Here’s a social media planning calendar

Planning, organizing and implementing your social media can be an organizational challenge. Not only for the staff involved, but it can also be an organizational challenge.

Coming in each day not being sure what you’re going to post can be stressful. Miss enough days and you could sabotage your efforts to build relationships and build community.

Ideally, you’re being strategic about how you use your social media. You’re planning based upon monthly/weekly themes or days that are significant to your organization or your audience.

If you’d like to reduce your social media stress or use it more strategically, I recommend using a tool to assist you.

To help a client, I’ve created a social media planning calendar for 2014. I’m making a version of it available here for your use. All I ask in return is that you provide me with some feedback about how you like it and what could be better.

2014 Social Media Planning Calendar – Communicate & Howe (Excel spreadsheet)

I’ve included some instructions on how I recommend using this tool. It’s on the first tab and below.

P.S. The calendar is unabashedly Canadian!

How to use this calendar

This calendar is a planning tool for social media. It is intended to be used together with the agency’s content strategy.

There is a page for each month. It is then subdivided into weeks and days

  • Each month has a theme (which may be carried over more than one month).
  • Each week has a theme (normally a subsection of the monthly theme but may be seasonal or related to notable time specific items)

Space is provided for each day for notable items specific to that day to work consider in planning content

  • Fill in notable days/weeks as far in advance as possible but add/revise as appropriate.
  • Highly recommended to have the next week planned before the current week is finished.
  • Flexibility is key. Respond to what is current.

Using the social media columns

  • Beside each day, there are columns for the agency’s social media platforms.
  • Use them to plan the content to be shared daily on each platform. The exact wording and link is recommended.
  • Take into account different audiences and types and length of content suitable for different platforms.
  • Some content may be shared, but differently, across multiple channels.

Blog

  • I recommend a minimum of one blog post a week be related to the theme.

Facebook

  • Post at least one to three times each day.
  • Use this calendar to plan one post for each day.

Twitter

  • Post a minimum of 2 – 6 times daily including a tweet, a retweet and 1 or more replies
  • Plan tweets of your own content or from a source identified in content strategy for each morning and afternoon/evening.

LinkedIn Company Page

  • Post to the organization’s page on LinkedIn a minimum of one to five times weekly.
  • In general, this content can be what is shared elsewhere but with a strong preference to the agency’s own content.

Youtube

  • Work one of your own videos and your playlists into the mix each week.
  • Plan to share at least one other video weekly.
  • In most cases, you will share video already on Youtube.
  • Share as appropriate on other social media platforms. Add to a playlist. Create a playlist if necessary.
  • Work your own videos and your playlists into the mix.

Content Bank

  • Store ideas for blog posts
  • Keep content such as external blog posts, videos and images here to be used later when appropriate for a theme or searching for content ideas
  • Jot down enough info to remind yourself what the content is and a link to it