Managing a business’ social media calendar is no easy feat. Especially with the myriad of platforms and content types in use today.
But while navigating the choppy waters of social media trends and content performance may not always be easy, it is still crucial for establishing deep connections with customers and securing your position in the market. No matter what industry you work in.
When it comes to a social media content calendar, your business needs a clear, comprehensive, and well-organized system that allows your best features to shine. In this guide, we’ll dive into the minutiae of what makes a great social media content calendar, as well as provide insight into how to create one.
The 5 Best Types Of Social Media Content To Use In 2023
Content trends come and go all the time. One day, you might find that a particular video format is all the rage. The following day, it could see a below-average performance.
Knowing what all the different types of content are, as well as how, why, and where to use them, is vital to curating a success-driven social media content calendar. Once you understand their roles and what makes them uniquely connect with consumers, you can use them to your brand’s advantage.
1. User-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content is content that is affiliated with your brand but not directly uploaded by it. Instead, it gets uploaded by followers and users from around the world, promoting your brand. It’s authentic and genuine and doesn’t come across as a sponsored piece (even if it is).
UGC has shown to be one of the most popular and high-performing kinds of social media content to date – and it takes minimal effort on your part. Creating a challenge or trend that prompts consumers to tag you and upload promotional content can increase your organic growth.
2. Shoppable posts
More and more social media platforms are incorporating e-commerce into their content plans. Instagram, for example, now offers a shoppable post option for business accounts.
This enables followers to tap on items captured in images and immediately be redirected to a page where they can be purchased. This is a fast and highly effective way to bring in extra profit and meet the fast-paced needs of the average online consumer.
3. Live videos
Live videos are quickly becoming commodified as one of the internet’s favorite content types, so your social media content calendar should definitely be scheduling them. Setting up a live video for events, announcements, or even fun Q&A sessions can all be great ways to obtain new followers.
4. Short-form video content
Whether we like it or not, people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Naturally, that means the length of video content that performs best right now is also shrinking.
Short-form video content describes any video content that is less than 60 seconds. That might not sound like a lot, but you might be surprised by how much you can cram into such a limited time frame.
Pro tip: you might want to get some Gen Z employees on board for this.
These audio episodes are creeping up to the top of the internet’s highest-performing content types. Relatively easy and inexpensive to set up, hosting a mini-podcast series on your website can draw in new customers and keep you in competition with other growing businesses.
What Content Formats Are Best For Social Media?
Mass-posting across multiple platforms can be very tempting. It’s easier and requires less time. However, posting different content formats based on the platform they’re being uploaded to is one of the most effective ways to boost engagement and drive up those KPIs.
Instagram consumers behave differently to LinkedIn consumers. In fact, most platforms have their own unique content performance patterns that are well worth adhering to. Take a look at the following social media channel examples, along with their corresponding high-performance content formats.
As a visual-centric platform, photos and videos are the top-performing content types on Instagram. High-res visuals, stories, and quality infographics are deemed best.
Although Facebook has more room for text than Instagram, it is still a visually dominated platform. Recently, metrics show that short-form videos and live videos outperform other content types, with short-form text coming in third.
A vast majority of Twitter users are on there for the news. This makes it an excellent platform for short text announcements, link-building, and engaging with customers.
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform. Jobs and career information tend to be the most popular. This can come in the form of status updates, regular blog posts, testimonials, and other text-based content. Infographics also perform well.
Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is a visual-centric platform. This means that any posting activity needs to be high-resolution and aesthetically pleasing. Images perform well here, as well as the occasional short-form video.
To create a truly impactful social media content calendar, you will need to curate it according to each platform’s specific content performance rates. That way, each post you make can be primed for high engagement with each audience.
What Is A Social Media Content Calendar?
A social media content calendar is a month-by-month overview of your brand’s upcoming social media posts, scheduled neatly in a calendar format.
Social media marketers and strategists use content calendars to elucidate both the timing and content type of different posts, allowing them to manage social media accounts more effectively. Some of the benefits you can extract from a social media content calendar include the following:
- Maintains brand consistency
- Great for team brainstorming
- Keeps your audience engaged
- Provides visibility across multiple departments
- Keeps your team organized
A social media content calendar not only helps to give those creating them a better perspective on the work they’re doing. It also allows other team members to grasp upcoming events, posts, and campaign material in a more simplistic and understandable way.
Without a social media content calendar, it can be hard to implement campaigns and upload content in an organized way. Brands need them as a tool for creating structure, organization, and future success.
How Do You Create A Social Media Calendar?
Creating a social media calendar takes a lot more than just listing your content in a methodical way. There needs to be real purpose and research involved in the structuring of your content schedule.
If you’re new to the idea of creating this critical kind of calendar, here are six steps you can take.
1. Identify your main social media channels
This might sound like an obvious move, but it’s a central one that often gets overlooked. Before you start sketching out content ideas for your social media channels, determine which ones are most active and what kind of angle you’d like to take with them.
