It’s 2023 and you’ve got a whole new year to grow your small business and smash your goals. One way to build your business, your brand, and your online reputation is to make the most of your social media marketing.
Managing your social media can get complicated fast without a plan, especially if you want your business on multiple platforms. What can help is to have a social media calendar template for small business. You can then get yourself organized and plan ahead to make things a lot easier for yourself.
What is a social media calendar?
Your social media calendar is simply a planned calendar listing all the posts you want to make on each platform, the date and time, the content or topic of the post, the content type of post (video, blog post, infographic, reel, etc), and any accompanying content, such as images or links.
It sounds simple and it really is, but it’s also incredibly powerful. A well-planned social media calendar can really help you feel in control of your social media, instead of feeling that there’s too much to do and it’s managing you!
Here are just a few reasons why you need a social media calendar:
- Having a plan saves you time. Instead of having to think up ideas every time you want to post, you already know what’s next on the list to create. Not only that, but if you’ve already chosen what to link to and what images will go with your post, you can quickly add them instead of spending additional time searching.
- You can batch and get ahead. If you’ve already planned weeks or months ahead, you can use any quieter time in your business to write several posts ahead. This is a great help because when you’re busy, you already have a stash of completed posts that you don’t have to write when you don’t have the time. And you can schedule already written posts ahead of time, and just forget about them, either when you’re busy or you’re on holiday.
- With a plan that offers different views – daily, weekly, monthly – you can shift back and forth to the most helpful view, going into detail when you need that or seeing the big picture when you want to.
- You can be more consistent with your posting. With a plan in place, you can ensure you cover each platform well with no long gaps between posts. You can also ensure that you’re not covering the same topics over and over again and that you aren’t missing any topics you should be posting about. And you can make sure that you’re adding enough of a mix of content types to keep things interesting.
- Having a plan doesn’t mean that you’re being rigid and that you can’t add an extra post here or a new video there if something comes up. It gives you a framework on which to manage your social media better, while still giving you the freedom to post to suit what’s happening in your small business. You can leave space on your calendar on purpose so that if anything crops up, such as company news or a new offer you want to promote, you can do that.
- You can plan your promotions better as well as your content. Add your promotions, offers, discount vouchers, and more to your calendar too. That way, you can plan and create the right content to go with them and boost the chances of success.
- With a plan, you can look back at what you’ve done and use your analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t. You can then learn from that, pivot and adapt to suit, and continue building on your previous successes.
How to create a social media calendar
Thankfully, creating a social media calendar isn’t difficult, but as we’ve seen above, it’s definitely worth it.
1) Review your current social media activity
If you’re already on social media, then take a look at how things went last year. Look at your analytics to review your social media strategy for last year and see what worked.
If you also created a social media calendar for last year, look back at that and see how well it worked and if there’s anything you can do to improve this year’s version of it.
It’s always worth revisiting what you’ve done before and learning from it.
If, on the other hand, you’re starting from scratch and this is your first foray into social media marketing, then congratulations, you’re starting off on the right foot from the beginning. Okay, you don’t have a history to look back on yet, but you will, and starting with a social media calendar in place will give you a great plan to make things easier from the start.
2) Set your goals for this year
Before you create a plan, you need to know what you want to get out of your social media marketing this year. What do you want it to do for your business? Are you looking to repair your reputation, for example, or to build it up even further? Are you building your brand? Perhaps you want to build a community around your business. Do you want people to buy from you through your social platforms? Do you want to drive more leads back to your website than you did last year? What are your income goals and how will your social media marketing help you reach them?
It’s easier to plan what to do on your social media and what to post if you know why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve. Planning your goals first helps you make better decisions.
3) Choose your content types
Every audience is different and what they want to consume isn’t always the same. Some audiences prefer written content, blog posts, checklists, and long-form information. Yet others would rather have short videos, quick tips, and short, easy-to-read blog posts.
Again, this is something you can determine from your previous marketing efforts and your analytics.
If you don’t have previous analytics to look back on, start by looking at what your competitors are posting and what’s working for them.
4) Choose your platforms
Before you post anything, you need to know your audience and where they like to hang out. There’s little point in posting frequently on LinkedIn, for example, if your audience simply isn’t there in huge numbers.
Find where your people are and then focus on the platforms that will bring you the best results.
Having said that, think about the size of your marketing team. If you’re a solopreneur or only have a couple of people to do your marketing, then you can’t possibly attempt to be everywhere. Pick just one social platform to start with, and then add, at most, one or two more that will make the biggest impact. It’s better to do a couple of things well rather than spread yourself too thin.
5) Decide on your posting schedule for each platform
You’ll need your analytics again for this one. Look at the best posting times for your audience on each platform and plan your posting times on your schedule to suit.
Again, don’t worry if you don’t have this information yet, you can research this online, and once you have a couple of months’ data, you can start to adjust your posting times based on the results you see.
6) Decide what you need on your social media calendar
This is individual to you and your marketing team. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing and what they are including. Choose the information that will help you the most.
At a minimum, we’d suggest that you’ll need to include the platform you’re posting on, the date and time, what the subject is, the content type, space for the post itself when you’ve created it, any links, and accompanying graphics or images.
That way, you’ve got a good handle on what you need to have ready for each post. And if you’ve already written it ahead of time, you can simply copy the post and the link to your social platform and add the accompanying image. That’s such a great time saver.
Another item that can help is to add a column for related promotions so that you are planning ahead for those and the content you’ll need as well.
However, we’d recommend using professional all-in-one marketing software such as Surefire’s local marketing platform. Not only can you plan out your social media marketing calendar, with several different views available, but you can also plan, brainstorm, create, and schedule the rest of your marketing in the same place.
7) Share your calendar and get feedback
Once you’ve set up your calendar, let everyone else look at it and give you honest feedback. Anyone that will be involved in using the calendar should get the chance to do this.
This can be very helpful and you might get a whole lot of new ideas on how to make your social calendar even better.
And that’s it. You’ve done everything you can to create an excellent, well-planned social media calendar that will help your small business reach and exceed your marketing goals for 2023.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
Surefire offers a professional local marketing platform that can help you plan your social media calendar easily.
We offer monthly, daily, and weekly calendar views to make planning your content simple and straightforward. You can also schedule and publish on the top social platforms from one place, without having to sign in and out multiple times. In addition, you can publish content to your Google Business Profile, your website, and your blog.
It’s equally straightforward to measure your success with Surefire’s Local Marketing Platform. You can view traffic, engagement, and leads generated from your social media activity and easily analyze what’s going well and what you need to change.
And it’s not just your social media marketing that you can handle with our easy-to-use platform. You can manage every aspect of your marketing from the same dashboard, including email marketing, content marketing, managing, requesting, and replying to reviews, paid advertising, and more.
Why not book a demo and see how we can help?