Social media editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is a plan for producing editorial content for social media. It is an invaluable tool for social media management since it provides for the editorial themes, resources and people dedicated to their production. It is usually developed several months in advance. It helps you to optimize your strategy through sound prior reflection.

According to the blog, there is a set of steps to follow in order to create a successful plan for your social networks.

First, you need to list the social networks your company is active on and evaluate their effectiveness. If your target audience is more active on one platform than another, that is where you should focus your efforts. So make sure you strengthen your presence by posting more on that platform. If you see a huge growth on a particular social network, you need to identify the reasons. You should check whether it is the type of content you publish that makes your audience more receptive to a particular format (video, story or photo) or to a specific activity (promo code, etc.). Paid campaigns should also be analyzed to validate whether a specific campaign was able to stimulate the observed growth. It is important to check whether there is a particular social network that seems to attract more of your audience and drive more traffic to your website.

Once the social networks to be used or prioritized have been determined, the next step is to define the types of content to be created and published on each of them. In general, four formats are used: images (single or carousels); videos (live or uploaded); texts; and links (to your website, for example). Some formats are more appropriate for certain social media than others. For example, all formats are suitable for Facebook and LinkedIn, while for Instagram it is more appropriate to use photo or video content. You need to adopt a publishing schedule that takes into account the content production capacities you have in order to maintain a good regularity. Otherwise, you will have to call on freelancers to delegate some of the content creation. You should also analyze the data of your publications in order to know which types of publications generate more actions or reactions from your followers.

The next step is to create and organize your content calendar. For this, it is recommended to use a suitable tool like HootSuite, Trello, Canva, etc. The chart should contain some key information, such as date and time of publication, format (post, story, carousel, slideshow), text, social network, purpose, visual (photo, video), link and budget (if you plan to sponsor). The first five columns must be filled in each time. The objective defines the action you want your audience to take after seeing your publication, i.e. like, comment, share or click on the link, if there is one. If the post is about, for example, a product launch, a particular event or a promotional campaign, another column can be added to specify the occasion.

A proper social media marketing planning can be done for an entire year, especially for big recurring dates such as sales periods, Mad Friday, Cyber Monday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s Day, etc. These events can inspire you to plan several publications in advance. There are also other important occasions, such as new product launches, that can also inspire you. It’s always a good idea to get a head start on your calendar with a month or two’s worth of publications in stock in order to better plan and optimize your social media strategy.

This whole planning process should help define the frequency of publications (one to three times a week) and the levels of responsibility of each person who plays a role in the social media strategy. That’s why you need to include in your editorial calendar the names, roles and contact information (email and phone) of everyone. Everyone should know their responsibilities and be able to contact other colleagues easily if necessary. The calendar should specify the ideal time for publication, taking into account the analytical data and the variety of content to be published over time.

This article is part of the Digital marketing and eCommerce toolkit, an initiative offered as part of the free digital marketing and e-commerce consultation service for retailers of the City of Montreal.

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