Social Media Content Calendar: Templates, Tools, & Easy Frameworks To Plan Posts In 2022

Social media calendars are essential organizational tools for strategically planning all the content you’ll create and share. By the time you’re done reading this blog post, you’ll understand:
  • How to get started using templates and basic knowledge of social strategy.
  • How to plan everything from one-off posts to entire social media campaigns on one calendar.
  • How to organize effective scheduling workflows around your calendar.
Once you create your calendar, your team will have a single version of the truth for your entire social media schedule. Plus, with the template included below, you can get started right now.

Social Media Content Calendar: Templates, Tools, & Easy Frameworks To Plan 2022-2023

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What Is A Social Media Calendar?

Social media calendars are tools to proactively plan and schedule social messages. Marketers use these calendars to coordinate when to post, plan the content to share, manage campaigns of multiple social posts, track deadlines, and review published content. Social Media Calendar Synonyms: What do you call a social media calendar?
  1. Social media content calendar: a social media content calendar provides specific details on the day-to-day management of social media content, like what individual posts will be and when they’ll be published.
  2. Social media editorial calendar: an editorial calendar, on the other hand, is focused on the higher-level content strategy, mapping out things like categories and types of posts.
  3. Social media marketing calendar: finally, a marketing calendar focuses on tying social media content strategy to the larger business strategy, blocking off various campaigns and initiatives to be brought into social media content.
All three of these terms meet the definition criteria of social media calendar because the primary objective of all of them is to proactively plan and schedule social messages. Social media calendars organize essential information for every social message, including:
  1. Date
  2. Time
  3. Network
  4. Account
  5. Assets (copy, photos, videos)
  6. Links
  7. Tags
Marketers typically build social media calendars in one of three different formats: printed paper, spreadsheets, or software services.
  1. Paper Calendars: The old-school approach for those who prefer hand-written organization.
  2. Spreadsheets: A cost-effective route for planning posts ahead of time.
  3. Software Services: The professional option with powerful automation and time-saving capabilities.

4 Social Media Calendar Templates

1. CoSchedule’s Social Media Content Calendar Template Spreadsheet For Excel & Google Sheets From CoSchedule

Example of CoSchedule's Social Media Marketing Calendar Template Keep your social media posts on track with the perfect social media calendar template for 2022 and 2023. With this easy-to-use calendar spreadsheet template, your entire social team can schedule posts, monitor deadlines, optimize your posting schedule, and more.

2. HubSpot’s Social Media Content Calendar Template Spreadsheet For Excel

Example of HubSpot's social media calendar template Plan and manage your marketing content from one spreadsheet with this template containing multiple tabs for different parts of your social media, from monthly campaigns to daily posting. Each social network has its own section, making the setup prime for batch writing for different platforms.

3. HootSuite’s Social Media Calendar Spreadsheet For Google Sheets

Example of the strategy tab from HootSuite's social media content calendar If your team works in Google Drive, this Google Sheets template can serve as command central for your strategy. In addition to different views for planning your social media content on a weekly and monthly level, there’s also a dedicated tab for documenting your overall strategy.

4. Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Calendar Google Sheets Spreadsheet

Example of a social media calendar spreadsheet from Social Media Examiner Finally, this monthly social media calendar best suits teams that post frequently. The primary view organizes your content by date versus by platform. So for scheduling things day by day, this template will work great.

6 Social Media Calendar Tools

1. Marketing Calendar by CoSchedule

Example of CoSchedule's Marketing Calendar Our forever-free marketing calendar lets you plan not just your social content, but also the work that goes into producing it. It has project management tools like idea and task tracking in addition to your posting calendar, giving everyone complete visibility into their workloads. These features make collaborating on social media content as seamless and stress-free as possible.

2. Marketing Suite by CoSchedule

Example of CoSchedule's Marketing Suite If you’re looking for even more detailed management than the marketing calendar, consider upgrading to Marketing Suite. It lets you manage repeatable workflows, connect your publishing and creation tools, and manage multimedia assets. Planning, completing, and publishing your content in the same place will simplify your whole team’s work.

3. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is another valuable tool for teams already using Google products frequently. When it’s where you plan your meetings, time off, and everything in between, it makes sense to plan your social media content there, too.

4. Trello

It always makes sense to leverage the tools your team already uses. If that includes Trello, you can use its Kanban layout to manage your social media pipeline. The Kanban focus will also be great for marketers who like managing their workload visually.

