7 Steps to a Powerful Social Media Scheduling Template

A social media scheduling template can make the busy life of a social media marketer a ton easier. No more panic-posting content that you're not excited about just so you can get something posted. No more realizing—too late—that your post has a typo. No more spending hours every day trying to decide what to post. A social media scheduling template does away with all of that, helping you plan an engaging and effective mix of content for each of your social media platforms so your message comes across the way you want it and reaches the people you need to see it.

In this article, we're going to share everything you need to know about social media scheduling templates—what they are, why you need them, and how to create your own.


7 Steps to a Powerful Social Media Scheduling Template:


What Is a Social Media Scheduling Template?

A social media scheduling template is an editorial calendar specifically for social media that you can use to plan out and schedule your posts in advance, as well as note deadlines, the content to be shared, manage campaigns, and more. There are essentially three ways to create a social media scheduling template: paper, spreadsheets, or social media scheduling tools.

No matter what method you choose to plan and schedule your social media content, there are certain things you'll want to include:


Benefits of Scheduling Social Media Content

Scheduling your content using a social media scheduling template has several benefits. In addition to saving you time and having a mechanism by which to hold your team accountable, let's take a look at some of the reasons you should be using a scheduling template.

Get Organized

Social media scheduling templates help you get and stay organized so you can avoid spending too much time each day figuring out what to post to each of your social media platforms. By creating and filling out your template, you can strategize to build a cohesive social media message that meets your goals. Plus, this frees up time each day to talk about any industry news as it occurs.

Share the Best Content for Each Platform

A plan will help you create and publish content that works for each social media platform instead of just posting the exact same content with the exact same message to every single platform you use. Remember, different segments of your audience are likely to be active on different social media platforms. When you create customized content for each platform, the ones who use multiple platforms are more likely to pay attention to your content. Further, the segments of your target audience that uses only one platform likely do so because they like the type of content that's generally posted on that platform. To get the biggest return, you'll need to be sharing the type of content they enjoy.

Build a Consistent Posting Schedule

A social media scheduling template also makes it a lot easier to create and maintain a consistent posting schedule, which is vitally important to keep your audience engaged. And, when your content is built out in this way, you'll be able to see at a glance if there are gaps in your posting or if you're including too much similar content.

Prevent Mistakes

Planning out your content ahead of time minimizes mistakes because you'll actually have time to check it for spelling and grammar errors, make sure your links are working, ensure that your images look good, and, finally, that you're including the right information.

Track Performance

When you create and publish content haphazardly, it's difficult to track the performance of your content and trends over time. When you use a social media scheduling template, you can take a look back at the content you've published and how it performed. This data will inform your strategy going forward.

Creating a Strong Social Media Posting Schedule

Managing social media—even a single account on a single platform—has a lot of moving pieces. You need to create new content, engage with your audience, and promote your content. And most social media managers actually manage multiple accounts on multiple platforms. Without a social media scheduling template for each account you manage, you'll find yourself missing things and your clients, not to mention your own business, will suffer for it.

Fortunately, building out your social media scheduling template doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, here's a simple and straightforward 7-step process:


Audit Your Social Media

Start by conducting a social media audit, so you understand where you currently stand with your different social media accounts. This means creating a list of:

  • Your current social media accounts (including the handle for each)
  • The goals for each account
  • Key demographics for each account (based on your analytics)
  • Who is responsible for maintaining the account
  • How often you're posting on each account
  • How your content is performing based on your chosen social media metrics

Conduct Competitive Analysis

After you know where your own social media stands, you'll want to take a look at what your competitors are doing to help you identify industry norms and find the gaps in your own posting. You'll want to find out:

  • What channels your competitors are using
  • How they present themselves on those platforms
  • How they measure up to social media benchmarks for your industry
  • The type of content they're creating
  • How customers respond to their content
  • The hashtags they use
  • If they're running any paid social ads

You can choose from a number of social listening tools to get this information. Otherwise, you'll need to choose your top 3–5 competitors and dig for the information manually.


Identify Your Most Important Social Media Platforms

Now that you're armed with tons of information, you can start making plans for your own social media platforms. We recommend starting by identifying the social media platforms you should be using. The good news is that you don't have to be active on every social network, just the ones where your target audience is most likely to be. Start with the 1–2 social media platforms that your target audience uses most. Once you've gotten those platforms well in hand, you can branch out to other platforms that are popular with your target audience.


