The Editorial Calendar and Scheduling
So we’ve got goals. We know what our audience wants. Our content strategy is defined. And we have enough content to last us for a week (a month if you were extra ambitious).
Now you might be feeling a little overwhelmed and thinking “this is a lot of work, how am I supposed to stay on top of all this? Matt! I thought you said this was going to be simple!”
This feeling is completely normal and why we’re going to be talking about creating an editorial calendar and some tools to streamline your social process.
Welcome to part 3 of 1000 Likes. 60 Days. 8 Simple Steps.
Step 5: Creating Your Editorial Calendar
Now we’re going to start bringing everything together. Because of our earlier work we know:
- Who our audience is
- What our audience wants
- Where our audience wants to see us
- When our audience wants to see
One important element that may not have been defined earlier is how much our audience wants to see us. To solve that (and you’ll have to tinker with these numbers yourself over time) Constant Contact wrote a nifty little guide to how much you should be posting on each social network:
- Facebook: 3-10 times a week
- Twitter: at least 5 times a day
- LinkedIn: 2-5 times a week
- Google+: 3-10 times a week
- Pinterest: 5-10 times a day
The first step in bringing it all together in a simple workflow is to plan out our content strategy in an editorial calendar. Something that could look like
or like this
There are many ways to set this up in excel or a Google Calendar, but ultimately you need to find what works for you.
They key things to get on your calendar are:
- Important dates such as holidays. Anything ranging from Thanksgiving to National Ice Cream Day is fair game here. As long as it’s relevant to your business this can add that extra ounce of personality to your social presence you might be lacking.
- Product launches
- Press releases
- Who’s responsible for what (if you have a team of writers)
- Use social icons (or anyway to distinguish between them) so that you can get a quick higher level view when you’re looking at your calendar. As you go a long this will also help you see if you’re beginning to spam one network in favor of another. Not always a bad thing, but you’ll want to make sure your audience appreciates that.
Super Simple Step Six: Using Tools To Simplify Your Life
Content Scheduling: Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer are the most popular in this area and they do a great job. I’ve given them all a try at least once. I liked Sprout Social the because of their design interface and usability. Each offers a free trial (and Hootsuite has a free tier) so there’s no reason to not try them all out and decide which you like best.
Project Management: Basecamp, Asana, and Trello are the favorites here out literally tons of other project management software. I’ve used Asana the longest and I’m a big fan of their core values. Basecamp is starting to win my heart but I’m convinced I can make Asana and Basecamp work together. Trello, I just haven’t enjoyed as much but a lot of other people swear by it.
WordPress Plugins: Editorial Calendar (mostly used for blogging, but can be integrated with social media), Edit Flow (view a monthly calendar, add customer comments, create segmented teams), or just plain old Google Calendar (effective, easy to share, simple). I personally haven’t used the plugins, but I know they can be useful because a lot of us are using WordPress websites (and I’m sure there are Joomla! plugins that do the same thing). I was a big fan of Google Calendar until I build my own calendar using Google Sheets.
These tools schould make the process of scheduling your content calendar way easier. Instead of having to log into Facebook, Twitter, etc. everyday, you could batch process all of your posts for the week in one day. Essentially this could boil down to a 3 hour workflow: 1 hour to curate a weeks worth of content, 1 hour to plan it all out in your editorial calendar, and then 1 hour to schedule your posts for the week. You could do this all in one day or space it out over three days.
Of course you should still be monitoring your posts throughout the week to see how they’re doing and to respond to comments and engage with your audience (foreshadowing for next week’s final post).
This should give you enough to chew on for another week. As always, leave your questions and comments below!
Until next week, stay #TracyReady
Matt Higa is the founder and CEO of Pineapple Empire. A creative agency focusing on helping entrepreneurs and startups build, grow, and conquer. Follow us on Instagram for a daily dose of motivation and inspiration @getpineapple.