Hi all! It’s been a long time since I posted but today I had a chat (online of course) with some peers who were looking for some good templates to help plan their social media content, including blog content, Facebook, Twitter and the whole menagerie.
You can easily find a few free online courtesy of great firms and industry leaders like Vertical Measures and Hubspot. With that said, I’m the type of stubborn person who has to find the exact right way to do it for me so that it fits my weird little brain. My brain requires flexibility, and being able to find information easily after the fact since I forget it almost instantly.
After four years running social for SuperShuttle International, Inc. and its brands, the mostly smooth-running machine is fueled by the two templates linked below. Feel free to download and use, customize, etc. If you have any questions, hit me up in the comments below.
Caution: I am an ‘Excel Geek.’ I use Excel for everything from personal budgets, travel check-lists, and even to build a cross-referenced baby registry for my first child who was born in January. It’s the third most opened item on my laptop, after Facebook and Gmail.
Blog Editorial Calendar
This is where I organize my blog posts, by brand. I focus on dates and sequence so the publish date is the first column. It’s also a good archive because the CMS I use doesn’t allow me to easily find old posts like other CMS tools do. The ‘due date’ automatically populates with a 2-weeks-beforehand but that can be edited as it’s just a formula (cell B2 minus 14 for the number of days). The second and third tabs are places to store ideas as post-it notes add up quickly and are easy to lose. This is the most important spreadsheet I have. It’s the marathon runner of my social media Olympics!
Monthly Social Media Calendar
This is where I keep track of EVERY post, including cross-branded posts. This is the sprinter of my social media Olympics team.
I like the table format because I can easily sort by date OR by post type to look through what I have, and to add new content each month. At the start of the month (or a few days beforehand if you’re an over-planner like me!), you just pick a date for your posts. Let’s say you post to LinkedIn every Monday, you’d just look up a calendar and see that in October they’re the 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th and add those into the cell accordingly. If I don’t use a short-link (shout-out to Bitly
!), or if I don’t post something for some reason I just mark it ‘N’ for no. That way, I can ‘Save As’ to use the same format for the next month without losing data.
I find it useful to keep blog content separate from the rest because most of our social content links back to the blog or to a third party (we try to be humble and helpful, not overly self-promoting).
I’ve also got a third template that helps me keep focused for month-long strategies – whether promotional or just subject matter related. It’s also what I send to people who are not ‘Excel Geeks’ as it is more of a visual display and can help the higher-ups better imagine pacing and frequency of posts, and how it all ties back to keeping up with the high-level marketing strategies. To extend them metaphor one painful step more, this is the figure skater of our social media Olympics team. If there’s some demand, I’ll clean it up and include it at a later date.