If your brand isn’t utilizing Instagram, it may want to start. The social media platform has an audience of more than 1 billion users, with people spending on average 30 minutes a day scrolling through feeds and viewing stories.
But it’s not enough to simply create a post and let it fly; you need to also make sure you’re making the most of the platform. An organized business Instagram content calendar is just the tool you need to make that happen.
So, how do you make a business Instagram content calendar? What does a social media calendar include? How can you make sure your content calendar is effective?
If you’re looking for the answers to these questions, then buckle up because our comprehensive guide below will steer you through how to create a business Instagram content calendar that meets your brand’s needs.
Social Media Calendars 101: What They Are and Why You Need Them
Before we dive into business Instagram content calendars, we need to review what exactly social media calendars are and why they’re crucial for businesses. A social media calendar allows you to organize upcoming social media posts, whether that’s in the form of an actual calendar or a spreadsheet. That said, a business Instagram content calendar is a social media calendar strictly reserved for Instagram stories, feeds, live streams and reels.
The Importance of Creating Consistent Social Media Content
Consistency is key when it comes to building a social media following. It allows your organization to keep fans engaged, form relationships with target audiences, build trust in your brand and stand out from competitors.
Therefore, a social media calendar is a critical social media marketing tool. It enables you to organize posts through planning and maintaining a consistent posting cadence. By developing batches of social media content, you have the power to create a regular content schedule.
4 Guidelines for Creating Great Social Content
Okay, there are definitely more than 4 rules when creating content, but we’ll save the others for another day. Essentially, you want to keep the following in mind when developing your social media strategy:
- Know your target audience: Everything you create on social media should be directed at a well-defined group of consumers.
- Select the right social media platform: Try to target who you think will be most likely to interact with your brand on each specific social media platform. According to Hootsuite, the largest demographic on Instagram is 25-34-year-olds (31%), followed closely by 18-24-year-olds (30%).
- Post unique content on each platform: Refrain from posting stagnant content across the board. Instead, create unique posts for each social media network. Keep best practices in mind for each social media platform as well — Instagram posts should be image-heavy, while LinkedIn posts can feature longer form copy.
- Proofread, proofread and then proofread again: While commonly known abbreviations are acceptable on social media, grammatical and spelling errors can tarnish your brand reputation. Take proactive measures to ensure all social media content is clear, well-written and typo-free.
By keeping these rules in mind, you’ll find yourself creating powerful and immersive social media content that drives a purpose, rather than just sending out a social media post for the sake of it. And with the help of your social media content calendar, you can keep all of your posts organized to ensure consistency across multiple platforms.
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How to Create an Instagram Content Calendar for Your Business
So, now that you’re clear on why social media content calendars are so crucial to your marketing strategy, let’s review what you need to include in your business Instagram posting calendar.
First things first, you’ll want to establish a few ground rules for ideating posts. Collaborate with your marketing crew and perform industry research to answer the following questions about your social media strategy:
- What is the tone and voice featured in all Instagram posts?
- What are we aiming to accomplish through our Instagram social media content?
- What type of users are we targeting with our Instagram posts?
- Who is responsible for overseeing the posting schedule and content calendar creation?
- Who will be monitoring our Instagram to respond to comments and direct messages (DMs) to ensure optimal engagement?
- How often will we be posting content on Instagram?
From there, you can start to build out your business Instagram content calendar. A few key elements to include are:
- The type of post you’re creating — think Instagram Reel vs. Story vs. feed post.
- All copy and creative assets for each post — including photos, videos and animations.
- The date and exact time the post will go live.
- Any relevant hashtags, influencers or location tags to mention in the post.
Linking an Instagram Post
It’s important to note that currently, Instagram does not allow users to link in its captions. Therefore, if you want to send your followers somewhere specific, the best way to do so is by including a link on your profile page, then directing users to follow the link in your bio. Here’s a prime example of this from the nutrition and delicious snack company Perfect Bar:
However, it’s possible to include a link in an Instagram story thanks to a new feature Instagram rolled out in October 2021. Simply upload your story content and select the “Link” sticker from the sticker tool. Add your link, place the sticker somewhere in your story — preferably front and center so followers can easily find it — and voilà! You can send story viewers directly to a page on your website.
