I’ve had several requests for an example of the social media planning calendar I use. Some call this a social media editorial calendar. I mentioned this in a previous article. Because I love to see people get excited about planning their social media, I’m going to give you a copy of my template for free! It’s a Microsoft Excel document (.xls). If you aren’t able to open it, please post a comment at the end of the article and I’ll help you out!

To receive your copy of this template, all I ask is that you enter your name and email in the form below and I’ll send you an email with a special download link to start making your social media strategy awesome! You’ll also receive a complimentary subscription to my E-Zine, packed with useful tips and articles to help you market your business.

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If you use this tool, I promise you your social media management will be much easier to plan and execute! This calendar takes the guesswork out of  creating social media content. I don’t know about you, but when I sit down to try and come up with ideas, I draw a blank. By planning your content ahead of time and making lists of things to post, you don’t even have to think about it when it comes times to post. Your posts are sure to be relevant, timely, and consistent.

Here’s how I use this planning calendar step-by-step:

  1. Plan to Plan! The first thing I do is schedule some time each week to plan out my social media for the upcoming week. I choose Wednesday mornings, but you pick whatever is best for you.
  2. Build a Library. The very first time I used a calendar, I scheduled some extra time to build a library of ideas and resources for my posts. I created a list of quotes, a list of blog articles, and a list of different questions people ask me or topics I could post about.
  3. Pick a Theme. I find it easiest to have a theme for the week (depends on how often you post). I choose a theme and fill it in for the entire week. Some themes for me would be: DIY Websites, Social Media Planning, Good Design, etc. Basically, it’s a high-level topic that you want to break down more specifically during the week. This is completely optional, but it’s fun and makes it much easier to plan.
  4. Fill in content type. I use the Format Painter tool in Excel to copy the color-coded content type from the legend at the top of the calendar into the dates I want to post that type of content. I can look to be sure I’m using variety in the types of content I deliver. I can also pay special attention to use the 1 in 10 rule (only promote your products and services one in every ten posts). This way, I can quickly see that a majority of my content is helpful to people, rather than trying to get them to buy something.
  5. Fill in content ideas. After I’ve chosen the theme and type of content I’m going to post throughout the week, I can start filling in the actual post text, questions to ask, quotes, or blog titles, etc. You can put as much or as little content in as you’d like. The more content you put in the spreadsheet, the more difficult it becomes to read, so I usually just put key information I want to remember as I sit down to write.
  6. Schedule and Post. Schedule some time each day to post your content or use a tool like HootSuite to schedule posts. Just be sure that if you schedule posts, you respond quickly to interaction that is generated.
  7. Watch your Social Media popularity soar!
Feel free to modify the template to suit your needs. This is the general form I use and find it to work the best for me. Everyone might have different needs, so don’t hesitate to make it work for you! Good luck!
 
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