This phrase may sound annoying, but it is key to remember: content is king. Whether it be your latest album, a single, a still from an upcoming music video, a picture taken at a concert 10 years ago or even just a funny idea you had that will make an excellent tweet, content is more important than ever these days, in all its glorious forms.
You are in the business of content, whether you care to think of it in that way or not, and if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right…right? If you want to reach a larger audience, keep in close contact with those who have already identified themselves as fans and be present at all times, you need a social media content calendar.
Let’s dive into what that is and how it can help your career.
- What Is A Social Media Content Calendar?
- Why Is It Important?
- Structuring Your Content Calendar
- What Content Goes On The Calendar?
- Space Things Out
- Schedule What You Can
- Stay Flexible
What Is A Social Media Content Calendar?
At its most basic, a social media content calendar is any structured document that allows you to plan all the photos, videos, GIFs and text-based items you want to to share on your various social media accounts in the coming days, weeks and months. It should show you what the content itself is, what day it will go live and even what time. Also, it’s important to differentiate between platforms, as sometimes you’ll be posting different pieces of content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and beyond.
If you need help planning a promotional rollout of your latest single or album, we can help with that!
Why Is It Important?
The average person doesn’t need a content calendar, but anybody who is trying to make a name for themselves in any field, and who is at least partially using social media to bolster their profile and spread the word about whatever they’re doing, very much does need one. This rings true for musicians as much as it does actors, athletes, as well as non-human entities like brands, TV shows, record labels and beyond.
Content calendars allow you to keep track of what’s coming up, what content you have, when you may be lacking something (and therefore need to create or find some items to share), what you’re promoting and when, and to look at your entire plan from 10,000 feet. If you only tweet every few weeks, a calendar isn’t necessary, but when you are sharing multiple pieces of content (of any kind) on several platforms every day, remembering what’s going on simply doesn’t make sense.
Structuring Your Content Calendar
There are many different ways you can structure your content calendar, and it all depends on what works for you, so you may want to spend some time trying one option, then switch to another to see if it serves you better. A quick Google search will show that there are countless forms that can be filled out by you, or you can make one all of your own.
You may decide to make a simple Word document, or go with an Excel spreadsheet. Perhaps there’s a platform, app or service that you’ve heard is good that you’d like to stick with. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you find it meshes well with the needs of you and your band.
Just make sure that whatever you do, you select an option that allows you to see the date, time and platform for every piece of content. You may also want to stick with something that includes visuals, as naming and describing videos, GIFs and photos may become tedious, and after a while, you might not remember which is which. Also, you must be able to move things around constantly (more on that in a second), so writing things down on paper or a real hanging-on-the-wall calendar probably isn’t the move.
What Content Goes On The Calendar?
To put it bluntly, everything. From photos of the band to a new music video to shots from last night’s show to a reminder for everyone to buy tickets to a festival you’re playing three months from now, it all goes on the calendar. Include everything connected to your musical activities as well as any personal items you want to share. You may want to jot down all the processional pieces that are a “must” and fill in the rest of the gaps with jokes, fun comments, memes and the like, and that’s perfectly fine! But don’t skip out on actually noting it in the calendar, otherwise you will forget and possibly post two things too close to one another.
Do you need help promoting your latest release? Let’s chat.
Space Things Out
Speaking of not posting pieces of content too close to one another, spacing is very important when successfully managing your social media, and your content calendar is a fantastic way to handle this brilliantly. It’s important to find a balance between constantly posting and staying active, but not becoming that account that never shuts up.
You may decide you’re only going to post once every few days, or perhaps twice a day or more…or maybe you don’t know what works for you and your audience yet. That’s fine! Play around with schedules and how often you upload, but pay attention and think intelligently about whether it’s not enough or maybe too much.
Also, if you’re going to be sharing a funny meme and announcing a new single on the same day, it’s a waste to post both of those to any site minutes apart and then have nothing else going on for another 24 hours. Space everything out! Perhaps something goes up in the morning and in the evening you’re back with more good stuff. However you choose to do it, make sure your content has space to breathe, that it reaches your audience when they’re online (so the middle of the night probably isn’t the best option) and that you give every post time to rack up likes, comments and quiet down before flooding your feed with more.
Schedule What You Can
You want to make sure that as a working musician, you are visible and sharing on social media at all times…but who wants to actually spend hours a day on these sites? And who has time to be posting constantly? You’re an artist, you need to be making music!
Thankfully, there are tools out there that allow anyone to schedule content to go live ahead of time, so you can, in the words of an old late-night favorite, set it and forget it. My favorite platform for Twitter is Tweetdeck, the company’s own creation, as it lets you not only plan for the future, but see your feed moving in real-time, and there are plenty of other interesting features you may find helpful as well.
Facebook’s Creator Studio is similar in that it is fantastic for scheduling items days or weeks in advance and forgetting about them completely, but there’s so much more to explore.
There are many other tools and companies out there that offer products that may be helpful, but some of them require you to sign up or pay a monthly fee, so it’s up to you to decide if that’s worth it when there are free selections available.
Creating a content calendar is important, and you should work hard to stick to it…but you also have to be aware that things move quickly, and you must remain flexible, even if your schedule is all set. As a musician, things can change in your working life every day, so be prepared to create new content, rewrite captions and even unschedule and reschedule items constantly. You may have a show cancelled, or perhaps you just found out that the vinyl edition of your album isn’t shipping until later than you first thought. You could come up with something really important to say that’s timely, or maybe a friend in another band drops a surprise track or album and you feel the need to promote it.
Your content calendar is vital, but certainly not set in stone!
The staff at Planetary has decades of experience promoting every genre and every kind of release to blogs, magazines and radio and we’re ready to work with you. Check out our promotion FAQ’s to see how we can support you and your music, fill out our form, or call us at (323) 952-5050!