Social Media Content Planning Essentials

Illustration by VectorMine via Dribbble

Planning posts for social media is not a simple task. Luckily, there are multiple resources to plan and organize your content. There are both physical and digital programs available. I’ll cover planning programs/templates, post preparation, and how to publish your final content.

There are endless means of organization to best plan your content for social media. Here is how to achieve your posting goals.

Planning Programs

There is certainly no shortage of online planning programs. These are the top rated programs available. This list includes both free programs, and programs with pricing plans.

Social Media Content Planning Essentials
Illustration by VectorMine via Dribbble

#1. Google Calendar

This program is available on most, if not all devices. Google calendar is minimalistic and easy to use. It’s a great app in order for users to plan posting times so they don’t forget.

If you have a gmail account, you’ll be able to immediately access this program with no hassle. Google Calendar is also free! If all you are looking for is just a plain calendar, then google has you covered!

#2. Loomly

If you love inspiration, Loomly is for you! Loomly is a calendar app that goes above and beyond. It provides you with refreshing ideas for your content so you don’t lose inspiration. Loomly also allows you to plan and manage your content in one organized place. This program is great for individual content creators.

#3. Trello

Here is a free program that is focused on organizing within a team. This is perfect for any size of group, and helps everyone stay on task. Trello includes assignment cards you can give to certain team members.

You can organize collective tasks in boards, and create lists for everything that needs to be done. Basically, Trello keeps everyone on the same page, and makes working as a team less stressful.

#4. Evernote

For any fans of note taking, Evernote is a great selection. It allows you to write simple notes in a schedule format. There are also different logs on Evernote as well. You can choose yearly, monthly, weekly, or hourly logs.

Evernote also has a wonderful feature called “Web Clipper extension” so you can save links for later. This program is simple, but provides lots of features to help you plan thoroughly. There is a free plan, but there are personal, professional, and team plans available!

Depending on the plan you choose, you can possibly have these other striking features: offline access, receipt and note scanner, note syncing, and connection to your slack team (used for work groups). If you love what Evernote provides, you can sign up for the 14 day trial and see how it goes!

#5. Hubspot Editorial Content Calendar Template

This template is quite popular, and is most often used for social media marketing. Hubspot includes these three key features: editorial calendar sheet, customizable templates, and adjustable columns.

The Hubspot template is a fantastic way to plan posts for blogging, social media, and business teams. If you love being able to customize, Hubspot is a great planning option for you. Despite the incredible features, Hubspot is surprisingly free!

#6. Hootsuite

Here is one of the more innovative applications on this list. With Hootsuite, you can curate and publish your content all in one place. The social publishing feature allows you to post exactly when you want to publish content.

This program is a super force and extremely convenient. Even when you are not on the app, there is an option to make content to publish with Hootsuite on other applications. You can post to Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram and more because of the social publishing feature.

Hootsuite also includes built-in planning and team features. It is to be noted that Hootsuite isn’t free, but plans are still somewhat affordable. Hootsuite plans include: professional plan for $19 a month, team plan for $99 a month, business plan for $599 a month, and an enterprise plan with varying prices.

The team and business plan are set at a steep price, but can be a great investment that will help increase productivity of company employees. If those plans don’t fit your budget or needs, then the professional plan might be better for you.

Due to Hootsuite’s unique benefits, it’s easy to see you will be paying for how well the functions can perform. Hootsuite is more targeted towards those who want quick and easy posting.

#7. Agorapulse

Similarly to many of the other programs, Agorapulse is great for planning team assignments. There is a basic plan that only offers an option to schedule posts.

Most users suggest getting the professional or premium membership to access a unified calendar and more organization tools. If you are unsure if you’ll like this site, but are intrigued by it’s features, there is a 30 day trial.

#8. Pablo Buffer

Pablo Buffer is incredible! All for free, you can create posts, customize, use captions, and most importantly store up to 600k images! If you are on a budget, Pablo Buffer offers exceptional features at no cost. This site is great for social creator begginers.

#9. SproutSocial

Just like Hootsuite, SproutSocial has the option of posting content directly from the site. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are just a few sites you can automatically post to by using SproutSocial.

SproutSocial has a lovely feature where you can add notes to certain posts to track your progress, and overall success. The direct posting feature is quite powerful, thus, SproutSocial also has high pricing. Plans for this site include: standard plan for $89 a month, professional for $149 a month, and lastly advanced for $249 a month.

There is a 30 day trial if you want to check out what SproutSocial is like. If you have the budget and want more advanced tools for your business/platform, I believe a SproutSocial subscription could be useful.

Advanced features of the plans include things like: multiple social profiles, paid social reporting and automated link tracking. SproutSocial is definitely a planning tool meant for larger teams and corporations.

#10. Jotform Social Media Calendar

Last but not least is the Jotform Social Media Calendar. For each of your posts you can enter the social media channel, category of content, publish time, and attachments.

Jotform is simple, but lets you plan detailed posts. You can also, of course collaborate with others using Jotform. Most importantly this Calendar is free, and there are quite a few template options to choose from!

While many prefer online planners, you can also set up posts offline.

Physical Planners

If you prefer to plan offline, there are still many great options available. Yearly planner books, paper calendars, notepads, and whiteboards are some of the physical options. I recommend getting a planner that has everything you need so you can get a proper use out of it.

I covered all of the best planning programs out there. Your next step is to pick a program, and prepare a post using the applications features.

Post Preparation

Post Preparation
Illustration by M Wildan Cahya Syarief via Dribbble

#1. Selecting Your Program

Out of the ten programs, there should be at least one that you would use. If not, there are thousands of free templates online. In order to select your program, you have to be aware of what exactly you are looking for.

Before you search, write a list of the features, pricing plans, setup, appearance, benefits, and posting abilities that you want. Further research your top selections, and compare them with your list. Through the process of elimination, you should be able to select your program.

#2. Begin Planning

It’s important to plan your initial posts to truly test out your online social media content planner. Sign up for any free trials, and truly see if you like the application. If you don’t enjoy the program, you can always switch later on. Once you are satisfied with a planner, you can begin creating posts. The planner will guide you to stay up to date with all upcoming posts.

#3. Extra Sources

There are unlimited sources available to curate high quality content. Along with planners, there are other creation tools that can be utilized to enhance your content. Instagram stories offer limitless customization, and are great for advertising.

The graphic design app called “Canva” has a wonderful free option. With Canva you can create endless amounts of show stopping graphics to post. These two options are highly popular, but most social media platforms and creation apps contain an abundance of useful tools. Don’t ignore the extra sources out there because they can easily improve your content.

Importance of Organization

Organization is highly important because it leads to achieving success. Without proper planning, creators often do poorly. In order to be successful, finding a way to plan and create content is essential.

All of the platforms mentioned are incredible at helping creators become organized. It is rare to do well when you post randomly. Many platforms have algorithms that require users to post regularly in order to have positive results.

It is worth your time to discover a planning platform that will boost your creator potential. Preparation is the key to become a master at publishing successful content.

About the Author!

Business analyst and writer Jenny Williams works for several writing sites such as LastMinuteWriting Thesis writing service and Research papers UK. She also write for Writinity blog.

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