Friday, January 7, 2011

The Big Digital Picture - How to Create Your 2011 Social Media Calendar

Did everyone survive their first week of 2011? It's been a busy week filled with deadlines and projects. I've jumped into the new year as a super triple tasker. 

I wanted to pass along some helpful tips to get you motivated and help steer you in the right direction with your social media calendar for 2011.

Stay tuned! I will be sharing a series of posts in the upcoming weeks about how to really hone into your social media messaging and how to create an actual social media calendar that you can stick with this year!  

Have you thought about your actual social media messaging for this year? The biggest mistake companies and solopreneurs make with their social media is that they jump full-steam ahead into social media WITHOUT having a plan or an editorial calendar.

BEFORE you start tweeting and adding Facebook friends, back up that social media trainand think "big picture" with your social media messaging. You need ideas and topics, before you can even begin updating and posting. 

Start with a few basic questions. If you don't have time to create a full-blown social media marketing plan right now, I suggest you ask yourself these FOUR IMPORTANT questions: 

1. WHO do you want to reach? Target markets/audiences? 

2. WHAT are your targeted audiences/markets biggest problems/issues? 

3. HOW are you going to solve your above target markets/audiences problems in 2011? 

4. WHAT ACTION do you want your targeted audiences to take? Think measurable and bottom-line!

Take that BIG PICTURE focus and then narrow your focus even further.  What BIG "newsworthy" EVENTS are coming up for your business in the next three to six months? Break these events down on a monthly basis: 

  • Do you plan to launch new products or services? 
  • Do you plan to restructure or rebrand your company? Layoffs? New hires?
  • What hot trends are happening in your industry? Keep up-to-date with the latest industry news and information!
  • Are there big changes (new laws, economy, etc.) on the horizon for your industry that could affect how you do business?

Then you need to delve even deeper. What should you be thinking about/doing on a daily basis that will help plan your social media calendar?

  • What do you read? Newspapers, books, online ezines, etc.?
  • What are you main sources for industry information? Newsletters, trade journals, blogs, etc.?
  • How and where are you researching your targeted audiences likes/dislikes, issues, etc? Find out where your audiences/target markets hang out (online, that is!) 
  • Who is saying what? What are your industry leaders, company executives, decision makers, etc. saying that is worth passing along?
  • What expertise or valuable resources do you have at your fingertips that you can effectively use to stimulate social media conversations and genuine interaction? 

The purpose behind your social media message is NOT to shove the latest and greatest product or service down your audience's cyber throats. It's all about engaging people in real, authentic online conversations. Don't be a fake. Offer real help and expertise and always be courteous via social media - Netiquette rules to live by in 2011.

Instead of blasting out what you had for dinner last night and how Dan was the best dancer at your holiday party, think strategically and research before you plan your social media calendar. There are plenty of online resources available at your fingertips AND remember you do NOT have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to your content.  

Another helpful tip: use a spreadsheet document on your computer  or mobile device so you can actually create a running list of topics and ideas for your social media messaging, blogs, etc.

Hope these tips nudge you in the right social media calendar direction! Start off your 2011 on the right foot by planning and creating your social media calendar NOW! 

Stay tuned for Part Two: How to Create Your 2011 Social Media Calendar... 

How to Plan Your Blog Editorial Calendar for the ENTIRE YEAR!



  1. Thank you for these tips and reminders, Therese--I'm putting together a calendar now. Don't know if I can make a complete picture of the entire year, but I'm going about it a month at a time. These thoughts and plans have been what keep my blog going.

  2. Hi Shakirah, thanks for stopping by and posting! Just take it one step at a time. Even if you only plan monthly topics for the entire year, it helps you to plan ahead. For example, if want to bring attention to an event coming up for Valentine's Day, you would want to include that in your social media calendar. You can come up with a blog topic once you get closer to that month, but it gives you a good frame of reference if you sit down and plan for your year - topics can be changed as you go along.

  3. Thank you for a very interesting article. I am very new to this online stuff. I didn't know that I can create social media calendar.

    social media calendar

  4. Kuan, Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Please check out my older posts about how to automate your social media - I have lots of tips to share. If you need a social media calendar template, I'd be happy to email you one to help you.


Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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** Digital & Social Media Strategies