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How to plan your organic SaaS social media calendar in 30 minutes or less
Every content writer knows the importance of blog posts—by writing valuable content, you increase your search engine results pages, or SERP, which increases organic traffic to your website. And more traffic equals more opportunity for MQLs.
However, higher Google rankings don't directly correlate to higher engagement. When it comes to promoting content, social media is the perfect outlet to best network and initiate conversations.
Not to mention, with the proper tools under your belt, you can use social platforms as a channel to build up your SaaS brand, create awareness, and engage your audience. The question is, how do you do this effectively?
The first step is to create a content calendar for social media. In most cases, this is easier said than done. And if you’re juggling multiple roles, you likely find that other projects take priority over posting on socials. So you just repost the blog, maybe tack on the meta description, and call it good. However, that won't cut it in today's social media landscape.
In order to increase your brand awareness and make sure your organic social promotions are effective, you need to do some planning. In this blog, I’ll walk you through ways to create a social media calendar that won’t eat up your valuable time and will help you create an engaged audience base.
We’ll go over:
- Choosing your social platform
- How to effectively brainstorm for your social media calendar
- Planning & writing posts in 30 minutes or less
- Writing & posting best practices
- Scheduling your posts
- The importance of social listening for engagement
Let’s get started!
Picking your social media platform for SaaS content
The very first thing you want to do before brainstorming, planning, or writing: pick a platform and stick with it. You don’t want to spread your resources thin, so do your research upfront before you begin.
Some platforms cater to popular content formats better than others. For example, Twitter is a better news-related outlet, whereas Instagram is better for visuals. LinkedIn is a watering hole for thought leaders; Facebook is where people connect with family, and video content reigns on all platforms.
In short: refer to your audience. In B2B SaaS, we often find our ICP on LinkedIn. The CEOs and marketing leaders in technology use this space to network, share ideas, and generally learn.
However, just because you’re in SaaS or a similar field does not mean you should discount other social media platforms. While TikTok is viewed as Gen Z’s space, many brands are currently finding success on this platform—going viral for videos or comments. This goes to show that you shouldn’t box your brand in.
If you’re not sure where your audience likes to interact, start by looking at your competitors.
Ask the following questions and take notes:
- Which social platforms are they on?
- What kinds of posts do they put out there?
- Which ones are the most successful?
- What is their engagement rate (likes + comments on a post compared to their overall followers)?
Then, take your pick and decide which one (or two) platforms you’ll be writing posts for and concentrating your efforts.
After you’ve made your decision, it’s time to start brainstorming ideas.
The foundation: How to organize your ideas before creating a content calendar
Effective planning and organization is the key to content success. And for social media marketing, you have an additional layer: the creative aspect. You are writing to your audience and working hard to stop someone in their tracks while they scroll. This typically comes from engaging content, eye-catching visuals, and a compelling story. In order to do this, you need a good plan to help foster your creativity.
Think about it: When you create an editorial calendar, you meticulously research and plan to ensure that every piece is an effective, SEO-optimized post that your prospects will find valuable. Your social media calendar should be no different.
When I brainstorm a social calendar, I like to divide the company up into evergreen topics. These are big ideas that you keep coming back to, ones that you can repurpose countless times, and your audience will still find valuable.
These main ideas will become your topic pillars. If you’re trying to conceptualize this, think about HubSpot’s topic cluster content strategy. You can even use your topic clusters as evergreen content inspiration.
Topic pillars are not formatting labels such as “webinar,” “ebooks,” “blogs,” “one-pagers,” “FAQs,” or “customer pains.” It’s more creative than that. Center your topic pillars around specific customers' pains, your most popular frequently asked question, the topic you’ve written an ebook, blog, and hosted a webinar about.
After you’ve brainstormed your 4-6 (or more!) evergreen topics, sit with each one and slot your existing content into it. Remember, the goal is to work smarter, not harder. You likely already have a big backlog of relevant content, so just divide it out.
You can even take it a step further by dividing main blog ideas into the appropriate pillars. For example, if you wrote a valuable GTM Strategy piece, move each step into the appropriate topic pillar (inbound, outbound, ABM, etc.).
Pro tip: Look at your blogs and use H tags for ideas. For example, if the blog is about “7 ways to optimize your content for SEO,” each step can become an individual post on social. Or you can bring it all together and create a 7+ slide carousel post with all the details.
Content pillar planning example
If you’re like me and you prefer a visual, here’s an example. Let’s say your company focuses on content marketing. You brainstorm a few evergreen topics and come up with the following:
- Finding content ideas
- Writing for SEO
- Writing for sales
- Funnel stages
The next thing you would do is start with the first one—so, in this case, finding content ideas—and put the title at the top of a document. Now, think about all your existing content and start listing it in one column. This can be blogs, podcasts, webinars, whitepapers, ebooks, whatever you’ve got. In the next column, start breaking things up into bite-sized pieces.
This brainstorm list can be as detailed or vague as you want; it’s simply an exercise to get all your creative ideas down on paper. I like to get super granular; no idea is dumb because it’ll just spark other ideas.
You can even share the document with relevant team members and ask them to help brainstorm. Remember, social media is a crowded field, so you’re looking for content that stands out and is formatted to engage.
Pro tip: Social media is a great platform for awareness and retention marketing. Think about your favorite brands and the type of helpful “how-to” content and try to replicate this. Just because it’s SaaS doesn’t mean it has to be boring!
