social media calendar / how to plan a social media content calendar

How to plan a social media content calendar

. 4 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
How to plan a social media content calendar

Often, the question that is dominant in our minds is this - What should I post next on social media?

A pre-planned content calendar can help you tackle this distracting problem. Research indicates that companies publishing in excess of 16 posts a month generate 3.5 times more traffic than those that publish less than 4. Now, obviously it takes both time and effort to generate as many as 16 properly researched and well-written pieces of content. In fact, it is impossible to do so without a content strategy in place. That’s where a social media content calendar steps in to make life easier.

Strangely, further data indicates that almost 63% of businesses do not have a content strategy and do things on the fly. But growth can only be continuous by careful planning and a social media content calendar is essential today for all social platforms, including Instagram.

What is a social media content calendar?

It is basically a calendar as the name suggests and is used to organise and schedule content across social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, and more.

How to create a content calendar?

  • You can do it the traditional way, using a pen and paper. This is more like a physical planner or printed calendar.
  • You can use Excel spreadsheets or Google Sheets. This is a nice way to go about things.
  • Using social media management tools for advanced social media needs. This is more of a professional approach.

The first option listed above is more of a traditional approach. It is just putting your ideas down on paper as you might have to change your content plan in the evolving world we live in. Then, the entire paper might look messy as you cross things out and rewrite them. However, with the second option, your content plans can be managed digitally using Google or Excel Sheets and your calendar is easily sharable with your team.

The need for a social media content calendar

A social media content calendar is needed to plan and schedule your content well in advance. With deadlines in place, you know exactly when what content should be created and when and where it should be published.

Contents of a social media content calendar

Here are the 5 key pillar elements for an effective content calendar:

1. The headline is important

Crafting a relevant headline is imperative if you want your audience to read your content. In the initial stages of content planning and development, you can have working titles on your content calendar. But ensure that you think of having proper headlines. Before you know it, your deadlines will be knocking on your door and you won’t have those headlines.

2. Pick the best publish dates

Set realistic dates on your content calendar and stick to a proper plan. Give yourself proper time to get your content up and ready. It’s better to finish ahead of time rather than miss a deadline.

3. Plan a proper content mix

According to Cisco, video traffic will account for more than 82% of all business and consumer traffic by 2022. Similarly, infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than any other type of content. It is therefore, sensible to use a context mix to have your audience hooked in times that are changing rapidly. What might be in vogue today might not be next month. So, have variation in your content plan by including long-form content, short-form content, visual content, webinars, podcasts, e-books, and presentations.

4. Assign tracking codes

Keep a tab on your content creation on your calendar. Use different labels to track your content, such as work in progress, complete, proofreading, scheduled, and approved. Use colours for the different stages of creation for the team to identify easily and remove bottlenecks instantly.

5. Delegate tasks to team members

Contrary to popular belief, it is teamwork that makes all content come to life and it is not dependent on any one person. To ensure that the content is finished and published within the deadline imposed, the tasks must be delegated properly to all team members. To illustrate the point, if a blog has to be created and has to be published on a website within a week, the following team members need to be put into action immediately.

  • A specialist to search for ranking keywords
  • A writer to write the blog
  • A proof-reader/editor to edit the content and make it error-free
  • A front-end developer who'll take up the publishing responsibility
  • A copywriter to create a catchy caption along with a CTA to get the audiences' attention
  • A graphic designer who will create relevant visuals
  • A social media manager to schedule and monitor the post on all major social media platforms

Creating content is fun, but unless there is a method and proper planning, it won’t work wonders. Unless your content is aligned with your overall marketing and branding strategy, it’s not worthwhile. For that to happen, all you need is a comprehensive and itemized social media content calendar to add consistency to your schedule.


  1. What is a content calendar for social media?                                              A social media content calendar is an organised and scheduled plan for your social media posting spread out across all the dates in a calendar. It is an important tool to plan your marketing strategy on social media in advance.
  2. What should a social media plan include?
  • The baseline metrics.
  • Competitor benchmarks.
  • Goals and objectives.
  • Naming strategy.
  • Staffing plan.
  • Content calendar.
  • Partner integration.
  • The ideas!

3. How do I manage my content calendar?

  • Create a strategy.
  • Document it.
  • Let everyone on your content team know about it.
  • Work according to your plan.

4. What is a content calendar for Instagram?             Creating an Instagram content calendar ahead of time helps you to plan out your posts in advance, and allows you to post more often.