Using an event calendar to help plan your social media

Cheryl Luzet - 5 November 2016

When you are using Twitter or Facebook to help support your business your aim will be to get your posts seen, liked, shared and engaged with by as many people as possible. However as social media is now so busy and fast paced many businesses find that it can be all too easy for their posts or status updates to get lost in other people’s timelines.

One way of increasing your company’s visibility via your social media channels can be to create and use a social media calendar. By planning ahead you can make sure that your posts are as relevant as possible and that they pick up on the most talked about topics of the moment. This a great way to encourage interaction and will often get your posts seen more widely too. Whilst it may take a bit of time to set up a social media calendar we feel that it is a great investment as it means that you’ll always be up to date with your tweets, you’ll know the right people to engage with and you will be able to get the coverage that you want. So here’s our guide to setting up a great social media calendar.

Choose topics that are relevant to your brand

If you do a search on Google for seasonal events you could find several different topics for each day of the year! However not all of these will be relevant to your brand so it’s best to go through and refine the dates and items that you are going to add to your social media calendar. This will help you to make sure that they fit in well with your business and will help you to meet your objectives. Obviously it’s great to pick up on the major occasions of the year such as Christmas, Easter and Halloween but you should also look at niche topics where your business can shine. For example a restaurant may want to create a new pie recipe to share during National Pie Week or a clothes boutique may decide to blog about the latest trends during London Fashion Week. Pick subjects that you have a real expertise in so that you can chat to others on social media about them and show them that your business can offer help or advice in that area.

Include hashtags in your posts

Most large events or celebrations now have their own hashtags. These hashtags mean that anyone searching on social media for posts about that topic will see the hashtagged posts in their timeline, so potentially using your hashtags wisely can mean that will reach more people via social media than you normally would. However be expedient in your use of hashtags. We find that posts with a high volume of hashtags may look spammy or too sales like and people may ignore them. We recommend using one or two hashtags in a post. It can also be a good idea to do a search yourself for the event hashtag and start to interact with and share posts from others using it. This is a brilliant way to get engagement and they may well reciprocate by sharing your posts too. It’s also a good way to explore which posts are working well online – you can then model your posts on the ones that seem to be getting the most shares and comments.

Follow, share, like and comment on the relevant account

Many large shows or events have their own social media accounts now, so as well as using the relevant hashtags take the time to like their Facebook page and Twitter accounts too. Some large campaigns may be run by particular brand i.e. #breakfastweek is fun by a cereal company – so like and comment on their timelines. These brands will be keen to encourage people to join in with their campaign and so you are likely to get a comment back or a share or re-tweet which could be seen by thousands if they are a popular company!

Create your own social media events

Of course you don’t just have to use other people’s events or significant dates to highlight on your social media calendar – you can also have a go at creating your own. This can be really effective as you can make sure the event ties in with the product and service you are offering. A good example of this could be a Hertfordshire Deli setting up a #MadeinHerts week where they promote products made by local producers and sourced from local farms. If you can get other retailers involved too you can really harness the power of social media by all using the same hashtag and sharing and re-tweeting each other posts. For example a hairdresser may choose to work with other beauty providers such as nail artists and personal shoppers to create a #localbeauty day where you could promote special offers on social media. There are no limits to what you can achieve and your day could even become so popular that it ends up on other people’s social media calendars!

Keep up to date

Of course it’s great to plan in advance but you should also remember to leave space for the latest events and news that might be pertinent to your industry. When a large newsworthy event occurs it is often seen first on social media and people may be using a hashtag too which could start trending. So make sure you keep up to date with the latest news and if you think it’s something your customers will be interested in then get posting! It could be new of a royal baby or the latest celebrity selfie – if people are talking about it then it’s good to get involved.

As you can see using a social media calendar to plan your posts can really help to keep your social media profile alive and up to date. By tapping into the zeitgeist of the moment you can ensure that more people will see your posts and will want to engage with you on social media.