Choose When and How Often to Post

Once you've decided which social media platforms you're going to focus on, you'll want to decide when and how often to post on those platforms. You may think that the best time to post is when the platforms are most active, but that may not be the case. Fortunately, there's been tons of research done into the best times to post on each social media platform, so you'll have a good place to start. After that, you'll want to play around with your posting times to see if you can get better engagement at another time. To start, though, here are the recommended days and times to post on the most popular platforms, along with how often to publish content.

Best time to post on Facebook: Monday to Thursday between 9 AM and 2 PM. Post daily.

Best time to post on Twitter: Monday to Thursday between 9 AM and 4 PM. Post at least 3 times per day.

Best time to post on Instagram: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday between 9 AM and 11 AM or 2 PM to 3 PM. Publish content at least once daily.

Best time to post on YouTube: Weekdays between 2 PM and 4 PM. Post at least weekly.

Best time to post on TikTok: Tuesday at 9 AM, Thursday at 12 AM, Friday at 5 AM. Post at least 3 times per day.

Best time to post on Instagram Reels: Tuesday at 9 AM, Thursday at 12 AM, Friday at 5 AM. Post at least 3 times per day.


Find the Right Mix of Content

There are essentially four types of content you can post on social media:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Text
  • Links

Within that, of course, there are pretty much unlimited types of social media content you can create and share. We recommend sharing a mix of content and not just posting promotional content all the time. While the ultimate goal of marketing is to generate sales, you're going to turn your audience off of your content if all you do is try to sell to them. Instead, publish a mix of educational, entertaining, and promotional content. A traditional rule of thumb is called the "rule of thirds." This means that one-third of your content is promotional, one-third is entertaining and engaging, and the final one-third is curated content that would be of interest to your followers. Some marketers use the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, in which 80% of your content is for educating, entertaining, and engaging, while the remaining 20% is promotional.

Here's what the popular social media platforms are mostly used for:

  • Facebook: Videos, live videos, blog posts, and curated content
  • Instagram: High-res photos, quotes, and Stories
  • Twitter: News
  • LinkedIn: Jobs and career information, company news, and professional content
  • Pinterest: Infographics and photo guides
  • YouTube and IGTV: Long-form video content
  • TikTok and Instagram Reels: Short-form video content

No matter what you choose, be sure that you're adding value to your followers, so they keep coming back for more.


Fill Out Your Social Media Scheduling Template

Next, it's time to fill out your social media scheduling template. While you can write this out on paper or use a spreadsheet to track the information, we love the social media scheduling templates offered by:

 HubSpot

Services Offered: Analytics, Automated Publishing, Content Management, Multi-Account Management, Post Scheduling, Customer Engagement, Multi-User Collaboration, Reporting/Analytics, Social Media Monitoring

Channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube

HubSpot has a full CRM as well as Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub software. Social media management is a big draw for the platform. HubSpot lets you publish, monitor, and report on your social posts so you can understand which posts and channels drive leads and sales.

CoSchedule

Services Offered: Analytics, Automated Publishing, Content Management, Multi-Account Management, Post Scheduling, Customer Engagement, Multi-User Collaboration, Reporting/Analytics, Social Media Monitoring

Channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr

CoSchedule is perfect for businesses of all sizes, but it's particularly useful for organizations that run a blog or some other frequently-changing website. CoSchedule's Marketing Suite includes a content organizer, work organizer, social organizer, and asset organizer.


Define Success

Before you start implementing your social media scheduling template, you need to complete one last step: defining what success means to you. While vanity metrics make you feel good, it's important to focus on metrics that are really going to make a difference to your business. Establishing the metrics that you're going to use will help you meet your social media marketing goals and make changes to your strategy if you're not on target for those goals. Social media reach and engagement are two very important things to look at, as well as the social media benchmarks we've linked to earlier in this article.


Achieve Success With a Social Media Scheduling Template

That's it! You've successfully planned and built out your social media scheduling template. Now it's time to implement. Hopefully, this article has shown you that, while social media marketing has tons of moving pieces, creating a plan makes it much more manageable.

Over 103,254 Creators get access to MAKEABLE - our weekly newsletter

Stay up to date with all things Creator focused. We cover the best new tools & platforms to help you succeed. Success stories from other creators. Receive exclusive content you won't find anywhere else other than our Creator newsletter.