Is social media planning a closed book for you? Or worse, a time-eating monster that regularly hinders the realization of your social media dreams? Then this text is just the right thing for you!
After reading this text, you’ll know:
– How to create a social content plan and a social media editorial plan.
– What you should know about your target group.
– What you need to consider in terms of content and formats.
– Which tools will help you to be successful with your social media editorial plan.
What is a content plan and how does it differ from an editorial plan?
Content planning is where you define strategic content and actions to achieve your marketing goals.
A content plan – also called content strategy plan or content creation plan – for social media ensures that you reach your intended audience with your content (images, text, audio and video). Careful planning and delivery of your content is the only way to keep your audience interested.
Marketers often use structured editorial plans, also called content calendars, to bundle all important information in one central place. The term content plan is often used as a synonym for editorial plan. However, the social media editorial plan – also known as social media content calendar, social media editorial calendar or social content calendar – is a subset of the content plan. It defines what content will be published and when, and is effectively your schedule.
You can create this schedule using various tools – for example, a social media tool like Levuro:
However, a content calendar also works with a traditional Excel or Google Sheet! The structure and complexity of the editorial plan can vary and include, for example, the following information:
– Status (planned, in progress, in translation, completed, published)
– Publication date
– Person(s) responsible
– Channel (Facebook, blog, newsletter, etc.),
– Format (before/after, how to, etc.)
– Medium (graphic, text, video)
– Information about target groups
– Post length
– Possible internal and external links
Why you need a content plan
Does creating a content plan sound like spending a lot of time, resources, and energy to you? If yes, you might want to reconsider how you think about it. Proper planning at the beginning allows you to focus your energy in the right areas – and saves an enormous amount of time in the long run. A content plan helps you to structure your work, be strategic, and address the right questions. If the correct plan is in place, you’ll be surprised how quickly its execution delivers the intended results.
With a forward-looking and targeted social media content and editorial planning, you keep tasks and requirements clearly in focus. This leads to success in both the short and long term.
What makes a good social media content plan?
Social media planning is like figure skating: No compulsory part, no free skating! Only with a professional, structured approach to content can you write success stories. In this way, you can not only maintain and satisfy regular customers and followers but also acquire new customers via your social media strategies.
Of course, the content has to be appealing, interesting, informative, and entertaining. But even the most creative work is of no use if it doesn’t appeal to the right target group or ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or – translated into “figure skating language”: If you don’t get enough points in the compulsory part, you won’t even be admitted to free skating. So, let’s get those all important compulsory points!
These four points are the cornerstones of successful social media content planning
Know your target audience in detail!
The first thing you should do is to figure out who your target audience is, i.e. who you want to reach with your content. Target groups show different interests and needs based on characteristics such as place of residence, age, gender or life stage.
Once you’ve defined your target audience, it’s worth matching them with current visitors to your website. With the help of a digital analytics tool like Google Analytics, you can get precise information about the nature and behavior of your website’s visitors. A tool like this provides information about demographic characteristics, behavior on the website and the interests of your visitors among other things. This allows you to analyze which content is read how often and for how long and draw conclusions to adapt future content accordingly.
Personas (user profiles) can be a useful marketing tool for sustainable customer communication via social media. Personas are fictitious profiles based on user data. They help content producers to better imagine the target group and its needs.
Be diverse: social media posts are just one content format of many.
Think outside the box! Even if you’ve chosen the fast-moving channel of social media, enrich your content planning with other formats that reach your target audience.
Among the most popular and successful formats are blog posts, podcasts and YouTube videos. These are among the “long readable” formats because they don’t cover content superficially. Rather, they often go into detail and provide solution-oriented content.
It is therefore important to ask yourself, during the content planning phase, whether your target audience has an interest in additional in-depth content. If this is the case, you can create the content in other formats. And subsequently link that content in your social media posts on other platforms, so that it reaches your desired target group as well.
Within social media there are countless sub-formats. These are not exhaustive. For example, you can introduce sections like “tips,” “how-to,” “mistakes to avoid,” or “customer feedback.” You can work with bullet lists, before and after images, mind maps, infographics or quotes. Depending on the platform, you can also publish such formats – in addition to classic posts – via stories, reels or carousel posts. The important thing is: once you have introduced a format, you should use it regularly and in a structured way. Only then can you evaluate the reactions to it and compare its success with other formats.
Provide your target group with the right content
The topics and content of your social media content planning should be consistently aligned with the interests and desires of your target audience. In doing so, the content should foster a healthy desire for more. Whether this happens in the form of factual content, an engaging presentation, and/or through pure entertainment ultimately depends on the users and their reactions. You can give your target audience useful tips, help them with their problems, or just make them laugh. As long as the audience is reacting positively, you are making an impact.
