So, you want to create an editorial calendar for your social media marketing? For those of you who don't know: an editorial calendar is simply a space (a spreadsheet in a Dropbox, perhaps) where business professionals can organize their social media posts for various platforms (especially helpful for businesses and individuals who have a blog).
There are a few tricks that make the calendar process easier and more streamlined, but first we have to start with the basics of layout and creation. Here's my top 5 ingredients for a rockin' editorial calendar:
1. Overall organization. Whether it's by date, platform, or type of post (CTA - Call to Action), you must have a nicely organized, easy to understand calendar. Using an Excel spreadsheet to organize columns that make the most sense and pertain to your specific marketing goals is key.
2. Status section. You need a clear section (especially if your business or blog has multiple people involved in the creation and publishing of content) that reflects the current publish status. I fill in each section with RED color fill when statuses are ready to be published and GREEN color fill when they've already been added to my queue (I use Hootsuite for scheduling, but also recommend MeetEdgar for recycling).
For this blog, the status section (or column) helps Emma and I keep track of when we share each others content and keeps clear the dates when we are posting each blog post topic. My business buddy and fellow marketer, Jennifer Greene from Tyrannosaurus Marketing taught me all I know! Go give her some love.
Here's a shot of my editorial calendar in action:
3. Bit.ly links. Not only pertinent to editorial calendars, using bit.ly links helps to shorten the looooong URLs that are created from any product or blog post listing on your site, easing the ability for users to type URLs into their browsers if they're viewing your post on say, Instagram. It's also simply more pleasing to the eye. The "Link" section should be its own column. *Customize your bit.ly links by utilizing one of Bit.ly's free accounts. Always customize the link name to something that is relevant of the content. A bit.ly link should look like this: bit.ly/socialpsy.
4. Platform. Equally important as the other parts is specifying the platforms you must post on. In another column, add a "Channel" or "Platform" section that helps you differentiate all the social media sites you use (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and color-code within these so your eye naturally knows which is which without having to look too hard.
5. Type of post. This column helps when ensuring that you have spread your content equally among different post types. I use the following two: Blog, Inspirational. For businesses, you may consider adding Promotional or a category like such that highlights a sale, deal or item you are trying to convert around. You must making sure that you are indeed tailoring your copy for a specific purpose.
If you're looking for a template you can readily download, or you're still confused as to what the heck an editorial calendar should look like, head over to Kayla Hollatz's space--there may be something free waiting for you over there!