Marketing Corner: Social Media Calendar–Creating a Tactical Content Planning Program

When I took over my company’s social media last year, I implemented a tactical content planning program for all of our social media channels, with a focus on our main engagement drivers–Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Social media channels are more than “just social media”–they are a business’s most powerful marketing tool, so to get the most out of them, we have to treat them as such. In the year since I implemented the suggested tactical content planning program, my company’s social media channels have experienced an increase in followers–Facebook +17.5%, Instagram +185.5%, Twitter +25%–as well as engagement. The plan and process is easily adaptable for any business to meet their needs.

In February (our last normal content month, before COVID-19 change the vary nature of my business), the social media calendar looked like this:

Sample Content Calendar, simply created in Google Sheets

To get here, though, we had to take a few steps:

  1. Build an actual calendar
    • It doesn’t need to be complicated–I made ours in Google Sheets. It just needs to be an overview of the entire month
  2. Determine daily themes
    • My company settled on posting 5-6 days a week–Monday through Friday, and then a Saturday OR Sunday, as needed, for a specific call to action.
    • Each day needs a theme that determines the content type. Our daily themes are as follows:
      1. Monday – User generated content
      2. Tuesday – Outdoor/Recreation
      3. Wednesday – Blogs
      4. Thursday – Arts and Culture
      5. Friday – Foodie Friday
      6. Saturday/Sunday- Call to Action (i.e., newsletter sign up, follow our social media, etc.) OR any National Holiday/National Day we want to cover
  3. Add any National Days that would be of interest to your followers
    • Not just holidays, but those fun, quirky events that are easy to target through paid promos, like National Pet Day or National Wine Day (National Days website)
  4. Add your events
  5. Start filling in each day based on daily themes/events
    • Events that will drive traffic to your business should supersede the daily theme
    • Fill in the rest with content related to the daily theme

Each day’s post should focus on that one piece of content or theme. For example, on Tues. 2/11, we promoted an article by a guest contributer about the annual almond blossoms for our Outdoor/Recreation daily theme, and posted only about that across our social channels, varying the messaging and imagery so it wasn’t the same exact post across all our platforms.

If you’re looking to get started for your business, these are my recommendations:

  1. Post consistently. Whether that’s daily or once a week, figure out a posting schedule that you can commit to and stick to it. If it feels overwhelming, start with one or two posts a week; you can (and should) always increase the amount you post once you get the hang of things.
  2. Determine your daily themes and stick to them. Figure out the ones that make sense for your business! Some examples of daily themes:
    1. Call to Action (special offers, encouraging people to visit, sign up for mailings, etc.)
    2. Employee Profiles
    3. Weekly Special
    4. New Menu Item
    5. User Generated Content
  3. Use a Social Media Scheduler. With your plan in place, you can create your social content for the week or even the month if you have a scheduler, such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or, if you have a Facebook business account, Facebook’s Creator Studio. Otherwise, it’s easy to forget to post in the day-to-day grind.

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