Knowing what and when to post can be overwhelming. Without a plan, keeping up your social media strategy is nearly impossible. So, how do you produce new, high-quality content without spending thousands of dollars or going crazy in the process? The solution is a content calendar.
A content calendar provides a framework for you or your staff that makes it easy to brainstorm, plan, and publish new content. Today we bring you two solutions. A step-by-step guide for building your calendar from scratch and a ready-to-go, built-for-you calendar that is ready to use. Let’s start with how to build your own content calendar.
1. Determine what platform(s) you plan to use.
With so many platforms out there, knowing where to focus can be daunting. To start, choose only one or two platforms and post to them consistently. What platform you choose (Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) depends on a variety of factors: Your ideal client, the type of content you create, your platform audience, etc. If you need a quick consultation on the highest and best use of your efforts, reach out to us. Because Facebook is the number one platform in terms of number of users, having a presence there is a great place to start. Since each platform has its own specifications for posting, knowing where to post is the first step.
2. Determine your content.
The next step in building your content calendar is to plan what types of content you have the time and resources to create. Do you have an existing blog? Do you have time to write a blog post every week or month? Do you take pictures on a regular basis? Do you have access to health-related quotes, facts or recipes? You may be used to posting content the moment it's ready, by creating a content calendar, you build a strategy to keep your audience engaged by producing and posting in a consistent cadence. Regularly posting increases your visibility, helps your audience understand the services you provide, and builds trust in you and the problems you solve. With a content calendar, it is easy to create a full month of daily content in a matter of a few hours.
3. Determine your content categories.
To organize your content and help generate new ideas, it is important to create a list of prearranged content categories. These categories determine what type of post you will create for each day of the month. Sample categories may include:
- Health tip of the week
- Blog link
- Get to know us
- Ask a question
- Share a resource
If you have been active on social media in the past, it can be helpful to look back through your old posts to see what has previously elicited attention from your audience.
4. Select a calendar planning tool.
There are many calendar building tools available at a variety of price levels. One free option is to build your own using Google Sheets. Here is a link on how to do this: https://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Calendar-in-Google-Docs. We have even seen our "paper preferring” friends use the calendar grandma gives them every year for Christmas. While we prefer an electronic version, the point is this does not need to be high-tech or complicated.
Pro Tip: You can skip several of these steps! If you do not have the time, energy or interest to create a content calendar (we get it, we don’t either), don’t worry! At the end of this article, we have given you a link to an affiliate that we use who has created a fantastic done-for-you Content Calendar template at a super affordable cost! This tool saves us valuable hours each year.
5. Start with the important days.
The next step is to plug your categories into your calendar. Start by adding in holidays, events you host, and each of the categories you decide to include. At this point, your calendar may look like this:
It is time to gather some minds and start brainstorming. First, write down all content you currently have created. This would include past blog posts, quotes, pictures, health tips, modalities you use, anything that you already have at your fingertips. Next, brainstorm content that you would like to create. Ask questions like:
- What customer pains do we solve?
- What questions do our patients frequently ask?
- How do we serve best?
- What client would we love to attract?
- What have we posted or done that has been popular in the past?
- What do our patients get excited about learning or achieving?
Once you have your list brainstormed, it is time to start categorizing your content. Write down each category you plan to use: Health tip of the week, photos, videos, blog links, get to know us, ask a question, etc. If something does not fit in a category, do not waste time trying to make it fit, if it is usable content, create an “other” category and place it there. I like to create folders for each category so that I have a plan to drop new ideas as I come across them. For example, if our picture category is getting low, it is time to look through the shots on my phone or start taking pictures for future use. If I come across a health tip I like, I drop it in my tips folder. Looking at the world through the eyes of these categories can help ensure you are finding new things to post.
8. Build it out.
Identify what content from your list needs to be developed and highlight anything that is ready to go. Things that might need to be developed:
- Health tip of the week - Does it need a picture or background color?
- Photos - Is it likely to be shared? Should you include your logo?
- Videos - Are they short enough? Are they branded?
- Blog link - Do we have a compelling photo to add?
- Get to know us - Do we need a picture for this?
You get the gist.
You have done most of the hard work, now it is time to plug each post onto the calendar.
If you do not have ready-to-go content or need something to get you started, you can purchase 180 ready-to-post health related quotes with eye catching graphics here:
9. Plug it in.
Start by plugging in everything from your highlighted brainstorm list. If you have purchased the Social Media Wellness Images Pack, plug those images in, too. You can always use them as place holders and replace them as you create new content, but by having them in place, you are less likely to miss a post.
Now your content calendar might look like this:
Remember, you do not have to follow the exact calendar you develop. If starting out, you only have the Social Media Wellness Images Pack, just plug those in. You can always switch things up later. If you did nothing but use those 180 images twice in one year, you would have a health-related post on your site 360 days! Are you posting that much now.
10. Schedule it out.
By organizing your posts in a content calendar, you make it easy to collect, build and schedule your content far in advance. (We schedule several months of content in just a few hours!) Scheduling ahead gives you time to build better, more valuable content for your prospective patients. It also gives you time to interact with your patients, rather than feel like you’re scrambling for your next post.
Each social media platform has a scheduling tool that allows you to schedule posts in advance. For example, click here to see how you schedule ahead on Facebook.
If you are only posting to one or two sites, you do not need a robust scheduling tool. If you are posting to multiple sites daily, a scheduling tool can be useful. Here is a link to a few tools to consider as you begin to search: Click here.
Buy ready-to-post wellness quotes here:
Buy ready-to-use Social Media Content Calendar here:
This is an affiliate link, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase. This is, of course, at no cost to you, and we only share products that we use and love. Please read our disclaimer for more information.
Now you can skip steps 2-4 above! Happy posting! If you have questions or need any assistance, please feel free to reach out at the number below.
About the author:
Ashley Nanney: Experienced Chief Executive Officer at Vitality Consultants LLC with a demonstrated history of business consulting within the health, wellness, functional medical and food industries. Skilled in coaching, consulting, public speaking and event management. Strong entrepreneurship professional, author and professional public speaker.
If you are looking for assistance, guidance or execution in DIY marketing, branding or business strategy, Ashley provides affordable solutions and suggestions. Call 314-799-0216 or email Ashley@VitalityConsultantsLLC.com for a free consultation to discuss your needs.