Keeping your audience engaged, and with relevant content, is one the most important facets of your social media strategy. But how do you find good content and not only that; how do you organise it and deliver it you your audience without repeating yourself, your message, or tying yourself in a knot of dis-organisation. The answer is simple – use a content calendar!

First step – Your Messaging

Well first, and the most important point, is to know the messaging you want delivered to your audience (this is relevant later on when we talk about sourcing your content). Just below this, in importance, is not becoming repetitive with your messaging and your content. I can’t stress how valuable this is, repetition shows a lack of imagination and your audience will take that personally.

Your messaging can be simple, and really needs to speak to your target audience. I’ll look at messaging in a separate post!

Then comes your content calendar

The best way to tackle this is to design a monthly content calendar. This is a simple excel sheet with each week (Week Beginning  7th November) on the left horizontal line and the post days (Mon, Wed, Fri)  on the vertical. A monthly content calendar allows you plainly see the pattern of your content, it doesn’t have to be too descriptive, and sometimes a simple word will suffice ie: Call to Action or Strategy. Doing this prior to the start of each month will actually make your content work easier as you know exactly what content (and its associated messaging) to look for. If you are planning content for more than one social media platform be sure to separate them on the spreadsheet (look for nuances in the different messaging each audience needs for each platform.)

Once this monthly calendar is done you work week to week on your content (due to current affairs/news and important announcements which may be pertinent to your brand.) The weekly content schedule is in a separate excel document using the ideas and trigger words from the monthly content calendar. Based on your previous knowledge of the activity of your audience (if on Facebook check your Insights) you make a decision on the times on each day for each post to be scheduled. If you are determining content for more than one social media platform again be sure to keep them separated but on the same excel document.

Where do you find content to share?

So now you have two beautiful excel sheets, your monthly content calendar is filled with awesome content ideas and trigger words like: Call to Action, Ted Talk, #ShareaSelfie, #ICYMI which is In Case You Missed It, always great for an important article. Also #ThrowBackThursday (#TBT), Engaging piece on travel or Photo Montage. However your weekly content schedule is empty; so where do you go to find your content? As mentioned earlier you need to have a clear idea on the messaging you want your audience to receive. So where do you look? The simple answer is: everywhere and on the same token the complex answer is: everywhere. The internet is jam packed full of content which can make it a minefield to navigate so follow the KISS rule: Keep It Simple Stupid.

Know who the experts are in your chosen industry, make sure you follow them and like their page, share content from their social media platform and be sure to tag them when you do it as it increases your reach and brings your brand to THEIR attention. Identify the influencers in your field, which are different from experts, and do the same. Video content is always great so check out Ted Talks for something relevant for your industry. Google, though huge, is a great content source, especially if you use the “news” function of the search engine to find the most updated news on the subject you’re writing about.  Source great bloggers and share their content, start your own blog and share your own content. Content can literally come from anywhere, including Live feeds such as the Facebook video tool, just be sure to keep it simple, engaging and relevant to your brand.

Over to you

How do you plan your content? Will you use a content plan to help you in the coming year?

If you want help getting more out of your social media marketing, please download our free step by step guide today!