As you grow your brand presence and seek a smarter way to engage and interact with your customers, a social media calendar for CPG brands is essential.
Beyond just keeping your content organized and accessible across your entire social footprint, we examine the ways social media calendars elevate the marketing efforts of food and beverage brands.
The Benefits of a Social Media Calendar
Social media calendars are usually a spreadsheet or app that lets you plan and schedule social media posts in advance. Brands use them to review and edit campaigns and deadlines internally and then collaborate together to create posts for external audiences.
In general, these are particularly helpful if you have several accounts across multiple platforms. By tying them all together, this marketing tool also promotes cross-pollination by leveraging the structure of the calendar to cross-promote content and engage with customers across every platform in real-time.
This process also facilitates purposeful planning because you can draft and experiment with content and CTAs before you post.
For CPG brands, content tends to revolve around product seasonality, consumer promotions or new product launches. You know when your best-selling seasons are, which holidays to recognize and when your brand is launching new flavors or retail campaigns – so you can prepare content ahead of time in your social media calendar.
Likewise, you can avoid promoting content that may get lost in the shuffle or seem tone-deaf during sensitive times of the year, such as 9/11. In the same way, if you have content scheduled out and an unexpected, significant event takes place on a local, national or global level, you can quickly jump into your tool and pause any and all posts or reschedule until a more appropriate time.
As you use them more and more, social media calendars provide insights into which content is performing well and what is not – look beyond vanity metrics and determine what is generating actual leads. Use this tool to track and measure your success and improve your engagement in the future.
Here is how to get started with a social media calendar for CPG brands!
Analyze your Current Marketing Efforts
Evaluate your current platforms and content efforts. Do you need to have content on every platform? Are there some that have better engagement than others?
Where are your buyer personas spending the majority of their time online? This may help narrow this down. If they’re on Twitter, they’re likely looking for quick hit news and updates. Active Pinterest or Instagram users are typically engaging with visually appealing, branded content.
As we said before, look beyond vanity measures such as likes and comments to find authentic, valuable engagement that drives leads and conversions! Determine what content prompts your customers to use a promo code, refer a friend, visit your website or make a purchase.
Partnering with a CPG marketing agency ensures you’re effectively utilizing all the tools each platform has to offer. For instance, Facebook and Instagram let you set up shop pages to tag products, and they offer a free social scheduling tool called Creator Studio.
Choose your Target Platform and Compile Your Content
Once you select the most valuable platforms for your CPG brand, you should compile your creative assets. Remember that people eat with their eyes, and you need to have a wide selection of high-quality visuals and other content to engage with them.
When you partner with a food and beverage marketing agency, they can help you understand your buyer persona and what content will best catch their attention.
Build the Social Media Calendar Structure
Next, you should build the social media calendar structure, including the fields that it will contain. You need to include the date and times for the planning post, but you can also color-code them, so you know where it will be shared.
Test the best times for posting on certain platforms. For example, avoid posting on Monday or Friday on LinkedIn because there is less engagement on those days.
Organize your calendar by content so that you do not promote the same information on every post – aim to set up a solid rotation with consumer-generated content, recipes, and testimonials. Tag products in photos and encourage customers to participate.
The most important piece is your call-to-action! Your posts should always connect users to something further, like a product to click, a hashtag to follow or a video to watch.
Create Authentic Content for Authentic Engagement
Make sure the content you’re creating is authentic – would it grab your attention as a consumer? Is it solving a problem? Is it funny? Does it align with your brand values and mission?
As content is created, a simple typo can shatter all the work you’ve done. Get a second – and third – set of eyes to review the information to make sure you comply with brand standards and have consistent messaging that passes the grammar and spelling test.
As always, implement the “Who Cares Test” – focus on what is most valuable to your audience to help connect them to the “WHY” and it will help your brand come across as genuine.
Use a Social Media Scheduling Tool
We recommend partnering with a food and beverage marketing agency to create your social media calendar, alongside the use of a social media scheduling tool.
There are free tools on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which will schedule your posts in advance. For other platforms that don’t offer this option (looking at you, LinkedIn), explore paid monthly options from Hootsuite, HubSpot, Sprout Social, etc.