13 Social Media Calendars, Tools, & Templates to Plan Your Content

13 Social Media Calendars, Tools, & Templates to Plan Your Content
Vlad Kovalskiy
November 16, 2021
Last updated: November 16, 2021

To make the most of social media marketing, you should generate top-notch content and post it regularly on those platforms that work best for your target audience. To optimize this process, you might want to install a content calendar. Marketing teams, consultants, small businesses, bloggers and media companies value this type of software highly. It helps them to improve their SEO results, enhance lead generation and boost brand awareness. 

Content Calendar Tools to Plan Your Messaging

Bitrix24

This is much more than a social media calendar. Bitrix24 features a powerful CRM, product and project management tools, an in-built contact center, opportunities for building and hosting websites and many other useful functions. In total, it contains over 35 instruments for collaborations.

When using Bitrix24 as a social media calendar, you'll be able to plan your content for various platforms in advance and detect the best time for sharing the posts. The product allows you to assign content-related tasks to your team members and monitor their progress. Using the built-in online time clock, you can estimate how long it takes each individual to cope with each particular task. The employee workload management tools will let you know that it's time to plan the next batch of content. You'll never miss a deadline! If you prefer to work with Gantt charts or Kanban boards, you can visualize the data in these formats and easily customize the layout. Your team members will be able to delegate tasks to each other and form task dependencies.

Employees will be able to discuss their duties and exchange ideas using the in-built chat and video conferencing tools of Bitrix24. Most likely, you won't need to have all your staff involved in such conversations — so you can create a group and provide it with a dedicated virtual space for communications.

When preparing content for social networks, you might need to collaborate with external contributors. Bitrix24 allows you to efficiently coordinate your interactions with outsourced professionals. You can create projects in the Extranet and invite freelancers, partners and clients to contribute to them. Your managers will be able to modify access rights for different types of users and assign roles to them.

Creating, finding and planning content for social media campaigns is a recurring task. It might be wise to automate it and apply templates to it — and you can do so in Bitrix24. The system can remind you in a custom time interval that you should focus on your content now. To accelerate the workflow, you might consider adding checklists to the tasks related to generating content.

ClearVoice

This is an optimal solution for freelance content teams who would like to stay organized. ClearVoice is famous primarily for its Talent Network Search that enables you to detect the best content creators for your projects and get in touch with them. Apart from that, it features the following functionality:

  • Content creation tools

  • Task management instruments for internal and external collaborators

  • Dashboard

  • Dynamic content calendar

  • Integrations with third-party software

The sleek interface allows you to add, edit and approve projects.

Evernote

As its name suggests, this app was developed for taking notes. With its help, you can keep track of all the components of your social media campaign. Thanks to hourly, weekly, monthly and yearly logs, you'll be able to track your posting history. To stay informed, you can build customizable templates and download them into the Evernote app. In that app, you can snap pictures and save them to work with them later. Besides, this social media calendar has a useful Web Clipper extension for Chrome — it can save links that you would like to share later.

Hootsuite

This software is perfect for conducting campaigns, identifying publishing gaps and collaborating with content creators. Its functionality is not limited to a social media calendar — you can use it for post approvals and collective work too. You'll be able to curate content from third-party sources without logging into your account. Before a post goes live, you can preview it according to the format of the platform where you're planning to share it. Your staff will appreciate the rich built-in Hootsuite library where you can discover top-end content for all your departments.

Loomly

It's a highly versatile social media content calendar that is equally efficient for paid and organic social formats. You can rely on it when scheduling and managing your posts — and it can also inspire you for content creation and lead you in the right direction. You'll be able to view your upcoming posts either in a calendar or as a list. It should be very easy for you to identify which posts need to be improved and which ones deliver amazing results. When replying to user comments, your team members won't need to log in to each platform — they will be able to switch between networks with the Loomly dashboard.

This software is perfect for collaborations. Your staff members can comment on the posts, submit mockups, check version logs and flag for approval. Thanks to a highly comprehensive interface, you can be sure that your group work will never turn into a mess.

SproutSocial

Teams and professionals who work individually equally love this content calendar. You can use it to schedule and automatically post content to several social networks. For analytical purposes, you can tag posts and add notes to them. The system can recommend the best times for sharing content, based on the statistics of the user engagement for your previous posts.

SproutSocial differentiates from its competitors by featuring a tool that enables you to uncover niche conversations that your potential clients are interested in. You can join these discussions to prove that you're an expert in your industry and boost your brand recognition.

Trello

This social media calendar offers excellent collaboration opportunities and is one of the best solutions for storing brainstormed ideas. Trello is famous for its superb visualization: at a glance, you can understand which posts will be going live and when. To distribute tasks among your staffers and monitor their progress, you'll be able to compile to-do lists, create assignment cards and use customizable boards. On a board, you can share themed post ideas, or collect content for a specific network, or save posts for a particular day of the week. When your team member receives a card, it will be marked with a date and people will have a right to comment on it. The whole team will be able to track the progress of posts thanks to labels with different publication statuses.

Social Media Templates

Various businesses might use the same content calendar very differently. To save time and effort, you might want to rely on a social media calendar template. A template is well-structured, ready to use and versatile.

Just to explain what it is, let's consider the HubSpot Social Media Calendar Template. You can download it at no cost and use it to schedule out full weeks of posts. Content managers who have just recently begun to plan social media activities value this template highly because it's remarkably intuitive.

