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How awesome would it be to get 365 days of your social media scheduled - and then just set it on repeat, year after year?
Most content creators will of course say, "That's stupid! That's not how it's done!"
While up-to-their-eyeballs-busy brick-and-mortar business owners might be thinking, "HELL, yea! FREE ME NOW!"
No matter which one you are, allow me to explain how this concept could save you from the content creation grind I know you hate.
I'll show you 5 different social media content calendars that can make both repeat and fresh meat content possible! (Apologies to vegans - I just love a pithy rhyme!)😅
You can create these templates for yourself in Excel, Google Spreadsheets, Airtable, Trello, Asana, or whatever organizational software you choose.
This guide is about what types of social media content calendar templates you can use to organize your social media and get crazy-ahead, based on what I use in my own social media business.
These template types are perfect for:
- Stressed-Out Solopreneurs who can't yet afford to hire a social media manager to churn out fresh content for them but who want to be organized from the get-go for when they can!
- Experienced Entrepreneurs who are ready to scale up their online business and who want to easily and painlessly start outsourcing their social media in the most organized way possible.
- Social Media Managers (like moi) who are managing multiple clients that are each producing various amounts of content (some weekly, some nil).
The aim is the same: always have something to post or always have an idea for what to post. Avoidance of crying tears of blood. Or wanting to throw the keyboard out the window (no shame, we've all been there).
No, these are not 'World Book Day' or 'National Doughnut Day' calendars🍩
'Eff those. They are 95% inane and irrelevant to your brand, except maybe the 5% that is. Use those days. Forget the rest, we're tired of seeing them (speaking for the masses here).🙄
This is about keeping track of strategic, branded, pre-selling content that helps you grow an audience and get sales.
Now that we've cleared what respectable social media content calendar templates are, let's look at all 5 I recommend that you have if you want to throw the social media beast off your back!
1. The Weekly Schedule Template
The first template you'll need is your weekly schedule. What kinds of posts will you do on each of the 7 days of the week?
This template is for both idea-generating and brand consistency. But its key goal is to keep you following a custom social media strategy.
A regular schedule of similar types of content will also train your followers on what to expect from you each day. Ideally, it's keeping them coming back for more.
There are a bazillion different ways to create a weekly schedule, so my advice is don't get too hung up on trying to do them all at once or on any particular one.
The best schedule for your brand is the one that works.
In other words, test one out and see what works and what doesn't. Weed out the content types that consistently flop, and introduce new ones. Experiment!
Eventually, you'll have a polished-up schedule of high-performing content 7 days a week.
So here are some of the more popular weekly schedules I've seen used:
- Content Pillars - Narrow down your content topics to the most useful and relevant, then rotate each day to talk about one topic.
- Buyer Journey - Rotate each day to talk to each type of person who comes across your brand. Start with 'knows nothin'' to 'about-to-hit-buy-but-just-needs-more-convincing'.
- Earn the Sell - this one is outdated, IMHO. It's about giving value-value-value then directing and promoting. If you make every piece of your content a pre-selling piece, and you learn how to drop the name of your product and service into every piece, there's no need to make organic social media posts that look like an ad (but do test it anyway, it may work just fine for your brand).
- Specific To The Day - This is the one I prefer most, combined with a few of the above depending on what my clients are promoting. This one considers how people on a conventional 9 to 5 work schedule might be feeling on particular days. I also like to look at what happens on each day, statistically. For example, most online purchases happen either Sunday or Monday nights when people are at home, surfing online. On Fridays people are cheerful, and looking forward to happy hour, so I'll post something light and funny to get reactions and shares.
These are just a few guidelines to follow for your weekly schedule to get you started.
Have a goal for each content piece, so you're not just posting filler. You should be aiming for various things:
- Direct messages
But the most important thing to remember with this template is to sort your social media strategy out first. None of these social media content calendar templates is going to help you at all unless you have a strategy in place.
And not to get too jargon-y, but all a strategy really is about is knowing exactly what your conversion goals are for every step of your marketing efforts.
2. The Daily Calendar Template
Next up is the daily post-record-keeping template. This template is where you'll simply keep track of what is posted where and on what day. The strategic goal of this template is about tracking performance.
So, for example, on October 18, 2021, I'll have white slots for every Monday's blog post, Instagram post, Instagram Story, Facebook Page post, etc. The next day I might skip Instagram and Facebook to post on LinkedIn and Twitter. The key with this template is having a pithy shorthand system to remind yourself what went up. So what I like to do is name each content type with an acronym, say 'NEW' or, if it's going up again, 'RQ2' for 're-queued a second time.' Or, 'curated funny' on a Friday, or 'URL' if I included a live URL for click-throughs.
Whatever works for you here, just keep in mind the main goal for this template is to have a record of published content so you can track results afterward.
If you don't keep a content record or track results, you're just throwing spaghetti at the wall and you'll never have benchmarks to improve your social media.
Reviewing the metrics of past content is critical (my fellow social media managers know all this, I hope!)
3. The Content Library
Here's my favorite of all the social media content calendar templates! I love it, because it's a great resource for when I run out of ideas or time.
This template is all the content you've ever created, kept in organized tab files by type of content. Its key goal is for you to have all your content uber-organized so you can come back to it again and again.
So, for example, image-based content is organized by the number of the image. Then there's a tab for infographics, a tab for text-based engagement prompts for Facebook groups and a tab for all the audiograms, videos, gifs, and blog posts, etc.
