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  • Writer's pictureErin

Creating a Content Calendar: A Complete Guide

We recently shared a four-part series on Facebook and Instagram about how to get really good at content planning. It was well received, but only scratched the surface! Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of developing successful content calendars to organically grow your business! 



WHY CONTENT PLAN? 

First thing’s first, why bother? Couldn’t you just post what comes to mind at the moment? Well, content planning will maintain a consistent online presence - not just when you’re posting, but what. A well-thought-out social media profile shows people you’re STILL IN BUSINESS. Don’t miss out on revenue just because you haven't posted since September 2022. By being proactive and creating and scheduling content, you can avoid the stress of staring at your phone wondering “WHAT SHOULD I POST?!”  


Let’s get started! 



CHOOSE YOUR FIGHTERS 

Right out of the gate, you need to decide what types of posts will work for you or your business. Choose from single, still photos, multi-photo carousels, text posts, memes and Twitter screenshots, and Reels of varying lengths. Look through your camera roll and see what kind of documentarian you are. Do you take a lot of photos? Do you remember to film short clips when you’re out? Your personal photography habits are a huge factor in this.  


Once you pick your post types, it's much easier to plot your content calendar week-to-week. You can build a pattern:

Day 1: Photo

Day 2: Reel

Day 3: Share content from a favourite creator  

Day 4: Rest day

Day 5: Carousel   

Day 6: Photo 

Day 7: Rest day 


A great tool to help fill out your calendar with some ideas which don’t require strenuous thinking is the National Day Calendar! This helps create some fun filler content which shows off your business’s fun side. Be sure to further reflect on company or staff milestones (birthdays, hiring anniversaries, promotions, etc), as these types of posts perform well with audiences across all platforms. 


There are things to be cautious of in your planning stage too! Don’t plan to post five Reels each week if you have no chance of meeting this goal. Like anything, missing a target can get you down and set you back. Make sure your content plan and your content goals are REALISTIC as they pertain to your time management. 


RESEARCH 

The next step in the content planning process is research, and to be honest, this part can be boring. HOWEVER, you cannot underestimate the power of hashtag research! Investing a bit of time in finding the right hashtags can skyrocket the reach of your posts — for free! Maximize your content's visibility and engagement by choosing relevant and trending hashtags. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, with the latest recommended sweet spot at three to five in your caption. This goes for TikTok too!


There is a little bit of trial and error in this phase so you’ll have to be patient. Finding the right combination of hashtags may take a few posts to figure out. This is why it’s important to review your Instagram metrics on a regular basis! 


Once the research part is done,  you need to go off and create your content! 


SCHEDULING 

Once your content is made and you’ve mapped out a week (or more) on the calendar, you’ve got to get it out there (obviously). You can do all the pre-planning in the world, but it means nothing if you FORGET to post it! 


If you’ve got a month’s worth of posts to draft, utilizing third-party software tools like @/Buffer or @/Hootsuite can be invaluable! Being active online helps build your brand visibility, and having your content pre-scheduled streamlines your consistency. 


Working on a smaller scale, the in-app draft saving features of Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn are life saving - even the notes app on your phone can be used to draft social media posts! You can also set a recurring timer in your phone to help you stay on track! 


MEDIA MONITORING 

Alright, your content is out there, time to sit back and relax right? WRONG! Put on a fresh pot of coffee because it's media monitoring time! 

 

Media monitoring is the practice of actively observing and engaging with content relevant to your interests or brand by liking, commenting, or sharing posts within your specific hashtag niche/community. (SEE, all the hashtag research is paying off already). Media monitoring keeps the momentum of your post reach going, plus you can build connections, boost visibility, and stay in tune with your community. Remember, it's not just about posting; it's about being part of the conversation! 


We hope this provided you with some fresh insight and helpful pointers! But if you feel overwhelmed by the process, you can reach out to us for a helping hand, as the Penguins are content masters! 

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