Why do I need a content calendar?
Behind every successful social media account is a carefully thought out content strategy. The good news is that you don’t need a big budget to create one, but you do need to set aside time for planning and content creation.
Sharing relevant content on a regular basis helps build awareness about your brand, remind existing followers about you, connect with your audience and last but not least, promote what you have to offer.
Unfortunately, you’d probably drive your audience away if you posted about your business all the time.
The trick is to post a mixture of the below content:
Why is this the trick? You should aim to position yourself as an authority in your industry, and you want your audience to know that you understand them on various levels. Your posts should also provide value to your audience. What is this value? This can be useful tips, a good belly laugh, motivation and the comfort of being ‘relatable’.
The best way to start is to nut-out your content categories, which is an umbrella topic you can share content on. Let’s start with your business first.
Below are just some content categories relating to a business.
- Flash sales
- Restocked products
- Your vision and mission
- Case studies
- EOFY Sale
- Your company’s values
- New stock
- Customer reviews and testimonials
- Clearance sales
Posts that provide value to your audience generally provide free advice. You could write a blog post that you share on your social accounts, or you could create a post where the text and image do the talking! We’ve listed a few real life examples below.
Young Living Australia & New Zealand are known for their fragrant essential oils. They created a blog post about 20 different ways you can use peppermint, and shared this on Facebook. Some of these tips incorporate their own peppermint oil, which can help readers understand that one product has a lot of value through the multiple ways it can be used.
You don’t always have to write a blog post to share useful tips. One way is to create a post that provides useful advice, where the accompanying image reflects this advice. The example to the right is a post from Dietitian Savina Rego’s Instagram account thesavvydietitian. This post shows Savina can provide healthy alternatives to sugary soft drinks, and may entice viewers to check out her page to learn more healthy tips.
Let’s take a look at the type of content you can share about your industry.
This generally involves sharing third-party content, or in other words, content your business doesn’t own. Whatever you share must somehow be relevant to your business. We’ve listed some examples of content you can share.
Useful web articles, blog articles or YouTube videos
There are plenty of How-to guides, blog posts and web articles offering free advice.
Just say you’re a mechanic and there has been a recall of a certain type of car. You could share a news article about this as a FB post, Instagram story or Tweet. It shows that the matter needs to be addressed immediately and that you care about your audiences’ safety.
If there is anything happening in government or in big corporations that may impact your business, you can share a post about this. For example, if you sell biodegradable products, you could share a post welcoming the removal of single use plastic bags at Supermarkets.
Politics can be a sensitive topic, so we suggest you brainstorm all possible reactions you can think of before sharing a topic.
We recommend keeping a running document where you add useful websites, blogs, YouTube channels and more, that you can revisit when you need content.
These are posts that have some relevance to your brand and audience. We’ve listed a few below!
You wouldn’t use humour if your business is a funeral parlour. If it’s appropriate to use humour, then you can create branded versions of jokes or funny memes. Branded content can contain your brand logo and colours. We created the example to the right. Our experiences as small business owners served as inspiration for this lighted hearted post.
If you’re stuck on ideas, do a google search for some inspiration.
Have you ever thought of sharing inspirational quotes that are relevant to your business? Well known quotes are popular for a reason – they resonate with their intended audience.
Not sure where to look for quotes? Start by googling what thought leaders in your industry have said. For example, if you’re a motivational speaker or life coach, you could look for quotes from Tony Robbins or Oprah Winfrey.
Ever thought of sharing interesting information relevant to your industry? These could be fun facts, events that occurred on a particular day in history, flashback posts and more!
National and International Days
There are numerous free calendars on the internet that are pre-populated with the main Australian holidays and special days.
Start with downloading one for the current year. Keep the days you wish to share content on (e.g. Australia Day or Christmas), and delete those that you don’t.
Next, add days that are of importance to your business that you can post about. For example, an annual business fundraiser, International Women’s Day or your contribution to the Bunnings Sausage sizzle for the local Scouts Club.
You can also google International or National Days of importance to see if there is anything of interest that you may want to share content about.
Social media is all about balance, so try not to overwhelm your followers by acknowledging too many days as this may lead to your posts being lost in the crowd, or some unfollows.
How do I create a content calendar?
Your content calendar identifies when your posts are scheduled. It’s a great way to visually see how you are sharing a mixture of posts. There are a variety of ways you can plan your content.
Your email calendar
Most email hosts have free calendars. You can create an event for the day and time you wish to share a post. This allows you to have an overview of what’s coming up, and if you need to get busy and create more content!
You can schedule posts on Facebook, but you will need to use a third party to schedule posts on Instagram and Twitter. If you are after a budget friendly version, we recommend using Hootsuite. You can schedule 30 posts per month on two of your social accounts for free! They have various subscription options if you need to post more and on more accounts.
We’ve only scratched the tip of the iceberg with content ideas, however we hope we’ve motivated you to seek inspiration from places you may not have thought about! If you’d like to read more helpful tips for your business, head on over to our Little blog of big ideas!
Little Big Shop is an ecommerce platform built for small business and the simplest and easiest way to create an online shop and start making sales.