When you’re creating a content calendar, deciding on your content planning tool is the easy part. Plus, you have the format all laid out for you within the tool or if you’re using something like Google Sheets, you can even use free content calendar templates and customize them as you need. The challenge begins when you start to fill out your content calendar.
What items will you add to your calendar? How will you align those items to your content strategy? For your blog content calendar, you may not face this struggle since you just need to fill it up with topic ideas. But the biggest challenge is with your social media content calendar. You can’t keep posting photos of your products or sharing links to your blog posts or you’ll end up boring your followers.
In this post, we’ve put together some of the best content calendar ideas that you can use for your social media content strategy. Let’s take a look.
17 Content Calendar Ideas to Fill Up Your Publishing Schedule:
- 1: Ask a Question
- 2: Answer a Frequently Asked Question
- 3: Provide a Bite-Sized Tip
- 4: Share a Short How-to Video
- 5: Share a Short Demo Video
- 6: Post about a Trending Topic
- 7: Share a Customer Testimonial Quote
- 8: Post a Before-and-After Photo
- 9: Share a Fan Photo
- 10: Put Employees in the Spotlight
- 11: Promote a Contest or Giveaway
- 12: Conduct a Poll
- 13: Create a Day-in-the-Life-of Post
- 14: Share an Interesting Stat
- 15: Post a Relatable Quote/Message
- 16: Share a Fun Meme
- 17: Fill Up Spaces with Breaking News
1: Ask a Question
One of the best ways to drive engagement on social media is by creating opportunities for your audience to interact with your posts. And you can do that by asking questions that would make them want to join in on the conversation.
Add a slot in your calendar for questions that your audience would be interested in. This could be anything from industry-related topics like what their favorite SEO tool is or more personal questions like how they like to start their day.
Keep in mind that your question doesn’t necessarily have to be a question. You could also ask people to share their thoughts, experiences, and opinions without framing it as a question. See how Oculus asked followers to share their weird dreams after playing VR.
Tell us the weirdest dream you’ve ever had after playing tons of VR 😴 💭 https://t.co/wpJ95OyuTq
— Oculus (@oculus) January 11, 2022
2: Answer a Frequently Asked Question
In addition to asking questions, you should also take the time to answer questions yourself. This is a great way to inform your audience and show them that you’re listening to them. Set aside a slot in your content calendar for an opportunity to answer frequently asked questions from your audience. You could turn the answer into a post or share it as a Story (which you can then add to your FAQ Highlights).
TruEarth answered an FAQ and turned it into an original graphic to post on Instagram.
3: Provide a Bite-Sized Tip
If you want people to follow you on social media, give them a reason to. That means posting content that adds value such as tips and tricks that they can use in their everyday lives or in their professions. Your content calendar should have room for tips that your audience will find valuable.
But since social media is fast-paced and highly visual in nature, keep it brief. Quick, bite-sized tips are the perfect way to keep your audience engaged and interested. This visual guide on meat storage times from Jordan Hartley Health is an excellent example.
4: Share a Short How-to Video
How-to videos are another effective option for content that adds value. With the ability to engage audiences and incite a strong emotional response, video marketing continues to grow in popularity. You can make the most of it by setting aside a slot in your content calendar for middle-of-the-funnel content like how-to videos that could nurture your followers and eventually turn them into customers.
Remember to keep it short and sweet to align with the limited attention span of the average social media user. For example, the #InALightroomMinute video series from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom features 1-minute video clips from experts who share tips on how to make the most of the photo editing tool.
New to Super Resolution? Need a refresher?
Learn the basics super fast ⚡️ with Yuto Yamada’s new #InALightroomMinute! pic.twitter.com/sSwiCRMrNu
— Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (@Lightroom) December 8, 2021
5: Share a Short Demo Video
Another type of video to include in your content calendar is a demo video. This is the perfect content type for attracting customers who are still at the top of the funnel. And it’s a must-have in your calendar if you’re releasing a new product or service.
For example, OnePlus shared a short demo video to reveal the two color variants of the OnePlus 10 Pro a few days before the phone launched. This helped to build anticipation while providing the audience with an idea of what to expect.
Meet the two stunning color variants of the #OnePlus10Pro - Volcanic Black and Emerald Forest. Which is your favorite?
— OnePlus (@oneplus) January 4, 2022
6: Post about a Trending Topic
Consistency pays off in the long run, but you also need to leverage trending topics to gain more visibility on social media. Engaging in trending conversations can help you get noticed and possibly attract potential followers as people who notice your posts check out your profile.
Mark a slot in your content calendar to post about trending topics every now and then. But be careful to avoid trend abuse. Make sure your content is relevant to the topic at hand and that it complies with the platform-specific guidelines.
If there are no relevant trending topics to participate in, you could even tap into major moments and create content about current events and celebrations. Even something as simple as #NationalBaconDay could make for a fun and timely post.
7: Share a Customer Testimonial Quote
When it comes to building trust through social media, customer testimonials speak volumes. Plan your content calendar so that you regularly share quotes from your customer testimonials. This is a great way to show social proof and give people the confidence to trust your words based on what your customers are saying.
Ideally, you should create an original graphic highlighting a snippet of the testimonial or review. Including real customer photos and names further adds credibility.
8: Post a Before-and-After Photo
Another type of social proof is before-and-after photos. This is the perfect content calendar idea for brands that sell products or services that deliver a visible difference. For example, fitness trainers, skincare brands, and decorators could benefit from this type of content.
