Sample of Content Calendar. As you can see, when you plot out your calendar based on the content you already have, it is easier to maintain your presence with great content!

This does not seem to be the most revolutionary of advice as most people have a calendar to plan out their projects, tasks, events both in their personal and professional life.   Did you know you can use the same tool to manage your Social Media Presence?  Who Knew!? There are a couple of important pieces of information that you need to know about your content to get a sense of what you want to share to your audience.  Here are the 4 things you should consider when creating the content you will post:

*Please remember the 5:1 Ratio strategy when posting to your networks.

1- Purpose of Post

Are you an event intensive organization like a consulting organization that hosts weekly forums so you want to remind your fans that a post is coming?  How about an advocacy group that wants to make sure your fans are aware of recent updates? There are monthly activities that you know will happen that should be sent out to your social networks.  Just like you have a newsletter that you plan to send relevant information, you can do the same with your networks. You do plan for your newsletters right?

Not only is reminding folks of an event but live posting onto your Fan Page or twitter and posting follow-up pictures are great ways to remind folks that you are a real business and are passionate about what you do. If you have access to the internet on your mobile phone, most social media sites like Facebook allow you to email or text your updates to your page (if you dont have the actual applications installed).   All in all, between events, regular updates, even monthly holidays, birthday shout out for employees or volunteers are great way to fill your content calendar every month!

2- Area of Campaign

We all run campaigns.  A campaign to raise funds, recruit volunteers, to inform the public, bring in business, sell products, etc.   Your posts online should each have to do with what you are “campaigning” for (I have a predilection for political campaigning hence the reference).  Are you marketing a product? Make sure each week you have a post that brings up said product.  Same applies for promoting expertise, providing advice, highlighting employees, pleas for donations, etc.

Essentially, these components is to remind you that a given post fall under a specific category. This helps you delegate to the department that is responsible for said information. For example, the president/ceo talks about the great new donations or clients they received. The event coordinator provides the event calendar and later postings (before, during and after event).   The secretary collects employee or volunteer highlights to post monthly.  Finally, the president/ceo stops to listen to how their fans are responding.   The following month the calendar can be updated to reflect what your fans were most interested in.  You can use a social media dashboard like Hootsuite to coordinate who posts when and schedule regular posts such as quotes, event reminders and the like.

3-Frequency

Posting quotes 4 times a week will only occasionally get a like/comment/retweet and may not help meet your desired results.  So getting an idea of how often you post something in a given month is helpful to make sure you get a balanced posting schedule.  For Example:

Qoutes: 4x a month every Tuesdays

Event Reminders: 3x per month per event (assorted events)

Employee/Volunteer Highlight: 1x per month every 2nd Wednesday

Happy Birthday Employee/Volunteer: To be decided month to month

As you can see, this gives you and your team a clearer picture about how you will organize your posting calender.  Once you do this at the beginning of the month, than you can plan how you will develop the actual post to make sure they come out on time and with the message you want to send.  *Please Note: once you have a calendar ready, you wont have to struggle to come up with something to post. You will always have great suggestions to make sure your fans see great content with consistent frequency.

4-Network

Each social media profile you use will go to a different network of people who you have developed.  This is easier at the beginning as you will likely only have a close-knit network of people who follow you.  However, as you grow, you will realize that you can post your updates into a Facebook Group or a particular hashtag on Twitter. Posting your content in the right network will make sure the most relevant people get to see your great content.

As you can see, if you time to plan your posts in the beginning of the month, you can spend those 15-30 minutes of Social Media engaging with other peoples work, thus building constructive relationships with other people that can bring you the results you are looking for.  As a last point, you can plot the 4 things you need in an excel file as columns such as:

Purpose of Post          Area of Campaign           Frequency            Network

With the frequency in mind, you can use a calendar to plot out when the post would come out.  These two documents will allow you to plan your content and share it with your team so that they also can be involved in creating the content and save YOU time.  Happy Planning!

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