Tech mistake |Learning how to create a social media content calendar template can be extremely beneficial for just about any business.

For instance, if you have a bunch of people on your team that are stepping on each other’s feet and posting things in erratic ways, a social media content calendar will help.

If you don’t know when to post, why you’re posting, how successful your posting is, a social media calendar will also be useful.

If people are asking questions like:

  • “Hey, guys, where should I post this?”
  • “What are we going to post today?”

… a social media calendar will definitely help.

Creating a social media content calendar template and utilizing it is the most effective way to amplify your business goals through social media.

In this blog post, I’ll show you the entire step by step process on exactly how to create a social media calendar that works.

First, though, let’s get through the high-level overview of everything we’re going to approach today:

  • The goal: To create a social media editorial calendar that helps you plan and track your business social media campaigns.
  • The ideal outcome: To avoid saying things like “What goes on Facebook today?”, “Where do we post this?”, “What should I say?”, “Does anyone remember what that GIF was that I posted?”, “Why are we posting only on Facebook?”, and so on.

All of these seem very absurd questions, but they happen all the time. So, centralizing all these social media publishing efforst into one place is actually very, very advantageous for you and for your business.

  • The prerequisites: You want to make sure you have access to all of your social media accounts, as well as to Google Sheets or some kind of central repository.
  • The importance of this action: All digital marketing efforts should be accounted for. We should be measuring everything that we do in digital marketing. Everything should be planned, numbered, and aligned with your brand’s goals.

It shouldn’t be about what you feel like posting that morning.

A social media strategy can help you plan and manage what often comes out to be a very chaotic part of your business—social media posting.

A lot of people just don’t have a plan, and this is a super straightforward social content template on how to create a plan everyone on your marketing team can follow.

  • Where this is done: This is done in Google Sheets.
  • When this is done: Running your social media marketing through a calendar before posting will help you a lot because you only have to create that calendar once then let that be your guiding light moving forward.

Our recommendation is to make a new copy of this calendar every week – otherwise, it just gets a little bit crowded, especially if you’re posting daily, on more than one social media channel.

Once you have your calendar all set up, you just need to update as you go along. This shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes a day. Once you’re done, you could also export this out to Google Calendar. If you’re looking for ways to export this to Google Calendar, we really like this comprehensive Google Calendar guide.

  • Who does this: Your social media manager, your community manager, or whoever else is managing your social channels – and that might as well be you.

Get This Entire Walkthrough and All the Resources in This Post

Working with a Social Media Calendar Template

I have a pretty awesome free template you can download. I will provide you with the free ClickMinded social media content calendar template on this post, so you can take it, download it, copy and paste it and…

…get this going.

Keep in mind, everyone has different needs when it comes to their social media. However, this calendar should solve most of those needs for you, helping you to streamline your content planning and content creation for your social media profiles.

Let’s go over the social media calendar template together:

  1. Publish Date: Pretty self explanatory. The date when you’ll publish the actual content.
  2. Content Type: In our example, we have multiple options (but you can change them to fit your needs):
    1. A course;
    2. A marketing campaign;
    3. Evergreen content (something that you can post regardless of the season or date);
    4. Right-time (something opportunistic like a holiday or maybe a current event.
  3. Topic/Title: This is pretty generic and straight-forward: the title of the post if you have one.
  4. Content/ Details: What the content is about, what its purpose is, etc.
social media calendar template
  1. Social Network: Again, a drop-down menu with the different social networks you might want to post to (Facebook, Linkedin, and so on)
  2. Post Type: This is very important because it dictates how to the post and copy will look. For the purpose of my example, we’re including the following options (again, you can modify them to fit your needs):
  • Normal post – a text and a picture;
  • Link post – a text and a link to an article;
  • Chain post – this is usually for Twitter, like a tweet storm or thread of tweets.
  1. Content Type: This one’s also pretty important because it dictates the tone, style, and length of the copy. The examples I have in the spreadsheet are:
  • Photo;
  • Graphic;
  • Video;
  • User generated content;
  • No asset (in case you’re posting just the text).
  1. Copy: The actual copy that you’ll be posting.
using your social media content calendar template
  1. Asset: The actual asset you will use in your social post. Just copy and paste it into the sheet (make sure you resize it to fit the cell).
  2. Link: Obviously, if you have a link you’re going to go ahead and include it here.
    Shortened Tracked Link: If you shorten links with something like Bitly or Google’s link shortener, and are using UTM parameters to track your efforts (which you should), you can use that URL here.
  3. Publishing Time: Pretty self explanatory—just when you plan on publishing that particular post.
  4. Approval 1 and Approval 2: The approvals depends on how big and slow and lethargic your company is. If you need multiple approvals to do, these columns will help you easily track the approvals.
  5. Live Link: The actual link to the post once it’s live.
content calendar template

Also, remember that you can edit any of the drop-down options on this template to fit your business:

  1. Right-click on the drop-down menu.
  2. Click “Data Validation”
  3. Edit the “Criteria” list, using comma-separated values.
criteria - data validation

That’s it! That’s how you set up a social media content calendar, so that you keep your entire social media activity well-planned, well-tracked, and well-accounted for.

The article was originally published here.