Social Media Success in 14 Steps: #8 Create Editorial Calendar

Once you have your social media sites set up, it’s time to create a plan to create and distribute the content. For some companies that means creating all new content, while others have a great deal of content that can be repurposed for the social media campaign.

Some organizations take a casual approach to creating content, while others are much more deliberate.  In the casual approach, you may look at your accounts every day and decide what content to write and post. This approach allows you to be very dynamic and responsive to content you see across the Internet. Your content will be very fresh, but it can also be stressful to think of new ideas for content and posts each day.

A more deliberate approach would be to create an editorial calendar which will become your guide to the themes for each day or each week. You can organize your editorial calendar around content like white papers or webinars, or around events such as conferences or trade shows. By knowing what your core content or themes are each week, you’ll be able to be more thorough in covering your subjects. It’s also easier to include others in the content creation process since you can schedule specific contributors into your schedule.

It’s helpful to manage the editorial calendar in monthly and quarterly views.  By planning one to three months ahead, you can take into account new product launches, events and other activities that will drive new content for you.

Just because you have an editorial calendar doesn’t mean that you won’t be dynamic or responsive to the market.  It gives you a framework to guide all of your content creation activities.

When you build your content plan remember that you won’t need to develop all of your own content.  It’s perfectly acceptable to repurpose other people’s content within your campaign. This serves two purposes. First, by posting links to other good content you’ll position your company as the thought leader and expert in the industry.  Second, the organization you like to will recognize the traffic you are sending to them and be more likely to repost your content.  This is a very important way to get broader distribution for your content.

Before you launch your social media properties make sure you set up tracking so that you can see the impact of your work.  Two tools that are very helpful here are URL shortening tools, and website analytics tools.  URL shorteners allow you to track the number of people that click on the links in your tweet and post.  The also shorten the URLs you use to make the fit in sites like Twitter that impose character constrains on the content you post.

Website analytics programs like Google analytics enable you to see the impact of your work on website traffic and your goals.  Once you set it up properly, you’ll be able to see how much traffic comes back your website from each social media site, what those visitors did once the got to your site, and how many goal conversions resulted from you social media activities.

Another key step before you launch is to make sure that your website and landing pages are integrated with your social media program.  It’s easy to put social media sharing tags on your landing pages, emails and home page to allow people to share your content with their network.  You should also give people the ability to follow you from your website.

If you’d like to read my white paper on Social Media Success in 14 Steps, please click here.

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