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Why Should I Have a Social Media Editorial Calendar?

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I spend two of the five weeks of my “Social Media for Marketing Small Businesses” course working with students on building an editorial calendar. I share best practices for Facebook engagement, Twitter listening, and social conversion too — but without spending time on mapping out when these activities happen, why they should happen, and how they should be measured, my students will not get the results they seek.

Not convinced that an editorial calendar is for you? Let me lay out other business-savvy reasons for using and implementing a calendar for your social media efforts.

See the forest for the trees

By placing a grid of the entire month before your eyes, you’re able to see two key rows– Saturday and Sunday. These days are sadly underused by brands in social messaging. It’s ironic since that’s when most demographic sectors have more leisure time to scroll through news feeds, isn’t it? Take advantage of the Saturday and Sunday rows and place appropriate messaging there. (By scheduling tweets and posts, you need not be by your computer on the weekend.)

Your calendar can help you plan for a variety of messages. Take message type for example. Photos are hot for engagement and they’ll continue to be so.

How do you currently decide to post photos — when you read an article on “photo power”? When you see a competitor post a funny image? Stay on top of things by mapping out a healthy mix of photos, simple status updates, videos, and links.

Strengthen your social team

Making a group editorial calendar facilitates collaboration among coworkers and crossfunctional teams. Will you need screenshots of a new product from a teammate in two weeks? Put the due date on the calendar and add their name to a “responsible for content” column.

In addition, a calendar that tracks messaging and metrics to follow are great to show the boss when her palms start to sweat over social ROI or she asks, “So what are you guys doing on Facebook these days?”

Internal calendars are also critical in times of national crises. If a natural disaster or terror incident occurs, your team can easily see pending posts, pins, and tweets and make decisions on modifying, postponing, or deleting such messaging.

Feel empowered

With a completed calendar in hand, you can rest assured that you have the upcoming month chock full of messaging that will engage fans and help you hit your business goals. The social age-old question, “What should I post today?” also disappears.

Your calendar can take any shape that works well for you and your business. Although I suggest a shareable calendar (such as a Google Docs spreadsheet) for teams, smaller groups can use a whiteboard or paper calendar to map out and revise social messaging.

How do you map out your messaging on your social media channels?

Headline Cover Photo: Flickr CC / joelanman

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1 Comment

  1. Brightpod has recently launched an editorial/content calendar. Super simple and powerful for marketing teams. Try it out – http://blog.brightpod.com/meet-our-new-editorial-calendar/

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