How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar

Over-the-shoulder view of a person sitting at a table typing on a laptop computer. One month of a calendar is displayed on the computer screen. Additional items visible on the table include a clipboard and pen; a saucer and cup containing a dark beverage.

Are you ready to get serious about your social media presence? If so, it’s time to create a content calendar. Although the thought may seem overwhelming at first, planning your content in advance is a way to ensure you’re publishing purpose-driven content both you and your audience will love.

In this post, you’ll learn what a social media content calendar is, its benefits, and how you can create one of your own. Now, you’ll never question what to post next!

What is a Social Media Content Calendar?

A content calendar essentially provides you with an overview of all your upcoming content. This way, you’ll always know what’s being posted, which platform it’s being posted on, and when it’s going live.

By creating a social media content calendar of your own, you’ll be able to:

  • Publish content more consistently since you’ve already mapped everything out and can focus on creating, as opposed to scrambling to find last-minute ideas.
  • Reach short and long-term goals within your business by being strategic with what you’re posting and when.
  • Easily track what’s working for you and what’s not so you can create a stronger content calendar each month.

6 Steps to Create a Social Media Content Calendar

So, how exactly can you create a social media content calendar that’s more intentional and will help you reach your brand’s goals? Here are some steps to follow:

1. Know What You’d Like to Achieve With Your Social Media Presence

To get the most out of your social media presence, you always want to create and publish content with your end goal in mind. Otherwise, you’re just aimlessly sharing content with no real direction. And that simply isn’t going to get you the results you want.

Determine what you’d like to get out of being on social media. Is it a tool for you to generate brand awareness? To build trust? To make new connections? Are you trying to boost sales? Know what you want to achieve so you can create better content to help you make it happen.

2. Select the Platforms That You’ll Invest in Moving Forward

One crucial aspect of developing a social media content calendar is knowing which platforms are worth your time and energy. To put it simply, we don’t need to be everywhere online. It’s much better to do a few platforms really well than it is to be everywhere and have a poor presence.

So, where is it worthwhile for you to spend your time online? That ultimately depends where your target audience is spending most of their time. If you know your audience loves TikTok, then you’ll want to start experimenting with short-form video. Be where they are so you can get in front of the right people.

Related: 3 Questions to Decide Which Social Media Platforms You Should Use

3. Decide the Types of Content You’d Like to be Posting

When choosing the kinds of content you’ll share on social media, there are two factors to consider. First, you want to post content that you’re excited about and genuinely love. Otherwise, you won’t feel inspired to create. And second, you want to share the kinds of content that your target audience is going to resonate with as well.

You can share links to blog posts (yours and ones from other creators). User-generated content where someone is raving about your brand or offerings. Quotes or other motivational stories to inspire people. And of course, product promotions to drive sales in your business.

Not only that, but you’ll want to consider the content formats you’ll create. On Instagram, will you use all of its features (the feed, Stories, IGTV, and Reels)? On Twitter, will you host live conversations via Spaces? Get it all mapped out so you’ll be prepared as we move into this next step…

4. Begin Generating Content Ideas

Coming up with content ideas to fill your social media content calendar is really the trickiest part, isn’t it? Sometimes those creative juices just aren’t flowing! That’s when you want to go back to your end goals in business. What are you looking to achieve in the short-term? The long-term? And what kind of content will help you make those goals a reality? For example, if you have a goal to increase email subscribers, what kind of content can you create to promote your opt-in?

Another option is to consider the needs of your audience. Because your mission is to serve them and provide valuable content, think about what they need to see from you. What content can you create to solve their biggest pain points? It’s those types of posts that will keep them coming back for more.

And don’t forget to sprinkle in some relationship-building content here and there as well. That’s essential in establishing the Know, Like, and Trust Factor with your audience.

5. Plug Everything Into Your Preferred Planning Tool

Let me preface this by saying you don’t have to invest in fancy tools or software to create your social media content calendar unless you want to. It’s all about knowing what works for you and your team (if you have one). You may opt for project management tools, a simple Excel spreadsheet, or just pen and paper.

For instance, some teams love using Airtable and their various templates to help with content planning. There’s also Notion and Asana. Personally, my team and I use Trello, which is a project management tool. We have a dedicated board for saving content ideas. And we record which content pieces will be published when so we always know what’s going live next.

Whatever you choose, start plugging your ideas into the calendar so everything can begin to take shape. This way, you’ll know what to create next.

6. Move Into the Creation Stage

The final stage of creating a social media content calendar is actually following what you’ve planned. Now that everything is laid out in front of you, it’s time to begin content creation. Block off some time to start writing posts, designing graphics, and whatever else you need. Then, you just need to add everything to your favorite scheduling tool.