Social media is a large part of event marketing nowadays. We discuss the basics of a social media content calendar and tips to help you create a posting schedule that essentially runs itself.
If you are a proactive event planner, you’re already thinking about the marketing of your upcoming events in the new year. To make sure you hit the ground running, start lining up all the tools you need to promote your events effectively. One of the most essential tools is a social media content calendar.
What exactly is a content calendar?
Essentially, a content calendar is an organizational tool to help you use social media for business and marketing purposes. A content calendar is a schedule of what you plan to post on your social media accounts and when you will publish it. It contains your social media content for upcoming events, dates for planned promotions and partnerships, and updates for content that has already been published.
A content calendar can relieve the pressure of promoting your events on social media, especially if you are working on more than one event. Putting together a content calendar requires time for brainstorming and strategizing. However, it saves you much more time in the future to focus on the other planning aspects of your events.
A content calendar can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or a calendar on a paid social media management tool (which we discuss more in-depth below). Whatever it is, if it can be accessed and edited by all the members in your team, it will encourage accountability and ensure that all posts are indeed published and executed in the way you want.
What to put in your content calendar
A typical entry into a content calendar will have the following:
- The social network and page on which the content will be published.
- The exact day and time when the post will be published.
- The post’s graphics, i.e., an image, video, or animation.
- Copy for the post’s description.
- A clear description of the type of post it is, for example, a feed post or a story.
- The accounts to be tagged in that post.
- Any links related to the post, for example, a link to RSVP or purchase tickets.
Setting up a social media content calendar
Generally, it is better to include all your social networks and pages on one calendar rather than a calendar for each. This way you avoid repetitions across all your profiles.
1. Choosing your social networks
Every social network will not necessarily serve every type of event. You need to base your marketing on social networks that match your event and are most used by your target audience. This may include extensive research on the demographics of each social network. For example, to market a corporate event, you may need to double down on channels like LinkedIn and Twitter. Instagram and Facebook are relatively hybrid platforms that can sustain marketing campaigns for almost all types of events. Ask yourself questions like:
- “What will suit this event better? A TikTok challenge or a conversation on Twitter or LinkedIn?”
- “What strategies have been the most successful for event marketing on this particular platform?”
- “Does my target audience regularly engage on this platform?”
2. Structuring the calendar
The number of events you are marketing concurrently will determine how much content you can post for each. The following strategies can help you to sort your content and not confuse events or social networks:
- Colour-code different events and campaigns so that posts related can be read together.
- Indicate the nature of the content (i.e., is it an Instagram story, a Facebook event, or a LinkedIn poll?)
- Indicate whether the post is organic or a paid promotion. If it is the latter, then indicate the duration of the promotion.
- You can also have a tab for evergreen content that can be posted at any time, for example, when you’re in between events.
- You can also include links to posts that have already been published.
3. Making content accessible for the whole team
Your visual content should be categorized in a system and located in one folder. Here, you can also have templates and logos that accompany the posts. The content should be edited, resized to the correct dimensions, and approved before being put on the calendar. To ensure speedy editing of content, work in a shared network like ThymeBase, Dropbox, or Google Drive so that changes made by each member can be seen live. Your shared network should be:
- Large enough to hold numerous large files such as videos and high-resolution images.
- Have reliable privacy boundaries but still be accessible to the whole team.
- Be accessible by computer and by phone.
- Enable you to generate links to it that you can paste in your calendar.
- Every file must be labeled descriptively and display its size so that no one spends too much time searching for files by opening them.
4. Establishing a publishing rhythm
It will be useful to start by finding the best times for publishing event marketing posts in your geographical location. Using this research, you can then put hourly times next to the posts in your calendar. Also, indicate on the calendar weekly or monthly brainstorming sessions for generating content ideas. Decide on:
- How often you’ll post on each page, either per day or per week.
- The best time to post on each channel and how many times you’ll post during those times.
- How much of each type of content you’ll post, for example, posting four stories and one feed post each day.
- The person(s) responsible for posting.
- The person who must give the go-ahead for posting (you could have a daily or weekly deadline on when content needs to be ready for evaluation and approval).
5. Publishing posts
Ensure that your calendar is clear and instructional so that anyone can work with it, even the newest member in your team:
- Make sure every team member has the passwords and usernames to all the social media accounts.
- Ensure that all the images, videos, and animations are resized to the correct dimensions before they go on the calendar, for example, 1080 x 1080 images for Instagram feed posts and 1080 x 1924 for stories.
- To prevent misuse of hashtags, you can also include a list of hashtags in a separate tab alongside the calendar.
- You can also use post-scheduling tools like Creator Studio or Hootsuite to post even after official work hours.
Content Calendar Apps and Tools
Populating your calendar is only one part of the work. There still remains the designing and crafting of the calendar. While it is always possible to do it yourself, you can also use social media management tools with pre-built calendars. Most of these tools will have a standard format where you only have to fill in your content. These tools work across all social media networks:
This platform has one of the most straightforward interfaces. It even has tutorials on how to customize its standard social media calendar. Allowing you to publish directly from the calendar, it also prompts team members to edit posts before publishing and suggests how posts can be optimized.
This platform offers social media management as well as resources on how to best utilize social media for marketing. It also lets you store your content on it so that you can construct posts and publish them directly from the app.
This tool is most useful when you have a blog alongside your social media accounts. You can create a calendar that includes blog posts and social media posts. Its “Requeue” feature schedules posts and publishes them on your behalf, even giving you the option to repost your top-performing posts.
Trello is more than just a social media content manager. It is a workspace similar to the likes of Monday.com. What’s more, you also get customizable boards generated by the app that you can use to create a campaign in minutes!
Related: ThymeBase vs. Trello: Which Is Better for Event Planners?
You also have the affordable option of manually creating a calendar on an Excel spreadsheet, and it will cost you virtually nothing. You can color-code columns, change column sizes and paste images on the sheet. You can then put your posts on a scheduling tool from your spreadsheet, and your social media will run smoothly.
The benefits of having a content calendar
You will never miss a post because all the content has been created and scheduled. You also avoid squeezing in all the posts in one time because you neglected it throughout the day or the week.
You can plan ahead and plan batches of posts at a time, giving yourself an opportunity to look at how your posts will look as a whole. You can also edit all your images in the same aesthetic and establish a unique “feel” to your pages.
Planning your posts will also give you time to proofread your copy and fact-check your branded content. With all eyes on the team checking posts on the calendar, there will be fewer posts with typos, incorrect information, or repetitive posts.
Running multiple promotions
If you have a clear calendar, you can easily promote an upcoming event without neglecting the events coming further down the line. You can schedule posts according to the events that take the most precedence.
Whether trying to get more followers or more likes on each post, posting consistently is the answer to increasing your social media engagement. The more engagement you get, the platform’s algorithm will enable your posts to be seen by more eyes.
With a content calendar, you will post a larger amount of posts enabling you to track the performance of different posts. You can then find out what your target audience likes more and how often to post for optimum engagement so that you are not doing less or more than you need to for your social media.
There is definitely no one-size-fits-all when it comes to content calendars. At its best, a content calendar should help you plan all your posts for your social networks and take the thinking-work out of your daily posting. Of course, a calendar will not substitute for creativity, so don’t neglect to use promotional strategies like ticket giveaways, partnerships with influencers or brand ambassadors, and live-streaming the action behind the scenes to market your events!