Ever wondered how some Facebook pages consistently seem to post high quality, relevant content at just the right time?
Like every other area of business, the best results come from forward thinking. Facebook is no different. If you’re not planning your content in advance (at least some of it), you’re going to be left in the dust.
Enter the Facebook editorial calendar.
There are so many benefits to planning and publishing your posts in advance. it doesn’t mean you should stop posting your awesome ideas when they come up spontaneously, either – quite the opposite – having a structured approach to your Facebook content provides a solid backdrop from which you can work from during the year.
Some of these epic benefits:
- Plan seasonal posts. A calendar is a great reminder that a holiday or event is coming up, and trigger for you to start thinking about what you will post for it.
- Save time. Sitting down at a regular time each week or month enables you to work on your most of your content in one go, improving the quality and saving you worrying about it later.
- Apply strategy. Having a birds eye view of your content allows you to curate what you’re churning out to work with a marketing strategy, or to fit your brand personality.
- Keep yourself accountable. A calendar ensures you don’t forget about your Facebook marketing!
Convinced yet? We hope so.
So how do you start a Facebook editorial calendar?
A calendar is just that – a visual calendar where you can see everything coming up. There are plenty of options, and there’s no right answer. The best thing to do is choose one that you will actually use, and feel comfortable working with.
It doesn’t have to be complex and powerful to be perfect for you. Here are some popular options:
- Spreadsheet – create your own template in Excel to suit your tastes.
- Google Calendar – If you have a Gmail account, create a new calendar for your content. If you already have a Google Calendar you can use the left menu to toggle it on or off.
- WordPress calendar plugin – for those who have a WordPress website already, you can install a completely interactive calendar plugin to help your planning.
- Calendar app – there are free and paid options here. A great one is made by SproutSocial.
- Paper calendar – good old fashioned pen and paper (allows a lot of creative control!). Here are some good downloadable templates.
How to Plan Your Content
The next step after choosing a calendar type is to get planning. Here’s an easy process you can follow:
- Choose your post frequency, and fill out the next few months with placeholder posts (just mark them in your calendar). If there’s a theme you want to use, like ‘motivation Mondays’ enter this into the relevant posts.
- Start planning your seasonal content. Make note of all relevant public holidays, celebrations and industry related recurring events and write them in. Go over your placeholders and adjust based on which of these you want to address.
- Begin a list of potential topics or ideas for future posts, as well as images you want to put with them. If you have anything right now, throw it down!
- Review the next two calendar months, and start putting down any posts in advance you would like to use.
- Create posts you can write right now and schedule them your Facebook editorial calendar (I’ll explain how below).
Remember to keep on top of your editorial calendar – we recommend sitting down to review what’s coming up and adding to it at least once a month.
Now, when you’re out and about and considering posting something on-the-go from your smartphone, you will know if something similar is already coming up. Over time you will eventually know exactly what your content is doing and can start focusing on implementing more complex strategies like planning posts around building your brand image and personality.
How to Schedule Facebook Posts To Publish In Advance
Once you have a post written that you’re happy with, open your Facebook page and write it in.
This time, instead of clicking ‘Post’, click ‘Schedule’. A box will come up with date and time options, which you can fill in with the info you’ve pre-decided on in your calendar.
The time and day of your posts will depend on your industry, but if you’re not sure, experiment with it – try a few things, see how they perform, and adjust as necessary. A good way to start playing with the right time of day for you posts is by thinking about what your audience are probably doing at the time.
A lot of interaction happens during the working day, so start by posting between 9am – 5pm on weekdays and go from there.
That’s it! Remember to check your Facebook Dashboard often to see how your posts are going, and try to figure out why the good ones are successful. You can then emulate this approach with your future posts.
Good luck, and let us know how your Facebook editorial calendar works for you!