5. Hootsuite

Example of Hootsuite's publishing interface Source Speaking of visual layouts, Hootsuite’s social media tool also has a column-based setup. It’s another useful option for visual planners. You can use it to create an all-in-one dashboard of your social media calendar with your monitoring and engagement strategies like replying to messages.

6. Buffer

Example of a Buffer monthly calendar view Buffer is known for its simple queue that makes it possible to “queue up” content quickly. But if you’re looking for more detailed control over your schedule, you can easily switch to the app’s calendar view. This view will give you a high-level overview of your content schedule for different social media channels.

Here’s An Example Of A Social Media Content Calendar In Action

Sometimes, it helps to visualize your end goal along the way. For this reason, we have provided some great models for reference. Example of CoSchedule's social media calendar template in action Here is an example of what your spreadsheet template (the one from CoSchedule) will look like once you start filling out important dates in your calendar. Example of CoSchedule's marketing calendar in action   Once you start your social media calendar in Marketing Calendar by CoSchedule, it won’t be long before it starts to fill up with great social media ideas.

How To Create A Social Media Calendar

Step 1: Plan Your Frequency & How Often To Post

Once you’ve picked a social media scheduler, it’s time to pick a publishing schedule. While it will vary depending on your customer’s social media habits, there are some rules of thumb to keep in mind: Bar graph showing the most common publishing cadences on social media Source
  • For Facebook, aim to post daily.
  • On Instagram, Instagram head Adam Mosseri suggests at least two weekly feed posts and daily Stories.
  • With TikTok, daily posting is ideal.
  • As for Twitter, try to tweet at least three times per day.
  • On Pinterest, you’ll want to pin at least three pins daily.
  • And on LinkedIn, one post per weekday works well.
It might sound like a lot, but not all of this content needs to be new. Both CoSchedule’s Marketing Calendar and Marketing Suite include a tool called ReQueue to help you identify and fill gaps in your social media calendar using automation. When there’s no content schedule for times you’ve decided to post, it can fill the gaps with pre-approved content.

Step 2: Plan Your Content Mix & Curation Formula

Another way to simplify your content calendar is to diversify your content mix by varying things like format and source. When it comes to formatting, most platforms have several options:
  • Plain text
  • Single images
  • Slideshows of multiple images
  • Videos
  • Links
Using multiple formats lets you reach users with different content consumption preferences. Additionally, not all of the content needs to be your own. Not only does curating content from other sources save time, but it can also help increase your brand’s authority and build connections with influencers in your space. Instead of creating new original posts daily, your team can decide on a combination of post formats and a ratio of post types. illustration describing the "5-3-2 combo" Source For example, TA McCann’s “5-3-2 Combo” suggests making half of your content curation-based. Depending on the platform, that can mean retweeting someone, replying to a trending TikTok, or remixing someone else’s Reel. To make things even simpler, CoSchedule’s Marketing Calendar and Marketing Suite both include our Google Chrome extension for easy curation. When installing the extension, you can write or curate and add the posts to your team’s social media calendar from any website.

Step 3: Plan The Best Times & Days To Post

Best Days To Post On Social Media
  • Instagram: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Facebook: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
  • Twitter: Wednesdays
  • LinkedIn: Tuesdays & Wednesdays
  • Pinterest: Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays
  • TikTok: weekdays
Best Times To Post On Social Media
  • Instagram: 6 AM- 9 AM, 12 PM- 2 PM
  • Facebook: 1 PM- 4 PM
  • Twitter: 9 AM- 3 PM
  • LinkedIn: 7:30 AM- 11 AM
  • Pinterest: 2 PM- 4 PM
  • TikTok: 1 PM- 3 PM
Best Days & Times To Post On Social Media
  • Instagram: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 AM- 9 AM and 12 PM- 2 PM
  • Facebook: Wednesday-Friday from 1 PM- 4 PM
  • Twitter: Wednesdays from 9 AM- 3 PM
  • LinkedIn: Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 7:30 AM- 11 AM
  • Pinterest: Friday through Sunday from 2 PM- 4 PM
  • TikTok: weekdays from 1 PM- 3 PM
You can also use CoSchedule’s software to automatically find the best time for your specific accounts to post to different networks. It finds times based on reviewing your past content for a specific, data-driven schedule without the tedious work of creating it yourself.

