Why You Need a Social Media Calendar and How to Create One

You’ve heard of social media calendars before, but do you know what they are and how to use one?

Chances are you don’t. And that’s okay… I didn’t either when I entered the realm of social media marketing. But once I learned about it and how to use it, it change how I marketed my businesses on the social web.

Download a printable version of this infographic.

Here’s why you need a social media calendar and how you can create one:

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

Why You Need a Social Media Calendar and How to Create One

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.

Conclusion

A social media calendar can help you consistently promote high quality content, cut down on the amount of time you waste, and organize and curate content.

If you aren’t using one, you should reconsider. It’s helped me almost double my Twitter engagement over the last six months.

So, what do you think? Are you going to use a social media calendar?

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Comments

  1. Trevor Gustaveson :

    Neil, what would you say is a ballpark figure for how much money we should put into promoting an article on facebook if we want to get a few links to that post? 20 bucks? 50 bucks?

    • I know! I’d love to know the answer to that question too. I guess social marketing isn’t an exact science, but I’d love to know more about what/how much to spend on FB!

      And yes, I think a social calendar sounds marvelous! Another nifty post Neil!!!

      • Trevor & Linda — great question. I wish there was a definitive answer. It all depends on your product, niche & the way your ad is set up. With that being said I would advise spending low to begin with to get a good feel.

    • Julie Syl Kalungi :

      Trevor, Its always good to start with a healthy budget with any advertising strategy, BUT I have found that there’s no set figure as FB is PPC in most cases. I usually set $50 for an ad and I always find someleft over as I optimise my target audience and what I want from the ad. First thing is you gotta try it and test and test some more.

      As Neil Says in this article, Set we’ve got to set our SM Calendars and optimize our time!

  2. Steve Estimable :

    Neil, great post on social media calendar.

    It definitely help curate content!

    Neil Q: So, what do you think? Are you going to use a social media calendar?

    Steve A: Yes, but do you suggest to have an external calendar specifically for social media or an all-in-one editorial calendar?

    Have a great day!

    • Steve, Good Question. I like calendars that segment between channels as they provide an easier look and feel.

      • Thanks for the great post, Neil. We are hunting for a calendar that would give us the flexibility to layer different types of content, including social, blog, email, etc. We would also like to be able to set up filters to view different pieces of content, assign to different owners, etc. Do you have a specific platform you could recommend?

        Thanks!

    • Hi Steve,

      I like that little “Q and A” conversation there 🙂

  3. Randy Kauffman :

    Hmm. Never thought of this before. Good information.

    • Randy, glad you found it helpful.

      • Anil Agarwal :

        Great stuff as usual, Neil!

        Social media is one of the major mediums for bloggers who want to spread their brand! Unfortunately most of the marketers don’t spend their time on scheduling their social media posts.

        This post is so timely, tweeted!

  4. William Zimmerman :

    Neil,

    Really great post man!!

    I really need to start a social media calendar!!

    Have great weekend!!!!

    Best,
    Bill Z

  5. I really needed this one, it’s about time I got my social media marketing on point. Thanks for the great infographic

  6. Great post! Thanks!

  7. Valentino Crawford :

    Awesome info on how to use a social media calendar, Neil. I do find myself posting during times of lesser engagement…time for me to be more mindful from this point forward. Thanks for the info!

    • Valentino, it’s hard to always post at optimal times because the abundance of content out there. It’s definitely doable though.

  8. Sherman Smith :

    Hey Neil,

    I based my metrics for social media on Google Analytics and a couple of groups I’m in. I don’t have an official document but I can see how this would help. I usually get feed back from my commenters as well and sometimes they will email me whenever they run into a glitch.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

  9. Sigh. How to create a post around a keyword that pretends to tell you something while it mostly just repeats a term irrelevant to the information shared. Expected way better.

    • Vidyut, can you expand?

      • I’m not Vidyut, but I was also disappointed.

        How is this any different than a regular blog or editorial calendar? The information provided was all about content strategy, with a few lines here and there about spreading out social media marketing. But I expected something different than a post explaining why I need an editorial calendar.

        • Brita, sorry it didn’t meet your needs. Do you have any specific questions or concerns I can address for you here?

          • Brita Long :

            How do you create a social media calendar? How do you decide when and what to post on each social media network? How far in advance should a social media calendar be? What should you share to social media to increase authority and/or engagement other than links to your own work?

            • Neil Patel :

              Brita, you can just use an excel file or a platform like Buffer. Deciding what to post is based upon your niche and market. You can post as far ahead as you like — I prefer not more than a week to keep things fresh though. Share high quality articles to get the most engagement.

  10. I admire your unique style of writing and flair for the topics you put up it with Neil,

    Thanks for the post

  11. Rich Friesen :

    Thank you, Neil. Do you (or anyone else) have any favorite calendar apps or online calendars you would recommend to use for this purpose?

    • I would love to know the answer to that question too.

      • I am looking for one as well. Great information but there are no real suggestions of a good social media calendar to use. Do you have one that you recommend? Or a few maybe free ones and ones you buy? It would be great info!