In order to find out what the problems and wishes of your target group are, and which solutions might therefore be of interest to them, keyword research is a suitable starting point. If you have access to an active Google Ads account, you can use the Google Keyword Planner for this. Otherwise, Uber Suggest or Answer the Public are helpful free tools. The insights gained serve as an additional pool of ideas for new topics and content tailored to the target group. If you want to deepen your research, conduct interviews with the target group and ask them about their problems and wishes.
Reach your target group on the right channels
The next step is to ask yourself on which channels your target group spends most of their time. The different social media channels appeal to different age groups and thus different target groups. For example, the average age on Facebook users tends to be 30+, on Instagram 25+ and on Tiktok 18+, with an upward trend.
To reach new customers, you can additionally use push channels. Here, for example, paid media such as sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram or the placement of ads on search engines (for example, Google text ads) as well as social ads like Facebook, Instagram or Tiktok Ads is a good way to generate additional reach.
Decide on the appropriate channels early in your social media content planning. The selection of a channel will ultimately determine what type of content format will be compelling, for example, “long read” for blog posts or visually appealing for Instagram.
The three success factors for effective social media editorial planning
Once you’ve defined and cemented the four cornerstones for your content planning, you can begin your social media editorial plan. The following three points are important to consider:
Determine the frequency and timing of publications
Once you have defined which formats you want to publish on which channels, you should determine when and how often you will publish your content. It’s important to consider how much content is ideal for a given period of time, as you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much content. Your posts should also be of consistent quality. Therefore, the frequency of publication is always a question of available resources.
Depending on the channel, it may make more sense to post at longer intervals, but with higher quality. A high frequency, on the other hand, is not effective if the content is monotonous and boring. So think about how often you can post with the available resources. And one thing to remember: Make sure that you not only meet your own requirements, but also those of the target group and the medium.
Perform performance analysis and optimization
It is important that you regularly evaluate your performance on your social media channels. This will allow you to evaluate and optimize the success of your content, as well as your publishing frequency.
The focus of the analysis should be on the posts that performed the best and thus generated the most likes, followers, shares, comments, retweets or click-throughs.
– In short, “engagement”. What could be the reason that these posts were so well received and generated a response from your audience? Investigate which topics are particularly popular with your target group. And keep analyzing what other content you could create.
Use appropriate tools for planning
As you have surely noticed, successful editorial planning for social media depends chiefly on the available resources. Use them optimally – this leaves you more time for the creative part of the work (= free skating; in “figure skating” terms). The point is to organize the compulsory tasks – i.e. the strategic orientation and planning – in such a way that the implementation is as efficient as possible. The best way to meet this challenge is with a suitable tool: with classic sheets (for example Excel or Google Sheet), a task management tool (for example Trello) or a professional social media management tool.
Excel or Google Sheets
For old-fashioned planning in spreadsheet format, Excel is still the market leader. However, it can quickly become exhausting for non-Excel gurus to manage a social media content calendar in a sheet format. If you are also part of a team, the effort increases, as the appropriate infrastructure has to be created for data reconciliation. With Google Sheets, this infrastructure is already in place: Here you can work simultaneously with your colleagues in the same sheet. Microsoft offers this function for the online version of Excel.
Task Management Tools like Trello
Task management tools additionally offer everything that will, sooner or later, sorely be missed in Excel: The app presents workflows in a clear and structured manner. Working together in a team is noticeably easier. However, important integrations are missing, as is the possibility to implement everything in one tool. In the end, the content has to be manually entered into the respective channel and the media files have to be cut for each channel. Planning functions for Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn or TikTok are missing: functions that are valuable features for every proper social media content calendar.
Levuro – the professional social media tool with calendar view
Your workflow will be even more comfortable and effective if you can create and manage all social media specific tasks in a single application.
With Levuro, you have an all-in-one solution for your social media editorial planning and content calendar: Levuro automates some recurring social media tasks that traditional task management tools don’t offer. From post scheduling to channel-specific image preparation, Levuro gives you everything you need.
These features already come with the free version:
– Create your posts directly in Levuro and optimize them for any platform.
– Organize publications with drag and drop in the calendar view and easily switch to the feed view at any time – and back again.Improve performance and edit your images or videos for the different channels – without quality loss – directly in Levuro.
– Use campaigns and tags for later analysis.
– Check scheduled Instagram posts in the Instagram grid preview.
– Easily add teammates for collaboration and/or feedback.
– Even the free version gives you unlimited users.
Okay… enough said. Now it’s time for you to get your own impression of Levuro. Just try the free version.
Levuro – more time for the things you love!