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“Staying organized” is one of the most popular business resolutions. Whether it’s as simple as decluttering your workspace or as complex as revamping an existing process, improving organization can save you time, reduce stress, build confidence, and ultimately save money.

Get a jumpstart on your New Year’s business resolution by creating a social media content calendar. One of the easiest ways to stay organized, a content calendar maps out all social media posts for the upcoming weeks and/or months so you can better align your overall marketing initiatives and help improve accountability by assigning writers and deadlines for the team.

So where do you start? Here is our ultimate checklist of must-haves for your social media content calendar:

The Basics

  • Post copy: Create the copy for your social posts in advance to streamline the review process and keep you organized. Plus, if an employee calls out sick or someone else is tasked with posting on social media, he or she will have all the necessary information in one spot to immediately pick up the job.
  • Channel: Will this post be published on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, or a forum? Indicating the social media platform ensures that every channel is getting some love.
  • Writer: Decide who will write the copy based on skill, experience, or availability. Perhaps you have a different writer for each channel, or a different writer based on subject (for example, one writer covers industry news while another writer ghostwrites for the CEO).
  • Art/Graphics: We can get so caught up worrying about what to say on social media that we leave the imagery to the very last minute. In fact, images are much more attention-grabbing and engaging than text, so they deserve just as much (or more) attention that copy. Make sure to add a section to your calendar with the requirements for the photo (size, art direction, text, who should design it) and once the graphic is completed, attach it to the calendar so everything is in one place.
  • URL: Are you linking to a blog post, video, or website? Make sure to add all necessary URLs so you’re not searching for the right page at the last minute.
  • Publish Date: The publish date might be the most important part of your calendar. It allows you to work backwards and allow for ample time to create the copy and imagery, and lets your team see what is happening throughout the month.
  • Metrics: As your posts get published, track the impressions and engagement to see what kinds of posts perform the best so you can adjust your calendar over time.

The Extras

  • Audience: Who are you creating content for? Which persona does this post speak to? This step requires that you have an established set of personas already developed, or that you’ve already mapped out different segments of your audience. If you have already done the work, it can be helpful to include the intended audience for each post.
  • Content Type: Indicate whether the social post will feature a video, infographic, blog post, podcast, or other form of content. When you want to repurpose content or make sure you are trying different formats, it can be handy to have a running list of everything you’ve already done.
  • Keywords: If you have an SEO strategy already in place, you can add a section for keywords to align your social media content with SEO efforts.
  • Topics: Establishing buckets of topics and assigning a topic for each post helps you organize your calendar and quickly see if you are creating too much content around one topic and not another. By “tagging” your posts by topic, you can quickly filter posts and easily navigate the calendar.

Organizing your social media strategy will reduce the chaos around staying active on each channel (meaning there won’t be any more last-minute scrambling to post something valuable on five different platforms). And, you’ll essentially create a repository for all copy, images, and important details, so everyone will know exactly where to go if they have any questions.

Now it’s time to actually create your calendar. Click here for our list of three free social media content calendar templates. 

 

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