Many business owners and entrepreneurs would probably agree that some weeks are much busier than others — and when they get too swamped with work and other responsibilities, social media tends to get tossed aside. If you typically brainstorm, write, and post content to your social profiles all on the same day, a random meeting or unexpected issue might pop up and your plans to post get thwarted.

The solution? Create your content in batches and schedule it in advance. This way, you never have to worry about being too busy to post. You’ll also find that you will be able to get more strategic with your content.

Here are 6 steps for scheduling your social media content for the entire month, all at once, plus a free content calendar template to get you started!

1. Pick a Day

The first thing you’ll need to do is set aside a day to knock out all of your social media posts for the month. Do your days get crazier near the end of the month? No problem. Pick a date at the beginning of the month, when things are a little slower and you actually have time to dedicate to social media.

The thought of creating all of your posts in one day may be overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll get in the zone and bust your posts out in no time.

2. Think About How Often You Want to Post

One of the secrets to success on social media is posting consistently, so you’ll want to make sure you’re posting around the same number of times each week of the month. Choose a number that you know will be manageable for you. We recommend at least two posts a week on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn, and at least four or five posts a week for Twitter, but this is completely up to you. Depending on your industry, those numbers can change, but choosing something manageable is a good first step.

3. Come Up With Your Content Formula

Start thinking about your posts in terms of content type. Here are a few common content types:

  • Blog Posts: If your business has a blog, you’ll want to make sure you share your posts on social. This is a great way to bring more traffic to your website!
  • Quotes: These are always fun. If it makes sense to post quotes on your profiles, do it! They are a “share magnet.” For example, say we want to post an inspirational quote about SEO. We’ll go to Pinterest or Google to find one, and then create a branded graphic on a website like Canva.
  • Testimonials/Reviews: Spread some positivity on your page and boost credibility by sharing your positive testimonials and reviews from customers. We like to use Canva for these also — just copy and paste the review into a little graphic using your brand’s colors and logo!
  • Meet the Team/Behind the Scenes: People love seeing the faces behind businesses. In our experience, photos of the team or individual team members perform very well in terms of engagement.
  • Educational: You want your page to be a source of relevant information for your clients. So, for example, if you own an HVAC business, you can write a little tip about how often people should have their units inspected or how often they should change their filters.
  • Self-Promotion: A lot of people think that social media is all about brand promotion — but the truth is, your customers don’t want to see a bunch of sales-y posts, and they won’t respond if your feed is full of them. However, it’s not against best practices to throw in the occasional promotional post every once in awhile amidst your other, more engaging (and useful) content types.
  • Videos: People. Love. Videos. If you have the resources and the ability to create them, you’ll reap the engagement benefits.
  • Curated Content: Let’s face it: trying to create original content 24/7 is exhausting. Don’t be afraid to share content from other sources (but make sure to link to their website).

Once you’ve identified the types of content you’ll be posting, come up with a “formula.” For example, if I want to post 16 times a month (four posts per week), and the content types that make the most sense for my brand are blog posts, meet the team posts, educational content, curated content, and self-promotion, I’ll create a blend of each of those types to avoid posting too many of the same things at once.

So, my “formula” might look something like this:

4 blog posts + 1 meet the team post + 3 educational posts + 2 self-promotion posts + 4 pieces of curated content = 16 posts

Now that I have all the content I’m going to post outlined, it makes the actual content creation process so much easier.

4. Grab Your Content Calendar

Before you start writing your posts for the month, you’ll need to create a content calendar OR find a template to download. Lucky for you, we made a free content calendar template to make scheduling your posts each month easier. It has a monthly calendar view so you can easily see what’s coming up next, as well as a second tab for actually writing out your content.

Smarter Searches Content Calendar Template (Download Here)

5. Fill It Out!

Now it’s time to really get down to business and fill out your content calendar! When you first download your content calendar template, you’ll notice that there are two tabs: Monthly Calendar (which gives you an overview of the whole month in calendar format) and Content Breakdown (which allows you to actually write out your post copy and add links or whatever else you need).

First, take a look at the Monthly Calendar tab of your content calendar. Look in the upper right corner where it says “Content Type Key” and customize the key to reflect the types of content you will be scheduling.

Next, Consider important dates coming up for your business. Got a Grand Opening coming up? The launch of a new product? How about any relevant National _______ Days? Go ahead and get those on there first so you don’t miss anything important.

Then, think about the dates and times you want to post your other content. Because you’re just starting out, you may want to test out all different days and times (yes, even nights and weekends!). Next month, you can look back and figure out which days of the week and times worked best in terms of engagement.

While you’re still in the calendar view section of the template, it’s time to put your “content formula” to use. Pick the days and times for your posts, and use the key feature to designate which type of content is.

Now, switch over to your Content Breakdown tab. We added this tab to enable you to actually write out your content. Copy the dates and times of your posts from your Monthly Calendar tab. Then, input the content type and the platform(s) to which you will be posting. Write your copy, add your link if applicable, and BOOM, you’re done! Keep doing this for the rest of your posts and you’ve got a complete month of social posts to schedule.

6. Schedule Your Posts

Use a scheduling tool (we like to use Hootsuite) and schedule all your posts for the date and time you have set on your content calendar. This step is a little monotonous, but you’ll be glad you did it once you’re done.

And That’s It!

Now, you can sit back and do your thing without worrying daily about posting to social media — it’s all already done! Take the time to go back and check on how your pages are performing every so often, though — remember to reply to comments, engage with your audience, and check your analytics to see what’s working and what’s not.

Next up: Once you’ve mastered scheduling your posts in advance, you can move onto using Facebook Insights to track your performance and advertising your page to new users so they can see your awesome, strategic content!

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