3 Helpful Business Instagram Content Calendar Examples
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to determine what you need to include in your business Instagram content calendar, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of our top picks of social media content calendar templates that can become the inspo for your brand:
Hootsuite Social Media Calendar Template
Hootsuite is a global leader in social media management, and its platform makes it easy to manage your marketing. Their company’s content calendar is based on Google Sheets and features a monthly and weekly view.
At the monthly view, the template breaks out content for every quarter, outlines the 4 key pillars of Hootsuite’s content strategy — education, cultural moments, encouragement and entertainment — and lists any major holidays to ensure social content is tailored accordingly.
Using the weekly view, you see each specific social media post, the content pillar it relates to, the time each post will go live, and the copy and hashtags included in each post.
Why we love this template: This content calendar template helps social media strategists keep posts aligned with the brand’s key content pillars. It uses an organized design, leveraging colors and drop-down menus to make the calendar easy to navigate. The monthly view also makes it easy for social media marketers to tailor their posts around essential dates.
How to make this template better: This template isn’t specific to Instagram, and there’s definitely a lot going on, making it a bit overwhelming to view. You may need to customize it to fit your specific Instagram-posting needs.
ManyChat Instagram Posting Calendar Template
ManyChat provides social media marketing tools to streamline and organize posting. The company provides a variety of Instagram posting calendar templates for enterprises to use, such as this one:
As you can see, this Instagram calendar lists the different types of Instagram content — live posts, feed posts, reels, carousels, contests and stories — to ensure consistent and clear posting throughout the month.
Why we love this template: This content calendar is easy to view and uses colors to categorize the different types of posts that need scheduling. It makes it simple for anyone at a business to see what’s being created at a glance while ensuring a variety of content gets delivered — such as reels, stories and feed posts.
How to make this template better: We recommend using this template as a base, then kicking it up a notch by adding in the specific copy, links, tags and times for each post, so it’s easy to see what each content piece will include. We also recommend incorporating key dates into the content, such as national holidays.
HubSpot Social Media Calendar
As the global leader in inbound marketing, HubSpot has a thorough and well-thought-out social media content calendar template that businesses can adopt. Similar to Hootsuite, HubSpot provides a monthly planning view that outlines the type of posts the company should create — peep the key in the photo below — on each specific date:
At the bottom of the Google Sheet, HubSpot lists the posting schedules for different social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Here’s what the Instagram content calendar template looks like:
Why we love this template: This template is thorough and makes it easy to brainstorm posts for the month, then breaks out your social media strategy to fit specific social platforms. Social media marketers can quickly navigate the calendar and fill in the caption, links and images included in each post. The template also includes a “campaign” column, so your team can ensure every post aligns with a specific campaign and, therefore, aligns with your brand’s content marketing strategy.
How to make this template better: Viewing a spreadsheet isn’t always the most exciting task, so we would recommend color-coding the various sections — such as the type of campaigns — to make the calendar less complicated to navigate. We also see that the template is designed for 2 posts per day. However, this might not be the cadence your brand needs. While consistency is essential for building social media followers, posting simply for the sake of it can hurt engagement scores and clog your followers’ timelines. Therefore, we recommend altering the frequency of your Instagram content to ensure every post provides value to your followers.
Making the Most From Your Business Instagram Content Calendar
Simply creating an Instagram content calendar isn’t enough — you must utilize it correctly, too. To optimize your content creation process and ensure you’re achieving meaningful results from your social media efforts, identify one person from your organization — or a third-party agency — who will be responsible for overseeing the content calendar. While you may have a team of social media strategists creating the content, designating one leader will guarantee accountability.
Once you pinpoint this person, they will need to:
- Provide access and training to all team members who will be accessing the content calendar.
- Enforce deadlines to deliver all social media posts are scheduled on time.
- Review social media content to ensure they align with the overarching content marketing strategy.
- Measure and analyze the impact of the social media posts, then leverage that data to make strategic improvements.
By setting benchmarks and evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs) — such as likes, comments, follower count, post reach and views — you can ensure your social media strategy produces the right kind of results, such as increasing engagement, share of voice or website traffic.
Download Our Free Business Instagram Content Calendar Template
Is all of this talk about social media content calendars inspiring you to create your own? If so, you’re in the right place. Our social media strategists have developed a comprehensive business Instagram content calendar template that you can customize to fit your specifications. With this template — and keeping the best practices we’ve listed throughout this article in mind — your business can develop consistent, results-driven Instagram content that supports your marketing goals.
Download the Content Calendar Template: