When creating content for social media its important that you view the Social Media Guidelines, as those will help you understand more fully the rules around our social media platforms with specifics to each. The content calendar creation is born out of the social media guidelines and it's important that you refer to those if you ever get stuck with a piece of content. These guidelines will help you in the actual task of creating the content calendar and give more practicals on how to do so.
Who can do this
For now, Nikki manages the social media content calendar. Rebecca writes the content and posts to all social accounts.
Creating a Full Content Week
A full content week looks like 7-10 posts on Twitter with about 3-4 of those posts also going out on the other social media channels. With the many types of social media content (articles, projects, birthdays, Cantileversaries, remote work, workshops, Youtube videos, re-posts from other accounts, etc), it's fairly easy to get enough queued up for the week.
It's important to note that Ty will be re-tweeting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays so keep that in mind when scheduling out Twitter posts especially.Here is an example of what a full Content week looks like:
Setting up a Social Post
Now that you know what a full week looks like, and have seen the way the tasks are laid out it's important to note how to set these up for whoever is creating the social media content itself.
We've created our own naming system for each type of social post we create. If ever a new type of content is created it will be fairly easy to adapt it to our naming convention. The first part of each task should reflect the Type of Content that is being posted.
Here are all the possible options:
- Team/RemoteWork (feel free to use either work as it fits the content of the post).
- Workshops (these are our monthly team-led workshops)
- Articles (there is a monthly Medium article that gets published on medium).
- (Article: Month Year) is the naming convention for these.
There are two prefaced items you can add here as well:
- A Repost means that we are posting something with exactly the same content as before (if it is content we produced) OR it could be reposting something that was on an account outside of our organization.
- Follow Up and the number
- This means that we are creating a post about something we already posted about with new copy or a new image. Something about it is different than the first original copy.
- Instagram Stories
- Instagram stories are created on the actual date of post and cannot be scheduled ahead of time.
- Once someone has completed the task of creating the post for any other accounts and you have reviewed and approved the post, reassign the task to the content creator and write STORIES at the beginning of the task as well as re-set the task date for the schedule to post date.
- This will alert the person who is responsible for posting on instagram stories that they have one final item to complete within that task. It alerts them that this is a story, and it needs to be posted on the actual date.
(Repost: Article: March 2019) would mean we are posting again content from our original post about the march Medium article that was published.
(Follow Up #3 : Article: March 2019) would mean we are posting new copy or a new image to boost engagement on the Medium article and keep this in front of our social community for a bit longer.
STORIES (Follow Up #3: Article: March 2019) would mean that we are posting something about the third article follow up on instagram stories and the date in the task is the actual due date.
Each of these come as a name within the brackets at the front of the task (as seen above). This lets whoever know what type of content we will be posting about.
Following the bracketed item, it is helpful to give a little more context as to what the post is if the beginning doesn't explain everything.
(Team) on its own is not very explanatory for what the post will be. However, (Team) JT Drumming video from Weekly Call; gives more context for the post and what may be involved in the creating of that post and about where it will be posted.
INSIDE the Tasks
Use TextExpander snippet smcq (with a space to expand) to add in each item you will need to fill it for whoever is posting to social media. Here is what a fully filled out task looks like:
- What the post is about:
- This section should give context for what we are posting about in more depth. Include any important links, handles, or name spellings so whoever is going to be posting knows exactly what needs to be in there. They will be creating the copy, but you will provide most of the details for them to start off with.
- For many things, the image will come from something like an article image, or a photo of a team member that we already have.
- However, you will need to make sure that if they don't already have access to an image to use, you provide one. We grab images from Unsplash fairly frequently for articles and what not. That's generally a good place to start.
- Lots of images will be placed in social media tiles which can be found in the Google drive account, which each person working on social should have access to. Talk to your manager if you do not.
- We use hashtags that are relevant to our work. We want to make sure that the hashtags we use are not too broad and are well tested for high frequency of use. This is a balance.
- Generally, we do not use more than 3 in any given post, so don't overload this.
- Here are some hashtags we like to use:
- *More to come the more we get into social!
- Date to schedule
- Make sure that you set the task date at least 2 days before the post will go out. This will allow for time for review.
- Set the date to schedule for the day we actually want the post to go out. This way whoever is creating the post will know when to schedule the posts in Buffer.
- What time to schedule post:
- This includes all of our social media accounts in the text snippet. Fill out the times in EST for each account that we post to. Feel free to delete from the list in that task any accounts we are not posting to.
How to Rearrange social posts that need more time
Sometimes we have stuff that holds up our social media posts. When this happens it's often needed to push back a deadline for a social post. This is very easy when it is a stand alone post, however many of our social media posts have reposts, and follow ups that make this a little difficult.
I'll use posting a project case study as our example for what to do:
A social post for a project case study is scheduled for an initial post, a repost, and two follow up posts. Each over the course of two weeks. The posts are scheduled in this order:
- Initial Post: 5/21 (Tuesday)
- Repost: 5/23 (Thursday)
- Follow Up Post: 5/28 (Tuesday)
- Follow Up post #2: 5/30 (Thursday)
Generally delays are found in the first post since that really sets the tone for most of the other posts which follow rather seamlessly afterwards. However in our example, the initial post scheduled for Tuesday is now delayed. Here's what to do:
- Ask yourself, what is the most important thing here? That I stick to the days of the week, or that I get this social media post out asap?
- If sticking to the days of the week, you will need to choose the next Tuesday available and reschedule all four posts.
- If getting to social media post asap is the most important thing, the adjust the dates accordingly with the same posting cadence as originally planned.