Illustration of a social media content plan and editorial plan from social media management tool provider Levuro.

What Constitutes A Successful Social Media Content And Editorial Plan

Good planning is half the battle! This is also true for social media. All you need is a solid content and editorial plan for your social media channels. Whether you're working alone or as part of a team, a content plan provides clarity, saves hassle and brings efficiency to the workflow.

Is social media planning too overwhelming for you? Do you feel lost handling multiple social media channels? If that’s you, then let us break it down for you. Then this text is just the right thing for you! This article covers:

1. What is a content plan and how does it differ from an editorial plan
2. Why you need a content plan
3. What constitutes a good social media content plan
4. Four cornerstones of successful social media content planning
5. The three success factors for effective social media editorial planning

1. What is a content plan and how does it differ from an editorial plan?

Social media content planning is indispensable. It is where you define the strategic actions and content  that form the ingredients you’ll need to achieve your marketing goals.

social media content plan ensures that you reach your intended audience with your messages (through images, text, audio and video). Careful planning and delivery of your content is the only way to keep your audience engaged and interested.

Marketers often use structured social media editorial plans to organize all important information in one central place. They may use different terms to meaneditorial plan’:

– social media editorial calendar,
– social media content calendar (or simply social content calendar), or
– content creation plan.

But no matter what you call it: It is still only a subset of a  social media content plan. Unfortunately, all of these terms are often mistakenly used as exact synonyms. 

social media content calendar aka editorial plan determines when and where each piece of content will be published. It is effectively your posting/publishing schedule.

There are various tools that can help you create a publishing schedule. Levuro is one of them. Here’s how an editorial plan in Levuro looks like:

Screenshot of a social media editorial plan from social media management tool provider Levuro.

A content calendar can also be created with tools like Excel or Google Sheets. The structure and complexity of the editorial plan can vary and include, for example, the following information:

– Title or the topic
– Status (planned, in progress, in translation, completed, published)
– Publication date
– Author
– Person(s) responsible
– Channel (facebook, blog, newsletter, etc.),
– Format (before/after, how to, etc.)
– Medium (graphic, text, video)
– Information about target groups
– Deadlines
– Keywords
– Post length
– Possible internal and external links

2. 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 take a step back and reevaluate your perspective. Proper planning at the beginning might well be time consuming, but it 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 plan, you keep tasks and requirements clearly in focus. This leads to success in both the short and long term.

3. What constitutes a good social media content plan

Social media planning is like figure skating: If you haven’t put in the hours for basic training, you can forget about moving on to free skating. Only with a professional and 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 through suitable social media strategies.

Equally important, the content has to be appealing, interesting, informative, and entertaining. But even the most creative work is of no use if it doesn’t reach or appeal to the right target group. .

4. Four cornerstones of successful social media content planning

Graphic showing four success factors of a social media content plan from social media management tool provider Levuro.

1. Know your target audience in detail!

The first thing you should do is to figure out who your target audience is, that is, 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 is worth matching them with current visitors to your website. With the help of a digital 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

2. Be diverse: social media posts are just one content format of many.

Think outside the box! Even after you’ve chosen the fast-moving channel of social media, it is worth enriching 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 dive deeper into detail and provide solution-oriented content. This type is perfect to showcase your mastery over the subject, something that is harder to achieve with short format posts.

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 should create content in other formats too. And subsequently link that content in your social media posts on other platforms, so that it reaches your desired target group as well.

You can also subdivide the above-mentioned long readable formats into sub-formats. For example, you can introduce sections like “tips,” “how-to,” “mistakes to avoid,” or “customer feedback.” You can also 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.

3. 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 solve 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 the problems and wishes of your target group, and which solutions might 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. 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.

4. 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. Different social media channels appeal to different age groups and thus other target groups. For example, the average age of users on Facebook tends to be 30+, on Instagram 25+ and on Tiktok 18+, all 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 you will be most successful with.

5. The three success factors for effective social media editorial planning

Graphic showing three success factors of a social media editorial plan from social media management tool provider Levuro.

Once you’ve defined and cemented the four cornerstones for your content planning, you can begin your social media editorial plan. Here, the following three points are important to consider:

1. Determine the frequency and timing of publications

Once you have defined the post formats and social media channels, you should determine when and how often you will publish your content. The frequency of your posts is vital, as you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much content. Moreover, the posts should also be of consistent quality. To achieve this balance, you must consider the available resources to create a sustainable content strategy plan.

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 – striking the right balance is the key to success here. And in all this, do not neglect the most important aspect, namely, successfully meeting the requirements of your target group.

2. Carry out performance analysis and optimization

It is essential that you regularly evaluate your performance on your social media channels. This allows you to evaluate and optimize the success of your content and your publishing frequency.

Focus on the posts that performed the best and thus generated the most likes, followers, shares, comments, retweets or click-throughs.

In short, analyze the engagement. What could be the reason that some of these posts were so well received and generated a response from your audience? Investigate which topics are particularly popular with your target group. Use this new information to optimize your social media strategy for the next set of posts.

3. Use appropriate tools for planning

As you have surely noticed, successful editorial planning for social media depends mostly on the available resources. Use them optimally – this leaves you more time for the creative part of the work. 

The point is to organize the compulsory tasks – for example the strategic orientation and planning – in a way that the implementation is as efficient as possible. The best way to meet this challenge is by using a suitable tool: classic sheets (for example Excel or Google Sheet), a task management tool (for example Trello) or a professional social media management tool (like Levuro).

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. If you are part of a team, the effort increases, as you have to bring in added complexity: such as collaborating through Microsoft Teams to edit the sheet simultaneously. With Google Sheets, this infrastructure is already in place: Here you can work simultaneously with your colleagues on the same sheet.

Task Management Tools like Trello

Task management tools additionally offer everything that you will, sooner or later, miss 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 optimized 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 a calendar view

Levuro offers everything you’ll need for your social media campaigns – all in one place. This means your workflow will be even more comfortable and effective when you 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.

The following features are available in the free version:

  1. Create your posts directly in Levuro and optimize them for any platform.
  2. Organize publications with drag and drop in calendar view and easily switch to the feed view at any time – and back again.
  3. Improve performance and optimize your images or videos for the different channels – without quality loss – directly in Levuro.
  4. Use campaigns and tags for later analysis.
  5. Check scheduled Instagram posts in the Instagram grid preview.
  6. Easily add teammates for collaboration and/or feedback.
  7. Even the free version gives you unlimited users.

This is all from our side. Now it’s your turn to try out the Levuro social media tool yourself. Get started with the free version.

Levuro – more time for the things you love!