There’s an old saying in Community Manager circles that ‘content is king’. Creating and nurturing a successful community falls down to a number of factors, but one of the most important is the posting of appropriate content that the community can engage with. There are a few different ways to approach content. You decide what types of content (be they pictures, links, text etc) resonate with your fans and then post the hell out of it. But before all of that it’s best to start a content calendar.

So what is a content calendar? Well the name should give you a pretty good idea. A content calendar is essentially a calendar year which shows what content you will be posting. End of blog post. Done. Finito.

Errr well there’s a bit more to it than that.

A content calendar is essentially your week/month/year worth of content, social media strategy and direction all written out. This ranges from the daily posts, to the guest blogs, to the direction that you want the social media posts to take. You are also able to make notes of key dates and to structure your content around it in order to produce some truly engaging posts.

EXAMPLE: You work for a chocolate company that is attempting to branch out into social media. Your content calendar will include daily posts about chocolate, pictures of  chocolate sculptures, secret tips and tricks to chocolate etc but come Easter you will focus on the holiday that is most associated with your product: chocolate. The community will consist primarily of chocophiles and will appreciate all of the daily posts about chocolate but will also get excited around Easter when eating excessive amounts of chocolate is the norm. 

Every brand needs a good content calendar. If you’re working in multiple teams (the norm for larger companies) then they’re especially important. By having a content calendar you’re able to ensure that everyone in the team stays on the same page in regards to what should be posted. You also ensure that your posts remain varied. Whilst creating new and engaging content is always difficult the content calendar ensures that you don’t overpost in a particular category (i.e. more links and pictures than text and video). By writing everything down in an easy to understand calendar you’re able to observe your entire social media strategy from 20,000 feet. This means that you will be able to plan better content for your customers and your brand.

Content calendars also allow you to commemorate not just holidays but also highlight your own community. You could have a member of the month, newcomer of the month, recognise the birthdays of your community members and more. You will also be able to set aside a bloc of normal posting in order to concentrate on a particular event or competition. This means that you will be able to get your community revved up for whatever it is you’re promoting.

It’s easy to dive head first into Community Management. You start off by posting half a dozen different links and simply go from there. It’s how a lot of people do it. But taking the time to create a well planned and structured content calendar means that there will be some method to your madness. Your chaos will be ordered and you will be able to display to your superiors exactly what the strategy for the next quarter is. This will show you to be a productive worker, forward thinker and someone who can show the science behind Community Management. Trust me….you’ll impress the hell out of everyone.