The Essentials of a Killer Content Calendar
Social media marketing is indispensable for today’s multi-location brands, but there’s more to it than just posting a photo and calling it a day.
Social media that resonates requires a thoughtful approach to planning ahead. Creating an engaging social media calendar can save time, keep you focused, and help you manage, track, and refine your digital marketing to drive growth and brand awareness.
Create Shareable Content
In an age of millions of digital messages and changing algorithms, social media content worthy of a share focuses on value. The good news: you don’t need to look far for simple strategies to authentically speak to your customers and create a sense of community around your brand and individual locations. Consider these content ideas to get started:
Big sales, new products, limited time offers
- Followers want to be in the know. Post upcoming sales (and relevant reminder posts), tout new merchandise, or limited time only menu items that customers crave at your location.
- Creatively incorporate best brands. Share user-generated content (with credit), video, and images that highlight your products and services uniquely. Create a how-to video that educates without making it feel like education.
Seasonal and special days Plan for, and around, official holidays, significant sales, and local happenings. There’s a national day for everything. Take advantage of it to craft fun and engaging content.
Behind the scenes
- Garner attention and give fans a closer look when you pull back the curtain on your location and reveal who you are and what makes your business different.
- Feature employee birthdays, anniversaries, or a throwback picture.
Let them talk
Customers love to be helpful and converse with each other. Ask questions that prompt interactions and tie back to your brand. Build a community on your page through mini conversations. Followers will see you as a source of reliable content.
Or talk about the weather
No, really. Sometimes it’s the little things that elevate engagement. Everyone has something to say on a sizzling hot or chilly winter day. Relatable content like the weather, or whatever is going on around you, is a great way to connect with your followers and solve a problem.
SOCi Pro tip: Follow the 80/20 best practices rule for social media marketing. Strive for content that is 80 percent entertaining and engaging and 20 percent sales and promotion driven.
- Use photos of your actual stores, employees, and products. On social media, imperfect yet real images fare better than the perfect shot, yet less genuine stock photos.
- Show off your community spirit with local business tie-ins and partnerships. Tag the local business, charity, or a friend of the brand that is a positive influencer. Tagged posts —who then comment and share—boost organic engagement and enhance the content and brand’s overall value.
- Special events. Get more customers through the door by promoting the details beforehand. Showcase the event in real-time through Facebook and Instagram stories. Craft a wrap-up thank you post and invite people to follow your page to be the first to know about future events.
SOCi Pro tip: Leave gaps in the calendar to flexibly include timely industry-related content, the news of the day, or the world in which your brand and location live.
Know When to Post
You don’t want all the hard work you put into planning social media marketing content to go to waste. Timing is everything to ensure your meaningful content gets seen by the right audience when those network users are most active. Along with a self-audit and competitor analysis of best-performing posts, platform tools, such as Facebook Insights, can help. SOCi’s peak-time tool analyzes when audiences most engage with your content, allowing you to post at peak times.
SOCi Pro tip: Show there are real people behind the brand. A post at 7:08 a.m. appears more authentic and organic than content sharply scheduled on the hour.
Step back to Set Up a Content Calendar
1. Define Objectives to Make Metrics Matter
Do you want more people to visit your store or website? Are you looking to build brand awareness in the community? Tie content marketing efforts to your overall business goals. Well-defined objectives also pave the way to track your content’s ROI, reach, and engagement.
SOCi Pro tip: Be proactive. Post consistently and invite people who engage with your content to ‘like’ and be fans of your page. Do that with every post to watch your content grow organically.
2. Determine Calendar Cadence
Develop a calendar that works with your capacity and business objectives. Social media content calendars can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually. At SOCi, we highly recommend a quarterly schedule for social content.
3. Measure performance and adjust.
Harness the power of analytics to evaluate and tweak the content. More videos, fewer photos, behind-the-scenes stories versus straight sales talk, short how-to articles over longer posts. Whatever the results, don’t shy away from adjustments, and be sure to experiment with new ideas.
SOCi Pro tip: Don’t forget to boost. Whatever your budget, be sure to boost content that you want more people to see, comment on, and share. Use the paid feature to boost a post higher on followers’ timelines or push out the message to target users who don’t follow you for a broader reach on their location, demographic, and profile information.
No matter your social media marketing background, you can create a killer content calendar. And, we’re here to help. For more information on how SOCi can take your local content calendar to new heights, and elevate your localized marketing efforts as a whole, request a demo today.