Organizing content to keep you on track
Keeping the message on target and timely is one of the biggest challenges I hear from community managers. How do you keep the content flowing in a way that makes sense to the community? Is there a way to make the creation of content less painful than donating a kidney when it’s time to post an update?
Take a note from this former journalist’s toolbox and build yourself an editorial calendar.
How an editorial calendar can work for you
Social media is my business and I spend a lot of time in this playground. But maybe you’re using social media as a tool to help you sell more of whatever you sell. An editorial calendar will help you make your efforts on social media (and your blog) more efficient. And give you more time selling.
No one can argue with how social media is the warm handshake for businesses, helping you create and nurture relationships in the virtual world. But sharing content in a streamlined, methodical way will help your communities learn more about your business in bite-sized, digestible portions. It makes your life easier and it makes it easier for people to understand your reason for being.
Think of your editorial calendar the same way an editor of a magazine does. If you’re publishing a travel magazine, for example, sharing stories of the Caribbean in July would be foolish. Unless your magazine is only about the Caribbean, you should save those stories for the fall and winter when you know people are researching destinations online. While your business might not follow the sun like a travel business does, you can still create themes in your social media and blog to organize and dispense content.
The editorial K.I.S.S policy
Your editorial calendar doesn’t have to be anything flashy – but it does have to make your life easier. My editorial calendar follows these rules:
- One year per tab – this will allow you to have historical perspective year over year.
- NEVER delete anything – never! Seriously, you can move it or hide it or make notes about it but don’t delete it.
- Make notes below each month on successes and failures – and add comments if needed to help you remember. You will forget.
- Add links to your posts if that helps – anything to jog your memory.
And lastly, use it. The calendar will save you time (and a lot of angst) but you have to use it for it to work.
If you’d like to steal my editorial calendar, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. No strings attached – I’m more than happy to share. The only thing I ask is that you share your feedback with me. Tell me how it’s working for you. Share any improvements you make along the way so we can help others.