Use your content calendar to create a regular schedule for posting before-and-after photos. You could share them weekly or every fortnight – whatever the frequency is, it should be at regular intervals for the sake of consistency.
Frank Body has leveraged before-and-after photos of real customers to show that their products really work. The images are unedited but high-quality, clearly depicting the difference that their products have made.
9: Share a Fan Photo
Creating a loyal community of followers is all about knowing how to make your audience feel important. And sharing their photos is a great way to make your audience feel recognized. This also helps to show how your product looks or is used in real life, further helping you to win the trust of potential customers.
Use your content calendar to create a weekly schedule for sharing fan photos. You could even share these photos to your Stories and then add them to your Highlights for new followers who want to see some in-real-life (IRL) images of your products.
This is the exact reason why active-wear brands like Fabletics have managed to garner a strong community of followers on social media. The brand regularly shares photos of real people wearing their clothing on both Twitter and Instagram.
Positively dangerous @SophiaTassew 🔥 https://t.co/v3bkxTw0PV
— Fabletics (@Fabletics) January 11, 2022
10: Put Employees in the Spotlight
Employee advocacy programs are big among brands that are serious about building a strong community. That’s why you should leverage social media to regularly share employee stories and put them in the spotlight. This not only shows that you recognize the people behind your company, but it also helps your audience see the human faces behind the brand.
Plan your content calendar so that you have an employee spotlight post at least once a month. The frequency can be adjusted as you see fit but more is definitely better than less.
Florida Paints have weekly employee spotlight posts scheduled, where they share fun facts about each employee. They also include each employee’s favorite Florida Paints product.
11: Promote a Contest or Giveaway
The chance to win free stuff can be a very good motivator for people to engage with your brand on social media. And the more they engage with your content, the better your visibility. So make room in your calendar to host the occasional contest or giveaway that would entice people to like, comment on, and share your posts.
Funko uses giveaway contests to win more followers on Twitter. They regularly offer a chance to win free Funko Pop figures to people who follow the brand and Retweet them.
RT and follow @OriginalFunko for the chance to WIN a 2021 FunKon exclusive Dungeons & Dragons Xanathar (with D20) Pop! #Funko #FunkoPop #Giveaway #DnD @Wizards_DnD pic.twitter.com/AWCqK7CByf
— Funko (@OriginalFunko) January 13, 2022
12: Conduct a Poll
There are two benefits of conducting a poll on social media – you get to know your audience better and you create an opportunity for followers to engage. To top it all off, polls can be completely random and fun. So they make a great addition to your content calendar, especially to fill up your feed when you have nothing else to post.
Set aside a slot to create interesting and fun polls that people would want to engage in. For example, REI conducted a poll to ask about their followers’ favorite outdoor workouts. This fits because the brand sells outdoor gear.
What’s your favorite outdoor workout?
— REI (@REI) January 5, 2022
13: Create a Day-in-the-Life-of Post
If you want to use social media to create a strong employer brand or humanize your company, day-in-the-life posts are a great way to shine a spotlight on the people behind your business. Use your content calendar to plan out days in which you share anecdotes of people working certain roles in your organization.
This can help potential employees understand what’s in store while giving customers more insight into how your business operates. For content creators, this is an opportunity to share some information about how they spend the day and how they typically create content.
Style Seat shared a day-in-the-life video of a hairstylist who uses their marketplace to book clients.
Day in the life of #styleseatpro @prettypleaselisa ✂️#styleseat #hairstylistlife #dayinthelife
— StyleSeat (@StyleSeat) January 13, 2022
14: Share an Interesting Stat
As they provide factual information, interesting stats can engage your audience and even get them to share your posts. If the stats are coming from your original study, you could even use them to drive traffic to your site and increase downloads for the report.
Plan a schedule in your content calendar to share an interesting stat on a regular basis. This could help you establish a name in your industry as people begin to look at you as an authoritative source of information.
Moosend used LinkedIn to share a few interesting stats related to email marketing. In addition to highlighting the key numbers in a visual format, they linked to a blog post that provided more in-depth information.
15: Post a Relatable Quote/Message
When people can relate to your brand, there’s a better chance that they’ll grow to like you and remain loyal to you. So make the most of social media posts to share messages and quotes that your audience can relate to. Your content calendar can help you ensure that you’re frequently creating relatable posts that align with your brand personality.
The BarkBox Twitter feed is filled with funny Tweets that describe the joys and struggles of being a pet parent – Tweets that are highly relatable for the brand’s followers.
Me: closely observing my dog’s every move so I can mine her behavior for a funny tweet
My dog: 👀
— BarkBox (@barkbox) January 11, 2022
16: Share a Fun Meme
Memes are another great way to relate to your audience and entertain them. If it fits with your brand personality, sharing memes regularly can help you engage and grow your community. So your content calendar should have space for plenty of memes related to your industry or brand.
Take a page from the Cult Beauty Instagram, where they regularly share relatable memes to entertain followers and promote sales.
17: Fill Up Spaces with Breaking News
If you still have room in your content calendar, you could fill up those empty spaces with opportunities to talk about breaking news. Participating in conversations about the latest news stories can help your brand stay relevant and engage social media users while their attention is focused on a particular topic.
Start Filling out Your Content Calendar
Now that you have some excellent content calendar ideas, it’s time to put these ideas to work. Use them as a guide to execute your content strategy and create high-quality content to grow your brand. These ideas should help you fill out your content calendar and make sure that you never run out of things to post.