Which platforms are you going to focus on in the future? Are there any new platforms you’d like to explore? Identify the social media channels that will be dominating your content calendar before making one.
2. Perform an audit of your social media channels
To effectively and accurately measure future progress, you need to know where your performance metrics currently stand. Conducting an audit is one of the most effective ways to grasp where your best and worst performance is occurring. Some points to note in your audit could be:
- Your most successful post per channel
- What content formats get the most engagement
- Where your most significant audience is active
- Comparing the performance of current vs. evergreen content
Analyzing information like this is crucial for creating a social media content calendar that is hardwired for the best performance possible with the resources you have.
3. Choose which metrics to track on your calendar
Not all businesses track the same metrics. Instead, every company chooses which metrics to monitor based on what’s relevant to its brand. However, factors like hashtags, @-mentions, which channels you use, what time you post, target audiences, and live video attendance rates are all good places to start.
4. Strategize your posting rhythm
Finding the right upload cadence for your business on social media can be very hard. Too much posting could cause you to lose followers. But so could too little.
You will need to craft a posting rhythm based on the platforms you post to and the engagement patterns created by your audience. But generally speaking, most of the highest-performing profiles on social media will upload content between once a day to once a week. If you automate the process, you can ensure your posts are regular and can even create and schedule them in advance.
5. Flesh out a review schedule
After your social media content calendar has been created and launched, your team will need to coordinate a consistent review schedule. It should form a part of your calendar as a whole.
You can use those review sessions to reflect on what’s working and what’s not, as well as shift responsibilities between team members if needed.
6. Regularly monitor and report on posted content
In addition to a review schedule, your company should constantly monitor the progress of posted content so you can make adjustments with fast-paced agility. Use whatever analytics resources you have to make sense of current campaigns and release progress reports that people from multiple departments can access.
Consider Using Employees as Brand Ambassadors on Social Media
Employee advocacy is an approach to social media that involves using employees as the primary ambassadors of your business. With an employee advocacy program, employees are invited to post content about their roles and professional experiences with your brand on their own online profiles.
Employee advocacy aims to develop a closer relationship with audience members, drive up brand trust, and provide employees with a way to expand their careers and exercise thought leadership.
This makes employee advocacy a mutually beneficial method for improving the performance of a company’s social media posts while boosting employees’ work experiences and growth potential. You can incorporate employee advocacy into your social media content calendar with these tips:
1. Include employees in the social media calendar planning process
By including employees in the planning process of creating your social media calendar, you lay down the foundation for a healthy culture of employee advocacy.
This allows them to weigh in on the content subject matter and incorporate topics, themes, and strategies that align with their experiences. This can also help employees from different departments to connect with each other and contribute to higher engagement rates.
2. Establish clear guidelines
While employee advocacy on social media has many benefits, they won’t necessarily be reaped unless you create clear corporate posting guidelines. For example, there should be policies and procedures surrounding the kind of content employees are allowed to upload.
3. Share employee experiences on social media channels
Consumers love hearing real stories about the people they follow online. And when the people who work for the brands they follow speak up about their experiences, engagement rates naturally rise.
You can encourage your employees to post content that looks at their career trajectory with your company – from how they started out to where they are now. Those human ups and downs are what make for good storytelling and can inspire customers to want to know more.
Also see our guide to sharing employee stories on social media.
4. Provide social media training
Along with proper guideline-setting, it is a good idea to provide your employees with social media training, especially if you’re using automation tools. This not only affords them access to upskilling but also helps them learn more about how to create and upload content in an appropriate and positive way.
5. Highlight the personal benefits of employee advocacy
If you want to incentivize your employees to get involved in an employee advocacy program on social media, it’s essential to communicate what’s in it for them.
Studies show that employees that participate in programs like these experience improved job satisfaction, higher engagement rates, and more career growth opportunities. It also provides them with a bigger platform for building up their online reputation and moving forward with greater assets.
6. Track performance and share results with employees
Finally, another way to successfully implement an employee advocacy program into your social media content calendar is to track its performance online and share the results with participants.
Naturally, the better it performs, the more enthusiastic your employees will be about perpetuating it. You can add elements of gamification or a leaderboard to the process too. This will increase engagement and encourages participation.
Need Some Help? Clearview Social Can Show You The Way
Developing a social media content calendar isn’t an easy task. Especially if your brand is in its early stages of development or your social media team is still gaining experience.
But considering how globally significant social media presence is, this aspect of marketing should be taken as seriously as possible. Clearview Social is an employee advocacy platform that exists to help companies like yours develop innovative and adaptable social media strategies that center on engagement.
With Clearview Social, you can create a systemic social media content calendar that perfectly aligns with your brand interests and goals.
Ready to make the most of your online content? Request a free demo today for more information and take your social media strategy to the next level.