A lot of people keep asking me about the perfect way to manage social media content for their businesses. I keep telling everyone to create a content calendar – and make it weekly or monthly. The idea of deciding on what to update each day – unless of course you are sharing new information – ignores the whole idea that what you say about your business should be part of your business story. Your brand story. Something that represents the journey of your business in today’s world. Here are five reasons why I believe a content calendar is a must for businesses on social media.

1) Content Vs Objectives

If you set out what objectives to achieve in a certain time period eg a week or a month, it is easier to gauge whether the content you are planning on using will meet these objectives if you can see most of the content for that period at once. Think of it as a blue-print. Contractors don’t decide what design each part of a house should carry but instead follow a professionally designed blueprint. This allows them to spend each day merely fulfilling the requirements within the blueprint rather than wondering what to do each day.

It is the same for business content. Decide in advance what long term and short term objectives are then create content for the short term mapped against those goals. If you goal is to increase traffic to your website, plan to share more website content and to publish more. If your goal is visibility, plan to create content that will be easily sharable, interesting and engaging to increase your reach.

This allows you to ensure content is mapped onto your objectives and analysed.

2) Comparison of performance

When content calendars are created for defined periods, reports are almost always prepared (and should be) for the same period. The number of people you reach, the engagement generated and any other actions should be compared to other periods. Well performing weeks can give insight on what type of content resonates well with the audience. Bad performing weeks can give guidance on what not to share. You will notice days that are better performing than others and start putting the more important content on those days and time slots.

With defined calendars, comparison of performance becomes very easy to do and follow-up.

3) Tone consistency

Many people keep saying every business should define their tone of voice in all their communication. Is it playful, serious or parental. Is it provoking or laid back. With a content calendar – and because content is not always created by the same person – it is much easier to check for tone of voice and also much easier for the person creating the content to nail this tone of voice if it is checked within a content calendar as there are several posts to read and get right.

4) Time saving

When you choose to do content in a content calendar, you get content for about a week or a month out of the way and free a lot of time that would have been spent wondering what you will post. When creating a content calendar, the story is much easier to see and follow and also less disjointed. Think of those written compositions in English classes. If you wrote a few sentences each day, you would have to read what you had written the preious day before adding new content each day. The ideas on what to write would also not come as easily as they do when doing it in a day. If anything, on top of losing time because of this, the original story is very likely to be lost too.

Having to spend less time worrying about content also frees up time to monitor content going out and focus on more important things like engagement and analysis.

5) Less Errors

It is common practice to have someone other than the person who created content check it. This is a good practice to ensure errors are noticed early enough and tone is checked for consistency. Making a content calendar reduces those very dreaded “oops” moments of saying the wrong things and goodness-forbid, sending out content with typos. Using a content calendar ensures content is throroughly checked and approved before being scheduled for posting.

Once content is created and approved, the remaining process of scheduling fully automates your day to day posting and ensures more consistency and better content all around for your business.

Happy posting.