        • Darin Campbell :

          I would love to see some recommendations or free examples of social calendars that take all of these tips into consideration. Do you have any resources you can share? Thanks in advance.

          • Darin, Sometimes you have to customize your own solution. Google Sheets & Buffer are some free options that are helpful if you are on a budget.

          • Colleen Bell :

            Excellent!!! I love this idea and am ready to implement it. I would agree that I would love to see a sample even if it just a pdf. Thank you so much.

    • I love DivvyHq – it’s great for social media, blog and website content.
      After testing some other apps, I’ve decided to pay for this one because it has the features I was looking for.

      http://divvyhq.com/

    • Rich, I and many others just use excel spreadsheets. Hootsuite & Buffer offer great scheduling software though.

      • Good to know — I also use spreadsheets + Buffer. I’ve heard good things about Hootsuite too.

        IMO it would make a useful post to see how to do this well. Let me know if you’d like to work together on that!

  12. Thanks Neil,

    Another thought-provoking post. I’m currently utilizing several social medias, but very sporadic and unorganized. Your post inspires me to re-think my social media strategy like which ones, what methods, and how much time to allocate for each one, etc. And social calendar can be a perfect action item for that process.

    Bravo, my friend! You’re so strategic.

  13. Chris from WP Brain :

    Cool infographic! I have just recently been using a “schedule” for my social media marketing. It however is no where near as thought out as you are suggesting. Might be time to improve upon my strategy!

    Infographic saved and shared!

    Thanks as always for the valuable information.

    Chris

  14. Rohan Bhardwaj :

    Buddy, you are on fire. Your content keeps popping in, along with that new health blog. I might exhaust from too much information.

    I have kept your neil patel’s blog latest article and your podcast from back in start of April still in back log.

    You are truly like a content machine. Yes, I will take the challenge from now on and start to write only topics which are at least 1500 words.

    Lets see how this turns out.

    1. Social Media is something I fail in many aspects. As of now, I am still learning and as of now, my focus is on content and it’s quality.

    2. This post and all of your post do magical thing, it inspires, teaches and makes me keep going.

    3. I want to thank you for keeping up with the content in all the places. Really looking forward to your software.

    Infograph on your site is something I don’t look forward to in respect to content. As I love to keep reading your content, the more long the better like in Neil Patel and health blog.

    I love your designs on infograph, yes you told me, you have got designers.

    1. You are my idol, watch out, I am coming for you.

    Have a good day. Stay awesome.

    • Rohan, thanks for all the feedback and support — It’s much appreciated.

      Please let me know if I can help you with anything — I am sure you have my email neil@neilpatel.com

      • Rohan Bhardwaj :

        Yes buddy,

        I have your email. Will let you know, if needed any personal reply.

        You are too good. You reply the comment and that is simply great of you. Thanks.

        🙂

  15. Great article! Things I’ve just begun to think about but know I’ll need to focus more on as I grow my business.

    My question to you is what are your thoughts on sites that help you schedule your social media calendar? Hoot Suite is the only one that comes to mind at the moment. But are there good ones and how can we make them work for us without sacrificing the quality of the content we post?

    Also, is it ok to post on multiple social media platforms at the same time or is that like double dipping?

    Thanks so much. I was just recently introduced to your site and have enjoyed the quality of your posts. You’re obviously doing something right and have a lot to teach someone like me!

    • Dawn, great questions. Double dipping is definitely standard practice — a multi channel approach is necessary.

      Try Sprout Social — it’s a good solution.

  16. In Australia, yesterday was ANZAC day (remembrance day). i should have planned something in advance. Yes, I need a social media calendar. Great posts!

    • Nigel, there are many other holidays to celebrate I am sure ;). Let me know if you need any help with anything.

  17. Kim-ohradiogirl :

    I thought that the post was good, but missed an opp to share samples/examples of social media calendars. Glad that some of the comments chimed in on that though.

    Nice infographic.

  18. Elizabeth Victor :

    Very interesting read- it should also be mentioned that monitoring your social media mentions can help you in creating your calendar, as well as gauging effectiveness.

  19. great blog Neil. I have a question especially blogs. We took the time to research and write proper blog information on yoga.. Different topics but how do you manage the spammers other than approving each comment? When we first started one topic had 9k comments turned out to be spammers.

    Thanks
    Rita

    • Rita, it’s bound to happen. If you have that many spammers it means you are doing the right things.

  20. Hi Neil,

    Great article and very informative. Quick question – do you have any recommendations for free tools that can assist with post automation and scheduling?

    Thanks,

    Shlomo

  21. Stephanie Ewen :

    Great post, thanks Neil. We are a SAB and I wasn’t sure a social calendar would be necessary but I can see how it can help me cover all the bases in regards to making sure our information is published to all platforms.

    It will force me to focus on each platform individually, which I know is important but have been neglecting to do.

    • I know it can be a daunting task at first to put this together, but you’ll be glad you did a few months down the line when you’re plugging away 😉

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