Plan your social media strategy with an editorial calendar

You’re busy. You don’t have time to login to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and continuously update your status and engage with your customers. But as a savvy business owner, you know that’s something that needs done. So you hire help.


But what usually happens is that someone is hired, they are granted access to social media accounts, and then told to manage the accounts. There’s no strategy and no planning, and this is a mistake.

Let me share a story. An organization hired an assistant to take care of their social media, gave her the access to the accounts and had her start posting. She posted something, with great intent but poor planning, that was inconsistent with the organization’s mission, and it blew up with the higher ups panicking about whether to remove the post, edit the post, or how best to respond.

The best way to avoid these events is with an editorial calendar.

An editorial calendar lets you plan your social media strategy, rather than posting on the fly. Yes, posting at will is great and spontaneous for your personal accounts, but for your business, you need to consider what you say, how you respond, and what you share. It allows you to consider what content goes to what social media (don’t post the same thing everywhere) and it plans for when to share content,  what photos to use, as well as links and hashtags.

Editorial Calendar

For a business, this is imperative. You can definitely hire someone to manage your social media, but you need to have them create a plan before they execute it and have that plan approved by you or your other top level admins.

It’s unfair to expect an intern, assistant, or friend/family member to be able to create new posts with regularity that fit with the scope and the mission of the business, meet the needs of the various platforms, and engage with users in a manner consistent with the business without some guidance and overview.

There needs to be not only planning and execution, but review and approval as well. Having an editorial calendar allows you to have an employee manage your social media posts without embarrassing posts that you didn’t expect, no matter how well intentioned.

How to make an editorial calendar

It’s best not to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. Hootsuite, which is a great way to manage your social platforms, has a blog post with lots of templates you can download and use for FREE! I particularly like this one (Google doc), because it breaks down all the different accounts, what gets posted where, the type of content, everything. You can download this, save it, and have your social media manager use it for planning your strategy, then submit it for approval.

You can even take it a bit further and use a shared Google Doc, so you can review and make edits, or a shared DropBox folder. Not only is this a good idea for planning social media, but it’s great for keeping an archive of your past posts as well.

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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