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Your email is overflowing, your To-Do list is atrociously long and that Google Reader is beyond full of articles you’ve been meaning to read. So, how do you fit social media marketing into this overwhelming mix of items you need to complete? Enter stage right: an editorial calendar to save some of your sanity!

No matter what social media channels you use– blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., an editorial calendar will provide you with a snapshot of your social media tactics, a schedule to keep you honest and a nice way to coordinate team social media efforts. Read on for a quick guide on how to use an editorial calendar effectively for your organization’s blogging and other social media plans.

Where to begin?

  1. Start with your social media strategy. If you haven’t already determined your social media strategy, bookmark this post and come back once you’ve laid out your plans. Your strategy should include goals, defined target audiences, which social media channels you will use, channel-specific tactics and measurement plans. If you need help with a social media marketing strategy for your organization, feel free to contact us.
  2. Download our free editorial calendar template. We’ve made this calendar using a basic social media strategy that involves blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. You can add in additional social media channels that are involved in your strategy.

 

Now, let’s talk about how an editorial calendar helps you organize your social media plans in each of these channels:

Blogging

This is where an editorial calendar is literally indispensable. If you left your blogging up to just an item on your To-Do list, it’s going to get pushed off over and over again. Not to mention, your readers will abandon you if you only post sporadically. Everyone has a lot on their plates and trimming out RSS feeds that don’t consistently offer interesting content is common.

So, use our free editorial calendar template for blogging by scheduling out your post topics and who the author is going to be (if you have multiple authors for your blog).

Now that you have your editorial calendar lined up for your blog posts, be proactive! WordPress and other blogging platforms have scheduling capabilities that can save you a lot of time. If you are working with a team, distribute the editorial calendar at least one month ahead of time so that multiple authors can plan accordingly.

Twitter

If multiple people are manning Twitter at your organization, the calendar can clearly state who’s on duty which day. We’ve also included a weekly reminder to spend some time locating additional Influencers on Twitter.

LinkedIn

Using LinkedIn for business leads is easier when you are known as an authority and resource on your industry’s topics. The editorial calendar allows you to list the author and specifics of your planned LinkedIn interactions.

Facebook

What types of actions to schedule on an editorial calendar for Facebook are going vary from industry to industry. Restaurants and retail industries usually have a greater opportunity to post something daily to users that would offer value. But, business to business industries’ social media strategy might not lend itself to daily Facebook posts. You can customize the calendar based on your specific strategy.

Monthly Tasks

  • Review Measurement Data Every month, you should sit down with your team and your analytics (you set these up, right?) and review the data. Since you defined goals and measurements in your social media strategy, you can use this to guide your monthly measurement review.
  • Review Website Content for Accuracy Click through your website monthly to see if any of your pages are out of date or could be updated. Not only will fresh content help your SEO marketing, it can also help generate some future blog post topic ideas.

How Far Out Should I Plan my Editorial Calendar?

Scheduling 1-2  months out allows for you to tweak your efforts based on what you see in your measurement reviews and gives you ample time to prepare for upcoming activities amongst your team.

How far you schedule your calendar out will depend on what your industry is and what works best for your team.

What’s your process for keeping organization to your social media efforts? Do you use an editorial calendar for blogging only? Let’s keep this discussion going in the comments!

Related Posts:

Beyond the Cocktail Party: Making Social Media Work for Your Business

An Introduction to WordPress

 

About the Author

Lisa Keller is the Director of Social Media at Moosylvania. You can follow Lisa on Twitter here.


 

Comments »

22 comments on An Editorial Calendar Template for You (and Your Sanity!)

Adam Lefever says:

This chart looks far sexier than any editorial calendar I’ve used in the past. Thanks. :)

Def. value in scheduling Twitter and Facebook since it’s so easy to be distracted by them and ultimately wasting time.

As someone who writes for about 15 blogs I would also see value in a version for a single author who manages multiple blogs/Social accounts.

September 22, 2010 @ 11:55 am


lisakeller says:

@adam– I love that you called our Editorial Calendar sexy.

