How to Use a Social Media Planning Calendar to Wow Your Followers

Written by Nicholas Garofalo

On November 4, 2021
Social Media Planning by hand

A strong social media planning game relies on a solid social media planning calendar.

Your calendar is the backbone of your social strategy, the frame upon which everything else is built. It lets you stay organized, plan ahead, and keep a steady stream of content flowing on your social pages.

In this post, we’ll break down an example of a typical social calendar and take a detailed look at the calendar we use to run our social strategy here at MeetEdgar. By the end, you should be armed with a few new tricks for improving your own social media planning.

What Is a Social Media Planning Calendar?

It doesn’t take anything more complicated than a spreadsheet to start planning a successful social media strategy. Templates are readily available online and easy to adapt to your individual preferences. Social planning is simply deciding what you’ll post, when you’ll post it, and on what platform it’ll appear. We suggest writing your posts ahead of time in batches, so they’re ready to go.

Why Do You Need a Social Media Planning Calendar?

A social media planning calendar just makes your life easier. You can ensure you post consistently by setting everything up ahead of time. Another benefit is that you don’t need to worry about writer’s block when thinking about what to post each day. If you plan your content in advance, you can also repurpose and recycle it multiple times.

 


 

What Does a Social Media Planning Calendar Look Like?

Here’s a sample social media calendar page so you can see what a basic calendar typically looks like:

Social Media Planning Calendar

Sample social media calendar courtesy of Constant Contact.

Notice that the types of posts are color coded, which makes it easy to ensure variety at a glance. Holidays and other promotions are also marked on the calendar, which is an important part of planning ahead!

The above example shows how you can mix the channels you want to post on as well as the type of posts. You also don’t need to have your posts written out word for word, your calendar can simply include reminders about what you want to post.

Again, while we much prefer to write our posts in batches and schedule them ahead of time, the true mark of success for social media plan content planning is that it works for you.

You can get really granular with this, but we suggest that you don’t – especially if you won’t be writing content in batches. It’s very easy for a little writer’s block to lay waste to your carefully crafted schedule if you’re not writing everything in advance.

Traditional social content calendars are great for planning ahead, but we like to do things a little differently here at MeetEdgar. Here’s what our calendar is like…

Planning Social Media Posts at MeetEdgar: How We Do It

Before we get into our method, it’s important to reiterate that when it comes to social planning – if it works for you, it works! As long as your calendar lets you stay organized and helps ensure that your social feeds don’t run out of content, it’s doing its job.

That being said, here’s what has worked well for us.

The key to our calendar is that everything we plan on posting is assigned a category. We then use these categories to create our posting schedule, rather than relying on slotting individual posts into our calendar.

Take a look at this ​​social media schedule example:

Social Media Planning with MeetEdgar

A snippet from the actual Edgar content calendar!

Using categories, we’re also able to create a 1-week-long repeating schedule, rather than a traditional calendar that is constantly in need of updating.

That’s right – all of our social content is posted on the same schedule, week after week, which saves us hours and hours of planning time each year.

But what about seasonal promos and other special events? With our categories system, it’s easy. Each promotion gets its own category, which we can simply switch on or off when the time comes. We set up tasks in our project management system to keep tabs on these special events, rather than making a separate editorial calendar.

Of course, we use Edgar to manage our posting schedule, and let him decide which content to post for each category when the time comes, which makes the whole thing even easier. Essentially, once our content library is filled and organized by category, and our repeating weekly schedule has been created, Edgar takes it from there, running our posts without requiring a second thought.

We’d say Edgar is set it and forget it, but that phrase is probably trademarked.

Here are some other tips you can use when creating your social media calendar with Edgar:

1. Repeat Your Content

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention repeating content as part of our social media content planning routine! As you know by now, only a teensy fraction of your social audience is paying attention at any given time.

Every time you repeat a post, you’re putting it in front of a new portion of your followers. So don’t be afraid to repeat yourself – just don’t do it too often (reposting something once every few months is a fine routine to follow).

2. Remember to Put Time Aside to Engage With Your Audience

We should also point out that live interactions aren’t something you should schedule – unless you need to block out time on your personal calendar to dedicate to social interactions.

We prefer to think of detailed calendars and automation as ways to free up social media time that you can spend interacting with your audience, and let the interactions happen organically. Your audience will know if all your posts are scheduled and a bot replies to them and they won’t like it! Spend some time nurturing your social media community.

3. Use Your Calendar to Stay On Top of Trends

Is there a social media trend you’ve been meaning to try but not had the time to? Why not use the time you set aside to create posts in advance to try creating some new types of content?

Whether that’s an Instagram Reel, or a Twitter thread, browse your channels to see what the favorite type of content is amongst your followers.

4. Stay Organized By Keeping All Your Assets in One Place

Another top tip that will save you a tonne of time when planning your social media is to keep all your design assets in one place. This will make finding the logos, photos, captions, and designs you want to use on your social channels much easier.

Create a shared folder where everyone who works on your socials can throw things in. Having everything stored in one place definitely beats back and forth emails amongst team members looking for THAT photo from last month’s event.

When you upload all this content to the Edgar content library, it makes your life EVEN easier (yes, we know you didn’t think that was possible!). The library saves posts for you so you can whip them out again when the time is right. Did you know Edgar can also repurpose the content for you himself?

4. Track Performance and Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

The other great thing about using categories is that you can track which type of post performs the best. Find posts in a certain category constantly lack engagement? Change it up and experiment with a new strategy and category.

Categories make it easy to spot the type of content that underperforms for your audience. If you know what your audience loves to see from your brand, you can keep creating more of the good stuff which will, in turn, boost your engagement. It’s a win win!

Start Planning Your Social Calendar

Planning your social calendar in advance will save you so much time and stress in the long run. So carve out some time at the beginning of each month to put that calendar together. Your future self will thank you!

Do you follow one of the social media planning routines we discussed in this post? Or do you have your own system? Either way, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!

This post is part of our Edgar Learn series, where we share the strategies that helped us find success! For more from Edgar Learn, click here!

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