Are you looking to grow your brand on social media, but feeling unsure of where to start? With dozens of social platforms out there, building out a social media strategy can feel overwhelming. But there’s one tool that will make your job a whole lot easier: A social media calendar.

When you curate a social media calendar, it lets you plan out many weeks of content at once. This means you’ll be able to stay on track and always see the big picture for your brand. Planning ahead is one of the best ways to make sure your ideas and posts work together to help you achieve your goals. Not only will you have a bird’s-eye view of your posts for that month, but you’ll also save time and skip the stress when promoting your brand or business.

In this blog, we’ll follow the process of setting up a social media calendar for a fictional author named Sharon Samuels. We’ll go step by step using our example to help you curate your own social media calendar for your brand or business. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

1. Choose your platforms. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc.)

The first step to setting up your social media calendar is deciding which social platforms you’ll use for your business. Unsure of which channels are bringing you the best results? It might be time to do a social media audit.

Our fictional author, Sharon Samuels, knows her readers are mostly on Facebook, but she also enjoys using Instagram as well. So those are the two platforms she’ll be focusing on.

2. Decide who your audience is.

Before you plan out your social media content, you need to know who you’re talking to. Who are you trying to sell to or engage with? Refer to your customer avatar once you’ve created one. You’ll want to keep your main audience in mind so you can ensure that what you post is what they actually need.

Because she has a customer avatar, Sharon knows her target audience is women in the U.S. in their late 30’s to early 50’s. Most of these women are mothers. So whatever content she chooses will speak directly to those women.

3. Determine how often you’ll engage.

What is the right consistency to post on social media? We always say that whatever you’re able to stick with consistently is the right amount for your brand! But there are definitely some tested and proven frequencies for each social platform that you can model your calendar after.

Regardless of your platforms, try to at least post 3x a week and do social engagement with your audience 3x a week. On Twitter and Pinterest, you will benefit from posting more frequently, while on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn you won’t want to share more than twice a day.

Since Sharon is focusing on Facebook and Instagram, she’ll post on Facebook twice a day (once in the morning, once at night) and once a day on Instagram. She’ll also be blogging on her website once a week.

4. Conduct a quick market analysis.

This step doesn’t have to be as complicated. Ask yourself, who are a few of your competitors, similar brands, or businesses that do what you do really well? Take a glance at their social media accounts. Which of their posts is getting a lot of engagement? Which ones are getting none at all? What can you do that’s different or better to improve engagement and create the best content possible for your followers? Jot some notes down and take them with you into the next step.

Sharon sees that other nonfiction authors regularly share quotes from their books. They also advertise promotional sales for their book and share personal photos and snippets from their own lives. But her competitors aren’t inviting their followers to engage on their more personal posts. The only calls to action they include are to buy. Sharon sees an opportunity to invite her followers to engage and share from their lives as well. This is one way to set her apart from the competition.

5. Put together a list of content or find content resources.

You’ve done the legwork. Now it’s time to put together your content plan! Create a list of all the types of content you are already posting and the things you can share that already exist. Now add any ideas that you gathered while analyzing other brands or businesses from Step 4. Anything ideas still missing? Add it to the list as a potential post type.

Here is Sharon’s content list:

  1. Blog posts
  2. Book quotes and questions
  3. Personal photos and posts
  4. Book promotions
  5. Recommended resources (Other authors, courses, etc.)
  6. Funny, light-hearted memes
  7. Teaching videos

6. Put together your calendar!

Now let’s plan and schedule your social media calendar! You’ve already decided how often you’ll post each week. Now it’s time to plug in your content types from Step 5 for easy planning, then go back and add the details each day. A few platforms we love for planning and scheduling include Sprout Social and Coschedule. And for a free option, try out Buffer or Later

Here’s an example week on Sharon’s calendar:
– Monday: Share a book quote with corresponding questions
– Tuesday: Respond to comments/engage with competitors/ what’s trending
– Wednesday: Recent blog post (Facebook), Funny meme about writing (Instagram)
-Thursday: Respond to comments/engage with competitors/ what’s trending
– Friday: Book promotion post
– Saturday: Personal post/respond to comments
– Sunday: Day off

You’ll notice that Sharon plans out her engagement time as well as her posts. This is one way to ensure you stay intentional about building engagement on your account. 

Now that you know how to curate your social media calendar, what’s stopping you?  Start by planning out next week. And once you’re in the flow, tackle next month for your brand or business. Trust us, if you curate your social media calendar ahead of time, you’ll thank yourself later.

Are you looking for help to build out your social media strategy? Reach out for a consultation with our Red Bird Social team to see how we can help you build your brand!