Social media is the mouthpiece for the masses. Long gone are the days of traditional marketing. You miss out big time if you don’t market your business on social media outlets. However, many different platforms exist, such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat. It’s easy to lose your content in the shuffle. If you post to one platform but forget another, you’ll benefit from a social media calendar. And no, you don’t have to create one yourself. We’ve scoured the internet for the best free social media calendar template.
A social media content calendar has many benefits, especially if you work in the hospitality industry. Let’s explain how to use a social media calendar and why you should have one.
Yes, a social media calendar is a necessity. Many business social media accounts start with good intentions but ultimately become digital waste grounds. It’s a shame. Often, businesses set up their accounts correctly with time and effort poured into the initial batch of content. Then, after the 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.
We know you’re busy, but social media marketing for your business is crucial. Check out these statistics from nealschaffer.com about social media marketing.
- Across various platforms, there are approximately 4.62 billion users.
- 71% of consumers recommend brands based on their positive social media interactions.
- Interaction with potential customers on social media makes them spend 20-40% more money on your product or service.
- Companies that use social media marketing have noted a 50% increase in sales.
Have we convinced you to revamp or revitalize your social media marketing attempts? A key to your success is staying on schedule with the help of a free social media calendar template.
You know that social media marketing is crucial to building and expanding your brand. However, social media is bewildering, especially if you don’t have a plan or content posting schedule. That’s where a free social media calendar template comes into play. If you need more convincing, here are four good reasons why you need to schedule your content posting.
1. Scheduling Creates Order From Chaos
You probably have many ideas for social posts bubbling away in your mind. But posting the right stuff at the right time is impossible without introducing order. That’s exactly what a social media calendar does. You’ll know exactly when to post your social media campaigns.
2. They Put Time Back Into Your Day
Don’t overlook the time savings offered by social media calendars. Sure, it takes time to create brilliant, quality content. However, the visibility of notable events and dates throughout the year will help you plan posts before essential dates. There’s nothing worse than going to post on social media and noticing you’ve missed a huge posting opportunity.
3. It’s Consistent
A regular posting schedule helps you maintain consistency in your social media presence. It should happen if you know the what, when, and where of your content posts. Like other schedules, a social media calendar holds you accountable. Additionally, when your audience knows when to expect content, they’re more likely to anticipate, engage, and follow your posts.
4. A Content Planning Schedule Helps You Strategize
A schedule helps you plan your content and other related events in advance. You can plan on preparing content for special events, holidays or promotions. Plus, the ability to look back at the successes of your planned content and events is social media campaign gold dust.
Deciding What Content To Schedule
One of the most challenging social media marketing tasks is deciding what content to post. But, like anything, this is a task that gets easier. Particularly if you work in an ordered, measured fashion via a free social media calendar template. Here are a few ideas to get you started. These ideas are ideal if you work in hospitality, but they are also great for other industries as well.
- Weekly series such as challenges for your followers or Q&A sessions.
- Contests and Giveaways. Offer prizes of high value to winners but at a low cost.
- Repost great reviews and lovely guest comments received.
- Photo updates of renovations or everyday occurrences that spark interest to potential customers.
- Behind-the-scenes glimpses of the inner workings of your business.
The only limitation is your imagination, and it pays to experiment. Soon, you’ll discover the most effective forms of content for your audience. Just keep in mind the rule of thirds when dividing your content. Your posts should consist of 1/3 social engagement, 1/3 curated content, and 1/3 original content.
Choosing a Social Media Content Category
Before filling out your calendar, consider the content categories you’re posting to. We’ve discovered a few above already, but here are common social media content categories you can use for inspiration:
- Blog post shares
- Conversation starters
It’s smart 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. Keep scrolling for a social media calendar free of charge that we’ve created. We’ve added some categories to the template already, but you can adapt yours as needed.
Ensure Your Calendar Remains Full
There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re running out of content. However, with an effective calendar to plan your strategy, that should never happen. If things look like they’re getting dry, or you need quick but effective filler material, lean on the following options.
- Re-share old posts. Look for your top-performing old content and re-share it. Be sure to edit your old content if it needs an update or refresh.
- Curate content. Look for quality content from others in your industry and re-share it on your channels. This isn’t stealing content. In fact, it shows your support of others in your industry as long as you give credit where it’s due.
- Repurpose other forms of content. If you have a blog post that performed well or a video on YouTube that your audience likes. Repurpose it. You can chop it up into social snippets or reshare it with new commentary or text overlays. This is a great way to increase the value of your best content, no matter how it started life.
If you’re looking for a calendar that fulfills all your content post-scheduling needs, we curated one just for you. Our free social media calendar for Google Sheets contains a monthly overview to plan content for each major platform. It allows you to plan content throughout the year and take advantage of relevant dates.
The best social media content calendars are flexible, easy to use, and aligned with your 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 to fit your needs.
Here’s 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 (Feel free to 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.
Using a free social media calendar template is crucial to using social media marketing to its full potential. Take advantage of this tool to remember to create and publish content to market your business regularly. Take the time to plan out your content and posting schedule in advance. A good schedule ensures you’re constantly posting engaging content at the right times that resonates with customers and drives business.
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