Social media marketing is a necessity in this day and age.  It’s a no brainer.  The real work comes after you’ve decided to go ahead and dive into social media marketing.  Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring someone to do it for you –you want to make sure that it’s being managed correctly.  You’ve got to juggle generating content, finding other content, updating all of your profiles, posting to each social media platform, and more.

The best solution I’ve come across so far is the social media calendar.  This true for those of us who have several social media marketing clients and also for people running just one marketing plan for one business.  A social calendar is one social media marketing best practice that can significantly leverage your efforts.

So, what do you add to a social calendar? How do you start? What does it help you accomplish?

Start with a generic template:

Find a set up that you like and that makes you feel comfortable working with.  I prefer a calendar with space to write notes on the column and also enough space in each box to explain what you need to do.

Figure out what you’ll be posting on the calendar:

Articles that need to be written for content, posts that you’ll be putting up on each day, special events you need to promote, holidays you want to acknowledge, contests you are running, etc.  Every business varies.  You are laying out your goals, setting a schedule, defining your topics, etc.

Budget your time:

When you get all of your tasks laid out on a calendar, it makes it very easy to budget your time for each task and figure out, realistically, how much time you need to be spending on your marketing plan.  You might find then that it is a bigger undertaking than you thought.  A lot of people outsource this work because of that.  Social media marketing is extremely important and, if done right, can also be time consuming.

Do more than just post:

Social media calendars are great to help you remember and keep track of what to post and where, but it’s more than that.  Schedule time to set up new accounts, personalize and edit your profiles, create content, read and respond to other’s content and engage with users, perform routine administration, etc.

Be transparent:

If you are a third party working on a client’s social media marketing, make the calendar available to view.  Email the calendar over once a week so they can see what’s happening and add notes about things they’d like to add or change if they want.  Share it as a google doc if you want to allow editing power to a client, etc.

As I said before, social media calendars are extremely beneficial in staying organized in your social media marketing efforts.  It helps to lay it all out in front of you, see what’s happening, and add tasks as needed.  It really is a bigger picture scenario. 

What have your experiences been in using social media calendars?  Do you color code? Allow editing to clients?  If you need someone to manage your social media marketing, we’d love to help.  Contact us!