Social media is a beast with an insatiable and never-ending appetite. If it goes hungry, a company’s social media efforts can start to suffer as people lose interest and get less engaged.
With steady flow of content so important, a key element of a tactical plan is an editorial calendar, a document that spells out what content will be appear when over a period of weeks or months. An editorial calendar is important because it provides a social media program with structure and supports the creation of constant content.
This lets a company know what’s coming editorially and plan in advance as opposed to creating content on the fly, which can put a lot of pressure on a social media person or team.
In some respects, an editorial calendar runs counter to how social media operates because it establishes a long-term plan as opposed to being part of a real-time engagement and conversation plan.
But an editorial calendar is actually a way to support real-time activity by providing a foundation upon which conversations and engagement can be layered.
Creating an editorial calendar is a fairly straightforward process. It starts with selecting a period of time – let’s say three months – and then adding regular events or themes so that a regular schedule is created. It could be a specific kind of blog post each week, a poll or a contest.
The idea is that things happen on a regular and ongoing basis so the social media team knows what to do, and the audience knows what to expect.
In an ideal world, an editorial calendar makes life easier for a company to feed the social media beast.