The benefits of using a scheduling calendar
Twitter is great for giving you the immediacy of keeping your followers updated with everything you’re doing, as you’re doing it – but sometimes you need a helping hand organising the tweets you propose to send or upcoming events you want to take part in. This is where a scheduling calendar can help.
So what do you need to be able to do this yourself? You could use a simple Excel or Numbers spreadsheet or even a private Google Calendar or iCal Calendar.
If you use an Excel or Numbers spreadsheet you could have columns for the days of the week and rows denoting the time of day – then within these note your tweet/event or reminder and any additional, relevant #hashtag or @eventusername.
So what are the potential benefits of having a scheduling calendar?
1. See content types
A scheduling calendar allows you to quickly see the range of content types you plan to share – i.e. News updates, tweets on new website content, competitions/offers or local events. If you colour code these it’ll also help you see quickly what you’ve got planned and if you’ve got a good balance of content.
2. Track important events
Populate your calendar with dates important to your business. Set up reminders prior to the date to give yourself time for prepare for these or build up follower anticipation.
Don’t forget to reference a future events’ #hashtag or @eventusername that you can then use on your tweets. These increase your chances of your tweet getting retweeted and if you use the event #hashtag you will be included in the general conversation surrounding the event and potentially increase your reach.
Include national holidays that may affect your business and decide if you need to schedule new tweets during this time or repurpose old ones.
3. Forward planning contributions
Use the calendar as a work allocation calendar for your contributors – for example if they’re going to an event and will be responsible for tweeting while there or you’re having blog posts written which you want to link to.
4. Determining what content works
By using a combination of Google analytics, url shortener information and Twitter analytics you can determine which tweets get the most impressions and engagement (follows, retweets, conversation or click throughs) you can then use this information to adjust your publishing schedule, as well as the type of content you share.
5. Expand your calendars coverage
Your scheduling calendar doesn’t have to be restricted to just Twitter. You could expand it to also display content you intend to post on other social media platforms enabling you to ensure you’ve got a coherent and workable strategy across all your social media platforms.
Whatever application you decide to use for your scheduling calendar you can be sure that this will prove helpful. Let’s be clear though a scheduling calendar should not mean that you stop spontaneous tweeting, far from it – a scheduling calendar just helps you forward plan and focus content where necessary.