In this blog I'm going to share with you my tips on how to create a 12-month social media content plan calendar.
Content is the fuel that ignites conversations right across the social web.
Without content we're not going to trigger conversations.
Without content we're not going to get our marketing conversions.
Always start out when you're planning your 12-month content plan about the pillar messages that are a priority for your organisation over the next 12 months.
That's the very first place to start.
Of course any content plan should align with the corporate and the communication goals of your agency.
The next thing that we want to think about is the audience.
So how do those public services align with the target audiences that you're trying to reach?
With content it's very important to understand the hopes, the desires, the dreams, the aspirations, the emotional triggers, the fears, the confusion of those audience segments around all of those polar messages. Click To Tweet
So you really have to deep dive into the emotional thought process of your target audience. Because really we're starting off from the citizen at the center of the content, because it's the citizen that we want to have the conversation with.
And that's why social listening plays such an important role in developing your content strategy and even in terms of developing your campaigns.
So when I'm creating content strategies for my clients or whether I'm teaching my students how to create it for their public sector or government agency, there are four key calendars that we work on.
The first one that we work on is the 12 month calendar.
Having an aerial view of what's going to happen over the next year.
That kind of takes away the overwhelm.
After that 12-month calendar and thinking about each month and what the priority topics are, we then break it down into quarters.
So quarters, we go into the detail, we go into the detail of the topic, we go into the detail of the messaging within that topic.
We identify the target audiences and we also identify the subject matter experts or the spokespersons that will provide the content for us.
So we do that month by month.
Also within the quarterly content calendar we think about campaigns.
A campaign has a start and an end date, it might be a four-week campaign, a six-week campaign or even a two-week campaign.
So apart from campaigns, we have 'always on' social content, that is continuously building brand awareness, but it should be bringing people through the funnel, starting at awareness, engagement and then conversation or indeed conversion.
So moving from quarterly, then we are thinking about monthly.
Monthly we're deep diving into the content format, have we got video, have we audio, have we long form text, do we need to repurpose it then into graphics, into audiograms, into short soundbite video for social media.
So what you're doing then is you've understood the topics, the spokespersons from the quarterly content calendar, then we go into monthly and we're slotting it in in terms of time frames.
The final calendar then that you need to create is your weekly calendar.
What are we publishing week on week?
My rule and my framework suggests that 70% of your content should be planned, with 30% for real time.
Obviously during a global pandemic that might shift the balance to 60/40 or indeed 50/50.
But very much if you're engaging in social listening, if you really understand your target audiences, you should be able to plan your content.
So there you have it that is the 12 month social media content calendar.
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