The beauty of a topic pillar list is that you can keep adding to it—whether that’s new pillars, new content, new ideas, or more.
How to create a week’s worth of posts in 30 minutes or less
Once you’ve filled out your evergreen content pillars with ideas, you’re ready to create your social media calendar!
Step one: Determine how often you’ll post
If you’re a new company and trying to build an audience, opt for 3-5 posts a week. If you’re established and want to showcase your thought leadership, aim for 1-2 valuable posts a week. Whatever you decide, make sure to monitor your posts. You want your posting cadence and your content to reflect your audience.
There are plenty of companies out there with research on the ideal time to post per industry and per platform. When you’re planning, keep the timing and frequency in mind. These stats change every year, so keep checking back.
Step two: Start populating the calendar with your ideas
Because you did all the brainstorming ahead of time, you should easily be able to plan a month’s calendar in one sitting. Use whatever format suits you (I like to use a simple spreadsheet) and start by labeling which topic pillar you’ll talk about for each day you're posting.
Make sure to vary things. Next, decide on the format (podcast promotion, blog post, carousel post, poll, etc.). For more format ideas, read our blog about LinkedIn post types.
Step three: Start writing
Once you’ve filled your calendar with a mix of topics and formats, it’s time to start writing. I find it easiest to write in a separate document so that your editing team can easily collaborate with you.
If your content requires work from design, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to gather all your assets (links, graphics, images, etc.) together before the post goes live. Once you’ve taken time to write the posts and they’ve gone through a few rounds of edits, move everything (copy, assets, etc.) to your spreadsheet so that you have everything you need at a glance.
Here’s an example of Kalungi’s social media content calendar. You can see all the elements discussed in steps two & three. Once the posts went live, we added some notes on post engagement. This will make optimizing future posts easier because everything is in one place.
This next section will cover some best practices to keep in mind as you write.
Best practices to write and post for social media
As you’re writing and getting ready to post on social media, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are four best practices I recommend for any social media content calendar, regardless of your industry.
1. Cross-post with care
Cross-posting is a great way to work smarter, not harder, with your social media. However, it’s important to never use the same copy. People will notice if you do, and this comes across as lazy and harms your brand’s social reputation.
Every platform has its own rules and quirks. This is why I recommended choosing only a few platforms and doing your research, so you can make sure you are writing not only to your audience but in the appropriate format.
Additionally, when you are creating visual elements, make sure they follow the platform’s image requirements.
2. Encourage engagement
Social media platforms are notorious for their sophisticated algorithms, which serve content it thinks users like the most, first. Regardless of the platform, one of the best ways to get to the top of a user’s feed is with comments and shares.
If you’re still growing your audience and don’t have a few social cheerleaders yet, encourage your employees to make some noise within the first hour of posting on. Platforms like LinkedIn will show posts users are engaging with to their network, and this will give you an algorithm boost to boot.
3. Use an authentic voice
Social media is a space where your brand has room to let loose a little. After all, you are meeting people where they are in their free time. They don’t want stiff language; they want something that’s fun, thought-provoking, and engaging.
Another way to work on your voice and reputation is to have a social listener engage with industry-specific posts—more on social listeners in a bit.
4. Take advantage of video
Video is becoming more and more popular on social media. Just look at TikTok’s success! Users are more likely to engage with this format, so don’t sleep on it.
You can chop up existing videos to make bite-sized pieces of organic content, work internally to film how-tos, show a section of your webinar, and more. Check out our blog for more ideas on how to make your SaaS videos pop.
Scheduling your posts
Once you’ve filled out your calendar with the copy and gathered all your assets, it’s time to post them. There are two ways you can do this: manually or with a scheduler. While manually is the best way to double-check that formats are correct, it's not always feasible. Luckily, there are a variety of schedulers out there that cater to various needs.
Hootsuite is a good starting place and has tiers from free to paid. It includes an analyzing and metrics section, a place for social listening, multiple social media channels, and more. If you’re exclusively posting on Instagram, Later is my favorite tool because it includes a place to schedule story posts. If you’re on HubSpot, take advantage of their social media management software. Sprout Social and Buffer are also popular options.
Find the scheduler that works best for you. If you have to shop around for a while until you find the one that meets your needs, do it. There’s nothing better than having a social media scheduler that does exactly what you want it to do, so don’t settle.
The importance of social listening for engagement
Once you’ve scheduled your posts, your work isn’t quite done. Make sure that someone is around to monitor your social accounts, whether it’s you or someone on the team. Your social listener will be your eyes and ears in the social media landscape. They can catch questions early, respond as the brand, and boost engagement.
Your social listener should:
- Make sure posts publish correctly
- Flag and/or answer any questions or comments
- Keep an ear to the ground for trends
- Be your resource for optimizing posts
- Engage on industry-specific posts
Here’s an example of Hootsuite's social listener continuing the conversation. The post sparked a 20+ comment discussion, and you can see Hootsuite in the comments interacting with the audience.
Continuing the social media conversation
There you have it; your ultimate guide to creating a content calendar for SaaS social that encourages engagement. If you’d like more resources on social media, check out our blogs below:
- Beginner’s guide to SaaS social media marketing
- How to build SaaS social media marketing guidelines
- 7 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Long Tail Social Media Marketing
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