To make social media content easier for companies to plan and schedule across the accounts they manage, we created a social media content calendar template. This blog post will walk you through exactly how to use the template to stay on top of your social media content planning for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. How to Use the Social Media Calendar Template to Plan Your Content Schedule When you open up the social media content calendar template, you'll notice the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet has several different tabs, most of which are dedicated to a specific social network. Planning Your Twitter Content Calendar Alright, now let's get to the social media content. Finally, in the "Image" column, attach the tweet's image (if you have one). Head on over to the column labeled "Message" and input the copy you'd like to appear in your status update, corresponding to the days and times you'd like those updates to run. Simply input your copy into this column, and then navigate to the next two columns, "Link" and "Campaign" to input the URL to which you're directing readers with the tracking token you'll use to track activity, and the associated campaign if one exists. Head on over to the column labeled "Message," and input the copy you'd like to appear in your post's caption, corresponding to the days and times you'd like those updates to run. Go to the column labeled "Message," and input the copy you'd like to appear in your pin's description, corresponding to the days and times you'd like those updates to run. This template provides publishing dates and times for each social network, but you may find those are way too many updates for you to fill, or perhaps too infrequent for your booming social presence.
“We have a 9 a.m. meeting? Hold on — let me just click around the internet like a maniac to find something for the morning tweet.”
Sound familiar? Scrambling for social content is nothing new. We have meetings. We run late. Things come up. And it’s really hard to get any meaningful amount of work done when you have the next social media update looming over your head every 30, 60, or 90 minutes. It all moves so fast that you might periodically feel a case of the vapors coming on, which is why pre-scheduled social media content should be your new best friend.
To make social media content easier for companies to plan and schedule across the accounts they manage, we created a social media content calendar template. And recently, we updated to be better, faster, stronger, and just generally prettier.
You can fill it in at the same day and time every single week to prep for the following week’s social media content. That means when you burst through the office doors at 9 a.m., you won’t be in panic mode looking for something to push out to your Facebook fans — you already took care of that last week.
This blog post will walk you through exactly how to use the template to stay on top of your social media content planning for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.
Note: HubSpot customers can also schedule content through Social Inbox, or use this spreadsheet to organize their content and subsequently upload it to Social Inbox. Detailed instructions for doing this exist in the cover sheet of the template.
How to Use the Social Media Calendar Template to Plan Your Content Schedule
When you open up the social media content calendar template, you’ll notice the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet has several different tabs, most of which are dedicated to a specific social network.
The reason you’ll want a different worksheet for every social network is simply that every social network is a little bit different. You can’t just craft one, single social media update and use it across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. You can certainly promote the same piece of content across all six of those networks, but that doesn’t mean you’ll craft your update in the same way for every single one of them. (In fact, you may even want to add additional tabs if you’re active on other networks, like Quora or YouTube.)
This following sub-sections will walk you through how to fill out each of the four tabs you see in this template — the updates for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. But before we get to that, let’s just walk through the “Monthly Planning Calendar” so you know what that’s for.
The tab “Monthly Planning Calendar” provides an overall snapshot of your monthly social media campaigns. It’ll help you coordinate better with other stakeholders, not to mention keep all the moving parts straight in your own mind. Here’s what it looks like:
There are three sections to take note of when you edit this template for your own purposes. First, the color-coding key: These are the types of content or campaigns around which you might coordinate, like ebooks, webinars, blog posts, product launches, and so on. Though only some of these might be relevant to you, they’re there to indicate what you may want to put in there — so be sure to edit these categories to align with your own campaigns.
The other two sections you’ll need to edit are the Month and Year at the top of the calendar (duh), as well as the cells below each day of the week. In those cells, you should enter the type of content you’ll be promoting that day and color-code it to align with the campaign it’s supporting.
Instead of deleting all the content in this spreadsheet each month, I recommend copying this worksheet twelve times over, and creating a separate sheet for each month. (If that gets to be too overwhelming, you can always save those tabs as a separate file.)
Planning Your Twitter Content Calendar
Alright, now let’s get to the social media content. This section will be the lengthiest, because all subsequent sections will draw on the instructions we go through here. So if you read one section in this whole post, make it this one.
Let’s say you want to add some tweets to your scheduling template. Skip over to the “Twitter Updates” tab, where you’ll see this:
The first four columns, “Day,” “Date,” “Time,” and “Date & Time” are there for your convenience, and if you choose to use a third-party app for pre-scheduling your tweets (like HubSpot’s Social Inbox), then these columns will be useful. For now, just fill in the date on which you’d like your updates to publish to Twitter, and the time at which you’d like them to go out. The “Date & Time” column will automatically change based on what you input in the previous two columns.
Now, let’s move over to the “Message” column. Here, input the copy you’d like to appear in your tweet, bearing in mind you should cap it at 116 characters to allow enough room for a link, and at 115 characters to allow room for an image. (Read this blog post for a full character count guide.) This spreadsheet will auto-calculate the number of characters you’ve entered to keep you on-point, turning yellow when you’ve reached 95 characters, and red when you’ve reached 116 characters.
After you’ve composed your tweet, paste the URL you’d like to include in your tweet in the “Link” column. Be sure to include UTM parameters so you’ll know whether all of these tweets are actually driving traffic, leads, and customers. This is an important step to remember if you’d like to be able to demonstrate ROI from social. You can also use the “Campaign” column to add an associated campaign, which helps which more robust tracking and reporting.
Finally, in the “Image” column, attach the tweet’s image (if you have one). For Twitter, we recommend images that are 1024 x 512 pixels. (Click here for…