In this step by step guide you will learn how to plan and schedule the content for your social channels.
Of course, our philosophy is SIMPLICITY so this is the simplest but most EFFICIENT way to program your Social Media for a certain period (in our guide, one week).
Let’s get to it!
Steps To Create A Content Calendar
#1 Plan One Week Ahead
In this guide we are going to develop a week content calendar plan and schedule. The intention is to create this plan for the NEXT WEEK.
#2 Apply The Rule 3/4
This is: during the week, you post 3 commercial posts (selling your products, promotion of your services, etc.) / 4 non-commercial posts.
In this case, according to your business needs, choose 3 commercial topics (i.e. new collection, promotions, new arrivals, specific products, etc.). Just name the idea, you don’t need to write a whole text about it yet.
Once you have your commercial posts ready, it’s the turn to the non-commercial posts selection:
First, go to Google Calendar and click on “festive calendar” to check if there are any special celebrations or events (Valentine’s, Mothers Day, April Fools, or whatever). In case they are relevan to your business or industry, or to your audience en general, it would be a good idea to select it, since probably the conversation on social channels will be related to that event.
Once you are aware of that special day in the week, you must develop the rest of the content (up to 4 non- commercial posts). The key rule here is make content relevan to your audience (in other words, content that they value).
If you need some help here, you can download the Content Hack File, packed with ideas of content for your Social Media posts or your blog.
#3 Go To Google Calendar
Go to Google Calendar and create an specific calendar for your social posts, you can call this calendar “Editorial Calendar”, for example.
Why do I recommend Google Calendar?
- It’s a calendar itself (obvious).
- You don’t need to download anything or print anything.
- It allows you to write properly in terms of grammar, and comfort white creating your text.
- You have access to it from other devices (like your smartphone or your another computer).
- You can move around each piece from one day to another with ease. (reschedule).
- You can write down ideas for future content on the go, anywhere (using your phone).
- It’s shareable with other team member so you can create a work team if necessary.
- You can have an historical record of your publications.
I think these are evident reasons as why to use this calendar over other printable options.
Now you just have to decide where to allocate each pice of content to the different days of the week; try to mix a little bit commercial with commercial posts.
Now it’s the turn for the next step.
Here you have to decide for each post, what images (photos or videos) you would like to use to be the visual part of your content.
You may already have them (for example images of your products), or you will need to get them, or you may need to create them: for example posts about our team party, you will record a video as it happens just before publish t on your social channels).
Also you may need to create some sort of visuals (like text over photo for example). In this case you an work with mobile apps or other online editors.
To learn how you can create your images (super easy!!), go to my article How to Create Stunning Images For Social Media & Blog (for absolute beginners).
#5 Writing The Texts
Now you need to write the final content. Don’t over do it! On social media you just need to express yourself in the same way you would do in your everyday life, try to be a little bit fun; and if it’s ok, use any call to action of your texts or caption.
Try to adapt the text to the style of each channel (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) just slight variations of the same text.
#6 Hashtags Researching
Now its the turn for hashtags. they work different in every social platform. Follow these basic guidelines about the right number of hashtags:
- Twitter: 2-3 hashtags
- Instagram: up to 30. use some very popular, another bunch of your business or interest related hashtags, a couple of hashtags created for you for your brand.
- Facebook: Hashtags are not popular on Facebook. You don’t need to use them here. In case you do, keep it to 2 hashtags.
Once you have your hashtags, you just need to add them at the end of the according texts.
#7 Schedule Your Posts
This is the final step, you already have the images and the texts, so now you just need to go toa a schedule site and copy paste your text, upload your photos and select date and time you want yous content to be published.
- Buffer: Maybe the most popular social scheduling tool; has a ample free plan, it’s easy and it’s good!
- Twittimer: It’s SUPER easy! If you are 100% non-techie, this one is for you. Check their Getting Started Guide.
Well that’s all! Now you have your weekly content plan!
This scheduling scheme needs to be recurrent, something you do every week. With time you can develop a monthly plan, making some adjustments adding weekly plans.
It takes a little bit of time to develop the whole thing, especially preparing images and texts but, it takes easier over time; specially if you follow these super extra tips:
Bonus Tips: Secret Weapons
During the week, every time you come across new ideas of content for your future posts, add them right away on your “Editorial Calendar” on your phone. You can include images and text if you already have them.
Also if you discover new future events, celebrations, special days, etc.
If some of your posts are very successful, you can repurpose it on the future. Just copy the event on the calendar, and paste it to another future date of your choice. This system for repurposing works wonders for Twitter: on Twitter you can publish the same exact tweet many times in the month even along the years! Also on twitter you can post as many times as you want during the day. So you can copy your Tweets and paste them on different dates of the year.
This will populate your Twitter scheduling over time!
With these secret weapons, you will have some work already done when you have to prepare your next Content Plan.
I hope this step by step tutorial is helpful for you. As always, I LOVE to keep things simple but efficient!
Let me know your comments!!