Have you ever wondered how your favorite print and digital magazines are put together?
The answer is an Editorial Calendar – a planning tool that no magazine can do business without. While you’re celebrating Christmas, your favorite print magazine is putting the final touches on their Labor Day issue.
This same concept can, and should, apply to your marketing – which includes an overall marketing calendar – and even a social media calendar.
Managing Social Media Content
The key purpose of an editorial calendar is to plan for the months ahead and ensure a consistent, impactful and cohesive message. For instance, there are likely several staff members working on various aspects of content development at the same time. Everyone on the team shares the calendar and respective updates. This in turn provides direction and ensures objectives are met in a timely and correct manner.
Similarly, a social media calendar can be a huge asset to a small business. It breaks down your social media marketing strategy into monthly, weekly and daily tasks. As you populate your social media calendar with tasks, you can develop a consistent message and work as seamlessly as most publications do. Best of all, you’ll always know what you need to do and when it should be completed.
Moreover, a social media calendar can help you get the most impact out of every post. “S
Keeping Social Media Fluid
But wait – did something outside of the plan just happen? How can you share new information without disrupting your calendar?
Remember: just like the marketing strategy you put into place at the beginning of the year, strategy can shift and take a new direction. Your calendar, much like your strategy, must be fluid enough to handle the occasional hiccup or allow you to jump on an unexpected opportunity.
Similarly to how you revisit your marketing strategy throughout the year, you should revisit your social media calendar as well. Changes to your overall marketing strategy will likely need to be reflected in social media as well.
Without a social media calendar, you might not notice times throughout the year when your social media activity is light or heavy. More importantly, if you don’t have a plan, how do you know what social media activity is driving results? Or what activities you should be monitoring and how?
Your social media calendar is also a go-to place for new ideas. It’s a better idea repository than scraps of paper or post-it notes stuck to your computer screen.
Lastly, if your marketing strategy includes outsourcing social media work or content marketing, imagine the benefit a calendar will have not only for your business, but for those you have hired.
Taking The Pressure Off Social
We’ve all done it – spent more time on the enjoyable business tasks and left the not-so-much-fun stuff behind. We also know the stress that adds to our daily lives.
Perhaps you’re not comfortable writing content or you envy the way some people seem to have complete mastery over social media, but feel hopelessly muddled every time you log onto Facebook.
Having a social media calendar in your marketing arsenal takes a huge amount of pressure off of yourself. Now you know what to do and when to do it – and most importantly, you can plan for it.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Orzala Quddusi is the founder and CEO of Make it Happen Services, a Canadian business that specializes in helping small business owners grow their business with the right systems; specifically online and offline marketing systems. Connect with @makeithappenser on Twitter.
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