Why an editorial calendar could be your social media secret weapon

Behind the innoxious words ‘editorial calendar’ could lie the answer to your social media posting problems. Big claim I know but one which I would stick my neck out to be true.

Let’s take a few steps back. You may like the idea of social media; see your competitors being very active and know it could be a great opportunity for your business. So what’s stopping you? Assuming you can master the technical side of setting up accounts and posting, some of the biggest hurdles small businesses face include:

  • Being erratic in postings – being really active and then going quiet (usually when you get busy or distracted)
  • Not knowing what to post (it is amazing how many times people tell me that their business isn’t ‘interesting enough’ to regularly post!)
  • Missing opportunities or not being able to react quickly enough to topics, conversations and trends
  • Having the responsibility for social media with just one person

Now an editorial calendar won’t give you more hours in the day or write the post for you but it will certainly be a tool that helps you be more efficient and collect your ideas.

What is an Editorial Calendar?

How many of us could run our lives without a calendar – whether good old paper or online diaries? An Editorial Calendar is the same – it is a way of visually planning your social media activity against a timeline. It could be a simple spreadsheet,  something like Google Docs or use our free Editorial Calendar template

You can include activities such as blogs, social media campaigns, email activity, events etc. and link them all together through the calendar. So for example, if you were approaching your big sales period you could post a blog giving buying advice which is then promoted on social media; alongside a Facebook competition and an email campaign to customers with a special offer.

So how could an Editorial Calendar benefit you?

Time spent planning is time well spent

When we try and ‘fit in’ social media to our schedule it often means it is being done in the midst of other activities. This in itself is not conducive to creativity and ideas. So by having something we need to sit down and complete it means we are spending time planning what we are going to say and when.

Helps visualise the map of your social media activity (spreading out the frequency)

Having the week or month visualised with the content and social media activity you are planning makes it easier to see the frequency you need and also ensure you don’t miss any key dates. So if Christmas is important to your business, or the Budget, you can plan your activities around these key dates in plenty of time.

Helps to maintain a spread of topic and types of postings

The same visual benefit goes for being able to see the spread of topics and types of postings. Social media needs variety so being able to see that you are mainly posting the same type of content can be easily identified through the calendar

Enables you to react quickly – write time sensitive posts / content ahead of time

If you have the basics all planned it frees up your time to do the last minute or reactive stuff. It also means that you can plan in your posts, write them ahead of time and schedule so that even if you are busy, your social media doesn’t grind to a halt

Download our free Editorial Calendar Template