Using a Content Calendar for Twitter

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You’ve likely heard of a content calendar, even if you don’t use one. It’s a great tool for marketers to stay on top of their content creation and distribution. But it’s still a bit of a mystery topic for many marketers. So this week, we chatted with Lucy Rendler-Kaplan, the founder of Arkay Marketing & PR about how brands can get the most out of their content calendars. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Topic: Using a content calendar for Twitter
Guest: Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What’s a content calendar?

A content calendar is a plan outlining what content you’ll be sharing. It includes the topic of your post, promotional copy, images to accompany your post, and the date and time of publication. You can have a content calendar for your social media, your blog, your PR efforts, and so on.

As Julia from NOW Marketing Group pointed out, a content calendar doesn’t necessarily have to be in a calendar format. It can be a text document, a spreadsheet, or a dedicated social media management tool—whatever works for you.

Q2: Why is a content calendar important for a brand?

Brands usually have multiple people logging in to interact as the brand. Having a content calendar unifies everyone on the same page, making sure everyone knows what’s going on with the brand at all times. It helps maintain a consistent brand voice.

As our guest added, having a calendar also defines everyone’s roles within the brand’s characteristics. For instance, if one person engages in Twitter chats as the brand and another schedules posts, and yet another manages direct messages and mentions, a content calendar will designate each person’s time as the brand, what they should do, and how.

Christine also reminded us that a content calendar is a reflection of your brand’s long-term plan. It’s important because it gives you and your team a sense of direction—a way to tell yourselves that you’re moving forward for a specific purpose and that every piece of content you share has a targeted audience and a goal. Without a calendar, your content would be in disarray.

Q3: How do you go about creating a content calendar?

As a first step, come up with content and topics that address your target audience’s concerns and issues. When you have content that directly relates to what your audience wants to hear from you, you can then start to plan them out throughout a week or month. Be also open to testing out various schedules, moving things around, and experimenting with content formats.

Our friends from Clover Media spoke about the importance of clearly defining where you want to post each piece of content. Not everything is ideal on every channel. Identify and match your content with the platform, and then think about how and when you’ll publish it, who will publish it, how often you’ll update it (particularly for blog posts), and how you’ll communicate those changes to your audience.

It’s equally important to make time to engage with your community members. Allocate a specific time each day to respond to replies, continue conversation threads, and re-engage with those who engage with your brand.

Q4: How far in advance should you fill up your calendar?

This is subjective and depends largely on your goals, your industry, and what your competition is doing.

Most people plan a month in advance, leaving plenty of room to change things around in case something happens that requires swift action. Many brands also plan their content a week in advance because that way, if anything does happen, they won’t have to change too much in their calendar. Experiment with a few different styles and stick with whatever works best for you. Either way, as Madalyn said, make sure to stay on top of any latest trends and news so you can make modifications to your calendar as and when necessary.

Q5: Does having a content calendar improve engagement?

Indeed, it does. But unlike, say a video, content calendars provide engagement over a period of time, rather than instantly. For example, as our guest explained, when you have a content calendar, you have a schedule. Your audience will start to expect certain types of content from you. Soon, you’ll either be offering your insights as a part of a community, or you’ll have a community forming around you.

In both of those scenarios, you’ll have established a reputation for yourself, and your audience will increasingly engage with you as you continually remain relevant and consistent.

Though a content calendar can be invaluable in pushing out content to your audience, as Sarah mentioned, you also have to do some of the work yourself and actively engage with your community. That’s how they’ll recognize you for who you are and what you stand for. The more they know about you, the more they’ll trust you.

Q6: What should you do if you miss a calendar item?

Don’t worry too much about it. As our friends from Clover Media pointed out, a content calendar is a living document, which means if you miss a day, you can always reallocate your content to a later date.

If you can, use a scheduling tool along with your content calendar. That’ll prevent you from missing items you mean to post, as Lance mentioned. However, if you do miss once, try and work it into your future content.

Q7: Name some tools you can use to create content calendars.

You don’t have to look too far. There are specialized social media content management tools like SproutSocial. But even a good old spreadsheet will do the job well.

Pavel told us he uses Clickup to set up his content calendars. He also pointed out that there are heaps of content calendar templates online that you can download and start customizing.

Other recommendations from our community included Trello, Asana, Agorapulse, Buffer, Hubspot, Google Calendar, and iCal.

Q8: How often should you include evergreen posts in your content calendar?

Lucy recommends incorporating some form of evergreen content into your calendar every day. This, of course, also depends on how much evergreen content you have.

Kaz made a good point that brands often forget. Posting evergreen content often is important, but not so much that you annoy your audience. Because algorithms no longer work chronologically, it’s possible that your audience gets too much of your evergreen content one after the other. Or worse—they may see the same piece shared more than once in a short time span. Be careful and make conscious decisions about frequency.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks a lot for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Lucy, have a look through this thread. If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us every Thursday at 1pm ET on #TwitterSmarter. We also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff so I can pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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