Ifdy Perez is a social media strategist with a specialty in community building.
An editorial calendar is the road map for every successful community manager. Here are four items that every successful editorial calendar needs.
1. Themes and Topics
Creating content around overarching themes and popular topics will help your community building in a couple different ways. First, it’ll help build a relationship with your audience. Since your content is better managed, you’ll stay within limits your audience is aware of, which is part of the reason they’re following you.
Aside from helping you be consistent in content, your calendar will help you be consistent in frequency. You’ll have a better idea of what your online presence is like—whether you’re “too” present or not present enough.
Not only does this apply to blog posts, but any content you generate on social media should come from a calendar’s design.
Consider putting together an editorial calendar for Facebook, Twitter, and your blog. And make sure they all cross-pollinate; even though you don’t want the exact word-for-word posts across all three mediums, you do want them to relate.
2. Dates and Times
What’s a calendar without dates, right?
But as basic as this seems, it’s important to know exactly when you’re posting—date and time—so you’re able see patterns, such as what part of the day or what day of the week gets the most audience engagement on your posts.
Once you figure this out, you won’t waste a great post by publishing it during a time when a smaller crowd will see it, to later be swallowed up by everything else they see on their newsfeed.
Ah, yes. Deadlines should make it to your calendar, too.
The reason why you want deadlines to be on your calendar is, well, so you don’t miss them. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re rushing to get a Tweet out the door right before an impromptu meeting? We’ve all been there, and if we just had a little more time to think about it, maybe the post would’ve done better.
This is what you’ll avoid by setting deadlines on your calendar. You’ll hold yourself accountable for when you’ll create the posts, publish them, and analyze the measurements. And believe it or not, it’ll save you time and headaches!
It may not be obvious at first, but an editorial calendar boils down to numbers (i.e. metrics). Like any scientist in their lab, you don’t want to blindly experiment with your content—it’s a waste of time. Instead, your editorial calendar will help you experiment with your content, measure, and adapt wisely.
When you create your calendar spreadsheet, add a row for metrics, and plug it in. After a little while, you’ll find out when posts do better (or worse), what kinds of themes and topics were successful, and what day/time your audience sees your posts the most, among many other things.
What else would you include in your online editorial calendar?