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Getting on Track with a Content Calendar

A social media content calendar can help save time in thinking through what to post, and allows you to make sure what you share is in line with your strategy and content pillars.

First, you’ll want to look at the data of what you’ve posted so far by conducting an audit of your platforms. What posts performed best? What posts didn’t garner much engagement? Note those trends – you'll want to reference them when you plan out your calendar. You should aim to conduct at least a yearly audit to reframe your strategy moving forward.

Now, think through 3-5 topics that you feel define your organization and that your audience may want to learn more about. Maybe it’s highlighting research in your department, student spotlights, user-generated content and adding in information on campus resources. You’ll use these topics as your content pillars, meaning you’ll structure your content calendar around pulling from these topics to construct your posts.

Once you have an idea of these pillars, it’s a good idea to gauge how much you’ll want to post to create a consistent posting schedule. There’s a lot of competing information on how often to post on social media. Some suggest a few times per day, some per week. It’s important to look at your workload and see how often you can consistently commit to posting, and go from there.

At this point, you can start gathering content! Consider creating a content library for visual assets and even to compile article links. Some social media platforms have their own libraries, but it’s good to create a general place where you can easily find all assets.

From there, you can build out your content calendar using whatever tool helps keep you organized. Some swear by Excel spreadsheets, others use tools like Trello or Asana (I love Trello! Stay tuned for a freebie from me using that tool) and some just prefer to plan out content using a social media scheduler like Hootsuite, Later or Buffer. Creating some sort of calendar is helpful to easily see the number of posts you are producing, and test different posting times and formats to see what works best for your audience.

Speaking of social media schedulers, there are so many out there! Feel free to try different ones to see which platform works best for you and your team. A few include:

  • Later

  • Hootsuite

  • Buffer

  • CoSchedule

  • Sprout Social

A content calendar can help you plan ahead and even batch create content to save time! You can also track what works well and improve for later, which is the goal for social media!

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