How to use the template
Step 1. Fill in your details below and we’ll email you the calendar link
Step 2. Click File > Make a copy to create an editable version
Step 3. Rename your calendar (pass this off as your own work!)
Step 4. Right-click and duplicate the calendar tab for more months
Step 5. Start filling in your content!
How to fill your social content calendar
The template contains a monthly overview that you can use to plan content for each of the major platforms.
A social content calendar allows you to plan content throughout the year and take advantage of relevant dates.
The best social content calendars are flexible and should be tuned to your audience, industry and social media goals. That’s why we’ve used Google Sheets as a template. Once you have it, you can keep it simple or update it as you need.
Looking for inspiration to fill your feeds?
There are so many business social media accounts out there that started with good intentions but ultimately became digital waste grounds. And that’s a shame because they are often set up correctly with a great deal of time and effort poured into the initial batch of content.
Only, after that initial flurry of activity, the posts inevitably reduce to a drip and then… nothing.
Social media calendars fix this issue. They ensure your social media presence remains active, vibrant and capable of drawing in a large, relevant, captive audience.
1. They create order from chaos
You’ve probably got loads of ideas for social posts bubbling away in your mind but enacting on them and posting the right stuff at the right time is impossible without introducing order.
That’s exactly what a social media calendar does.
2. They give you back time
The time savings offered by a social media calendar shouldn’t be overlooked. Sure, content creation takes time to do well, but having visibility of notable events and dates across a whole year will help you plan before important dates. There’s nothing worse than going to post on social media and noticing you’ve missed a huge opportunity to get involved with National Piña Colada Day! (That’s our favourite.)
3. They leave no room for excuses
If you know what needs to be posted when and where, it should happen. Social media calendars hold people and strategies accountable and make it far easier to encourage effort.
4. They help you measure your strategy
Being able to look back at how you planned an ultimately successful or unsuccessful social media campaign is gold dust.
How to decide what to post
One of the toughest things when it comes to social media marketing is deciding what to post. But, like anything, this is a task that gets easier - particularly if you work in an ordered, measured fashion via a social media calendar.
Here are a few ideas to get you started and which are perfect for hospitality businesses:
- weekly series such as challenges for your followers or Q&A sessions;
- contests and giveaways (devise prizes that are of high value to winners but low cost to you);
- reposting of great reviews and lovely guest comments you receive;
- photo updates of renovations; and
- behind-the-scenes glimpses of the inner workings of the business.
The only limitation is your imagination, and it pays to experiment; you’ll soon discover the most effective forms of content for your audience.
Just keep in mind the rule of thirds when it comes to dividing your content:
1/3 social engagement,
1/3 curated content,
1/3 original content
The importance of categories
Before you prepare your social media calendar, you’ll need to think about the content categories you’ll be posting.
We’ve discovered a few above already, but here are some common social media content categories you can use for inspiration:
- blog post shares
- conversation starters
It’s a good idea to list all of your categories and just go wild with a brainstorm of potential ideas. Before you know it, you’ll have the early formation of months’ worth of content! We’ve added some categories to the calendar template already, but you can adapt yours as needed.
How to ensure your calendar remains full
There’s nothing worse than realising you’re running out of social content. However, with an effective calendar from which to plan your strategy, that should never happen.
If things do look like they’re getting dry, or you need some quick but effective filler material, you can lean on the following three options.
1. Re-share old posts: look for your top-performing old content and re-share it (give it a little tweak and update, if needed).
2. Curate content: this isn’t stealing - just look for content from others in your industry and re-share on your channels or create a blog post featuring your favourites.
3. Repurpose other forms of content: if you have a blog post that has performed well or a video on YouTube that your audience likes - chop it up into social snippets. This is a great way to increase the value of your best content, no matter how it started life.
We hope you enjoy using your free social media calendar. To help you along the way, here are some additional guides that we think you’ll find very useful.