As any good social media marketer will know, staying up to date on your posts, content and progress is essential.

But if you’re a larger company making lots of posts per week – or even per day – things can start to get slightly confusing. That’s why creating a social media calendar is essential!

As we’ve just entered 2017, consider making a social media calendar for the year ahead. While you don’t need to know exactly what you’ll be posting yet, it’s the ideal way to ensure you’re organised and know what expect as the year goes on.

Choose a platform to use to organise your calendar.

This may be your existing Google Calendar or a project planning site like Basecamp. Pick an option that works for you personally – everyone works in different ways.

Decide how often you’re going to post daily or weekly.

Research your audience and decide whether they respond well to frequent or less frequent content, as well as the times they are most likely to be online. Then decide how often you’re going to post.

Create content in advance for holidays and events – and schedule it to be automatically posted on time.

Content for certain events is easy to plan, whether it’s a ‘Happy Thanksgiving’, ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Have a Great New Year’. Create your posts early on and schedule them to be posted during the holiday season.

Create side notes that detail your own content ideas.

If you’ve put aside an idea but it needs a little work, simply note down your thoughts for reference.

Save a ‘bank’ of shareable content.

If you stumble upon any interesting, shareable content that your audience would love, save it for later and make a note to post it at a later date.

Remember, you don’t have to plan everything in advance.

If you’re not sure of content for a particular week, or would rather be spontaneous from time to time, that’s fine too! Leave a few blank spaces with a simple reminder. This gives you the chance to slot in some recent, trending content.

Check in with your calendar every work day and simply get uploading.

Once you’ve got your calendar all set up, all you need to is check it each work day to see what you’ll need to be posting. It’s the perfect way to stay organised!

Alternatively, get someone else to do it.

If you really don’t think you’re up to creating a content calendar – or even if you just don’t have the time, consider asking a social media professional to take care of it. They’ll be able to create a calendar based on your information and needs – and even take care of posting for you!

However you decide to create and schedule your social media calendar for the upcoming year, you’ll be thankful you planned in advance. By staying organised, you won’t have to experience the hectic rush when content needs to be posted.

Do you plan (or part plan) your upcoming year when it comes to social media? We’d love to hear how you do it, so share your best tips and ideas in the comments section below!