How To: Develop a Social Media Calendar

This week, we’ll be addressing simple ways to develop a social media calendar for a small business or nonprofit. With a little bit of insight and creativity, a compelling social media campaign is just a few steps away!

1. Give the People What They Want

To begin, consider your current social media profiles and how users interact with them.* When you post a photo of behind-the-scenes activity, does it receive more “likes” than other posts? Do your followers respond most when you post interesting articles about your industry, deals and discounts, or ways to get involved? Do people respond to posts that are humorous, serious, entertaining, or informative on your page? Basically, analyze your audience to determine what they want to hear. Be sure to stick to topics and posts that make sense for your page. i.e. If you run a small, local bakery Facebook page, commenting on the latest celebrity gossip may not be the best strategy to see a Return on Investment even if that topic gets a lot of “likes.”
This is the simplest (but often overlooked) tool in social media marketing.

2. [Lightly] Sprinkle In What You Want to Tell Them

If you think about your interaction with organizations and businesses on Facebook and Twitter, you probably stop paying attention if they are constantly bombarding you with requests to “Buy this new thing,” “Take advantage of this deal,” and “Come in for our sale.” To get your followers to hear you when you make a request like that, you’ll need to limit the amount of Calls to Action (CTAs) to at least the classic 80/20 marketing rule. Give the people 80% what they want to hear and 20% what you want to tell them. This classic marketing tool is a way to engage your audience by building up a following of people who are engaged in your content and more likely to respond on those occasions when you do have a request.

 3. Use a Scheduling Tool

In a previous post, we covered free social media scheduling tools. Whatever method you choose as your scheduler, as a small business owner or nonprofit leader, consistent messaging is crucial and the best way to ensure you don’t fall of the face of the social-media-earth is to use one scheduling tools. You can tinker with time of day, types of posts, and other content to find your maximum impact. Web Design by Sarah is mostly followed by friends and networking contacts, so my scheduling schema is heavy on my personal experience as a small business owner, and looks like this:

Social Media Schema

I just stick to these ratios and, if something seems to be gaining or losing traction, I can easily see that and switch up my posts and/or ratios. For example, for every 10 posts I schedule, 1 is informational, 2 are tips and tricks, etc. 

4. Create an Actual Calendar

Social Media Calendar

This is the easiest part! When you’ve done all of your homework and have a direction and strategy in mind for your social media profiles, creating a Google, Outlook, or hand-written  calendar is the final step in which you map out your posts based the research you’ve done.

All in all, creating a social media calendar isn’t complicated, but it does take some time, brain power, and commitment to really make a substantial impact on your business or nonprofit’s success.

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*If you don’t have any social media profiles currently or you’ve just started using them, find other organizations or business that are similar to yours and analyze their data. Most likely, this will be a good jumping off point until you have collected your own feedback.

Sarah Matlock
Owner, Web Design by Sarah
Sarah is the founder and sole proprietor of a small web design business in Indianapolis, IN. She works primarily with local nonprofits and small business in need of web services, like website design or social media management, at affordable rates for those smaller budgets.


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