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by Gillian
on November 18, 2013


If you’re committed to an effective social media strategy, you know the importance of content. Your banner ads might be beautiful and your Facebook sidebar ads deliciously clickable, but those are not why people will go back to your page again and again or visit your blog every week. Fresh, new, informative and educational content is what keeps people coming back time and time again.
But if you’re like most social marketers and professionals, you probably struggle with coming up with the right content to post day after day. There are a lot of strategies that can help with this grind, but one of the best that we at ManoByte have found is creating and maintaining a content calendar. This is a document (you can set it up a lot of different ways) that allows you to schedule your content well in advance as well as reference what you’ve already posted. The difference a good content calendar can make in consistency and engagement can be huge. That’s why we’re sharing these four tips to help you create the most effective content calendar possible.

Explore Themes

Take a look at what you’re currently sharing on your social networks and your blog. Chances are, though all your content should be angled towards your brand, your industry, and your target audience, there are some recurring themes. Use your content calendar to block off time to talk about those key themes.
This blog, for example, is a social media strategy blog. We talk about social media strategy. But we also talk about lead generation, consumer engagement, and more general online marketing. Come up with the most important themes for your content and be sure that you dedicate time to each one every week. This will keep your audience interested and make sure that you are displaying the breadth of your industry knowledge.

Don’t Overextend Yourself

Everyone wants to write a 500-word blog post that gets 1000 comments and put up 25 tweets every single day, but that’s not realistic. When you’re creating a content calendar, be honest with yourself about how much time you and your team have to dedicate to your content. It’s okay if you don’t have the time to post a ton of content every day. It’s much better to have good, compelling content a few times a week than to throw words at your audience just to keep up with your calendar.

Be Flexible

In addition to being realistic, you also want to be sure you’re flexible with your content calendar. While you certainly want some of your content to be informational and evergreen (as much as that’s possible on social media) you also want to leave room for posts that are timely and have a context when they are posted. Though having a calendar is an important organizing tool, it doesn’t have to be ironclad and it’s important to remember that.

Review, Revisit, Revise

Your content calendar helps you forecast what you’re going to post in the future, but it can also be a convenient record of what you’ve posted in the past. Use it to keep track of what posts succeeded and which did not perform as well. Use it to make sure that you’re not posting the same titles over and over again. Use it to reflect on whether or not your content is helping you reach your engagement goals and then make necessary changes based on those reflections.
While you may start out your blog or your social media posts with a tremendous amount of momentum and tons of ideas, the fact is that over time that idea well is going to run dry. Having a content calendar from the beginning can help make sure there is no lag in your content during those dry spells. Follow these tips for the most effective calendar and watch your creativity blossom.
How do you keep your content calendar in shape? Do you even use one? Let us know in the comments.