How to create a social media content calendar for your small business



Are you feeling overwhelmed with your social content? Need a better way to organize your themes, posts, and ideas? A social media content calendar is your solution! A content calendar acts as a roadmap to success for your small business on social media. Making sure you take the time to plan ahead and create a social media content calendar for your business could make or break the performance of your business on social media.


You can find countless examples of content calendars on the web, but we've found that they are so specific to each unique business and social media goals.


We've outlined five steps to creating a social media content calendar here to provide you with all the considerations to take into account when building a calendar unique to your business.


Step 1: Outline your social media goals


Don't skip this step! It's important to consider a goal for everything you share on social media. Always ask yourself, "what is the point of sharing this piece of content"? You should be able to answer your question by citing one of your predetermined goals.


Here are some common social goals to get you started:

  • Increasing sales or leads

  • Driving people to your website

  • Increasing engagement on social media

  • Increasing brand awareness

  • Follower growth % increase


Step 2: Decide how detailed you want to get


Do you want to create your content calendar one month at a time? Or maybe you want to outline content for the next three months? What components are you going to include on your content calendar? Make some decisions on detail before you start:

Considerations:

  • How far in advance do you want to plan?

  • How much detail do you want to include?

  • Do you want to have every detail nailed down, or do you want to outline a looser plan?

Some common components of a content calendar for social media include:

  • Post topics and goals

  • Post dates

  • Captions and hashtags

  • Links and CTAs

  • Images or videos to include

  • What platform(s) you're posting to

  • The status of a post (drafted, scheduled, published)

Step 3: Determine what types of content you want to share


The types of content you share will help you achieve your social media goals (see step 1). Be sure to include a diverse portfolio of content for your followers to engage with. Here are a few different types of content to consider:

  • Sales and promotions

  • Blog posts

  • Inspirational posts

  • Quotes

  • Personal content

  • Customer testimonials

  • Interactive engagement posts (polls, Q&A)

  • Resources and news

  • Seasonal topics


Step 4: Outline monthly themes


Consider common themes when planning your content calendar and use them to brainstorm seasonal and promotional content:


January themes

  • Resolutions

  • Clean up and clean out

  • Fitness and wellness, self care

  • Dry January

February themes

  • Romance and love

  • Coworker appreciation

  • Black History Month

March themes

  • Spring cleaning

  • Spring break

  • Gardening and crafting

  • March Madness

April themes

  • Spring cleaning and organization

  • Showers and weddings

  • Baseball

  • Planning for summer

  • Ramadan begins

May themes

  • BBQs and camping

  • Showers, weddings, and graduations

  • Summer planning

June themes

  • Summer vacations, BBQs, and outdoor activities

  • Dads and grads

  • Pride month

July themes

  • Summer activities

  • Fourth of July

August themes

  • End of summer

  • Back to school

  • Black Business Month

  • Fall trends

September themes

  • Back to school

  • End of summer sales

  • Football season and tailgating

  • Fall fashion and fall trends

  • Oktoberfest

  • Fall food and drink

October themes

  • Fall and autumn

  • Halloween themed cocktails and food

  • Halloween costumes and parties

  • Holiday planning

November themes

  • Holiday planning, holiday sales, holiday gift guides

  • Friends and family, home entertaining, and hosting

  • Volunteering and community

  • Customer appreciation

December themes

  • Holiday, holiday parties, holiday hosting

  • Advent

  • Gifting, gift guides, and stocking stuffers

  • Holiday sales

  • Friends and family


Step 5: Build your content calendar


Create your content calendar on paper, in excel, with Google sheets, or using more sophisticated content calendar tools. You can organize your content calendar by dates, by topic, or by individual posts. Find what works best for you!



Bonus: use Ripl's social media content calendars to brainstorm content


Tap on our latest social media holiday content calendar below for templates and post ideas for every day of the month!



Up next: How to prepare a 2021 social marketing plan for your small business.