The right way to Create a Social Media Calendar [TEMPLATE FOR 2022]

A social media calendar is a lifesaver for busy social entrepreneurs.

While you create and publish content material on the fly, you’re vulnerable to typos, tone issues, and different errors. It’s a lot safer—and extra environment friendly—to dedicate a selected time in your workday to create, tweak, proofread, and schedule posts.

Along with making your workday much less demanding, a social media calendar will help you propose an efficient content material combine. You’ll be able to search for alternatives to strengthen social messaging throughout platforms. And, you’ll have the ability to time your posts to achieve the biggest potential viewers.

Learn on and we’ll information you thru the steps essential to make your individual practical social media content material calendar. We’ve included some free social media calendar templates to get you began!

What is a social media calendar?

A social media calendar is an overview of your upcoming social media posts, organized by date. It can have the form of a spreadsheet, Google calendar or interactive dashboard (if you’re using a social media management tool).

A social media calendar usually includes some combination of these elements for each post:

  • The date and time it will go live
  • The social network and account where it will be published
  • Copy and creative assets (i.e., photos or videos) required
  • Links and tags to be included

How to create a social media calendar

Follow the steps below to create an efficient social media content plan.

More of a visual learner? Let our Social Media Lead Brayden walk you through how to plan your weeks, months, and year using our free template in under 8 minutes:

1. Audit your social networks and content

Before you can start building your social media posting calendar, you need to have a clear picture of your existing social media accounts.

Use our social media audit template to create a exact, up-to-date file of:

  • Impostor accounts and outdated profiles
  • Account safety and passwords
  • Objectives and KPIs for every branded account, by platform
  • Your viewers, their demographics and personas
  • Who’s accountable for what work in your staff
  • Your most profitable posts, campaigns and ways
  • Gaps, underwhelming outcomes, and alternatives for enchancment
  • Key metrics for measuring future success on every platform

As a part of your audit, make a remark of how typically you’re presently posting on every social community. Additionally have a look at your analytics for any clues about how your posting frequency or time of posting impacts engagement and conversions.

2. Select your social channels and content material combine

Deciding what sorts of content material to publish is a key a part of your social media technique — and an essential step to constructing a social media calendar. There are a few normal content material combine formulation you should use to get began:

The social media rule of thirds

The 80-20 rule

  • 80 p.c of your posts are designed to tell, educate, or entertain
  • 20 p.c of your posts instantly promote your enterprise or drive conversions

You’ll additionally want to find out which social channels to make use of for which forms of content material, and which of them might not be mandatory for you in any respect.

Don’t overlook to schedule in user-generated content and curated content so that you don’t get overwhelmed creating every part your self.

3. Determine what your social media calendar ought to embrace

Your social media calendar received’t look precisely like anybody else’s. For instance, a small enterprise proprietor doing their very own social posting will possible have a a lot easier calendar than a big model with a full social staff.

To get essentially the most out of your social calendar, map out the data and performance that’s most essential to you.

It’s usually a good suggestion to start out with fundamental particulars, like:

You might also wish to add extra superior particulars, like:

  • Platform-specific format (feed publish, Story, Reel, ballot, dwell stream, advert, shoppable publish, and so forth.)
  • The related vertical or marketing campaign (product launch, contest, and so forth.)
  • Geo-targeting (world, North America, Europe, and so forth.)
  • Paid or natural? (If paid, then extra finances particulars could be useful)
  • Has it been accepted?

You will get began with a easy spreadsheet. However generally a spreadsheet just isn’t sufficient, which is why we embrace our favourite calendar instruments on the finish of this publish.

4. Invite your staff to assessment, and use their suggestions to enhance

Your calendar is handiest when it is sensible to everybody who has to make use of it of their work. Ask for suggestions and concepts from stakeholders and your staff to verify it serves everybody’s wants.

As you begin to work along with your calendar, consider the way it feels to you, and ask the staff to supply ongoing suggestions. If it feels onerous and finicky, perhaps you wish to dial again a few of the element. Or perhaps it’s not detailed sufficient and you should add just a few columns.

