Building a Social Media Calendar: Tips, Apps & FREE Templates for Beginners

Building a Social Media Calendar: Tips, Apps & FREE Templates for Beginners

What are Social Media Calendars and why Building a Social Media Calendar is important?

Imagine this scenario:

You own a flower delivery store and it’s #InternationalWomensDay. You had no idea until a customer enquired “Hey, do you have any promotion for #InternationalWomensDay?”.

Now you feel bad that you overlooked this day. But it’s not your fault. You were busy running and growing your business as one should.

At this point you may think: “so, what is a social media publishing calendar and how can it help my business?”

A Social Media Calendar is just like a regular content calendar only it’s the most helpful tool you could ever use in social media marketing. Still confused? These calendars come in many shapes or forms. They can be either completely digital or fully offline.

Now, let’s have a look at a few different calendar formats you might come across: 

Printed Social Media Calendars (fully offline)

These can be helpful for planning posts and making notes of upcoming campaigns, or special dates. Most social media managers keep something like this on their desks or pinned to the wall.

Below is an example.

Printed social media calendar
Example of a weekly social media calendar that you can print and use offline

Social media Calendar Spreadsheets.

Google and Excel spreadsheets are also very popular, mainly because they’re flexible and free. The great thing with spreadsheets is that you can monitor and share the calendar together with your team using the native apps. And if you’ve worked in corporate before, you’re already familiar with spreadsheets.

Example of Calendar/Spreadsheet.

Spreadsheet Social media Calendar
Social Media Calendar Spreadsheet

Digital calendar apps and scheduling tools.

Now we’re moving into pro territory. Digital social media calendars are websites and mobile apps that add a level of automation that spreadsheets can’t match. The disadvantage is that they’re not usually free and if you’re not publishing to multiple networks and channels – you may better leave these to the professionals.

Examples of Project Management software with calendar: Asana, Trello.

Examples of Social Media Schedulers with calendar: SproutSocial, PallyySocial

Social media calendar Asana
Social media scheduling app. Asana – https://asana.com/templates/for/marketing/social-media-calendar

What Are The Real Benefits of Building a Social Media Calendar?

Here are some of benefits/uses of digital calendars:

1. Seamless organization.

Building a Digital Calendar helps you stay organised:

  • A social media calendar allows you to find publishing gaps
  • Alows you to view your content over a longer time frame (week, month).
  • You can build a multiple channel strategy
  • Easily find and correct mistakes (such as double posting)
Pallyy Content Calendar
Building a content calendar
social media scheduling
Monthly Social Media Calendar View in Pallyy

2. Consistency.

Digital Planners help you stay consistent:

  • A digital calendar helps you ensure that you are publishing consistently and with purpose (as opposed to posting randomly)
  • Posting frequently without a cohesive message will only decrease your chances of building a long term engagement with your audience

3. Efficiency.

Social Media Publishing Tools help you save time:

  • Using a calendar allows you to schedule your posts for optimal times when your audience is most active, increasing the odds they’ll get seen.
  • You’re saving the time of having to draft each post and share it manually
  • For marketers, you get to manage multiple client social media in a single dashboard

Conclusion

Now that you know what a social media calendar is, you’re curious to find out: “What’s the best format?” And that is a question that only you can answer. Depending on your skills and how much content you plan to post on social media you will find that your choice may be different from mine.

I personally enjoy using digital social media calendars like PallyySocial because they’re making my life easier. The digital calendar on Pallyy allows me to schedule posts across multiple platforms at one go. But If I were not managing my clients’ social pages, I would probably use a spreadsheet and publish content manually.

Suggested: Check out the best Social Media Scheduling Tools for bloggers and influencers.

Download Free Templates Below and Use them to Build a Social Media Calendar

This weekly publishing schedule template is built to make planning social media posts easy. I’m giving you a few options. Don’t worry, it’s free to download and you can either print it or edit it online.

Hope you find it useful. Have a great day ahead! #socialmediamanagement
References: Asana (2019) [Online] https://asana.com/templates/for/marketing/


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