I recommend that clients schedule out their social media to save time, plan out specific content, and most of all to allow some breathing room. Using a content calendar in tandem with scheduling makes this process a lot smoother.
There are many fantastic and helpful scheduling platforms to utilize; Buffer, Hootsuite, Edgar, and Sprout Social. But planning your content, organizing it, and repurposing it (don't just share something once!) is a whole different ball game.
Utilizing a content calendar gives you the opportunity to really lay out your content, look at it on your calendar, and plan accordingly. It's an excellent tool to help you prepare for important events or launches coming up, but can still be used everyday to make your life much easier.
I've created a simple content calendar in Google Drive (with 2 pages - one 1 week, and a 4/5 week calendar overview) for you to save and customize to your own liking, or keep it exactly as it is. I wanted to give you a jumping off point with a structural base for you to create your own calendar and apply it to your workflow, but by all means feel free to use it exactly as it is now. Perhaps a regular wall calendar will work better for you? It's all up to you, how you work, just make it happen -- it'll give incredible structure and freedom when scheduling your social media.
Reasons for using a content calendar (before using a scheduling platform):
- Visually it's much easier to format content this way; you lay it out and can plug in holes and weak spots.
- The ease and ability to plan for launches, events, and special things with notes on specific days is much more tangible.
- Referring back to content you shared the week (or weeks) before to repurpose and reuse is super easy and productive; saving time and driving that message home!
- An overview of your voice, spelling, content, and tone is all right there to look at, correct, and feel good about!
- It ensures that your content, product, and services are spread out evenly (instead of posting haphazardly).
- No more being overwhelmed and posting at the last minute!
You can access the content calendars here. Save it to your Google Drive to keep a copy or to modify, to do so just click on File, and Make a Copy in the upper left menu - you do not need to request access.
This calendar was created to be used online only; so print at your own risk! Nothing terrible will happen, it's just not formatted for a one page print out, but it can be printed if you feel like taping together a few pages. I personally find the ability to cut and paste the content right on my computer incredibly helpful and a huge time saver.
I also created it under CC0 1.0 Universal. Which simply means it is in the public domain and can be copied, modified, and distributed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Yay, open content!
A few things to note about editing this calendar once you save your own copy:
- I made it simple: it's 1 week, with platforms that mainly utilize copy and that I personally use (I left out Snapchat and Pinterest as these are more visual) but by all means add whatever platforms you use that will help you stay focused and proficient! It's all editable once you save a copy to your own Google Drive.
- The farthest right column and the top 3 rows are frozen to make it easier to scroll.
- Add extra rows above or below by highlighting a row and then clicking on Insert.
- Delete rows by highlighting a row and clicking on Edit, choose Delete row X.
- Add or subtract columns by highlighting a column and clicking on the arrow in the upper right corner of the column, choose your option from the drop down
- Mix up the color and font to your liking!