Social Content Planning 101

There is so much planning that goes into social media content creation – from mapping out content ideas to drafting copy and designing captivating graphics. While the process of developing a social media calendar is a great source of creativity, it is also very time consuming and requires strategic thinking well in advance of posting.

As you plan your social media calendar, consider the following tips to stay organized and thoughtful.

Create Your Roadmap

Content ideas don’t just happen overnight. Each month, it’s important to set aside a few hours to map out content for the following month. This gives you time to really think about key topics and priorities for the month and the best way to communicate those to your target audiences. When creating your roadmap, think about:

  • Frequency: How often do you want to post a week? Just because you’re posting every day does not mean your content is resonating, and every brand is different. Remember, quality over quantity.
  • Key Dates/Topics: Are there any important events or milestones you want to highlight? This might be a good place to start when thinking about your calendar so you can prioritize this content over other supporting content throughout the month.
  • Trends: Are there any social media holidays that you want your brand to celebrate? Or are there any partner organizations or influencers you want to engage with? Research beyond content specifically for your brand to see how you can tap into new audiences and potentially grow your engagement.
  • Hashtags: It’s never too early to start thinking about which hashtags to include in your posts. Hashtags continue to be a great way to reach new audiences and grow content visibility. Spend some time researching hashtags to ensure you’re reaching as many relevant audiences as possible.

Establish Your Content Creation Workflow

Once you’ve mapped out a month’s worth of content (or more), it’s time to start drafting. It can be a daunting task to look at a full content calendar knowing you have to come up with concise, dynamic copy and visuals to support it. To avoid getting overwhelmed, consider dedicating a specific amount of time to content creation. Whether that’s two hours a day dedicated to writing copy or blocking off an entire day, giving yourself the time to focus rather than multitasking will help you come up with content that will hook your audience and ensure you don’t miss important details. When drafting copy, each post should include:

  • Hook: What is going to grab your audience’s attention right off the bat?
  • Key Message: This is the meat of your post that should tie back to your brand’s mission or goals. (i.e. if you are celebrating a national social media holiday, why is it relevant to your brand?)
  • Call to Action: What do you want your audience to do? (i.e. click a link, share, comment, sign up, etc.)

Schedule with Meaning

Scheduling social media content is a great way to save time and organize the content you so carefully mapped out. That said, scheduling also requires a degree of time and thought. Each platform has different peak days of the week and hours, which means you’ll want to do some research on when the best time to post is. Some scheduling platforms, like Sprout, even give you recommendations on when to post based on your analytics. In addition to scheduling, monitoring social media in real time is critical for all brands. You may have scheduled out the whole week in advance, however you may want to reconsider your posting strategy due to current events or last-minute changes in priorities. Planning ahead is key, but social media managers always have to stay flexible.

While time consuming, social media content planning is an important step to creating content that supports your brand and engages your target audiences. Take the time to strategically think about your social media goals and objectives and your content will be all the more thoughtful and effective. And if you need help crafting a social media strategy that supports your brand, check out our insight.

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