For the multiple blogs, depending on how often you update them, you could either expand those calendar days or make multiple versions for each blog (if you have other authors involved this could help.) Right now, the calendar is set to print on one page if need be, so if you expand the fields, you may have to adjust that.

September 22, 2010 @ 1:31 pm


Adam Lefever says:

@lisa Cool – could also copy-and-paste additional worksheets and paste it in there and label them by the blog/network they are associated with.

September 22, 2010 @ 2:25 pm


Wendy Keneipp says:

Hi Lisa,

I responded to TLF question via Twitter the other day that I could be better at my calendar, and I’m thrilled that you’ve followed up the question with some specific ideas and a tool to use. There are great ideas that I will definitely be incorporating. Thanks for the inspiration to move from could-be-better to get-it-done!

September 23, 2010 @ 12:09 pm


lisakeller says:

Thanks Wendy! Unless I’m organized, I have a hard time getting it done. And once I put dates to things, I remove the I’ll Do It Tomorrow excuse– which is why a calendar really helps.

September 23, 2010 @ 1:21 pm


Emily says:

This is such a great idea! I have been looking for a good template and just downloading this one today. I organize all our social media, blogging and content writing efforts and helps to have a place to organize it all!

Thanks! :)

January 3, 2011 @ 4:11 pm


lisakeller says:

Thanks Emily. Glad we could help!

January 3, 2011 @ 4:22 pm


Nick says:

Great template, this is exactly what I have been looking for!

January 7, 2011 @ 8:01 am


Emily says:

This is my favorite tool! I have one for email schedules and social media involvement!

February 2, 2011 @ 3:45 pm


keri says:

This content calendar is better than some I’ve seen. Great icons and assignment integration! Thanks!! :)

February 2, 2011 @ 4:35 pm


Amber says:

Thank you for this! I’m creating an editorial calendar for a client for the first time…this is going to help immensely!

February 8, 2011 @ 8:11 am


Romona says:

Lisa, this is so-o-o helpful. To answer your questions I currently have no process for keeping organization of my social media efforts, but I just joined Hubspot to help me with this. No, I do not use an editorial calendar for blogging or any of my social media efforts, but I just downloaded your editorial calendar template, and will begin using it right away. Thanks!

May 12, 2011 @ 1:42 pm


lisakeller says:

Glad we could help Romona — and good luck with your new process. The organization will help, I promise!

May 12, 2011 @ 2:25 pm


Julie says:

What a great resource, thank you! We’ve always used planning spreadsheets for our publications and even our tactical marketing, but for some strange reason, have never done one for social media! How dumb are we? Thanks for reminding me how valuable editorial planning is.

January 7, 2012 @ 7:06 am


Sarah says:

I reckon the idea of an editorial calendar is one of the best I’m going to encounter this year and your free template is especially lovely – Thanks!

January 8, 2012 @ 12:07 pm


Alisa says:

Great tool, thank you! I am just getting into social media and making it part of my new business, this templet will help keep me on track and organized.

January 20, 2012 @ 3:10 pm


Sweet Spot Marketing says:

Thanks for the template. this was exactly what I was looking for.

February 2, 2012 @ 6:20 pm


Brand Love is a Battlefield | Moosylvania Blog says:

[...] brand. Are they liking posts? Commenting? Sharing? The best way to help this is to have a hearty editorial calendar of interesting and engaging content to keep your fans coming back. Be brutal and meticulous about [...]

May 3, 2012 @ 8:00 am


Ugur Arcan says:

Wow… For a moment I thought you were writing this post directly to me with the whole “Your email is overflowing, your To-Do list is atrociously long and that Google Reader is beyond full…” then I realized it wasn’t but it certainly helps feel not lonely :)

Great article, great tool, appreciate the work!

July 27, 2012 @ 2:38 pm


Azeza Tessereau says:

This post along with the social calendar template was just what I had been wishing for! Thank you very much!

August 30, 2012 @ 11:31 am


Temani says:

Your calendar rocks and even 2 years later, your advice is applicable. Big thank you!!!!

November 18, 2012 @ 1:45 pm


lisakeller says:

Good organization stands the test of time :) Thanks, Temani!

November 19, 2012 @ 9:53 am


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