Creating a Social Media Content Calendar

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Ever had that moment of blankness where you have no idea what to post on social media? Happens to the best of us. We’re not machines—no one has the perfect social media content every time. That’s why we need to prepare ourselves. Content calendars help us do just that. And who better to ask about content calendars than a social media strategist who’s founded a company that helps companies grow their social media communities?

We invited Kami Huyse, a well-known name in the #TwitterSmarter circle, to be our guest and talk about creating and managing content calendars.

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Kami Huyse
Topic: Creating a social media content calendar
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What are the top reasons for creating a content calendar?

One of the biggest reasons to have a content calendar is that it helps you stay consistent with your posting. Life happens when you’re least expecting it—a content calendar will have your back.

What’s more, when you have a content plan, you also save a lot of time. For instance, if you find that you’re spending at least an hour every day trying to come up with content for your social channels, try bulk scheduling. You might realize that you’re getting way more work done in a two-hour window than you would if you’d spent creating content on the day.

Among other reasons, Smitha added that having a content calendar also gives you an overview of all the content that you have posted and planned to post in the future. It’s a one-stop-shop to identify evergreen content, analyze performance, and re-share content that’s performed well.

Q2: Does everyone need to use a content calendar?

Not necessarily. As Kami joked, your mother probably doesn’t need one. My local coffee shop doesn’t need one either. However, even if you don’t need a full-blown content calendar, having an overarching plan will certainly help, regardless of your industry or social media experience.

For example, Kami shared the index card she used to outline her livestream session earlier in the day. It’s a simple plan to help her stay on track. Your content calendar can be the same—an outline for what you’ll post when.

As Jim reminded us, the more content you create for your audience, the harder it will become to stay on top of your schedule. Especially if you manage multiple channels and accounts, the sheer volume of content you have to post daily can quickly get overwhelming. That’s when having a content calendar will be helpful.

Q3: How do you choose content for your content calendar?

Kami told us she sticks to a 6-month calendar. In the past, many #TwitterSmarter community members have said the same. 6 months is a big enough time period for you to generate ideas, but at the same time, it’s not so big that you can’t be flexible. Kami even has a ready-made planner that you can adapt to your needs. Check it out here:

As for generating ideas, get your team together every 2-3 months and brainstorm ideas. When you have multiple people throwing ideas around, you’re likely to generate a lot of good content. You can then filter and use the best ones.

If you’re uninspired for content, just look at your analytics, as Rachel from Express Writers suggested. Find out what your audience likes and share more of that.

Q4: What are some best practices for content calendars?

Staying organized is the key to successfully creating and managing a content calendar. Whether you use a spreadsheet, a project management tool, or a social media management app, make sure you have all ideas, content, and goals for your team in one central location.

It’s equally important to have one person in charge of the calendar. They should be responsible for assigning tasks, managing content, and making updates.

And of course, as our friend from GiveWP reminded us, social media is about being in the moment. Don’t be afraid of having to change things in your calendar in the last minute. Prepare yourself and your strategy to be flexible.

Q5: What are your favorite tools to use to manage your content calendar?

Kami said she and her team use Click Up for internal communication, calendar management, and tasks.

To save her ideas and make notes, she prefers Notion while managing all scheduling and hosting from Content Studio.

Our #TwitterSmarter community members use a variety of tools including AgoraPulse, MeetEdgar, Later, Trello, Hootsuite, and even Google Sheets. Do whatever works for you.

Alyx from Charlie Appel Agency told us about the helpful email notifications they receive from Hearsay Social when their posts go live.

Q6: When should you go “off book” from your content calendar?

The most important thing about having a content calendar is that you should be monitoring your schedules. If there’s a crisis, make sure to pause your content immediately. You don’t want to be posting inappropriate content at any time.

Similarly, when there’s a trending topic that’s relevant to your business or breaking news in the industry that involves you, act quickly. Join the conversation and make your mark.

Another good example of posting “off book” is when you’re required to be spontaneous. For example, as Jeremy said, you don’t need to plan out your Instagram Stories and Twitter Fleets. Just pop in and engage with your audience.

Q7: Should you follow trends when you create content?

Sure thing. But only if those trends resonate with you and your brand. If you jump on a trend just for the sake of it, people will lose confidence in your content.

As Rhea wisely said, even though trends can help you increase your reach, they can also affect your brand negatively.

But even if you found a great trend that speaks to you, consider the time impact of the trend. Trends saturate quickly, and unless you take advantage of it at the right time, you’ll risk losing your post in the chasm of trending content. In such a case, as Theodora rightly said, hold off and be patient. You can always jump onto the next trend.

Q8: How far in advance should you create your content?

For evergreen content, the earlier you create and schedule them, the better. Because this type of content doesn’t expire, you don’t have to stress about them being published at the right time. Also, allocate space in your calendar for time-bound posts like event promotions, business updates, and seasonal campaigns.

If you’re managing social media for a brand and you need to get approvals before you post anything, be sure to create your content at least a month in advance.

Of course, when you’re well-prepared, you’ll be free to engage with your audience in real-time.

Jay likes to prepare his content a week in advance. This works especially well if you’re an entrepreneur or a small business. It’s also a good idea to have a handful of drafts in your buffer, in case you want to whip something up real quick.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks so much for reading, and for more insights from our chat with Kami, have a look at the Twitter Moment Joana created. If you learned something from this summary, chances are you’ll learn so much more chatting with our community live. Come join us on Thursdays at 1pm ET on #TwitterSmarter.


About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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