30-Day Social Media Content Calendar to Maximize Long-Term Success [Template] 15 min read
Once, we used social media for whimsically posting a photo of our beloved pets whenever we felt like it. Selfie here, picture of your coffee there. Ah, wasn’t life simpler back then?
But as business owners, times have changed. Consumers across all different channels require attention and engagement. Social media management can turn into a chore when you’re struggling to stay on top of it.
That’s where a social media content calendar comes into play. It’s all good to have content ideas. But posting them without a guide or plan can lead to typos, no prioritized content, and muddled goals.
A content calendar is a nifty way to plan your social media posts and events. You can use a calendar as a cheat sheet for successful content marketing this month, and every month. I’m going to be honest with you. You need one.
Still need some persuading? Sure.
- Consumers need consistent content. On Instagram, for instance, posting consistently leads to a 50% increase in the engagement rate.
- It turns your social media plan into a routine and gets you into the habit of posting.
- Ensures you are getting the most out of all your social media accounts.
- You’re able to consider how you use resources more effectively. Super helpful for budgeting and allocating roles in your team.
- Planning a month ahead promotes flexibility, consistency, and proofing.
It can be easy to let a busy day get the better of you. So take a look at our free 30-day social media content calendar template and read ahead to learn why it will work to bring you and your business long-term success.
Click here for the free Google Doc.
- Have defined goals
- Utilize your platforms
- Is timing everything?
- Different types of content
- Helpful tools
1. Have defined goals
Defining your goals is a super important part of your content calendar. Having clear goals helps you to understand what content you need to include each month and what to prioritize.
Say you have a customer-focused goal. Maybe you want to increase customer retention? If this is the case, you’re going to want to focus your content calendar on things like user interaction, interactive posts, and live videos.
On social media, goals are everything. Marketers who are organized are 674% more likely to report success. I don’t know about you, but that’s a statistic I won’t argue with.
You should always set goals to work alongside your content calendar. What’s the point of putting in all this effort if there’s nothing you want to achieve?
So, here are examples of goals you could implement monthly?
- Reducing employee turnover
- Increasing social media following on X channel by X%
- Improving overall brand awareness
- Maintaining or increasing your profits
- Gaining X number of new customers
Each month, you should review your goals and see what’s working, and what isn’t. Once you’ve achieved your goal of the month, you can focus your next 30 days on something different. As a business, you need to be always looking for your next area to succeed.
When it’s not so clear whether or not you’ve succeeded, use success metrics. Success metrics are useful for tracking your goals, and strategies, and if your 30-day social media content calendar is working for your brand.
Here are some examples:
- Return on investment (ROI)
- Number of total customers
- Customer retention rate
- Customer feedback
- New web traffic users
In summary? Goals make you motivated. If you have something to achieve every month, you’re more likely to put the work in. With each 30-day calendar, set a new goal that you know is achievable.
2. Utilize your platforms
What’s a social media content calendar without a platform to post on? The key to success is considering which social networks are relevant to your brand. This will depend on your industry and your target audience.
Social media is everywhere. In 2017, 2.73 billion people used it. In 2022? Try 4.59 billion. And the numbers just keep going up. You need to utilize more than one social channel if you want to keep your audience now.
So, before you plan your content, you need to know where it’s going. Take these 7 apps. Data shows that these platforms are the most popular for marketing, while also being the top platforms worldwide for user popularity.
- LinkedIn: Essential for credibility in your industry, company updates, and networking
- Instagram: Used for visual storytelling, outreach, and diverse content types (stories, reels, posts)
- Twitter: Vital for customer interaction, creating connections with users, and giving your brand a personality
- Facebook: Important for reaching a wide audience, having a variety of ad formats, and driving traffic
- YouTube: Indispensable for unique content, customer engagement, and visibility on Google
- Pinterest: Essential for content promotion, selling products, and stimulating visual engagement
- TikTok: Used for audience relevance, keeping up with trends, and posting relatable content
Deciding which platforms you want to prioritize is important for any social media strategy. You don’t want to exhaust yourself. But each platform means a more diverse content plan.
There’s research out there for the scheduling sweet spot:
|1 update a day|
|2-3 posts per week|
|1-5 tweets a day|
|4-5 posts a day|
|YouTube||1 video a week|
|1-4 pins a day|
|TikTok||TikTok itself recommends 1-4 posts a day|
That’s a lot to take in, right? Not just me?
The data, however, assumes you’re prioritizing each platform as your primary channel. Take this into consideration when looking at our template. You need to juggle all those platforms. Planning, posting, and editing 4 TikTok videos a day isn’t always going to be possible.
In terms of a general guide, data suggests Tuesdays to Thursdays at 9-10 am works well for most businesses.
So, choose which platforms work best for you. Every business is different. Work with your insights and social media analytics. You’ll soon have a schedule and a content strategy perfectly molded to your brand.
3. Is timing everything?
I’m sure you’ve heard that timing is everything when it comes to social media. That the day and time you post determine how much engagement and interaction you get.
Why can’t you just post whenever? When, globally, users spend an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes on social media a day?
Once, timing was super important. Social media doesn’t work like it used to, believe it or not. It’s constantly changing. Many algorithms used to have a reverse chronological format, so you saw the most recent posts first.
This meant you’d want to create content for when your target audience were most likely to be online. However, they now try and determine which posts you will care about more instead. The first post you see on a Monday morning might be from a few days ago. The obsession with when you publish seems pretty futile now.
Focus instead on the patterns of your target audience. Try creating a customer profile. A younger demographic is much more likely to do late-night scrolling, probably through the week. An older demographic is generally on social media earlier in the day and during the weekends.
