The power of the editorial calendar

Ask anyone who works with me on a social project will tell you: I love myself a social editorial calendar. I love pulling, creating, developing, curating, cultivating, nurturing and delivering content.

I’ve lost count of how many editorial calendars I’ve made (okay, that’s a lie: 20 – stay tuned for a future post on documenting and reporting), and while there is no right or wrong way to create and utilize an editorial calendar, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

The benefit of having an editorial calendar is well worth the effort on the front end.

Have you ever been in a jam to get a post together in between meetings? Have you ever forgotten to post? By getting content approval prior to a month’s beginning and setting dates to each post, you’ve laid your cards on the table. There is now a sense of accountability within your account team and your client knows exactly what’s to happen and when it’s supposed to happen.

An editorial calendar can serve as a road map to your page, outlining the road you’ve taken and the road you’ll travel.

When I develop an editorial calendar, I think about what types of content the audience has responded to in the past and what they would like to see moving forward. Using that, I create calendars based a varying range of content types, or content buckets. By thinking about content in terms of buckets, I can sprinkle and spread the different types around without weighing too heavily on any given one.

Using a single Excel document, you can manage one client using different sheets for each platform presence.

I love Excel. LOVE. By utilizing Excel for editorial calendars, you can build out platform-specific calendars within the same document. This way, you can focus on tailoring any given day’s content to each platform using the appropriate calls to action and/or additional capabilities (hashtagging, photo attaching, URL previews) while keeping the messaging consistent across the board.

It’s not just about the content; how you present the content is also important.

This is more of a personal point of mine, but taking the extra half an hour to format your editorial calendar really shows that you’ve taken the time to not only create the content, but to PRESENT the content. Now, which editorial calendar do you really want to read?

Casey Prentice

A self-proclaimed organizational junkie and data geek who confesses to a secret desire to be a professional organizer, Casey enjoys account management, writing, editing and digital content strategy. Her agency work has helped clients like Virginia’s Community Colleges, VCUarts and Swedish Match.

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