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Do you feel overwhelmed by the pressure to create social media content for your business? Do you stare helplessly at the Twitter app on your phone, unsure of what to tweet next?

Social media overload and burnout are common for small business owners. The many tasks of the day, from customer service to product development to staff management, can wear you down and leave you feeling uninspired when it comes time to promote your business on social media channels.

It’s easy to fix overload and streamline your efforts. You just need a marketing calendar.

Write your business marketing plan to focus your social media goals

Before we review how a marketing calendar works, make sure you have a marketing plan in place to guide your social media activity. This plan doesn’t need to be lengthy, but it should review your mission statement, target market, and action steps to meet your goals.

Your social media goals are an important part of that marketing plan, and you’ll want to note them clearly. Don’t forget to determine the details of executing those social goals. Here are a few operations elements to keep in mind:

  • Who will be responsible for your social media channels?
  • Who will monitor activity and respond to customers? How often will that person check each account?
  • How will you ensure your social media activity is consistent with your business brand?

Use a marketing calendar to track social media actions and results

Once your marketing plan is in place, don’t let social media activity slip by the wayside. SCORE’s marketing calendar template can help you stay on schedule. The calendar is adjustable, so you can track activity by month, week, or even on a daily basis. The template includes various marketing tactics, including print ads, press releases, and email marketing, but you’ll want to note the social media tools in particular: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. If you use tools like Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, or Slack, you can adjust the categories to include them.

Then get to work! Record the activity details, cost, and results. Plan social media campaigns ahead of time by inserting the details in advance.

Here’s an example of how a pet supply store might schedule and track Facebook activity on its marketing calendar:

Details: Shared customer and staff photos for National Dog Day (throughout week of August 26)
Cost: Spent $5 to boost photo of our shop dog, Max, with details of one-day sale on Kong toys
Results: Photo of Max got 81 likes and 10 comments. Sold 50 Kong toys on National Dog Day

Get comfortable with your marketing calendar

Save your calendar where your marketing team -- or your entire staff, if you have a very small firm -- can review upcoming plans and results. It’s not just important to share upcoming goals and efforts with your team. It’s also important to share results and wins to motivate and inspire them.

Review your marketing plan once per quarter to adjust your strategy. During these quarterly checks, talk about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s new in social media. Are there new tools available that could benefit your business audience? Have customers asked you to use Instagram more? Maybe you realized you’re not tweeting enough. Now’s the time to tweak and adjust your social media tactics, with your marketing calendar to guide you.

Struggling to organize your marketing calendar? A SCORE mentor can help you get organized and examine your social media wins.