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Master Social Media: Conquer Chaos with a Content Calendar!

| Flourish Monthly

Here’s an opinion that a lot of people have but are afraid to admit: posting on social media is hard. We’re not talking about that random selfie or photo of your dog, necessarily. When it comes to small business marketing, social media is a difficult tool to use. It’s incredibly powerful and can do a multitude of things. But unless you’ve got a crazily chaotic marketing brain (pray for us) it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is. The simple but frustrating answer is this: there is no right answer. So that means you have to choose! And then social media becomes an endless string of daily decisions you have to make about something you barely care about but know you need to do.

Want to break the chain? Use a Content Calendar.

But, what is a content calendar, you ask? It’s simply a schedule of all the content you plan to post on your social media channels over a specific period of time. This can be a week, a month, a quarter, or even a year, depending on your needs! Yes, your ticket to content superstardom is as simple as planning ahead. Who woulda thunk? 

So why should you use a content calendar? For starters, it can save you a ton of time and stress. By planning out your content in advance, you’ll avoid having to jumpstart the creative side of your brain in a last-minute panic. Plus, it ensures that your messaging is consistent and aligned with your brand identity! A content calendar can basically act as a storyboard for your marketing plan. You can also use it to track the performance of your posts and adjust your strategy as needed.

Now, let’s talk about how to create and use a content calendar:

  1. Get your Calendar. Flourish does this digitally with Google Sheets, but you can do this in a monthly planner, on a blank piece of paper, or any type of calendar you want!
  2. Pick 5-10 categories you’d like to post about. Examples are holidays, reviews, products/services, questions, and more. We like to color code this part so it’s especially easy to see in our calendar (the crazily chaotic parts of our brains appreciate this). Remember the 80/20 rule: you should only sell 20% of the time. The other 80 should be filled with inspiration, education, and entertainment. What will your audience respond to?
  3. Figure out how many days you’d like to post. There’s no “right” amount per week to be posting on any platform. However, there is constantly-updating research out there about what amounts on what platforms (and what post types) seem to be working for people. Check out our Facebook page for updates on this! You can also check your analytics to see when your audience is typically online and plan your posts on those days and times.
  4. Assign a category to each day you’d like to post. This is where color coding helps! Post a review on a Tuesday. Ask your followers a question on Friday. Assignments can be totally random, if you want! But having your categories color-coded will help you assure you’re not posting your orange category too often.

Eventually, you’re going to run out of pre-planned days to post. This is when you’ll need to update your calendar! Just fill in your days with the categories you’ve selected and you’ll be good to go. 

One more thing: don’t be afraid to be flexible. A content calendar is a living document, so if something isn’t working or you have a great idea to post, don’t hesitate to make changes. That awesome quote post you created will be just as good next week! That’s the beauty of having a plan in place - you can adjust as you go.

We understand this process can be intimidating, but once you’ve done it a few times it becomes second-nature! If you need help for any step in creating your content calendar, we can help. We create free, monthly content calendars for the members in our Facebook group, Flourish on Social. So if you want a template to work with (which includes a list of the month’s hashtag holidays like #NationalPetDay) rather than creating your own calendar, click here to join our group. We also offer Social Media Roadmap sessions where we take you through this process with the help of experts! At the end, you have a Roadmap to help you create your monthly content calendar. Book a consultation with us to get your Roadmap!

Breathe. You can do this. Good luck, and happy planning!

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