There’s no denying that brands want a number of things from their social media presence.

They want growth in terms of their community, engagement, click-throughs, conversions, and more. No shame in that!

But how do you make sure you’re actually creating content and showing up on your social platforms in a way that will help you generate the results you want? You create a social media calendar!

Having a social media calendar encourages you to plan ahead and be strategic about what you’re sharing and how you’re serving your audience. And in this #ContentWritingChat recap, we’re teaching you how to create one!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create a Social Media Calendar That Engages Your Audience with Maura Hughes of MeetEdgar

Our guest host for this month’s chat was Maura Hughes. Maura is a Digital Marketing Manager over at MeetEdgar, a popular tool for scheduling social media content. In fact, it’s the one we use here at Express Writers! Maura had some amazing advice for creating high-quality, engaging social media content, so let’s dive into the tips!

Q1: Is it important to have a social media calendar? Why or why not?

If you’re not sold on the idea of planning out your social media content in advance, you just might be after reading these responses from the chat:

Maura feels a social media calendar is great because it helps you to be more consistent when it comes to posting on the platforms you use. That’s important if you want long-term success!

Not only is a calendar great for consistency, but it also ensures you’re posting with purpose. You’re thinking ahead and planning out content your audience would genuinely love, as opposed to throwing something together at the last minute.

And when you plan in advance, you don’t have to stress about coming up with content at the last minute! That’s never fun!

Plus, having a calendar with all your content outlined reminds you to think ahead to upcoming holidays and any social campaigns you’ll be running. You’ll never forget anything important this way.

Just remember that your social media calendar shouldn’t be set in stone. Allow yourself to make shifts as needed to provide the value your audience needs.

Lexie agrees that flexibility is key if you want to be successful! Never be afraid to make changes if something isn’t working or if there are timely topics you need to cover.

Q2: What types of content should go on your social media calendar?

Now that you’re probably sold on creating a calendar of your own, you’ll need to know what kind of content to fill it with. Here are some suggestions:

As Maura pointed out, your content should build the Know, Like, and Trust Factor with your audience. She also said to plan content according to your goals. For instance, if social media is a way for you to drive traffic back to your website, make sure you’re actually linking back to your site by sharing the latest blog posts, etc.

Always choose content based on your target audience. As Maria said, ask yourself what they’re likely to respond to. That will tell you exactly the kind of content you should be sharing.

If you’re creating a social media calendar for a client, always ask what they want to be posting more of. Take their suggestions into consideration. Rachel’s advice of creating different categories will really be helpful in staying organized with all of your ideas.

Share content that promotes your brand, talk about your offerings, and address timely events and holidays.

You can’t go wrong with things like informative blog posts, stats, videos, and infographics. It’s also smart to ask questions to get a conversation started.

Q3: Is it a good idea to re-share the same content in your social media calendar? Why or why not?

Before you rush to schedule some social media posts, here’s the scoop on re-sharing the same content:

It’s definitely okay to repost your content, especially if it’s evergreen. Evergreen content is always relevant and appealing to your audience, so why not make sure they’re seeing it? As Maura said, the shelf-life of social media posts is very short, so post things more than once to increase traction.

A smart tactic when re-posting the same content is to change up the copy, use different hashtags, and switch up the graphics. It helps keep things fresh.

By re-posting your content at different times and days, it ensures that even more people are seeing you’ve shared. Very important!

At the end of the day, make sure your content is reflecting what your audience wants to see. That’s how you keep them coming back for more.

Q4: What are some tactics for actually structuring your social media calendar?

Don’t get overwhelmed when planning content! Use these tips to make the task even easier:

Post with a purpose and ensure that the content you’re sharing is actually getting you closer to your goals. Otherwise, what’s the point?

So, if you haven’t set goals for what you want from your social media presence… Go ahead and do that today!

Make sure you’re testing to see what actually works for you in terms of the kind of content you share. It even helps to just ask your audience what they want to see more of.

This triple theme method that Rachel mentioned would definitely be helpful!

These ideas that Masooma shared are perfect for filling up your social media calendar!

Q5: What analytics and KPIs should you review to improve your social media calendar?

After you’ve started sharing all this amazing content, you’ll want to track your progress to ensure you’re reaching your goals. This is how you choose the right KPIs:

Go back to your goals! They’ll tell you if you should be more focused on link clicks, comments, shares, etc.

If you want link clicks, focus on that. If you want to see more interaction and brand awareness, pay attention to things like growth and comments.

When you track your engagement, it’s a good sign that your content resonates with your audience.

Ditch the vanity metrics! Maria says to focus on things like comments or shares.

For Katie, she focuses on tracking LinkedIn engagement. She likes to see that her content is driving conversations.

Rachel likes to view social media shares to see what insights people are sharing about her content.

Q6: How can we ensure our social media content is fresh and generating the engagement we desire?

No one wants stale social media content! Keep it engaging with this advice:

Maura suggests testing phrases, images, videos, etc. to see what performs the best. They’ll even send out one blog post with six different variations to test them all. It helps you see what works and what does.

Also, make sure you’re getting to know your audience through conversations so you can build strong relationships with them.

Sending out a survey is an amazing way to learn more about your audience and what they’d like to see from you.

If you find that something just isn’t working for you on social media, find out why. And focus on replicating the things that do work.

Q7: Which tools will come in handy when managing your social media presence?

And finally, it’s easier to manage your social media calendar with a few tools in your toolbox. Here are some great ones:

Maura recommends using MeetEdgar for scheduling, of course! She also likes Canva for creating graphics, as well as Google Analytics for data.

You definitely want to have a scheduling tool, a social listening tool, and something to create graphics.

The SEO Charge team suggests apps like Awario and Animoto.

Lexie loves Canva and Google Analytics.

Google Sheets is great for tracking stats. Social Oomph, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule are worthing checking out too.

And don’t forget about your in-app analytics!

Want to join the next #ContentWritingChat? It happens on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for the latest.