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Do you know what content you’re posting this Monday? How about two Mondays from now, Monday of next month or Monday of next year? The best social media managers and marketers keep organised with content calendars, which help them have a plan for what direction they’re heading when developing their social media strategy. So, which ones are easy-to-use for social media marketing and content creation to avoid last-minute scrambling and keep your social media pipeline full?

How a social media content calendar can improve content creation

Anyone creating social media content – think marketing teams, media companies, consultants, small businesses and even bloggers – should consider using a content calendar to plan their messaging. When we see our work laid out in a calendar, it makes it fresh, fun and exciting – not to mention more manageable – and we’re enthused to keep at it. Furthermore, content calendars help you with the following: prep time to get your content ready to publish, planning for each social network to customise posts, organising around key dates that could influence your content, planning for holidays and observance days as well as tracking performance and planning for future posts. They also allow you to produce a consistent flow of content that builds your brand’s chosen subject area, giving you a new perspective in the way you think about and see your content. Now that you understand why you should have a content calendar in place, check out the ones that can help you stay on top of your game.

The best social media content calendars in 2021

While there are many content calendar options out there, the top 5 that we recommend are Google Drive, Hootsuite, Loomly, Trello and HubSpot’s Downloadable Template for Excel.

You’re probably already familiar with Google Drive, but did you know that the platform has several helpful features that can make it easy for you to build out an effective content calendar? Google Calendar is a fantastic tool to track both editorial and social media calendars, and these calendars can be easily shared with multiple teams to ensure that campaigns are aligned. Trello is another organisational tool and list-making application that makes it easy to visualise what content is going out and when. HubSpot’s Downloable Template for Excel is a highly useful tool for social media content calendar organisation, too – especially if you’re already using Excel for data analysis and reports in your role.

Do you want more mileage out of a content calendar than just publishing dates? Then we suggest turning to Hootsuite, a social media management platform which offers a built-in Planner tool and has rich features for collaboration and post approvals. It also helps you create engaging social media campaigns and identify publishing gaps. Another option is Loomly, an all-in-one content planning and publishing platform that even goes so far as to provide post ideas and inspiration to help you create content. Its most compelling feature set allows teams to provide comments, submit mockups, see version logs and flag for approval, which is excellent for streamlining efficiency in big teams.

Now that we’ve reviewed a few helpful content calendars to kick your social media strategy into high gear this year, it’s time for you to experiment with them. Just keep in mind that every social media team is different, and you may need a combination of these tools to execute your strategy efficiently.