How to Create a Social Media Calendar that Saves You Time (With a Free Template)

Creating a social media calendar can seem daunting. You don’t just have to create it, you have to find and post the content too.

Have you ever wondered what is the point of having a social media calendar? How to create one very quickly so it won’t give you headaches every time you think of your social channels?

If you have thought of these questions, if you’re struggling with creating a winning social media calendar, this post is for you.

I have also included a free weekly social media calendar template to help you get started.

But first, let’s start with the why.

Why Create a Social Media Calendar?

The short answer is because it’s keeping you organized.

Now, on to the longer answer.

Besides keeping your social media efforts organized, a social media calendar helps you be coherent, know in every moment what type of content to share, when it’s time to produce new content, and more importantly, what type of content you have to create.

Plus when you are ready to delegate this task to someone on your team, they will know what to do and how to do it without asking you every step of the way.

How to Create a Social Media Calendar

When it comes to creating a social media calendar for your channels, you have to know what works for you.

Do you prefer an Excel spreadsheet? Do Google sheets work best for you?

Whatever it is, find out what works for you.

I prefer Google sheets because you can share it with your team and collaboratively work on the same document.

Back to what I said earlier when you are ready to delegate this task, it’s easy to stay up to date with what’s being shared on your channels. Just check the Google sheet your team updates.

Five Steps to Create a Winning Content Calendar for Your Social Channels

  • Decide How Much Content You Can/Want to Share

You’ll find everywhere on the web an article on the “right” number of content you should share on your channels. But the truth of the matter is there is no right amount.

You have to find what works for you where you are in your journey as an entrepreneur.

Ask yourself how much time can you dedicate to social media? One-two hours per week? More? Does this include connecting with people or only curating and creating content?

Once you know how much time you can dedicate to social media, then it’s time to create your calendar.

  • Find Your Sources

Before actually creating the calendar you have to know where to find content that is in line with your mission and vision.

Your social channels are an extension of you. So, the content you share has to be in line with your brand’s values and who you are.

Create an online folder and add sources as you find them on social media.

You can add your competitors’ blogs. Yes, you read that right. There is nothing wrong with sharing your competition’s content (unless what they are saying in there is not true or goes against who you are).

Add blogs and online publications that share the latest news in your industry, blog posts written by your audience.

Don’t forget to add to the mix inspiring and motivational content for your readers.

We will talk about how to find the best sources of content in another article. But for now, create a list with the above.

I use Feedly for that. Inside Feedly, I created folders with the type of content I want to share and I add websites as I find them on social media.

Again, use what works for you.

  • Listen to Your Audience

I left this one for the third place, not because it’s less important, but because you first have to look at your brand, do an effective social media audit of your channels, before looking at what your audience is looking for.

So, what type of content is your audience looking for?

If you don’t know where to begin, start with one of your clients. Look at the type of content they share, the content they interact with. You can even go as far as asking them directly.

The goal here is to have a real feel for what they want and add that content to your social media calendar.

  • Create Your Own Content

Now that you have the third-party content figured out, it’s time to create your own content.

Whether you publish content on your blog and website on a daily, weekly or every other day basis, make sure to add that content to your social media calendar.

Even if you don’t publish content on a regular basis, you can still create content for your social media channels.

This can be tips from your industry that can help your audience, “how to” posts for using your products or services, inspirational content based on your experience and journey, lessons learned along the day, etc.

Whatever content you decide to create and share on your social channels, make it interesting for your audience. Give them a reason to come back for more.

  • Create and Share Content Native for Each Platform

Now that you have your social media calendar figured out, please keep in mind that you should share content native for each platform. Even if you share the same content, adapt it to each platform.

For example, if you have an article, create a quote from it and share it with a description on Instagram mentioning the link to the article is in your bio.

For Twitter, share the article’s link with an image and a description that invites people to click the link.

On Facebook, you have more room to play. You can share the entire article as a “note,” share part of it and invite people to your blog for the rest, share it as a quote just like you did for Instagram, but adding the link in the text.

There are many ways you can share content on each platform. You have to “play” a bit with them and see what works best, what resonates with your audience.

Before You Go

Before you go, there is something else I want to point out.

When sharing your own content on social media, make sure to follow the 80/20 or 70/30 rule. This means 80 percent of the content you share should be from others and 20 percent should be your content (on the same channel). Or 70 percent content from others and 30 percent your own content.

It’s not just a good rule, it’s common sense. You want your tribe to love your social channels and stick around. If you bombard them with only your content, they will get bored easily, no matter how good your content is.

You want to give them a mix of inspiring content, industry news, their own content, holiday content, and your own content.

While you won’t gain the exclusive attention of your audience, you will for sure keep their attention for a lot longer than many others.

Get Your Free Social Media Calendar Template.

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below!

This article was originally published on NutsPR.