How to Create a Social Media Calendar

How to Create a Social Media Calendar That Works? For Individual Creators

Nod your head if it sounds familiar to you…

  • Creating posts for your social media accounts consumes heaps of time.
  • Getting creative blocks every now and then hampers your performance.
  • You have deadlines to meet, and skipping a day without posting seems a viable option.
  • Content creation doesn’t sound fun anymore. It’s a chore that you have to perform.

If you nodded a “Yes” to any one of the above questions, then it’s time that you develop your social media content calendar.

How to Create a Social Media Calendar?

You might have already heard about it, yet you didn’t integrate it into your personal branding strategy. Or, it could probably be the first time you came across this term.

Don’t worry. It’s never too late, and this blog will answer all your questions about how to create a social media calendar that upgrades your personal branding game.

As an individual creator, you have multiple responsibilities to juggle every day. Getting into the creative zone for one post can be unnerving. This is where a social media calendar helps you.

What is a Social Media Calendar?

It is simply a planner for your social media content. 

Just like your to-do lists, monthly planners, and work planners, you list all the content you want to publish on all your online platforms and track in one place.

Social media calendar is an organized way of planning, managing, and scheduling all the content you want to publish on your socials in the upcoming week, month, or year.

When I say it’s a life savior, trust me I’m not exaggerating…

Mapping out your content in advance helps you stay organized, keep all the data in one place, and remember all the content you have worked on previously. When you have everything planned in advance, you are also less likely to procrastinate and skip posting on some days. It saves a lot of time. 

Moreover, you eliminate the chances of creative blocks and undue stress. This is because you don’t have to go about creating every day from scratch when you have everything set up in place.

In fact, repurposing content also becomes easier because you can track your published pieces of content and think of a better way to reuse it such that it ties up with your new posts.

Creating a social media content calendar is a goal-oriented approach that keeps you on track. And, when you stay consistent, you improve your performance and results.

So, the next question is

Where do you create a social media calendar?

You can use any medium to create a content calendar — digital or manual, whichever works the best for you. However, a digital calendar would be easier to follow and maintain. There are several software and tools that you can use to create digital calendars. 

Before we jump on how to create a social media calendar digitally, you must gain some clarity about two points:

Your Social Media Platforms

You might be using only Linked In or Instagram or you might have a presence on all social platforms. Write them down.

Type of Content 

Jot down the types of content you post — blogs, videos, reels, stories, podcasts, carousels, etc.

Listing the two will help you cover all the platforms and types of content in your calendar effectively.

Now that we have got it out of our way,

Let’s see the elements of a social media calendar:

These are the columns that most social media strategists use in their own calendars as well as in their clients’ businesses. You can always add or move the columns according to your needs.

Month & Dates: It’s pretty self-explanatory.

Templates: Templates offer a structured format that allows you to create a new post without starting from scratch. All you have to do is fill in the content under the designated labels.

For instance, if you listed Instagram Carousels as one of your content formats, your template will probably have:

  • Copy for the post
  • Graphics
  • Caption
  • Hashtags

You can break it down even further. A copy for the post will have:

  • Hook
  • Body
  • CTA

Preset templates for all types of content.

Content Library: One of the primary reasons behind creating a social media calendar is that you never run out of ideas. That’s why most social media strategists have a content library in their calendars.

Pro-tip to create an awesome content library: Spend 5-10 minutes every day on building your idea library. Come up with as many ideas as possible. It not only keeps your content library full but also fuels your creativity.

Always be on the lookout for ideas. Whenever you see a post, quote, or have any idea. Add it to your list. Check out other creative ways here.

Status: A status column allows you to keep a track of your progress — created, edited, posted, etc.

So, these are the key components of a social media calendar you would like to add. 

How to plot your content on the calendar Social Media Calendar?

We will cover two ways of plotting content: Spreadsheets and Software. 

When you use spreadsheets, you must create a monthly calendar to plot all your content of different platforms in one place and other spreadsheets for each of your social platforms.

Decide the number of posts you want to create. Add columns for dates, numbers, post titles, and status. You can also break down the components of each post and create specific columns. Also, do not forget to add a column for ideas.

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After setting up calendars for all your platforms, you can create one monthly calendar with all the scheduled posts to have a comprehensive look at your entire month. Or, you can integrate a software like Asana or Trello into this strategy.

When you use software like Trello or Asana for creating your content calendar, you won’t have to maintain different spreadsheets. This software is modeled on the Japanese real-life Kanban Boards. You create several columns just like you did in the spreadsheets. But, these columns have cards, not cells, like this:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7aBZRhW6gDcNF75HXoy6gZzNoWCCFv-eEbwkD1C7pY2Ge2rpFlX5SagULhKMXJRieV0S-U_7-fww2XShOd-19mdANBMDYrig4A87qxdLcJv2FQT7YJtQG0GsvHHD8rb49afcEupb=s0  (Made using Trello)

When you open these cards, you can add all the information regarding the post, to-do lists, links, images, etc. This way you can plot content for all your platforms in one place without creating different spreadsheets. Use can use color codes to label types of content. You can also schedule the date. 

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Then, you can use the inbuilt calendar to see all your content in one place. Moreover, you can simply duplicate the templates for your new cards. 

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If creating the content calendar from scratch seems overwhelming, you can download free social media content calendar templates from Google. There are a number of templates available. Tweak them according to your requirements.

Here is one easy-to-use template by Maya Palmer Designs.

The best part about this software is you can comprise the information and then click on the cards for more data. 

When you see all the content together in a comprised format, it will help you pan out your future content in a better way.

For instance, suppose you post 12 Instagram posts and one podcast in a month. You might want to post a story about the podcast closer to the release date. Next, you might like to create an Instagram post by repurposing your podcast content, maybe a key takeaways post. When you see it in a comprehensive manner, it will help you schedule the posts closer to your other content such that everything unifies.

This is how you create a social media calendar that actually works and saves time.

But be careful. Do not get into a static content creation loop that bores your audience after some time. 

Here is a way to keep sharing dynamic content:

  • Stay relevant.
  • Show your human side.
  • Leave room for spontaneity.

How to keep your Social Media Calendar Dynamic?

Special Events & Holidays

Mark the events and holidays in the upcoming month and create content around them. This keeps you relevant to the audience. If you have a launch, then create content around it too. 

Your Messaging

Your existing tribe and to-be fans, both, want to know the human being behind the screen. Include:

Behind the scenes

Show a glimpse of your daily life, work process, an event you attended, what you like, etc.

About your business

Once in a while share about you and your services — what you do, your products, your launches, successes, etc. If you have an upcoming launch, then build content around it.

For Community

Uplift your community by sharing insights, quotes, and inspiring content. Also, give them a chance to introduce themselves and engage with you. Ask them questions and do polls.

Trends

There are always a few trends taking place at the same time. Leverage them and create content around them. For instance, a new reel trend.

This way you keep your audience engaged and stay updated

After creating and plotting all the content, the next step is to schedule it.

Not all of us have time to spare and be available to post content. And if you’re aware of how time can affect your engagement and reach, then you’d understand why posting content at a specific time is so important.

This is why softwares like Buffer, Planoly, and Facebook Creator Studio exist. All you have to do is create an account, add all your content on the platform, and specify the date and time when you want to post it. The software will take care of posting on your behalf.

And voila! Your social media content calendar is ready. Happy creation!

Do you know?  GoSocial connects you with established creators. You can learn from them and optimize your content creation process. With GoSocial, you can join online workshops, online courses, and do a lot more. It also allows you to be a part of a community of like-minded individuals.