Social Media Content Calendar – Is Your Institution Using it Effectively?
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When your university or institution has different social networks to choose from, it is not an easy task to plan which content to share on each platform and when.
Social media content calendar is a popular tool used by a lot of education marketers to manage content. It allows you to schedule your content postings efficiently by following a timeline based on some pre-decided themes. In other words, content calendars simply enable social media marketers to decide what to publish and when to publish.
Imagine an institute which is generating so much random content that their marketing team does not know which one to showcase and which one to skip. Since social media is all about running campaigns in the form of stories, it is therefore important that you pick and choose your content in such a way that it follows some basic theme/ unique selling point to present. Otherwise the marketing campaigns for your institution will be devoid of coherence and clarity.
There are different types of calendars for planning and organizing content. An editorial calendar can be viewed as a planner for blog posts and videos, while a social media content calendar primarily focuses on planning content for socials.
A typical social media marketing plan should cover how you will organize your content besides creating the same. With the help of content planners, the social media team can get a road map for developing a proportionately balanced and assorted content repository covering pain points and challenges of your academic target audience.
But developing content calendars should not be taken lightly.
It takes time and effort to create and organize information that can be used for running successful marketing campaigns online. However, it won’t be a hassle if you plan your strategy for developing content calendar well in advance. No doubt, why most education marketers view it as a great tool to make social marketing plan more manageable and effective.
This blog post intends to guide academic institutes about the need and benefits of having a content calendar in your social media strategy and also how to create one.
1. Makes Team Coordination Easy
While working through content calendars it is very convenient to work in teams for organizing content and making follow-ups. It is an important record of what is being published and when. By hosting your content calendar on a cloud platform you can promote online collaborations and invite contributions for improvement.
2. Timely Allocation Eliminates Hiccups
By developing content calendar you are eliminating the risk of last minute rush. A well-drafted content planner ensures that you do not miss on any important deadlines by planning / scheduling for content copy well in advance. Publishing timely content calendar makes certain that your marketing campaign remains relevant and fresh to the intended audience.
3. Helps in Revising Content Strategy
Content calendars also provide valuable insights about your academic target audience in monitoring what kind of content is being appreciated by the target audience and which one failed to attract attention. Marketers in academia can accordingly revise their calendars to increase success rate for generating more audience engagement. This deeper understanding can help you comprehend your target audience better and optimize campaign results.
4. Does Your Content Calendar Include Important Dates and Occasions
While planning content calendar do not forget to include key dates that matter to your institute. These could be popular holidays, events, new launches, campaigns, and more. Make sure that you do not miss spikes of traffic by ignoring these occasions.
5. Organized Content Improves Efficiency
Content calendar helps to keep track of what you’re publishing, where, and when. It enhances efficiency of your overall marketing plan. Additionally, a content calendar helps you follow a schedule for getting the content developed timely.
How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar
The crux of any marketing plan is the end user or the customers. This means that your target audience (student, parent, alumni, international students, researchers, faculty, etc) is at the forefront of your content calendar. That is why there is a need to understand your customer’s interests. Analyze some historical data with respect to your postings. Revisit your earlier content and try to find out what postings went viral and what did not. Find out the content that got the most likes, comments, shares, views. Which content was successful in generating the highest engagement rate? Take help of social media analytics tools available in Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics etc.
Integrate timelines of major events into your content calendar. For preparing content calendar you can take help of a doc, spreadsheet, or even an actual calendar and map out important events throughout the year, particularly those around which you wish to create suitable content postings. Do not forget to include important national or local holidays, festivals, annual events such as convocation day, foundation day etc. If your processes are time bound then be sure to allocate your content resources accordingly.
Next, decide on the frequency of your postings on each social network. Plan your content mix accordingly. Identify content contributors who will provide new content ideas for your campaigns. Assign one person to be the single point of contact (SPOC) for necessary coordination for gathering content and responsible for scheduling content to be published on social networks.
Now, choose the themes you want to run and align them with your calendar. Themes can be developed on the basis of key priorities. After you have created themes, it’s time to develop individual creative and post copies for your social media postings.
Discuss internally to pull in creative ideas from team members who can present different perspectives on the topics you would like to cover. Finally, include them in our content calendar.
In the end, schedule your postings in a way that each item gets sufficient online time to engage audience. Ideally, not more than one or two postings must be done in a day. Keep proper time gap between two postings so as to optimize its outreach. Remember, that the attention span of millennials is very less. So, plan your content calendar wisely for better audience engagement and maximizing return on advertising investment.