On the finish of this step, you must have an hermetic doc that even the latest staff member can perceive.

Free social media calendar templates

We’ve created two Google Sheets templates so that you can use as a foundation on your personal social media calendar. Simply open the hyperlink, make a replica, and plan away.

Social media calendar template

This social media content material calendar template makes area for the large 5 main platforms (Fb, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok). Nevertheless it’s extremely customizable, and also you’re free to make it your individual with the channels that make sense for you.

Be sure to create a brand new tab for every month, and plan out your editorial content material week by week.

Among the many many useful objects on this calendar, don’t miss the tab for evergreen content material. This can be a content material repository for weblog posts that all the time carry out properly on social, regardless of seasonality.

This template consists of columns so that you can observe and schedule:

  • Sort of content material
  • Unique publication date (preserve observe of this so you already know when it’s time for an replace)
  • Title
  • Subject
  • URL
  • Prime-performing social copy
  • Prime-performing picture

Social media editorial calendar template

This template is meant for planning particular person content material property. Assume weblog posts, movies, new analysis, and so forth. In different phrases, that is the place you propose out the content material that your social media efforts can be selling.

Create a brand new tab for every month, and plan your editorial content material out week by week.

Why use a social media content material calendar?

1. Get organized and save time

Social media content material creation and posting take time and a focus each single day. A social media calendar permits you to plan forward, batch your work, keep away from multitasking, and be aware down all of your content material concepts for later.

Social media planning calendar instruments even permit you to schedule social media posts ahead of time to publish mechanically, so you possibly can share content material day-after-day with out logging into all of your social platforms each hour on the hour.

The common web consumer commonly makes use of 7.5 social media platforms. For social media managers, the quantity might be a lot larger. Getting organized with a social media calendar and pres-scheduled posting is a essential a part of managing multiple accounts.

Placing slightly work in upfront to plan your content material frees up time to make use of the higher-value (and extra enjoyable) abilities in your toolbox, like strategic planning and marketing campaign brainstorming.

2. Make it simpler to publish constantly

There isn’t any exhausting and quick rule about how typically you must publish on social media. That mentioned, there are some generally accepted best practices to make use of as a baseline.

Crucial rule, irrespective of how typically you resolve to publish, is to publish on a constant schedule.

Sticking to an everyday schedule is essential so your followers and followers know what to anticipate. It’s additionally a great way to make intelligent (relatively than cringey) use of weekly hashtags like #MondayMotivation. (Personally, I desire #MonsteraMonday, however that may not be for everybody.)

For a real-world instance, check out the weekly content calendar for The Winnipeg Free Press. True, this isn’t particularly a social media content material calendar, but it surely’s a content material calendar all the identical. And it exhibits how a weekly plan will help anchor constant content material concepts.

Supply: Winnipeg Free Press

A content material framework like this offers you one much less factor to consider as you create your posts every week. And scheduling your posts upfront permits you to persist with your posting schedule whereas additionally guaranteeing you might have high quality content material queued up and able to go.

Social media calendar instruments make sure you publish constantly on the optimum instances on your viewers, even when these instances don’t line up along with your core working hours, which leads us to…

3. Your day without work is admittedly day without work

When your content material is deliberate out upfront, and also you’ve arrange your content material to publish mechanically on the proper instances, you possibly can really take day without work. No logging into your work accounts on Thanksgiving, or late at night time, or early within the morning.

It’s no exaggeration to say that for busy social media managers, making a social media calendar is an act of self-care.

4. Scale back typos and keep away from large errors

Planning posts forward of time permits you to verify your work and construct a security web into your workflow. Copy-editing, fact-checking, and clearing content material with organizational stakeholders are all a lot simpler if you’re working upfront.

A social media calendar—particularly one with staff member approvals in-built—is one of the best ways to forestall every part from mildly embarrassing errors like minor typos all the way in which as much as a high-key social media crisis.