Step 4: Plan Your Posting Cadence & Schedule

Keeping your social media calendar full gets even easier when you share each piece of content your team creates more than once. You can also see up to a 192% increase in clicks when you share content repeatedly. Consider a posting schedule like this:
  • Day of publishing: share content three times on Twitter and once everywhere else
  • Days 2 and 3 after publishing: share on Twitter
  • Day 4 after publishing: share on all channels
  • Days 5-7 after publishing: share on Twitter
  • Day 8 after publishing: share on all channels
Given different browsing habits and time zones, your followers are all online at different times, giving your content as good a chance as possible to be seen by them. With the Social Templates tool in Marketing Calendar and Marketing Suite, you can easily schedule all these different shares at once and even vary up the copy based on pre-written options.

Step 5. Create & Schedule Engaging Social Media Content

Despite talking about the same topics from channel to channel, you still want to customize the message copy to suit each platform. When it comes to customizing messages:
  • Keep Facebook posts between 40 and 120 characters.
  • Keep tweets under 100 characters.
  • Keep Instagram captions under 240 characters.
  • Keep Pinterest descriptions less than 215 characters.
  • Keep TikTok videos less than 30 seconds.
And some tips to keep in mind for optimal engagement across platforms are:
  • Use line breaks to keep paragraphs short and messages readable.
  • Image post types tend to perform best at getting readers’ attention.
  • Use questions and other copy that prompts some kind of reaction.
CoSchedule’s software includes a social media composer that helps you make your posts as engaging as possible. The social message optimizer analyzes your messages for engagement potential and coaches you on improving your content.

Benefits Of Using A Social Media Calendar

There are tons of reasons to use a social media calendar. Before investing time into building one, you probably want to know the real benefits. Here are four key things to consider:
  • Turning chaos into harmony. Managing multiple social media accounts can turn messy fast. That kind of disorganization will kill your efficiency.
  • Holding teams accountable. Calendars are great for setting deadlines. It’s easy to procrastinate when deadlines are flexible or nonexistent. Laying out a clear plan eliminates excuses for not knowing what content to publish on your social channels.
  • Saving time that you can use to get real work done. No one ever has enough time. However, planning your social media outreach with a calendar allows you to make the most of your time.
  • Measurably improving your results. This benefit supersedes all others. After all, efficiency without effectiveness just means doing things poorly, quickly.
Those are some anecdotal benefits, but what about some hard numbers on the benefits of getting organized in general? In the company’s early days, Nathan Ellering, our Head of Marketing, gathered data on what happened when he used a calendar to schedule multiple social posts promoting a single piece of content. Here are the results: graphic showing how posting regularly with an editorial helps engagement A 3,150% increase in clicks. That’s insane! Best of all, there’s no reason you can’t replicate similar success, too. What does this mean for you? Organizing and proactively planning your work improves results, and calendars are one of the best tools to support both aims.

Social Media Calendar FAQs

What Is A Good Social Media Calendar?

When choosing your social media calendar, prioritize the features your team will need most. We recommend looking for one that lets you plan, schedule, and publish in one tool since it cuts down on time spent and errors made manually moving content.

How Do I Create An Engaging Social Media Calendar?

The best engagement tactic is knowing what your audience wants and is interested in and posting that when they’re online. Beyond that, take advantage of different post formats, especially those with multimedia that grabs attention.

How Much Is A Social Media Calendar?

You can find an effective option no matter your budget. For example, CoSchedule’s Marketing Calendar is completely free forever and lets you organize all of your marketing and social media content in one tool.

Who Can Use A Social Media Calendar?

Anybody creating social content — whether for a business, media company, or a serious blog — should consider using a calendar.
  • Marketing teams: Marketing campaigns often have many moving parts, including social components. Keeping teams organized and ensuring everyone involved in a project understands the social promotion schedule is critical.
  • Small businesses: Staying organized with a calendar makes saving time and consistency much easier. Optimizing time is vital for small businesses, where resources are limited.
  • Consultants: Getting all of your clients organized with their own calendars can help tame the chaos of managing multiple accounts.
  • Media companies: If you’re creating editorial content, it’ll need social media promotion. Keep it all together on your calendar.
  • Bloggers: If your blog is your business, you don’t have time to waste with dysfunctional tools. Make sure every post gets promoted on your calendar.
This post was originally published on December 18, 2019. It was updated and republished on December 30, 2021, and again on July 6, 2022. Ben Sailer and Melissa King contributed to this piece.
About the Author

Demand generation enthusiast, content marketing advocate, and team player. I love new ideas, strategy, and efficiency.