it wasn’t relevant for the month of July but would be a blast for Christmas.
Then Lucy quit the job and went to LA to pursue cinematography. And when the month of December arrived, you didn’t remember a jack squat about the post idea because you never had the right place to store it.
During the brainstorming session, you will get hit by tons of great ideas that you won’t use at once. With a calendar, you can reserve those post ideas for a different day or a month and get back to them when the clock hits the right time.
Makes You Consistent
Consistency is the key in social media marketing. Sharing multiple posts on Monday and then going AWOL for a whole week won’t send a good message to your followers.
To be consistent on social media, you need your content pipeline filled with social posts daily. At the same time, you do not want to sacrifice quality for quantity.
A content calendar template gives you a bird’s eye view to spread quality posts for each day of the month.
By seeing all the important dates and events beforehand with a calendar, you can more effectively create content with trending hashtags and themes for the whole month.
Gives Transparency across Teams
“So, what’s going on with social media?” is a question a social media manager often gets asked by stakeholders and almost every marketing executive.
With a whole month of social media efforts spread over a template, you can give them more transparent and swift answers and allocate responsibilities effectively. A template is a great way to keep all decision-makers on the same page.
The copywriters and designers can also see what is planned for each day of the month and manage their time to work on post descriptions and creatives accordingly.
It is also a great resource for stakeholders or clients to see how aligned the social media efforts are with their overall goals.
How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar Template?
Some people start making the social media calendar template right off the bat, while some take a detour to perform a social media audit.
If you already did the audit, it’s fine; otherwise, we would recommend you perform a social media audit to get to know your current performance better. It will give you an idea of what your social strategies lack, and according to that, you create a new social media content calendar.
Note: If you plan to create a social media calendar as you go through this blog, I’d recommend you download our social media calendar template to understand each step clearly.
At this point, you must be done by your audit and have a list of all your social media profiles. However, if you have skipped the audit, it’s time to gather all your social profiles.
Usually, social teams knowingly or unknowingly focus their resources on one or two social networks while missing out on a few equally good ones.
With a social media calendar template, you can assemble all your profiles in one place and allocate required attention to tap missing engagement and audience on each of them.
So gather all your social channels, and make your social calendar around them.
In our template, we have created a separate tab for each social channel, so you can concentrate your efforts equally on each channel.
When I say a similar post, I don’t mean you can’t promote the same content on each platform. Each network has its nuances and content requirements that you must follow while creating your posts.
Having different tabs makes it easier for you to effectively note down content and the best times to post on social media separately.
Step 2: Decide What to Include
Next, you need to decide what goes inside your social media calendar.
Ideally, your social media calendar template should have all the information you, your team, and stakeholders/clients need to understand the game plan of every social channel.
However, if you want to keep things simple, then add the most common attributes in your social media content calendar template.
Let’s dive deep.
Day, Date, & Time
Since it’s a calendar, days, dates and times are one of the most crucial parts of it.
Clearly defining what will go live on which date helps your team members manage their related tasks effectively. Also, a day and time structure can account for the best time to post for each social media channel.
Post Content Type and Format
Here, you need to describe what type of content you are creating and how you will show it to the world.
For example, you decided to promote a recent blog post, but there are multiple ways to create a post for it. You can share a link to the blog post or decide to make a carousel or a single image.
The combination of both columns gives more clarity of your content efforts for every single post to stakeholders seeing the calendar. Find both of these columns in our social media calendar template.
Next, you write the description of your post. This section helps calendar viewers to grasp the complete context of your social media post.
Write your description the same as you would while publishing—with emojis and special characters. To make things more transparent, add a URL to the creative that will go along with the post.
More than half of the posts you will publish will have links attached. Make sure you also put down the link in your social media content calendar template. This will help people further explore the intent of your social media posts.
You can further add advanced information to make your calendar more informative. Here are some of them for your better understanding:
- UTM Parameters
- Campaign name
- Social media goals with KPIs
- Location targeting
- Approval checkbox
- Location targeting
- Paid or organic
- Analytics and results
Step 3: Create Weekly / Daily Calendar View
When it comes to creating a social media calendar template, half of the job is figuring out what to include in it, and the other half is arranging everything properly.
You have already figured out the key attributes. Now, it’s time to organize them so you can plan your calendar effectively.
The best way is to create a weekly calendar, where you can have every single post for each day of the week written out along with time, date, and every other information you need.
Take a look at the weekly view of our calendar template.
Let’s zoom out a little from the weekly view and create a monthly calendar view in your social media content calendar.
A monthly calendar view not only gives you an overall view of all the things happening on your social media calendar but also keeps you aware of the upcoming events coming your way.
Sometimes, stakeholders don’t want to go into the nitty-gritty of your social plans. A monthly view is a perfect way to show them all the key happenings coming around for the month.
The monthly view of our social media calendar does the same thing.
Firstly, define all the key happenings, campaigns, or events that you will concentrate on in a particular month on all your channels. It can be anything: ebook, webinar, daily curated content, new blog posts, etc.
We have mentioned so many categories for your reference, Keep them if relevant, or scratch all and start putting the ones that align with your posting content.
Next, color code each key happening, so it’s easy to differentiate.
Lastly, arrange the key happenings in the calendar on the dates they will be published.
Step 5: Invite Your Team Members for Feedback
Now your social media calendar is fully formed, or is it missing something?
At this stage, it’s best to open up the calendar for your colleagues who will eventually use this calendar daily. Invite them and ask if they feel anything is missing.
It’s possible they won’t get it at first glance. So tell them to use it and get back to you with feedback in a meeting.
Your aim is to create an intuitive calendar that can be used by even a new member of the team without much hand-holding.
Are You Ready for Consistent Posting?
A well-crafted social media calendar will set you off for a more organized, goal-aligned, and consistent social media marketing strategy.
With everything scheduled at the start of the month, you will get enough time to communicate with your audience and leverage social trends.
However, creating a social media calendar from scratch is tough. So we have sorted out every step you need to take to make one for your clients/brand.
You can choose a more simpler route and let our perfectly-crafted social media calendar template do the heavy lifting for you.
Once created, you must fix a social calendar in your workflow and update it according to needs.
When you are ready with a whole month of social media calendar filled with multiple posts, utilize the power of SocialPilot to schedule them all at once and be done for the entire month.