5. Make higher-quality content material and cohesive campaigns

Social media manufacturing values have skyrocketed because the early days. Immediately, it’s common for a single social media publish to have a complete staff of creatives behind it: copywriters, designers, video editors, photographers, and perhaps even make-up artists and stylists.

Asking your staff to drop every part for an emergency Instagram Reel just isn’t going to win hearts or minds. And it’s not going to end in your absolute best content material or a cohesive account. A social media calendar helps you allocate your property—each human and digital—successfully, in order that your staff has the respiration room to do their finest work.

An extended-term plan permits you to craft a constant model voice and content material that helps your social media advertising targets and past.

6. Time your content material to essential holidays and occasions

Planning your content material in a calendar forces you to keep watch over what’s taking place in, properly, the calendar. This implies you’re ready for every part from Daylight Financial savings Time to the Tremendous Bowl. (And every part in between: We’re you, Nationwide Pizza Day.)

We’ve created a Google Calendar of holidays you should use to border social media posts, and you may simply import it into your individual Google Calendar to offer your content material planning slightly further relevance.

Borrowing from the publishing world once more, check out the editorial calendar for Charlotte Parent magazine. It clearly exhibits how the general content material themes and particular articles deliberate for the 12 months align with related occasions, like Mom’s Day and Father’s Day.

Charlotte Parent magazine's editorial calendar listing big events and themes for every month

Supply: Charlotte Parent

7. Spot alternatives for partnerships or sponsored content material

Other than timing your in-house content material to each mainstream and obscure holidays and occasions, planning your content material upfront offers you the lead time to consider alternatives to companion with different manufacturers. Or to approach influencers about working collectively on sponsored content material.

It additionally makes it simpler to coordinate your organic and paid content, so you possibly can take advantage of your social advertising dollars.

Influencers and bloggers possible have their very own editorial content material calendars, which you can entry by means of their media kits. That is one other alternative to search for partnership alternatives by means of content material planning.

8. Monitor what works, and enhance it

What will get scheduled will get achieved, and what will get measured will get improved.

Your social media analytics have quite a lot of insights for you. A social media content material calendar offers the chance to check and take in that info and tie what you be taught again to the content material you deliberate. Then, you possibly can work on enhancing lackluster outcomes and producing extra of your finest content material.

Use your calendar to plan out an A/B testing strategy to information you in direction of the fitting sort of content material, format, publish frequency, and time of day to publish for every social platform.

For instance, Hootsuite makes room in its posting calendar for social media experiments to verify the staff is working from real-world outcomes, not simply theories.

Social media content material calendar apps and instruments

Truthfully, there are in all probability as many alternative social media content material calendar instruments as there are social media managers. These are our favorites.

Google Sheets

Positive, Google Sheets just isn’t fancy. However this free, cloud-based spreadsheet instrument definitely makes life simpler. A easy Google Sheet is an efficient residence on your social media calendar, particularly in the event you use one (or each) of our templates as your place to begin.

It’s free, it’s straightforward to share with staff members and stakeholders, and it really works.

Hootsuite Planner

Hootsuite Planner takes issues to the subsequent degree by permitting you to draft, preview, schedule and publish your whole social media posts instantly from its interactive calendar. It really works with Fb, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.

The social media calendar you possibly can construct with Hootsuite’s planner is interactive. You get your visible overview, all of your property (copy, visuals, hyperlinks) in a single place. From there, you possibly can simply publish, schedule or edit your posts.

In the event you’re a part of an even bigger social media staff, you possibly can simply share the calendar along with your coworkers and managers, and even create customized approval workflows that may provide help to preserve all the time preserve your busy content material calendar in verify.

Hootsuite will even counsel the best time to post for every of your social media accounts, instantly throughout the publishing interface.

Hootsuite's Best Time to Publish feature

To be taught extra about scheduling and publishing content material with Hootsuite, watch this video:

When you’ve deliberate your social media content material calendar, use Hootsuite Planner to schedule your whole social media posts, interact along with your followers, and observe the success of your efforts. Join a free trial at the moment.

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Do it higher with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media toolkit. Keep up to the mark, develop, and beat the competitors.

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