People ask us all the time what our process is for creating and scheduling social media content.
We actually have a secret to share… Did you know that you don’t actually need a fancy program to create a versatile calendar for your content?
That’s right! You can easily plan out your content without paying for pricey or confusing applications.
We plan out all of our social media content in a spreadsheet on Google Sheets!
When creating a content calendar, we find Google Sheets to be useful in planning our posts. But, it also allows us to visualize the grid as a whole.
Keep reading to find out how we use Google Sheets to create an easy-to-use content calendar for your social media posts!
Determining Your Content Schedule
There are a lot of varying opinions when it comes to when, how, and where to post your content.
And some experts might have strong opinions on which days you post OR where you should post.
But, we find that it ultimately comes down to what you think is best for you and your business!
Some claim that it is preferable to post your content to different platforms on different days. But we find that to be extremely confusing and ineffective for us!
Instead, we post the same content across all social media channels on the same day.
This lets us keep track of where our content goes. That way, if we hear from followers on those platforms, we know exactly what posts they are referring to!
It may take a little bit of trial and error… But eventually, you will find the schedule and process that works the best for you.
"If you ask us, the best schedule is the one that you are the happiest with and which suits your business or blog best!"
We prefer to organize our calendar by week.
For us, the best way to visualize our posts is to arrange them to replicate the Instagram grid.
By seeing all of our posts in front of us at once, we get a good idea of how our posts will look altogether in one place. But it also shows how they look spread out across several platforms!
We schedule our social media posts a month in advance – at least, that’s the goal!
For this reason, we like to have a whole month’s worth of graphics and captions at our fingertips.
That’s where the Google Sheets content calendar comes in handy.
We input all of our posting dates in the calendar in ascending order so that we have an entire month before us.
The way we accomplish this is by having a row per week, with 3 sections per row. These sections denote a specific day and all of the platforms that we upload to on that day.
For instance, if we had a post promoting our Boss in Business Membership to schedule on a specific day, we would be able to plan out how that caption would look on each platform.
This has been particularly useful for when we use platforms such as LinkedIn, which might call for a more professional voice than a post on Instagram would!
Planning Your Content
In our last blog post, we talked about how to use Canva to organize your social media graphics, by using templates to keep your content cohesive and easy to create.
Once you have all of your content created, you can use this spreadsheet to decide when and how you will share your content with your viewers!
A tip we have for planning out your content is creating a list beforehand of the topics you want to post about that month.
You can start by inserting quick notes into the cells throughout the month and rearranging them until you’re satisfied with your schedule.
It’s easier to move around your ideas before you’ve actually gone through creating the graphics and captions, as you can easily put a topic on the chopping block without wasting time creating a caption.
This is also great because it will allow you to plug in important dates such as holidays or product releases first, then fit in your other posts in the blank spaces!
Once you’ve inserted your topics, you can go into Canva and create all those beautiful graphics!
Personally, we like to go back into the content calendar and insert those images into the corresponding cells. As soon as that’s done, you’ll be able to visualize your social media week at a glance.
One of the best tricks of the Google Sheets content calendar is the tool that allows you to freeze a column. We use this to freeze the column on the far left-hand side, which is where we input the dates we’ll be posting to in any given week.
This way, we’ll be able to move to each caption throughout the week, while still being able to refer back to the dates without constantly scrolling back and forth!
Scheduling Your Content
Congratulations – you’ve figured out your schedule, got your content created, and you’re ready to start posting!
Luckily, the Google Sheets content calendar makes this process a breeze!
Once you’re happy with how everything looks, you can upload your posts to a scheduling platform.
Everyone has their preference of where they like to post their content.
In our case, we like to prioritize Facebook and Instagram, as this is where the bulk of our views and engagement comes from.
While we’ve tested out many platforms, when it comes to scheduling, we prefer Tailwind, Hootsuite, and the Facebook Business Suite… But there are SO many different apps out there that will help you get your content into the digital world!
A note on the Canva Content Planner…
We tried out Canva’s own content scheduling feature recently and wanted to share our two cents with you guys!
Canva’s Content Planner is a great resource that creates a direct line from creation to posting. However, the drawback is that you can only schedule a graphic for one platform.
Maybe you’re like us and post the same content to various platforms. This means you have to make copies of each graphic – which could clutter Canva with duplicates!
The best thing about our content calendar is that it makes posting captions SO EASY.
Since all of our captions are created within Google Sheets, all we need to do is copy and paste them where they need to be.
It streamlines the process and saves us a TON of time!
And that’s it.
Your scheduled posts are ready to shine on your followers’ feeds!
Can you believe it’s that easy?!
The best part? You can have your very own Google Sheets content calendar without worrying about all the formatting…
You can find our content calendar template included as bonus training within our Ultimate Social Media Templates Bundle.
Let us know in the comments what your favorite scheduling platform is!