How to create a social calendar with Hootsuite

  • Date: 01 July 2019
  • reading time: 7 Minutes
  • Blogger: Francisca Zimmermann


 

Some businesses are incredibly active on social media. Several Tweets every day, daily Instagram pictures, and regular posts on LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook too. Are you wondering how they do that without manually posting all day? The answer is simple: They most likely plan their content in bulk.

computer social media

Most companies use a social media scheduling tool, which posts their content for them. This child or tool allows you to pre-plan a calendar and make sure your posts are shared at the moments you want to be shared. Great right?

There are many social media scheduling tools available. Think of Buffer, CoSchedule, HeyOrca, and Hootsuite. Although they all have their pros and cons, we love using Hootsuite for our social media calendar. Hootsuite is very reliable, user-friendly, and offers all the features you need to create a clear and functional social media calendar.

Why create a content calendar?

You may think 'I can come up with posts on the spot, no need for a calendar.' This can be true, but posting manually may cost you some of the quality in your posting. Why?

To start with, a content calendar helps you to keep an overview of what is to come. Think of important holidays, national celebrations and big days for your business. By adding them all on your calendar in advance, you won't have to miss any of them.

Another advantage is the fact that you can make sure your posts have a logical order. If you are working towards a goal or event, you can make sure you share regular posts before a certain date. Think of countdown posts to a product launch or a weekly tip or trick that is relevant to your industry. Having all of your highlights planned in a clear calendar is a lot easier than keeping track of them by just remembering somehow.

A last great advantage of a content calendar is consistency. When you share your posts manually, the chances are good that you share more when you have time - and less when you are busy. Overloading people with too many posts is not right, and being quiet for too long is not good either. People could get annoyed by large amounts of content or could forget about you if they didn't hear from you for too long.

owl social media

Why Hootsuite

At Social Media Gids we have been working with Hootsuite for a long time now. Although we know there are many tools available with similar functions, Hootsuite has been working very well for us.

We like the fact that several team members can log in Hootsuite and manage an account together. This creates a great opportunity for social media managers to check each other's work and for clients to see what has been planned.

Apart from that, the tool offers many possibilities and functions (think of analytics, engagement and of course posting) but is incredibly user-friendly. Without previous training, most people will be able to schedule content in Hootsuite.

As a last advantage, Hootsuite is very cost effective. The free version of the tool is sufficient for most businesses, but with the Professional, Team, Business or Enterprise packages.

How does it work?

Preparation: Research and content design

Before diving into Hootsuite and explaining how the tool works, we will reflect on the basics regarding setting up a social media calendar. Because, to share valuable content, you need to know who you write for and which goals you would like to reach with the posts you share.

Before getting started, we advise you to look at the following points, preferably, create a document in which you define and list your plans and goals.

content calendar

1. What are your social media goals?

Just posting without knowing why you post is not going to bring you anywhere. Therefore it is essential to carefully define why you are using social media. Is your goal to grow brand awareness? Does your social media have a position within a sales funnel? Or are you mainly using platforms for advertisement? These questions should be leading in setting up a social media calendar.

2. Who do you want to reach?

Without knowing who you are talking to, you can create content that works impossibly. By doing careful target market research and possibly creating ' buyer personas ,' you can create social media content that your followers will like. And on top of that, you can write in a style and 'tone of voice' that suits your brand and market.

3. Which platforms do you want to focus on?

Once you know who you want to reach, you need to make sure you are posting on the platforms where you can find your target audience. This article by Sproutsocial provides a clear overview of the demographics or any social media platform.

online marketing

4. How often and on which days and times do you want to post?

Lastly, you will have to define how often you would like to post and at what day and time. The frequency depends on your own time and capacity. We advise you to post anything between twice a week and twice a day. Less than that won't be enough to grow an account, more than that can be experienced as too much by your followers. Regarding posting days and times, there are general guidelines for moments that work well for each platform. This is a great starting point, but we think testing different days and times for your own audience is still essential.

5. Content creation

The next step is the planning of actual content. You can choose to first work in, for instance, a Google Calendar or Google Sheet and look at a full year, or a few months. Are there events you need to include? Blog posts or other company related news that needs to be included in the calendar? With important events in mind, you can now start creating a current calendar with post ideas and - in the end - posts.

How far in advance you work is up to you.

Adding your calendar to Hootsuite

Do you have your content ready and well defined? Then you can now place it in Hootsuite. Creating posts is really simple, so we won't go into much detail. However, we will quickly go through the necessary steps.

1. Getting started

To use Hootsuite, you will first have to create an account and connect to your social networks. This works with a few simple verification steps, which allow Hootsuite to post on your social media channels on your behalf.

2. Calendar overview

Once you are all set up, you can click on your calendar overview. This shows you a weekly overview, in which you can easily add your posts and see the ones you have scheduled.

hootsuite calendar

3. Creating posts

To create a post, simply click on new post '. You now get a pop-up screen, where you can choose your social media channel, post text, images or video and your preferred posting time. If you work with a team, all team members can work in the same calendar and see each other's posts too. This creates an excellent environment for collaboration.

Are all your posts scheduled? Then you have a clear overview of the content for the week. You won't have to do anything anymore, Hootsuite will share your content for you at your chosen posting times.

Need help getting started with your social media calendar?

Once your calendar is ready to go, you don't have much to worry about anymore. However, getting your calendar set up and deciding on the best content strategy for your brand can be overwhelming. Are you looking for help getting you all set up? We would love to help you out.

Feel free to contact us for a FREE strategy call or join our Social Media Gids Community. Here you can follow high class trainings to learn how to use social media to grow your business while joining the conversation with our lovely community or students and experts.

Want to post a comment? Join the conversation in our community.

  • Blogger: Francisca Zimmermann
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Social media manager & content creator at Francisca Zimmermann
  • Francisca Zimmermann is a social media expert with a background in research and a love for learning new things. She travels the world looking for beautiful places and interesting cultures, while she dives into the world of her clients to be able to write about them and their interests as a real 'insider'.
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