We all love a good plan at the beginning of the year! Our social media specialists have put together a customisable content calendar to make it easy for you to plan and visualise your campaigns, making sure the right content goes out at the right time, on the right network.
Get Your Own Copy of Our New, Improved 2018 Calendar Now
Benefits of Using a Social Media Calendar
Planning ahead can help make sure your social media activity has a real impact on marketing campaigns, and helps you get closer to your targets. It will also help you to avoid classic embarrassing situations like this one:
Other benefits include:
- You’ll be more organised
- It’ll ensure you post regular updates and content
- You’ll make a connection between all the social media platforms you use so you have a consistent message
- Plan timely updates and promotions to tie in with holidays or events to create maximum interaction and engagement
- You’ll prevent writer’s block
- It’ll save you time
This is the fourth year we’ve produced this calendar. It contains features such as Twitter character counter and tweet length alert, and allows you to plan your messages across four platforms – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. This can be customised to suit your business, you may want to remove the Instagram columns and insert Pinterest for example. We’ve adapted the tweet length alert to reflect the changes the network made to its character count in 2017.
In case you missed them, here is a roundup of the most important social network changes that happened last year.
Social Media Network Updates in 2017
Facebook Stories launched in January 2017 in Ireland, and was extended to other markets in March. The feature is similar to Snapchat’s format in that it allows users to publish a story (photos or videos) that disappear after 24 hours. Only available to personal profiles at the moment, Stories will be opened up to all pages on Facebook soon – something to look forward to in 2018.
LinkedIn got a large redesign to become more user-friendly. That included a sleeker profile look, new navigation bar at the top and new chat windows. Posting updates has also become more interesting, with the added possibility of uploading several photos, saving drafts and advanced post settings that allows you to manage comments.
LinkedIn also launched native video capabilities. After being released to a limited number of users for testing, most users should be able to use the feature on the LinkedIn app and desktop. Even if it’s only still available on personal profiles (the network is about personal connections after all), this increases the number of content options for the network and is proof that video conquers all channels.
One of the most exciting Instagram updates last year was Live Stories. Very similar to Twitter Live, viewers can see comments and likes (hearts). This type of content is obviously encouraged by the network by being placed in the top left corner of the screen. Two things are worth mentioning here: Instagram notifies your followers when you go live (they can mute you if they’re not interested) and you can save your live videos to your camera roll (live stories disappear at the end of the broadcast).
Instagram also introduced the “paid partnership with” tag in June 2017. Only available to a limited number of influencers, a gradual global rollout was promised by the network. The paid partnership feature allows social influencers to indicate which posts are sponsored by brands.
Last but not least, as already mentioned above, Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280. This was received with enthusiasm by some (happy that they could pack more into their tweets) and with frowns by others (unhappy that the brand didn’t stay true to what defined it). What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
How to Use a Social Media Content Calendar
Make sure you have a clear plan of marketing action:
- Decide what you want to promote, e.g. a product launch, an event, an achievement, advice
- Decide when you want to promote your content, and on which networks
- Prepare your content, e.g. copy, image, video, link
- Prepare any pages that your social posts link through to, e.g. landing pages
- Populate your content calendar
- Check your results against your targets and make adjustments if necessary
Using a social media content calendar this way allows you to plan your content months in advance, have multiple team members work on your content (increased accountability) and review it anytime.
Your FREE Social Media Content Calendar
At Hallam, we want to make your life as easy as possible, so we’ve created a content calendar for you so you can get started planning straight away. Enjoy!