SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.
This week, we asked: Do you use an editorial calendar to plan your social content in advance?
- Yes: 61.9%
- No: 38.1%
Editorial calendars are exceptionally useful tools for anyone managing social content. They can take a variety of form, such as a spreadsheet of upcoming post, a cloud document you share with your team, or an integrated feature of a content management system. You could even make the argument that a bank of stored social posts schedule in an application such as Buffr constitutes a kind of short-term editorial calendar.
Whatever system you’re using, editorial calendars allow for three big benefits. First, they create accountability for having content scheduled for each publishing day. Second, they improve coordination by allowing everyone to know what’s in the organization’s content pipeline. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they get organizations to think ahead about their content strategy, looking at upcoming events, seasons and cyclical issues that they can use to develop their content and expand their audience.
Are the 38% of SmartBrief on Social Media readers who aren’t using a formal content management system doing it wrong? Not necessarily. But they do owe it to themselves to at least look at some of the options available to them and weigh the costs and benefits. Having an editorial calendar doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming or expensive, and the benefits can be significant. Every organization producing social content should at least give them some thought.
How are you using editorial calendars to manage your social content?