Social Media Editorial Calendar: 5 Key Elements
Despite social media’s content distribution power, many marketers feel that their social marketing efforts are aimless and don’t yield measurable results.
When it comes to social media, planning and timing are everything.
Want to see how you’re planning stacks up? Here’s how marketers plan content distribution on Facebook and Twitter based on Percolate’s Senior Executive Insights survey as reported by eMarketer. Note, of those marketers surveyed, inactivity was significant for both Facebook and Twitter.
- 25% of marketers plan Facebook usage a month or more in advance. Facebook is more likely to be integrated with other marketing activity.
- 22% of marketers use Twitter on the fly. They show up and participate based on what’s happening right now.
Marketers surveyed shared the following content types.
- 57% of respondents shared e-newsletters.
- 49% of respondents shared images.
- 43% of respondents shared short-form content (e.g. tweets) and status updates.
- 39% of respondents shared presentations.
- 34% of respondents shared blog posts.
- 34% of respondents shared long-form videos.
31% of marketers determine what to share based on monitoring social media.
Regardless of the social media platforms where your target audience is active, you can improve your social media results with a little planning in the form of a social media editorial calendar. It transforms your social media sharing into a no-thought-needed process.
A social media editorial calendar is the key to:
- Keeping your social media presence alive
- Distributing your content marketing, and
- Staying aligned with your business objectives
5 Key elements of a social media editorial calendar
Map out your social media editorial calendar with these 5 elements. They will create the basic structure for your social media engagement to ensure that you’re keeping your presence active. (Here’s how to put your social media editorial calendar into your social media strategy.)
1. Major business events
Regardless of whether you’re a major corporation or a solopreneur, start with the principal happenings in your category or industry as well as your location. Starting your social media calendar with these events allows you to block out social media themes.
- Use the major holidays in your category and location. Of course, also consider events where your target audience is.
- Add fun quirky events. Choose those related to your business that will engage your target audience.
- Include industry conferences and firm meetings. Use these events to not only create relevant content, but also to participate in relevant discussions.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Monitor what your competitors and customers are doing on social media. Don’t live in a social media bubble.
While your social media interactions should be a promotion-free zone, know where your key marketing promotions are since they’re the core of your marketing calendar. As a rule of thumb, you should have at least 1 per month as a hook to lure prospects in.
- Create related social media interactions associated with your key marketing promotions. Where appropriate, transform these promotions into social media gold without shouting buy, buy, buy.
- Use a variety of social media platforms. Don’t limit yourself to Facebook. Consider where your target audience is present.
- Incorporate soft offers. Include lead generation and email acquisition deals such as ebooks.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Create social media relevant landing pages. Don’t assume that one size fits all for attracting and converting social media prospects. Incorporate tracking to help you determine social media results.
3. Content marketing
This is the heart of your business’s content and communications and should have a tailored editorial calendar that extends across your organization. It’s a critical element of your social media editorial calendar since social media drives content marketing distribution. This information falls into the following categories:
- Major content marketing projects. These are often large, high-priced pieces of content with related smaller content offerings.
- On-going content. This is your regular content that includes blog posts, enewsletters,
- Other corporate content. Many marketers overlook the power of this information as content marketing and social media. But transform sales, customer service and investor communications into content marketing and it can support your marketing.
- Corporate announcements and PR. Where appropriate transform this information into social media friendly communications.
- Content on third party media. This includes content created by your employees for other blogs and media entities. It’s also known as guest blogging.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Leverage the power of each piece of content by creating multiple social media shares at the time of creation. Extend the power of your content resources while minimizing costs.
Integrate your evergreen content into your social media editorial calendar. Without doing this, you’re liable to forget about useful information.
- Incorporate seasonally appropriate content. This should be a no-brainer. Change the context and imagery to maximize your content’s power. (Audit your content marketing to ensure that it’s up-to-date. Even more important make sure that is easily findable.)
- Extend the power of your strongest content. Where appropriate, re-envision existing information to reach a new audience on social media.
Actionable Marketing Tips:
- Curate other relevant content for your audience. Show your followers that you’re a tastemaker in your field.
- Provide context for influencers’ content. Support influencers increase your visibility.
5. Hashtags and keywords
On social media, hashtags aid findability and expand your potential audience.
- Add at least one relevant hashtag to each social media share.