The key here is it's all native content (as in, you made it, it's not curated). And, you're organizing all the information you need about that specific post: the caption for Facebook, the caption for Instagram, the hashtag set used, and where it was posted and on what date.
Hold up, you might be thinking, isn't this overlapping with the daily schedule?
Why, yes, it is, in that you are keeping track of the dates the pieces were posted. But the advantage here is this is where you can go back and find that piece of content easily. You're not recording many details at all about the post in the Daily Calendar, but in this template, you record every word, emoji, and hashtag that went into each post.
That way, you can copy and paste to reuse it again or tweak it and repurpose it again.
Trust me, you won't be able to find things easily in the Daily Template. That template was to keep track of performance, not the details of the post itself.
4. The Core Content Amplification Template
Core content is a new podcast episode, video, or blog, or anything that is longer-length or that establishes the brand's core topics in-depth.
Social media should then serve to support that core content by amplifying it in lots of creative ways and sending traffic back to it. (That pretty much summarizes the main job of most social media managers!)
So the purpose of this template is to keep track of where and how we're amplifying the core content.
It helps you make sure you squeeze the most juice possible from every piece of core content, whether its this week or next month. It doesn't all have to happen according to a timeline, so dating this template is optional.
What you do want to keep track of is the title, URL, long summary captions (for Facebook, etc) and short captions (for Twitter).
You may then want to keep track of how variations of graphics get made and where they are sent. Four different graphics for a single blog post scheduled to Pinterest, for example.
You send a core-content promotional piece out to every social media channel. Mark it by date or just by how many times you've sent it there, it doesn't matter.
The key purpose of this template is just to remember if you've covered all the bases. It's also hugely helpful for outsourcing to a VA or multiple people for an entire workflow, too. You (or your client) create the core video, for example, then you outsource the workflow to create a transcript to make it into a blog. THEN they could strip the audio to create a podcast, for example.
5. The 365 Content Canon Template
Ok, so here's where two paths meet between fresh core content creation and my 365 content regurgitation concept.
Ideally, core content should come out on a regular basis, like weekly or once a month at least, right?
But even the most organized and consistent content creators get tired.
We get over it!
Occasionally you just need a digital break to go camping, a meditation retreat, or whatever. As often with my clients, you may want to take a break to create new assets for your sales funnels.
This is where the 365 content canon template can come in. No matter how long you're offline, you can have an entire years' worth of content scheduled ahead.
The kind of content you want to create for a 365 repeat calendar is:
- Designed Specifically For Social Media - It's value is bite-sized & snackable. Ideally, less than 250 words.
- Evergreen - it's not a trend, current event, or something that will feel out of date, ever.
- Pre-Selling - it specifically mentions the problems your product or service solves, with situational detail.
- On-Brand - it looks and sounds like your brand's personality, and it promotes your brand's values.
- Transformational - it isn't vague and general - it describes the before and after of using your product or service.
- Designed for Bulk Uploading - It can easily be downloaded into a csv. file. This way, you can use it with any third-party scheduler for bulk-scheduling posts to a particular social media platform. This isn't optional. None of the social media platforms allow you to re-post content indefinitely, so you'll need to subscribe to one that allows you to do this special kind of magic.
We're talking quality here, the kind of content that makes people hit 'save' to come back to later.
This is of course a long-haul plan because you cannot create 365 worthwhile pieces within a few days. Nor months even - and c'mon, realistically, not even within a year (unless you pay someone to do it, maybe?) More likely, it will take you about 2-3 years to fill the 365 content canon up with good stuff. Aim to write 2-4 pieces each week to cover each date of the year. Do holidays first because they are easy then yes, whatever 'Doughnut Day' gets you excited!
But the idea is here you'll always have a flow of great content coming out every single day, no matter if you have fresh content or not. I would schedule 365 pieces at the second most optimal time of each platform. Then save the most optimal time for newer, core amplification pieces.
So are you 'wow'd' yet?? Not only will you have every day covered at least once, but the days you promote your core content, you'll have two posts going out per day.
Real marketing witchcraft, no? ☠️
Ok, so I can hear you thinking, what if people get tired of seeing the same thing??
NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, trust me.
By the time you get an entire year of content on rotation, you won't even remember what you wrote. Let alone anybody else.
Consider that less than 3% of your Facebook followers ever see an organic post the first time it goes up. It's highly unlikely they'll remember seeing it a second time, an entire year later. The only exception would be if it got killer engagement (and thus a huge boost in reach).
Also, you should go back and tweak your canon regularly. Don't just create it all once and forget it for 5 years. Update it as your brand grows, change up copy, images, or just replace any posts that got zero engagement.
Use All 5 of These Social Media Content Calendar Templates Together & Build Your Online Empire!
If you use all 5 templates in your business each week, you'll reap the benefits of:
- Time saved
- Brain less drained
- Always ready to outsource and able to easily explain how your social media should get done
- Clients are able to see exactly how you manage their social media (and review or approve content as needed)
- Hate social media a whole lot less!
In the next few weeks, here on my blog, I'll go into more detail about how I use these templates. I'll also dive into details about the type of content worthy of the 365 Canon.
I'll share with you how I strategically use each of these 5 social media content calendar templates to get better at what I do.
I'm a big believer that social media should serve us, not the other way around, and that hyper-tracking and organization is the key to making it do its job.
Want some fun company as you build your empire?
I invite you to join my Facebook group, Marketing For Creative & Unconventional Women & Gender Diverse.
I like to keep things as FUN as possible in business and in life.
And I honestly can't think of who needs a good laugh more than us busy online business owners, can you? 😉