Think about some of your favorite social media accounts or top influencers to follow . . . what about their presence intrigues you? I’d imagine that their message is the priority, followed closely by the seemingly effortless way they share relevant, meaningful content at every turn!

Here’s the secret: this doesn’t occur by happenstance. Successful social media users have a method to their madness, which involves a well-thought-out plan for consistently showing up online every day. If you are eager to make social media a priority, exploring an editorial calendar is a great tool to build your presence.

An editorial calendar is a digital sheet (such as a Google Sheet) where you identify the dates to post, which social media channels to utilize, and outline the copy for each post.

Below are four ways that an editorial calendar can maximize your digital presence.

Plan ahead to avoid missteps.

After a long day (or week) of answering phone calls, shuffling to meetings, and thumbing through emails, you realize that you haven’t invested any time on social media. To counteract this, you quickly pop in to respond to comments and mentions. Social media isn’t a purely reactive effort — you need to be proactive. And, that starts with planning content 2-3 weeks in advance. You can still incorporate creativity for “real-time” posts, but planning ahead ensures you don’t miss a beat in regular posting.

Create consistency across your channels.

Although posting the same content on each social platform is frowned upon, you DO want to create the same tone in branding across your social media. An editorial calendar allows you to compare each channel in the same spreadsheet. You’ll be able to evaluate if your messaging is consistent across each platform.

Identify common themes and content for repurposing.

In an editorial calendar spreadsheet, you have an organized reference point of past posts and a log of evergreen content. You can take planning a step further by identifying what themes are present in the content you’re sharing and brainstorming approaches to reuse them. Start asking yourself — Can this topic be explored further? How can I repurpose some of my content into new innovative approaches? What content is resonating well with my audience?

Team members can post in your absence.

Using an editorial calendar can give you margin to breathe in times of travel, unforeseen personal matters, vacation, and so on. You can rest at ease knowing that your online voice is remaining consistent because you made the effort to plan ahead.

Aren’t sure what to include in an editorial calendar or how to start one? Explore our Content Library Automator tool to jumpstart your planning.