Social Media Management: Social Calendar
If you’re running the blog and managing the social media for your company, you will no doubt hear people tell you how important it is to have an editorial calendar ready. And for the most part, those people are correct. Having an editorial calendar to drive your blog direction is a huge bonus. It reduces the worry of what you are going to post and allows you to better anticipate and react to industry trends, positioning you and your business as thought leaders.
But what about social media editorial calendars? While it’s easy to develop a social media calendar that coincides directly with your blog output and, from time to time, the products your business offers, how do one-off conversations and replies on social networks play into your initial editorial calendar? And more importantly, does it matter that you have one?
We play devil’s advocate on the SEO Inc. blog as we review the Pros and Cons of having a social media editorial calendar.
Pro – Less stress on a day-to-day basis
When planning a social media calendar, consider it an essential guide for the next week/month/etc. You do not need to know precisely what you will say, but having a rough idea never hurts anyone. This will allow your social media team to look ahead to holidays or events that your company will be a part of. Do any of your past blog posts fit with upcoming events or holidays? This is the time to research and see if anything works in the coming weeks instead of trying to make something fit on the day of the event or holiday.
Pro – Always Be Prepared
As the month goes on, having your social media calendar also allows a starting point for conversation with your audience. There is no wondering what you will post on various platforms throughout the day. There is already a planned formula for your department to follow.
Pro – Accessibility
Being prepared is the cornerstone of a social media calendar, and this is particularly helpful if someone from your department is out for the day. Anyone from the team can take over and run the social media posting for a short time without losing the tone and voice of your social media. Just be sure that whoever is posting on behalf of the regular social media manager is well-versed in how and when to post, as well as how and when to reply on social media.
Pro – Consistent Postings
Having a calendar and pre-scheduling your social media communications will help your presence be less sporadic or out of control. If you leave your contacts to be done only “when you have time,” your brand may miss the window of when your audience is available and engaged.
Con – What about creativity/inspiration?
Maybe you’re thinking, “Relying on a social media calendar leaves little room for creativity or spontaneity.” To be relevant on social media, your team needs to keep on top of current events and break the news, which can lead to great opportunities to interact with your company’s audience. If you only follow a calendar, you can miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Con – Your content can be stale
Most social media calendars are planned two weeks to a month ahead of time. The more time that goes by from when your team developed the calendar, the more likely the content will begin to feel stale or irrelevant. Jokes or memes that were funny weeks ago may have outlived their social relevance and now appear outdated. Has anyone heard from honey badger lately?
Con – TIME TRAP!
People not in the industry may think that doing social media for an agency or your company is easy. After all, you’re sitting on Facebook all day or reading Tweets, right? So designing a social media calendar should be done in a flash! The truth is that social media management for an agency/company can be quite time-consuming, depending on the interaction your brand has with its audience. And when you’re not communicating with customers, your social media team is researching new trends, reading analytics, and writing reports to help determine the ROI of social media efforts. Do you want them to spend days writing up a calendar that will only have to be modified as time passes?
Pros and cons can factor into the benefit or detriment of having a social media editorial calendar. The fact remains throughout all of them, though: Be prepared. An editorial calendar for an inexperienced social media team might benefit, given their posting is less frequent, less interactive, and more formulaic. But an experienced social media manager/team will understand how to post and respond off the cuff. Who knows what Kanye and Kim might do tomorrow and how it will relate to your business? You can’t plan these things… But your social media manager will know how to handle it.
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