Let’s compare a brand that sells baby clothes and a brand that sells beer. It might make sense to target parents and guardians early in the morning when the baby is sleeping.
If you want to target fans of beer, it’s probably best to do this during weekday evenings or weekends, when they are more likely to be thinking about having a drink.
Saying that, though, it does make sense to post when a particular platform is at its busiest. If people are online, you do stand more of a chance of getting your content seen. Also, this does generally mean more interaction.
So, what do the experts say for planning your 30-day social media content calendar? Let’s take a look at the 7 platforms from before.
|Platform||Best Time(s)||Best Day(s)|
|10am-12pm or 2pm-3pm||Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday|
|9am-11am or 3pm||Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.|
|9am or 1pm-3pm||Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday|
|YouTube||12pm-3pm, 3pm-6pm, or 6pm-9pm||Friday, Saturday, and Sunday|
Choosing a time where your target audience is most likely to be online is still a good idea. But instead of relying purely on the algorithm, draw them in yourself.
Also, get your content found instead of hoping users will stumble on it. Be active. Use hashtags to get your content seen. Get your consumers to tag each other in the comments to drive traffic. Sign up to Quuu Promote for organic content promotion and distribution. Conduct a social media audit to see for yourself what works.
My advice? Stick to posting at a regular time. This might well be the days and times suggested by research, or maybe it’s completely different. I won’t judge. But make sure you stay consistent.
If one of the ‘worst’ days yields successful results for your content, post then. Your social media insights and analytics are more reliable for your brand than any other statistic.
There is no perfect plan for everyone. Sorry to burst your bubble. But this is a great place to start as you build a schedule that works for you personally. Use these days and times to shape yours. Maybe they’ll work for you. If so, even better.
4. Different types of content
A 30-day social media content calendar is all about creating a manageable workflow. Even if you don’t have a marketing team, you’ll be working as if you do.
So, what are the other benefits of running like a well-oiled machine? It’s all in the content. Having a posting schedule means you allow yourself time for other things. You can create that innovative piece that’s been on your mind, but you’ve been too busy to do anything with.
Your editorial calendar needs to keep up with all the bright ideas you now have time for. The best way to achieve this is to separate your social posts into types of content.
You need to make sure you’re posting varied content. Once you’ve designated dates and times for your platforms, decide what you need to plan.
Let’s dive into one brand that definitely isn’t a content novice. Subway has a fantastic marketing plan, and with over a million Instagram followers, it clearly pays off.
On Instagram, Subway generally post once every 2 days. Their content is always changing, though. Forgive the pun, but it’s fresh.
One post shows repurposed content from their Twitter account. It’s humorous and relatable for the audience.
The next post is a spotlight image of one of their sandwiches, detailing all of the ingredients. A more traditional and promotional piece of content.
The next, posted exactly two days after, is an interactive piece of content. The words in the search promote one of Subway’s cookie varieties.
Then, on their story, the brand promotes their products with user participation. Their audience engages with the poll and builds more of a relationship with the brand.
Hungry yet? Me too.
That’s four very different post ideas that you could implement in a week. Remember, each of the social platforms has different assets.
Here are just some of the many, many different content formats:
- Live video
- Direct message
You don’t have to create content daily for each platform. Using both organic content and content curation should give you a good scope to work with.
Filling your 30-day social media content calendar is easy when you’re bursting with ideas. Consider your content pillars. What topics and areas are the most important to your brand? Once you know this, you can find industry updates, infographics, blog posts, and small business spotlights.
Consider implementing user-generated content into your calendar too. It’s a valuable addition to any platform. 90% of consumers value authenticity when deciding which brands to support.
It may not be as easy to come by, but using customer images or feedback will break up your feed. Try to schedule this type of content for at least once a week across the 30 days.
Scheduling for different types of content is the best way to ensure your social media marketing never feels stagnant. It’s also a great way to save time. There’s nothing worse than sitting at your laptop in a panic because you can’t decide what Monday’s Instagram post should be.
5. Helpful tools
Users can create and edit spreadsheets and share data in real-time. It saves as you work, so great for content creation on the go. The application is free, too, so big bonus.
Be wary though, as it can be quite hard to see who has edited the document and made changes. Make sure everyone has clear goals and communicates, and you’ll be fine.
The tool allows you to set up predetermined responses to repetitive, frequently asked questions in your comments. You can choose up to 20 versions of the response so your comment section still feels natural and friendly. Prices start at $23.25 per month.
Canva has a pretty cool content planner. You can use the application to design your social media posts and then schedule your posts across platforms. Coordinate this with your content calendar and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
This one isn’t free, unfortunately. It comes at a yearly fee of $119.99. Canva Pro, as it’s called, does have a whole bundle of other premium content you can explore alongside this tool, though.
Content creators rejoice. There are plenty of applications out there to help you keep track of your marketing strategy.
It’s super easy to assign different tasks and there’s no room for confusion on due dates (sorry if you were relying on that). Trello has a full calendar option so you’ll never miss what content is going out and when.
It’s also affordable (being free for individuals or $5 for a team per month) so great for a smaller business or team.
Use an analytics tool alongside your insights on the apps themselves. HubSpot offers visuals for audience, impressions, and session lengths across platforms. You get to see your customer journey as a whole, in one place. Prices start at $48 per month.
That’s you, successfully juggling all of your content. I hope we’ve all concluded now that a social media content calendar is a must. Could there be a more perfect time to get started on your brand new 30-day plan? We don’t think so.
Take charge of your social media platforms and boss your content. Just remember to stay consistent, keep organized, and never be boring. Easy peasy, right?
Will you be using this 30-day social media content calendar? Which posts are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below.