How to Plan an Effective Social Media Calendar

January 25, 2021

Marketing

How to Plan an Effective Social Media Calendar

Promotional calendars are a great tool to help you define and drive your Facebook marketing. Posting the right content at the right time keeps your audience engaged, and helps you make the most of seasonal sales and promotional periods.

Which sounds pretty straightforward... right up until you’re staring at a blank calendar, wondering what on earth you’re going to post about next month! To give you a hand with the planning we’ve broken down five types of events to factor into your Facebook marketing, along with some tips and tricks to make the most of each one.

Major Holidays

These are the big ones! Christmas, Valentines Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are staples on any ecommerce calendar. Depending on your industry Matariki, Halloween and New Year might also feature. 

Major holidays are also major sales opportunities, so plan for them well in advance. You’ll want to organise a series of posts leading up to the day, to give yourself time to showcase a range of products and to stay in front of your customers throughout their decision-making process. Christmas promos tend to start the earliest, with most ecommerce businesses kicking into gear in October or November. Promotional activity for the other major holidays generally starts 3-4 weeks before the actual date. 

With major holidays it’s critical to keep shipping time frames in mind: nobody wants to start their Valentine’s Day with “I love you very much, but your present’s stuck in a freight depot in East Tamaki.” Give your customers a heads-up by letting them know when delivery cut off dates are approaching. 

(This is especially important coming into Christmas, when many couriers experience delays due to high volumes of orders. Check in with your freight provider ahead of time and see if you need to extend your normal delivery timeframes.)

If you can ship quickly and your product makes a good last-minute gift, don’t miss the opportunity to get in front of your less organised customers. As well as boosting your sales figures, your ‘Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts’ post might be the only thing standing between a hard-working Mum, and a bouquet of flowers pinched from the neighbour’s garden.

Holidays like Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day are also sale hotspots for Kiwi purchasers and can be a good opportunity to move your clearance stock.

How to Plan an Effective Social Media Calendar

Local & Regional Events

Local and regional events are often an opportunity to promote your products in unique and topical ways. 

This might mean launching your new lipstick line in the lead-up to Cup and Show Week, offering 20% off DIY products before a long weekend, or promoting headphones and audio equipment during New Zealand Music Month. 

Events that are specific to your industry - like Fashion Week, if you’re an apparel retailer - are a great opportunity to connect with your audience over something you both enjoy. As always, make sure you mix your sales-y posts with interesting event-related content that drives engagement and creates conversations.

If there’s an event on the horizon but your products aren’t a perfect fit, don’t be afraid to think outside the box! You can still create some great content - and drive traffic to your website - with a cleverly worded post and a tangentially related product.

How to Plan an Effective Social Media Calendar

Changing Seasons

Your customers’ priorities, habits and lifestyles change with the seasons - so your content should change along with them! Seasonal posts and promos are a great way to showcase a product line and give your audience a fresh perspective on your range.

Getting creative with your seasonal promotions can give you a real advantage; it’s easy to sell hot chocolate in winter, but if you can find an innovative way to promote it during summer (how about a new iced chocolate cocktail recipe?) you’ll be head and shoulders above your competition. 

Don’t forget to tie in with established seasonal concepts, like Spring Cleaning and Midwinter Christmas. 

How to Plan an Effective Social Media Calendar

International ‘Months & Days’

From Manatee Awareness Month to World Bagel Day, the calendar is chocka with formal and informal international holidays. 

While they won’t all be winners, finding and celebrating the days and months that tie in with your products and your industry can be a unique way to connect with your audience - and there really is something for every business!  

While the Attraction Studio team won’t be making space in our calendar for Naked Gardening Day, for an online retailer who specialises in garden products it’s a unique opportunity to create some fun content and link back to a product or promotion.

(It’s on May 1st, if you want to stock up on your sunscreen ahead of time.)
The United Nations lists their official days here, or for a full list of serious and not-so-serious events visit the Days of the Year website.

How to Plan an Effective Social Media Calendar

Your own celebrations

Don’t forget to share your own successes, and give your audience a chance to celebrate with you; if they’ve taken the time to follow your Facebook page, chances are they’re pretty interested in how your business is going!

Some milestones - like your first year in business or shipping your 500th product - might lend themselves well to a special offer or a limited time sale. Other occasions might just be a chance to show your appreciation and thank your customers for helping you to get this far. 

--

Hopefully we’ve given you some pointers to make the planning process a bit easier, and increase your Facebook marketing success by tying in with the holidays and events that relate best to your audience, and to your business.

Want to attract the right attention?

Contact Us