It’s a great feeling to go into a month knowing everything you need to about your social media content.
That’s why we created a content calendar at OneFire. The calendar serves as a shared legend between contributors so that each person involved knows what needs to be prepared and scheduled for the month ahead.
We found that this gave us accountability and a long-term vision of what we wanted to share or post. For a standard Facebook status, for example, the calendar will show the date, the status (pending, scheduled, etc.), the person responsible for creating or finding the content, its topic, type of content (industry article, blog post, video), its initial publish point, URL, distribution points, an 80 character summary, and any hashtags for aggregation.
Whew. If that sounds like a lot of information, it is. But, the more information you record and the more planning you do, you actually gain more flexibility. For example, if we have a blog post scheduled for earlier in a month and it turns out we want to add an interview or new information comes out and we want to do a rewrite, we have a full overview of the month and can swap out that post for one scheduled later.
This way, you know, month after month that you have content ready to go. You can plan, months in advance, topics you know will be pertinent at that time. It’s also a great way to ensure that you can see the big picture and develop a content strategy that covers everything you want it to. By planning ahead, you’ll know that you’ll hit on each topic you feel is important in a given month or year.
We put together a content calendar that covered an entire year. It was clear right away that doing so would also hold us to having conversations about content earlier and more often – giving us more time to perfect what we wanted to put out.
I recommend you do the same. In the absence of a detailed plan, it seems likely that those conversations could be pushed further and further off, until a ‘content strategy’ becomes a disorganized rush to get something or anything on social media pages and your website.
Again, planning ahead and developing a longer-term, detailed content strategy can make your life much easier and give you better control over your content output. Each business should be taking deliberate care of their content and messaging. Good content can give you an influential voice in your industry and a content calendar can give you a plan of action.
Considering a content marketing strategy? Make sure you're ready to launch with our Inbound Marketing checklist: