What’s inside this article: If you are wondering how to make a social media calendar that really, truly reaches your audience and helps to grow your community, we’re walking through 5 tips to get you started!
Let’s just say what we’re all thinking… sometimes social media can be overwhelming.
Heck, even as content marketers it can be overwhelming.
Constantly having to keep up to the algorithm shifts, choose from an endless rollout of new features and platforms, the constant output of content on your website, email and socials….
But, as small business owners, we’re a resourceful and proactive bunch. We know how great social media is for our businesses to connect with our community, make a positive impact and generate sales.
That’s why we’re going to talk all about how to build a social media calendar that works for you, so you can ditch the overwhelm, connect with your audience and build a thriving community that leads to growth, recognition and those sweet sweet sales.
Welcome to the power of a strong social media calendar.
Having a strong social media calendar alongside your social media strategy, can give you the focus you need to create and batch content in a way that feels easy and productive for you.
Let’s dive into our 5 top tips…
How to Design a Social Media Calendar in 5 Easy Steps
1. Create content buckets (engagement, storytelling, inspire, information, product promotion)
When you are creating a social media strategy and designing your social calendar, content buckets or content pillars are a godsend. Content pillars are the topic categories that align best with your audience based on your brand niche or industry.
The 4 most common topic pillars are: educate, inspire, engage and promote.
Many brands and marketers base the topic pillars off of these, as well as tailored topics based off of what the audience is looking for. Let’s say you’re a wellness practitioner who shares advice and has bespoke 1:1 and group packages. Your content buckets would be health and wellness tips, products and services, testimonials, and your personal story. By sticking to core pillars it makes it incredibly easy for you to come up with your social media calendar every week or month.
Think about your business and audience, your message, trends in the industry, your competition and how you can create weekly topics that suit these needs. For us, we make a list (we use Trello) with our content pillars at the top and we brainstorm content ideas for each topic. If you can come up with 5 topics per pillar per month, that is all your content sorted and all you have to do is create graphics and captions and schedule it in.
Try it out, it will save you a ton of time each month trying to figure out what to talk about on your feed.
2. Create a content calendar that considers multiple formats (stories, reels, feed etc)
When you are mapping out your social media calendar, the first step is content pillars and a list of topics. Once that’s ready you can start plugging that into an actual social media calendar with dates, times and formats.
Trello also has a calendar view, and so does a tool like Asana. You can even use a trusty spreadsheet and you’ll want to consider:
- Date – what’s being published
- What format and where (stories, feed, reel, tiktok)
- Call to actions & next step your audience needs to take
If you’re feeling really stuck, here is a great free social media calendar download.
A great tip for developing your social calendar is to colour code each content bucket and content idea so you can see how balanced your content is across the month. This helps you get into a rhythm of filling in your calendar ahead of time so that you don’t have to constantly stress about social media content output every week.
3. Build a community and ask questions
Still unsure of what content to produce or want to strike the right balance? Ask your community.
They follow you because they’re interested in what you have to say and are happy to support you. So go on and ask them what they’d like to know.
Use stickers in your stories to ask questions, create polls or speak to the camera. Ask your community what they value from you the most and create content that aligns with that. You don’t have to do this alone.
4. Think about how you are engaging with them in the first 1.5 seconds of your content hitting their eyeballs
Content buckets – check
Content ideas – check
Content calendar – check
Creating eye-catching, scroll stopping content, hmmm…
You don’t want to put all that effort into planning your content and have it fall flat. Plus, you only have seconds to make an impression. That’s why we recommend using Canva Pro. There are thousands of templates and ideas to choose from to really make your content stand out. If you’re new to Canva Pro, we have a whole blog post dedicated to showing you its best features. You’ll be creating knock-out content in no time. Read it here.
Oh PS – if you are looking for some great pre-fabbed Canva templates, we release a new template for you to use with your business every month. Just sign up for our emails (we are really non-spammy) and get access to some of our favourite FREE Canva templates.
5. And lastly, calls to action – get them to take action and move on to the next process in that content journey
It’s your job as a small business to share your story in an organic and effortless way. This is rarely done through 1 piece of content (or one social media post). If someone has landed on your page because you put out something that was thought provoking, the next step is to keep them engaged and take them on a journey so they can get to know you.
This can be done through CTA’s or call-to-actions and one of the biggest mistakes we see is having no call-to-action or a weak one.
What do you want your audience to do next?
Whether it’s posing a question to start a debate in the comments or telling them to check out the latest blog or filling out an enquiry form. Don’t leave your content hanging, make your audience want to take action.
So, there you have it, our 5 top tips on how to create a social media calendar that reaches your audience and builds your community.
Remember, the good old saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Ok, we might be being a bit over dramatic but you catch our drift. It is always so much easier to feel confident on social media when you have a plan.
And as always, we are here to help. If you have any questions or you’re looking for support with your digital marketing or social media strategies, you can contact us for a free discovery call.
P.s. Are you interested in Canva Pro? For such a small investment it could be a huge benefit. It’s easy just click on our affiliate link to sign up.