Social media marketing must be done with careful planning and it’s important to have good direction.
Planning out your activity will help you reach your marketing goals and while your goals are vital to your success, without them, you could set yourself up to fail.
Most marketers know that social media is integral to reaching the right target audience.
Organizing your social media activity is the planning side so when you’re looking at your activity, set it out so it’s clear and gives you direction and purpose.
In this piece, we’re going to discuss how to plan your social media content calendar using some very useful tools that you can utilize across all of your social media platforms.
Useful Social Media Content Calendar Templates
There are a wealth of useful social media planning tools available online that give you a great starting point, we’re going to go through some of the best social media content calendar templates available online.
Simply download them to get to grips with what they offer and choose the one that you think will work for your needs.
1. HubSpot’s Template
This downloadable social media content calendar template is ideal for adept Excel users, and you can access it here, plus, it’s free to use.
For marketers familiar with Excel, it’s a useful, multifaceted calendar that’s ideal for all of your social media planning and organization.
You can customize it to match perfectly with your business needs and prioritize your activity. Plan out each social media post and use the spreadsheet for monthly activities, including key events such as holidays, partnerships, and your own business or brand events.
On this spreadsheet, you can use the Monthly Planner Calendar tab that’s situated at the top and gives you an overview of what marketing content’s coming up for the next month.
There’s also a useful Content Repository tab where you can enter the content you’ll use and keep on top of the content that’s already been published as well as see older content that you could use again at a later date, depending on its success.
There’s also a Social Network Update tab where you can draft your content in advance. You’ll still have to manually upload your posts to each platform you use but it’s useful and makes the process more streamlined so you can monitor each post and tick off every time you publish something new.
The HubSpot Social Media Planner is useful for marketers that have small teams but big workloads. It’s not only a planner but also a tracker too and keeps all of your social media activity in one spreadsheet that’s easy to use and accessible.
2. Google Drive
You can access Google’s social media content calendar here: and it’s free to use for individuals. For businesses, it costs a small amount of just $6 per month (depending on the package you choose).
This social media content calendar has a number of useful elements that make it easy for marketers to create an efficient content calendar.
You can track both your editorial activity and your social media activity, so everything ties in together. The calendar is sharable too, so everyone in your marketing team can keep an eye on what’s happening to avoid duplication.
This social media content calendar allows you to schedule your social media posts in advance, track each post and assign jobs to other marketing team members. There’s another useful feature on this social media content calendar.
You can keep all of your commentaries together in one place and collaborate on different campaigns, in one place so there’s no need for multiple emails going backward and forwards.
This feature also means you don’t need to hold as many work meetings. If you need a social media post created and published quickly, this calendar makes it a breeze.
We like this social media planner because it’s easy to work with and simple to navigate. Even if you use social media constantly, you can publish multiple posts every day across all of your social networks and keep an eye on everything in one place.
This social media content calendar planner does cost money, but you can take advantage of the 15-day free trial.
If you sign up, the starting package costs $25 monthly and you can assign 2 users to the basic package, managing up to 10 social media accounts at the same time (you must select the annual agreement to do so). You could also use Loomly as your publishing platform.
What we love about Loomly is that as well as scheduling and managing your social media content calendar, the platform offers inspiration and suggestions to help you produce an interesting, sharable social media content calendar.
Furthermore, you can use this social media planner to manage your content assets, schedule your posts for a later date and easily view them in a list format. You can also analyze the posts that work well and those that aren’t performing for you.
It should help grow your social media presence, but if you need an added hand, you can place an Instagram view order here.
Another excellent feature of Loomly is the collaboration and approval element. Marketers can submit drafts and write comments. They can also flag what needs approval. It’s a good, streamlined marketing tool for all social media activity.
This social media content calendar planner costs $5 per month although it is billed on a yearly basis. We’d recommend using this platform for team collaborations as it gives you a full calendar view so you can quickly view what social media activity is occurring and when.
You can also create to-do lists, manage your content, plan your social media marketing campaigns, and brainstorm innovative ideas.
There are various cards and boards that you can customize to fit in with your business which makes it a very good customizable social media content calendar planner for any industry sector. You can download it here: https://trello.com/.
You can use the boards’ feature to create different boards for different weeks. We like this because users can clearly see what they need to do and track the progress of each social media post.
This social media content calendar is more expensive, at $89 per month (billed yearly). It covers up to five social media profiles so if you have multiple social networking platforms that you use for your business, it could be the right choice. Download it here.
This social media marketing calendar is excellent for planning out and scheduling your content.
The calendar can also automatically post on your behalf, and it works with all social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram (buy likes from 1394ta), Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Additionally, marketers can tag the social media content calendar and add notes which help with reporting and commenting on what’s working and what’s not working.
There’s a publishing suite too which has a superb tool called Optimal Send Times. This tool analyses your social media activity and automatically posts content when your audience is online, so you always reach the people you want to target.
There’s another bonus. Sprout Social’s calendar helps you to discover conversations that your audience participates in, and you can choose to join the conversation, enhancing your brand’s awareness.
You can also start a conversation on the topic to keep your audience engaged and build relationships. Can you buy Instagram followers using this? Well, you can’t (there are businesses that specialize in this) but when you use this type of calendar you could grow your account organically as well.
The Evernote social media content calendar is free for the basic plan. You can also upgrade your subscription and create your own, customized template with the Evernote Personal Plan which costs just $7.99 monthly. You can access Evernote here.
The Evernote social media content calendar helps marketers to stay on track with social media activity and has a useful annual, monthly, weekly, and hourly log.
So, you can stay abreast of when you’re publishing posts on your social media platforms, when you’re blogging and when you’re posting other online content. You can also see what other marketers in your organization are doing, to avoid duplication.
We also like the Web Clipper extension feature which works with Chrome. Using this, marketers can save their links to their Evernote Notebook for use at a later date. There are lots of clever features to help you save content to use later on.
For example, you can keep all of your photographs and images in one place, to create a library of content that you could use later on.
This social media content calendar tool has various plans available. The Professional plan costs from $49 monthly and gives you a 14-day free trial to see if it’s a good match for your business. Download Hootsuite here.
This social media content calendar planner has a built-in Planner tool. The tool is ideal for helping you develop your social media campaigns, see where there’s a gap in your planning, and also allows you to chat with the rest of your social media marketing team.
The calendar also allows you to schedule posts in advance and publish them. Need a post approved?
The calendar will flag this up so you don’t miss any social media posts and you can even create content from other sources. The Composer feature allows you to preview your content so you can see what it’s going to look like on any social media network.
We recommend Hootsuite for cross-collaboration, it’s so easy to use and comes with its own in-built content library.
Final Words on Social Media Content Calendars
Of course, every business is different but the above social media content calendar planners are all ideal no matter what industry you’re in. We’d recommend downloading each and trying them out to see which works best.
If you’re budget-restricted, try some of the free-to-use calendars, such as HubSpot which give you a good starting point for planning out your social media.
It might be that there are a few tools from each that you like. In which case, if your budget allows it, it may be beneficial to cherry-pick the tools you find useful and get a software company to cost out your own, bespoke social media content calendar for your business.