I just wondered if anyone is using a social media calendar to plan their posts and if so, how far ahead do you go with your strategy? I've got a bit of a system going but to be honest with you, because social media has traditionally always been 'on the go' for me, it's only as I've got busier in recent months that I've started to really plan my posts and think in advance about what I want my market to do.
There are a few reasons that I'm planning on moving entirely to a content calendar though and I wanted to share a few with you and get your opinion too:
Obviously there's stuff that will come up on a daily basis (such as a news event that you need to comment on) but apart from that I think using a content calendar to plan what you're going to talk about will save you so much time every day that you'd normally spend searching online to get some interesting and relevant content. I also find that a content calendar helps me spread out my lead up to significant events better so I'm not spamming the audience one or two days before with all the info that I think they need. Hitting an audience (my audience anyway) too hard means they're more likely to unfollow so it's good to get the info to them spaced out accordingly.
Because there are so many social media platforms, having a calendar for each means you can vary the content that's being released on a daily basis. Before I used a calendar I had a tendency to post the same message across all platforms at the same time which was a little bit pointless really as it diluted the message for people who were following me on more than one platform. Having a calendar for each means you can re-use the same content but in a much more effective way.
If you have a calendar you are better equipped to analyse the content with the data that the social media platforms gives you and can use it to really make your content valuable for your audience in future. You can see what made your reach so high and which posts just weren't quite cutting the mustard which is great info.
There are some downright silly commemorative days in the calendar but for some they need acknowledging! National cupcake day, take your dog to work day plus those associated with wider issues such as the environment can all be taken care of by putting some work into planning your content.
I think it's safe to say that social media posts can be quite average if you don't put time and energy into them and this is often the case with posts created on the go. Not least because your heads not necessarily where it needs to be, Sitting down and spending time updating a calendar for the week, month and indeed year ahead will make sure that your posts are much more worthwhile to your audience.
There are heaps of applications out there that you can use like Trello and Evernote but I can be a bit old school and all of my info is in a (backed up!) excel spreadsheet! What do you use and how does it work for you? I am currently planning about a month in advance where possible but I can see how this would work well over the course of a year too.