Besides, HubSpot has a dedicated template for startups. In many aspects, it's identical to the previous one — but it also features tabs that function as a repository for content ideas. Plus, it can offer informative recommendations for posting on specific social media networks.

HubSpot is not the only social media calendar that has templates. Feel free to explore the market and find the options that suit you best.

The Benefits of Using a Social Media Content Calendar

After you start using a social media content calendar, you should appreciate its following benefits:

  • It will save your staff a lot of time and effort

  • It will be easy for you to manage multiple social media accounts

  • Thanks to a social media calendar, you can check upcoming holidays in advance and prepare themed content for them

  • If your plans change unexpectedly, you'll be able to flexibly adapt your strategy to the requirements

  • When you need to share breaking news, you'll be able to easily fit it into your content plan

  • You'll be able to hold your teams accountable by setting deadlines and laying out clear plans

  • At a glance, you can see which kind of content performs best on a specific type of platform and create more posts of this type for that network

  • A content calendar will enable you to detect the weak points of your social media strategy and improve them

When planning your social media content for weeks ahead, you should avoid copying and pasting the same posts across all the networks you use. You might want to fine-tune the length of your text messages and the format of your photos. You should customize hashtags and emojis for each particular platform. It would be wise to ask questions to your subscribers only in those networks where people like to reply actively.

It would be unreasonable to add just a couple of posts to your content calendar every day. Such an approach would prevent you from seeing the bigger picture and might be detrimental to your productivity. Instead, you might consider devoting the whole day or even several days in a row to planning your posts for weeks ahead. That should enable you to deliver consistently diverse and engaging content.

The selection of your marketing themes for the year might include the following items:

  • Sales. Be it Cyber Monday, Black Friday or any other sale, you should inform your followers about it in advance. When the sale starts, you should remind people of the fact that they can benefit from it right now.

  • Product or feature launches. While working on a feature or product, you might want to avoid revealing all the details about it. Instead, you can keep people intrigued and build momentum. Once the feature or product goes live, let your socnet followers see its photos or videos and offer them the link that they can click to discover exhaustive information about the novelty.

  • Holidays. When congratulating your followers on a national holiday, you can remind them about your goods or services. You can suggest your products as gift ideas. When a professional holiday approaches, you may offer a discount to professionals who belong to a specific sphere of activity. People should associate your brand with positive emotions and good news.

  • Events. Apart from holidays, there might be many other meaningful events in your industry and geographical area. Exercise your creativity and think of how you could incorporate them in your social media campaigns.

  • Themes. Think of themes that can be related to your workflow. You might allow your customers to peek behind the scenes and watch what happens in your office (or in any other location). You might share funny stories or your corporate wisdom. Before scheduling such posts, it would be reasonable to discuss them with your team members. If some of your staffers decide that you shouldn't reveal certain information, you should listen to them.

There is nothing wrong with reusing your most successful posts in your social media calendar. If you detect that your followers engage particularly well with a certain piece of content, feel free to repost it at large time intervals. Make sure reposts go live on different days and at different times — it should enable you to reach the widest possible audience.

To keep your posts diverse, you should alternate the following types of content:

  • Images. In most cases, these would be photos — but you can share drawings or other types of pictures as well. These might be single images or galleries.

  • Text. It should be short, catchy and written with the individual intonation of your brand.

  • Videos. You can either upload content or organize live streams.

  • Links. Your audience will be grateful if you share useful links to external content, either owned or curated.

As for curation, it shouldn't outperform your own content. But you can compile a list of reliable sources that your audience likes and respects and share links to their publications from time to time. You might want to avoid promoting your direct competitors — but there should be many content providers in your niche that complement your business. You can plan sharing external links in your social media calendar along with scheduling your own posts.

To keep things organized, you might want to apply a color-coding scheme to your calendar. You might assign a specific color to each time period, topic, campaign or type of content.

Last but not least, you should monitor trends and updates of social networks to understand how frequently you should post your content and when. For instance, you might know that the recommended frequency of publications is no more than 1 post per day on LinkedIn and up to 15 pins on Pinterest. But this might change over time! Also, you should track the activity peaks of your followers and make your posts go live when the largest part of your audience is online (taking different time zones into account).

Social Media Calendar Examples

To round up our review, let's have a look at the functionality of a simpler and more traditional content calendar, compared to the solutions that were listed above.

Firefly Marketing Social Media Content Calendar is a Google Sheets template where each tab corresponds to a certain month. The rows are separated by week. Such a layout facilitates the process of setting the time and date for scheduled posts. The team behind this solution added a useful social media holiday column there — feel free to draw inspiration for themed content from it!

The tabs at the top of the JotForm content calendar reflect your intentions for each of the platforms that you work with. You can use it not only for your social network activities but also for your virtual events or in-person communications.

No matter which social media calendar you use, it should allow you to mark which staff member is responsible for a certain task. Plus, you should be able to flexibly modify the layout of the calendar.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article came in handy and now you better understand why you might need a social media content calendar for your business. Plan posts for weeks ahead, saving a lot of time and effort. You'll be able to detect which type of content performs best on a specific platform and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. It will be easier for you to hold your teams accountable and manage multiple social media accounts in parallel. When looking for a functional and reliable content calendar, you might want to opt for Bitrix24. Over 10 million businesses from various industries rely on this product and successfully achieve their social marketing goals with its help.

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