by: Teah Hopper – firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have ideas for your next social media posts written in your notebook, somewhere on your phone, on the back of a receipt and your hand? We've all been there! Ideas come to you at the most inconvenient times. But if you don’t capture them – you’ll lose them! A content calendar gets all those ideas out of your head and organized in ONE place. As we kick off a New Year, now is the time to map out your social media for 2020.
In my opinion, a content calendar is a must-have tool for social media success. Great social media starts with amazing content. But strong, engaging content doesn't just happen. There’s a lot of work that goes into it - from brainstorming ideas and planning to creating a system for posting consistently. This is where a content calendar comes in! Just like my planner, it tells me what I am supposed to be doing, where I should be doing it and when – on social media. It takes the thinking out of it and allows me to make better use of my time.
Here are the top 6 reasons a content calendar will make your life easier - and my favorite one!
1. Content calendars lead to more strategic and relevant content.
When you have a content calendar, you can sit down and plan out your content in advance instead of coming up with it on the fly. If you plan it out in advance, then you can ensure that what you're talking about is relevant to your audience. Without a strategy in place, content is often thrown together last minute, and instead of knowing it is relevant to your audience, you just cross your fingers in hopes that they like it. A content calendar allows you to plan out and create more valuable and strategic social media posts.
2. Content calendars help you get organized
Organization is key. Mismatched lists in your phone, notebook, and the back of your planner are not helpful because these ideas aren’t all in one place. With a content calendar, you’ll have them in one spot. It will also help you get everything out of your head and onto paper (or in an Excel file, whatever you choose to use).
I've worked with so many clients and done numerous trainings on content calendars, and I always get the same comment: Everyone says that creating one makes them feel better, more organized and more free.
3. Content calendars allow you to plan ahead.
You will be shocked by how much planning ahead will make your life easier, especially if you're always creating your content last minute. With a content calendar, you always have an idea of what you're going to post. Then, each month you can sit down for an hour or two to create your content and have it ready to go. Gone are the panicked days of having no idea what to post, because you will have it figured out in advance. Planning ahead actually frees you up, and you'll get even better ideas and feel more inspired to create those posts.
4. Content calendars save you time.
You are so much more efficient when you have your content planned out. When you already know what you're going to post, you can spend an hour each week to schedule your posts. Content calendars require a bit of time upfront to create, but in the end having a plan will save you so much time and energy. Your weeks will feel lighter and happier once you start using a content calendar.
5. Content calendars help you delegate.
Raise your hand if you've ever said, "I wish I could have someone help me with my social media." When you have your content planned out, you can do that! You can put together a team. Or maybe you already have a team, but you're not on the same page. A content calendar allows everyone to get on the same page. Depending on what type of content calendar you use, you could even assign tasks, deadlines and roles to different people so that they can help create and post your content. Content calendars make delegating easy!
6. Content calendars allow for consistency.
Planning your posts ensures that you're able to post consistently. Both consistency from the standpoint of messaging, so your message remains the same, and also from the standpoint of timing. Content calendars help you achieve your posting goal, whether it be posting every day or three days a week. And consistency is so important when it comes to social media.
There are lots of different ways you can set up your content calendar. You can use a physical calendar, an Excel file or an online tool like Trello. It doesn't really matter what you use as long as it works for you. My personal favorite content calendar has become Google Calendar. I love using it so much that I created a how-to guide, with step-by-step instructions on how to set up your own content calendar on Google Calendar. You can grab it from my website: teahhopper.com. Happy planning!