How to Create A Social Media Content Calendar

January 22, 2020Content Marketing, Social Media, How To

By Marilyn Heywood Paige

Organizing and scheduling your social media content can be chaotic or calming. It all depends on your approach. Here, we explain how to take control of your content calendar and plan it like a pro. 

  • Use A Spreadsheet

    First, open a spreadsheet and label the columns as follows:

    article image

The post date is the day the post will appear.
The topic area refers to the topics you’ve identified as important to your audience in their path to purchase.
Copy on graphic refers to the words on the post’s image. (If you’re linking to an article that’s on the web, you won’t need to create an image. The link will pull an image from the source URL for your post.) 


Your body copy is the text that accompanies the graphic. It should explain more details and include @mentions and hashtags.

The link/source column is where you add the URL for the posts that include a link to an article on another website.

Below, we walk you through each of these column headings in more detail and give you some tips and best practices.

Posting Date

In general, post on social media at least three times a week, every week. Depending on your industry and audience, you may want to post more frequently— up to several times per day. 

Topic Area

If you’ve done your homework and mapped out a content strategy, then you already know which topics are most important to your audience. 
Correlate your topic area to where people are in their path to purchase. What information are they looking for at each stage of their journey? Put it in front of them. If your audience has more questions at the beginning of their journey, then you may want a higher percentage of your posts to answer those types of questions. If there are fewer or perhaps more complicated questions in the middle of their path to purchase, however, you might devote fewer posts to these topics--or maybe more. It all depends on the audience you are talking to and the level of complexity you need to convey. 
Keep in mind that your social media must never be too “sale-sy.” Don’t use it just to talk about your offers, sales, and how great you are. (Even if you are pretty darn fabulous.) Think of it as a social conversation with give-and-take. As a rule of thumb, less than 10% of your posts should be about what you’re selling. (That percentage will vary given your industry and audiences.) 

Copy On Graphic

Just like an email subject, the text on your social media graphic should be relevant and interesting to your audience so that it grabs their attention. Photos attract eyeballs, but compelling copy can also make someone sit up and stop scrolling. Treat this copy like a newspaper headline. 

Body Copy

This is the copy that goes above or below the graphic (depending on the social platform). It explains your point. Use this space to convey your expertise, answer questions, offer best practices, and tips. Employ your customers’ own words here, no marketing-speak or industry jargon. And always, always double-check your spelling and grammar. 


Link to particular pages on your website or to articles on other websites that your audience will find useful. Links to outside-expert sources give you more credibility as it shows that you are a connoisseur of knowledge in your field; you know where to find the best resources. Curating content is valuable to your audience because it saves them time and brain-power. They won’t have to devote time to find the best article on their search topic. You’ve already done it for them. 

Your Completed Content Calendar

Your finished content calendar might look like this:


A spreadsheet like this will help you be more strategic and deliberate in your posting efforts. It will keep your topics focused on the needs of your target markets and get you better traction with your social media efforts. 

Need A Social Media Strategy?

We can help you determine your target audiences, the messages that will resonate with them, and the best delivery channels in which to reach them. Contact us.

Follow Paige Black On Social Media