- Optimize your social media shared content for search. Make sure that people can find your information.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Participate using key hashtags. Raise your visibility by engaging and interacting on social media. Twitter chats can be useful to achieve this goal.
5 Tactics to improve social media editorial calendar results
Your social media editorial calendar is the initial step towards improved social media interaction and distribution. (BTW, here’s how to improve social media results.)
1. Expand your social media audience
Determine who you want to be part of your social media audience and how you will attract them. Take the time to assess the following 3 key groups of people.
- Influencers. These are the thought leaders in your category. Assess what they’re sharing and who they’re attracting to their content. Then decide who you want to follow and which content of theirs you want to curate.
- Employees. Include everyone in your social media activities by training them and providing them with guidelines to understand how to extend your firm’s reach. To maximize their power, help them with their social media presence and provide them with preformatted content to share.
- Customers. Ask your customers to join you on social media. Make them feel special as a member of your following. Extend your social media interactions by incorporating a few tidbits in your emailings and other communications.
2. Leverage social media scheduling tools
Reduce your social media engagement time by using one or more social media tools to schedule your social media shares in advance. Depending on your budget and company size, your choices vary. (BTW—Ian Cleary is the expert where social media tools are concerned.)
- Schedule your own and curated content in advance based on the times that yield the most re-shares for your audience. The objective is to batch as much of your social media sharing as possible.
3. Update your calendar for trending topics
Trending topics can be a double edged sword. A careless social media interaction can be harmful when taken out of context.
- Review your social media shares for the next or current day. Ensure that nothing’s happened in the world that may make your business appear out of touch. Think Kenneth Cole’s Egyptian tweet.
4. Book time for engagement
Stop by your favorite social media platforms to be human. Think of it as standing around the water cooler.
- Set parameters for professional versus personal social media. Remember to think, even better take some time, before sharing personal information on social media.
- Be active and available on social media. Where appropriate, let people know when you’ll be active.
5. Respond to comments
Nothing says “no one home” like comments without any response.
- Create a social media policy for engagement. Give your employees guidance.
- List customer service alternatives on your company social media pages. Let prospects and customers get in touch with you when they need to.
To get your content distribution on track to succeed, it’s critical to use a social media editorial calendar. It enables you to incorporate all of the different elements of your marketing to maximize results.
What are your social media editorial calendar tips and tricks?
By Mark W. Schaefer and the RISE Community.
This book belongs on every marketer's bookshelf!
It's a big book of strategies and tips on everything Marketing with contributions by 36 authors from 10 different countries, each an expert on a subcategory of marketing.
Mark Schaefer is a well-known author and popular speaker. His books include Belonging To The Brand, Marketing Rebellion and Known. (BTW, AMG's CTO, Larry Aronson, wrote the chapter of Search Engine Optimization.)
Table of Contents
|Part One: Strategy fundamentals|
|1||Marketing Strategy||Samantha Stone|
|2||The Four Ps of Marketing||Robbie Fitzwater|
|3||Marketing Research||Marci Cornett and Frank Prendergast|
|4||Consumer Behavior||Scott Murray|
|6||Customer experience||Lisa Apolinski|
|7||Marketing Measurement||Bruce Scheer|
|Part Two: Content Strategy|
|8||Content Marketing Strategy||Karine Abbou|
|10||Podcasts||Marion Abrams + Chad Parizman|
|11||YouTube and video||Laura Vendeland Doman|
|12||Livestreaming||Ian Anderson Gray|
|13||Messaging & Copywriting||Giuseppe Fratoni and Al Boyle|
|Part Three: Social Media|
|14||Social Media Strategy||Kami Watson Huyse|
|18||M Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez, MBA|
|20||Digital advertising||Jules Morris|
|Part Four: Marketing Standards|
|21||Direct Mail||Jeff Tarran|
|22||Email Marketing||Robbie Fitzwater|
|24||Traditional (print ads, billboards, radio)||Rob LeLacheur|
|25||Promotional Products Marketing||Sandee Rodriguez|
|26||Strategic Communications / PR||Daniel Nestle|
|28||Community Building||Fiona Lucas|
|Part Five: What's Next|
|29||Personal Branding||Mark Schaefer|
|31||Web3 (NFTs/tokens)||Joeri Billast|
|32||Artificial Intelligence||Mary Kathryn Johnson|
|33||Experiential marketing/UGC||Anna Bravington|
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