How to Build a Social Media Content Calendar

a calendar with some dates marked off

Social media for your business is no doubt an important aspect of your marketing plans. However, if you are going to use social media for the first time for your business, a content calendar is a great way to lay out what you want to post over a certain length of time.

Here is how to build a social media content calendar:

Determine Who Your Audience Is

Before you do anything else, you need to understand who your overall audience is. Let’s say you operate a document shredding company in your local community. Ideally, you want to reach people and businesses who may be in need of shredding services. You wouldn’t want to reach the wrong audience, would you? Regardless of what kind of business you run, make it clear who your audience is.

What Kind of Content to Use

A critical key to growing activity and engagement is providing your audience with good content. The question for you is what kind of content should you use? It can be a mixture of different kinds of content, such as blog posts, external articles, short videos, photos, and infographics. A recommendation is looking at a competitor’s social media sites and what they do right and what they do wrong.

How Often to Post

This stage will depend on a variety of different things, such as who your audience is, what your content is and which social media platforms you are using. However, simply put, how often should you post content? Once a day? Three times a day? Organizing your content is a good first step, i.e. separating where each piece of content goes to each of your social media platforms. Then you must determine what the best times to post your content are. Here is a great article detailing when you should post content, depending on which platforms you use. In addition, most social media platforms have analytics that can show you which pieces of your content are performing the best and which isn’t.

a screenshot of analytics

Designing Your Calendar

Next is designing the calendar you’ll use for your social media content. Ideally, Microsoft Excel is recommended to build your calendar. When you start to design your calendar, there are a few different paths you can start with, such as the right Excel template to use. While there is no specific right answer, templates to consider using include ‘business’ or ‘lists’, however, you can build a good calendar using a normal Excel sheet.

I recommend designing a template that’s easy to read. There is no right way to design a social media content calendar but here is an example of a basic, easy-to-read design.

a social media content calendar

In addition, consider a few social media management tools that can help you schedule your social media posts. Tools like Sprout Social will have a built-in calendar that you can use for your social media content purposes.    

infographic describing the steps of building a content calendar