Editorial Calendars: Three Ways to Organize Your Social Activity

We know that organization is a key component to most successful and sustainable efforts, including the development of a solid social media strategy.

Wouldn’t it be terrific if you could find a way to keep on top of the perpetual task of content creating and curating? Using an editorial calendar is a great way to invite calm into the chaotic process of ensuring that you’re generating enough social media activity.

The purpose of an editorial calendar is to corral all those fantastic ideas that unexpectedly pop into your head and gather them in one central location. This alleviates you of the stress of remembering what that great idea was you had two weeks ago while pumping gas.

One of the greatest social media challenges is keeping pace with the expectations of pushing fresh content on a frequent and consistent basis. Being relevant and informative is what defines you as an expert and a thought leader in this industry; that’s the type of value add you can provide that will help you build a loyal following. Ultimately, a consistent blog is one of your most important financial advisor marketing tools. It may feel like a lot to manage, but an editorial calendar is such a capable tool that can help keep everything running like a well-oiled machine. Here are some tips for creating your own editorial calendar:

1. Keep it simple.
You don’t need a new app to get into the swing of using an editorial calendar. Free alternatives can be found on your WordPress dashboard. Plug-ins that allow you to write and schedule and auto-publish endless amounts of content include: Editorial Calendar by Stresslimit, Edit Flow, and Future Posts Calendar by AaHa Creative.

If you aren’t comfortable with website tinkering, or if you aren’t a WordPress convert, Microsoft Excel and Google Calendar are great, too. More simplistic options include sending messages to yourself, keeping a to-do list, or voice-recording brainstorming ideas. Consistency is all that is required with any of these choices.

2. Create Monthly Themes.
Choosing a topic theme each month helps to focus your brainstorming and blog ideas as you prepare to write and source relevant industry content for posting and sharing. Also, this allows you to easily identify industry-leaders you may wish to invite to guest blog. A monthly theme creates a stronger sense of organization for writers and followers, as well. Even the most left-brained individual cannot thrive in utter chaos, so your readers will appreciate the orderly content.

Additionally, it conveys that your company is a brand with focus and direction. Those are admirable qualities we all expect to find in a trusted industry leader.

3. Have a Weekly Routine.
Establish a weekly routine with dedicated time built in for your editorial calendar. These are the articles your followers will look forward to every week. A maintained schedule ensures you fulfill the expectations of your followers.

Perhaps you have a weekly feature titled Monday Money that recaps the previous week’s investment-related events. Whatever you do create, be consistent with it and make it your own. (And, when you post it on social media, make sure you’re using a custom hash tag!) When an audience specifically seeks you as their source for information and advice, you’ll know your editorial strategy is working.

In this digital age, having a social life is a non-negotiable. Using an editorial calendar is one way of ensuring that you’ll always have some thing to say, making it a crucial aspect of financial services content marketing.

To read more on this topic, click here to read a similar, unabridged blog post I wrote on AdvisorTweets.com, titled Improve your Calendar for 2014.

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