How far in advance should I plan out my social media calendar?
What works for you, a social media calendar prepared for you for the entire year or creating a weekly calendar? I also want to know if purchasing a social media calendar for the whole year is a good idea.
What would you prefer?
The weekly and monthly calendar you create or one created for you?
A social media calendar for the month is optimal. That way, you can plan around your blog posts and other product updates. I don't think you should necessarily purchase a calendar. There are several free templates available from Hubspot that can help you.
I prefer a monthly calendar created by me. It helps when there are unexpected posts that need to go out and always leaves room for customization.
I like to plan content quarterly. I will determine what topic each month will focus on and then I can go deeper with weekly article titles and then deeper with ideas about each days' social posts. My content will either focus on a topic or will revolve around something I am promoting, like an online course or a book release. Then I can fill in any gaps in social media with last minute things such as articles I've had published on other sites, podcast interviews I've done that have finally been released, and any industry news I want to share.
While I think it's extremely efficient to schedule social posts out ahead of time, I think it's also important to have a plan for posts that come up unexpectedly. I think the way to best optimize your social media strategy is to have a balance between the two techniques you have mentioned. Maybe scheduling outposts for a year (whether it's paid for or something you do yourself) is a good idea as long as those are the basic foundation of your social media content. You are going to want to share things as they happen, which will require some 'in the moment' posting (weekly).
Hope this helps!