Your email is overflowing, your To-Do list is atrociously long and that Google Reader is beyond full of articles you’ve been meaning to read. So, how do you fit social media marketing into this overwhelming mix of items you need to complete? Enter stage right: an editorial calendar to save some of your sanity!
No matter what social media channels you use– blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., an editorial calendar will provide you with a snapshot of your social media tactics, a schedule to keep you honest and a nice way to coordinate team social media efforts. Read on for a quick guide on how to use an editorial calendar effectively for your organization’s blogging and other social media plans.
Where to begin?
- Start with your social media strategy. If you haven’t already determined your social media strategy, bookmark this post and come back once you’ve laid out your plans. Your strategy should include goals, defined target audiences, which social media channels you will use, channel-specific tactics and measurement plans. If you need help with a social media marketing strategy for your organization, feel free to contact us.
- Download our free editorial calendar template. We’ve made this calendar using a basic social media strategy that involves blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. You can add in additional social media channels that are involved in your strategy.
Now, let’s talk about how an editorial calendar helps you organize your social media plans in each of these channels:
This is where an editorial calendar is literally indispensable. If you left your blogging up to just an item on your To-Do list, it’s going to get pushed off over and over again. Not to mention, your readers will abandon you if you only post sporadically. Everyone has a lot on their plates and trimming out RSS feeds that don’t consistently offer interesting content is common.
So, use our free editorial calendar template for blogging by scheduling out your post topics and who the author is going to be (if you have multiple authors for your blog).
Now that you have your editorial calendar lined up for your blog posts, be proactive! WordPress and other blogging platforms have scheduling capabilities that can save you a lot of time. If you are working with a team, distribute the editorial calendar at least one month ahead of time so that multiple authors can plan accordingly.
If multiple people are manning Twitter at your organization, the calendar can clearly state who’s on duty which day. We’ve also included a weekly reminder to spend some time locating additional Influencers on Twitter.
Using LinkedIn for business leads is easier when you are known as an authority and resource on your industry’s topics. The editorial calendar allows you to list the author and specifics of your planned LinkedIn interactions.
What types of actions to schedule on an editorial calendar for Facebook are going vary from industry to industry. Restaurants and retail industries usually have a greater opportunity to post something daily to users that would offer value. But, business to business industries’ social media strategy might not lend itself to daily Facebook posts. You can customize the calendar based on your specific strategy.
- Review Measurement Data Every month, you should sit down with your team and your analytics (you set these up, right?) and review the data. Since you defined goals and measurements in your social media strategy, you can use this to guide your monthly measurement review.
- Review Website Content for Accuracy Click through your website monthly to see if any of your pages are out of date or could be updated. Not only will fresh content help your SEO marketing, it can also help generate some future blog post topic ideas.
How Far Out Should I Plan My Editorial Calendar?
Scheduling 1-2 months out allows for you to tweak your efforts based on what you see in your measurement reviews and gives you ample time to prepare for upcoming activities amongst your team.
How far you schedule your calendar out will depend on what your industry is and what works best for your team.
About the Author
Lisa Keller is the Director of Social Media at Moosylvania. You can follow Lisa on Twitter here.