Content calendars are king

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There have been a few articles recently about whether you need a content plan for social media (SXSW Gary Vaynerchuk Keynote and In Defense of Content Calendars).

I say: “It depends on your objectives”.

Why are you using social media?

If you’re using social media on behalf of an organisation as a professional communications platform, then yes,  you need a content calendar.

Content calendars help you 'be king'
Content calendars help you 'be king'

If you’re a happy-go-lucky individual using social media for yourself only, then hell no, you don’t need a calendar.

What do I mean by content calendar?

A content calendar could be any document / table / spreadsheet that outlines upcoming topics you could talk about on social media.

It doesn’t need to be meticulously detailed; but is an extremely useful piece of insurance. A content calendar can:

  • Ensure you’re ready to post comments about key milestones for your company.
  • Provide you with content ideas on those occasions when you “can’t think of anything to say”.
  • Keep you focused on your objectives.
  • Help you maintain a professional presence.

And just because you’ve got a content calendar, that doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous. Within social media platforms, you still need to be prepared to:

  • Join impromptu conversations.
  • Answer questions.
  • Join relevant new memes, themes or conversations that are taking off online.
  • And of course .. be creative and post ‘genius’ content that you thought of today

So in a nutshell: a content calendar isn’t a rigid plan that you MUST follow. It’s a guide to help you from time to time.

Your content calendar might include company events, community events, public holidays, competitions, launches and campaigns. A calendar puts you on the front foot and is a worthwhile investment before you embark on your social media posting. I know they’re extremely useful because I used to content manage many websites and different social media platforms – at once.

What’s your favourite way of maintaining content ideas? Do you have a calendar or simple list?

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Definitely! Not only does it help you know where to fill the gaps (it can be a mission to find something interesting/relevant/appropriate to say to an audience on a regular basis) but it keeps you on track. While the purpose of being social is to engage in conversations your audience is interested in, we’re still aiming to deliver our key messages. A good content plan can help you maintain a balance between the two.

  2. Laura says:

    But what to do if you have the opposite problem to most companies and have a superabundance of wonderful on-topic arts post and tweet ideas flowing in every day from which to choose? Is a calendar still worthwhile?

    1. Prakky says:

      Good question Laura. The calendar may be even more important – it can keep your organisation ‘on topic’. And where you have an over abundance of content, you’ll need to keep referring back to objectives. If all content ideas do fit your objectives + themes, but there are simply too many, remember quality versus quantity. Social media audiences don’t want to be bombarded.

  3. Christie @ Fig & Cherry says:

    Great post Michelle! Content calendars are indeed important tools, much like inspiration boards for words!

  4. Kyle M says:

    Thanks for the link Michelle, totally agree. Planning out some events and topics doesn’t mean you can’t also be nimble and reactive (in fact, I think it helps).

  5. Mal Chia says:

    What a coincidence, we’ve been having this exact discussion in the office. Matter of fact, I’m looking at ours now.

    Content calendars are incredibly useful for any form of digital story telling and planning for filling any holes.

  6. Nick Morris says:

    I tend to use my blog as a kind of content calender. Often times I have articles drafted or set to publish in the future which provides a plan for the subjects I am tackling and focusing on.

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