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Managing your content on social media

Managing your content on social media

What is a content calendar?
Simply put, a content calendar uses the format of a traditional calendar to plan upcoming social media activity, ensuring you never miss an opportunity to engage with your audience.
This calendar becomes a place to organize what type of content you’ll be posting, across all your channels. It’s also especially handy if you have multiple members of staff all sharing different content. On top of that, it acts as a diary (or log) of what you’ve posted in the past, which helps prevent repeating content, which can come across like spamming.
Where do I start?
It might sound obvious, but the best place to start is with an empty calendar.
We recommend creating it on your computer so you can easily change things as and when you need to. But whichever way you choose to do it, the important thing is that it’s in a format you will actually use and feel comfortable with.
Create an overview of major events
A great basis for your content calendar is looking at some of the major public events your audience are likely to be interested in. Think back to the work you’ve done on defining your target audience, and which events matter to them. These can include national holidays and festivals, as well local occasions and other events which are relevant to your target audience.
Here are a few ideas to get your calendar started:
  • Seasonal events (Valentine’s Day, Makar Sankranti, New Year’s Eve, the start of summer)
  • Festivals (Holi, Eid, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra, Christmas)
  • Cultural events (Navratri, Onam)
  • Sporting events (Olympic Games, Cricket World Cup, IPL)
  • Regional / local events (Parsi New Year, Karnataka Rajyotsava, Chhath Puja)
  • Events specific to your business (launch anniversary, new product launches)
  • Other (Mother’s Day, Children’s Day, Friendship Day)
Context and timing are important to consider here. For example, if you own a sports shop, a major cricketing event could be a really great time to plan a post.
Other major national events such as Diwali may also be great to plan posts around. It may not be directly relevant to your immediate business growth, but it’s a moment of national celebration that you can share with your audience. A simple Happy Diwali message – written in your style and tone of voice – is all it takes to let your audience know you’re not just always posting to push the latest products.

Over to you
Look at the list of events above and note down the occasions you think are relevant to your business and audience. Also, try to think of some others that are really specific to you.

Create themes to develop content around
Great social posts aren’t just about national holidays and events, you can also think about other interesting topics to centre your posts around. Rather than just posting random pieces of content as they come to mind, think about some key themes and what content you could post about them, Add these to your content calendar too. You can even piggyback onto popular social media trends, such as Monday Motivation or Throwback Thursday. Or why not invent you own, specific to your business?
For example: Sanjeev owns a yoga studio. He creates content around themes related to health and well-being, mobility, nutrition and yogi fashion. He also frequently uses the hashtag “#MondayMotivation” so his posts will be seen by a wider audience. Having these themes helps him to focus his thinking when planning his posts.
There are no rules around how many themes you should have. Focusing on one per month is a good starting place. You can then decide as you go whether that’s too many, or not enough!
Decide how you'll use each of your channels
If your business has a number of different social media channels, remember to define which content goes where. When you’re doing this, really consider which channel is best to place certain types of content. This will make your content more impactful, effective and will also avoid duplication.
For example: Posting detailed pieces about the current state of your industry is better suited to a work-focused channel, such as LinkedIn. Whereas posting exciting images of products is better positioned on a visual channel, such as Instagram.

How often should you plan to post?
There’s no real golden rule for this. It’s up to you to figure out as your social media presence grows – but you can start by making some intelligent assumptions. First of all, avoid being “spam-like” (i.e. posting frequent, irrelevant material) at all costs. It’s a fast, easy way to disengage your audience, which could lead to them unfollowing your profile.
A great rule of thumb is to post as often as you feel you have something great to share with your audience. Try and limit your posts, only posting the very best, most engaging content.
When’s the best time of day to post?
There is not a universal time when it’s best to post – or is guaranteed to secure you more engagement. It varies depending on your audience. For example, if your audience are homemakers, they are more likely to visit social media throughout the working day. But if they are young working professionals, you are most likely to capture their attention at commuting times, before and after work.
It’s important to think about your audience and what mood they’ll be in. For example, during the week they may want to enjoy reading entertaining content, whereas they may be more interested in actually shopping and purchasing at the weekend.
Top tip: A quick Internet search can recommend some good overall times to post content. But it’s best to track your own posts, to see exactly when your audience are most receptive. Take a look at your best performing content – those with the most comments, likes or shares. Note down what time and day these occurred. You can even do tests, by posting different types of content, to see what works best for your business, and your audience.
Allocate yourself time to fulfil these plans
Once your calendar is up and running, make sure you give yourself enough time to actually create each post. Depending on what you’re posting, this time can vary. If you know it takes an hour or two to create and sense check a post, schedule this time a few days in advance so you don’t have to rush.
Top tip: Many social media channels allow you to schedule multiple posts in advance, so you can set them to publish at the correct time if you know you’re going to be busy.
Over to you

Before you start jotting ideas down into your calendar, first think about your approach. Take a step back and think about what channels you’ll use, how often you want to post on each channel (if you plan to use more than one), and how often you want to share content. Grab a pen and think about the following
  • Key calendar events that are relevant to your business and your audience
  • Key themes and topics to create content around that are relevant to your business and your audience
  • Also consider the mixture of content you want to post. We’ve mentioned before not to dominate your profile with posts about your product (some suggest an 80:20 rule, with 80% being fun, engaging entertainment related to your business, and around 20% being more product based)
Top tip: It’s important to focus your efforts on achieving a few great things, than spreading yourself too thin. So start slow and build your calendar up over time.
Let's recap
  • A content calendar is a way for you to plan and organize upcoming content for your social media channel(s)
  • It will help you plan your social media content and keep your profile up-to-date with what to post and when to post it
  • By planning your content in advance you are well prepared to participate in bigger conversations surrounding key events (holidays, national events, sporting or other events, etc.)
  • Select some themes to plan your content around. This will help to make sure you create fresh and interesting content on a regular basis.

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