How to use a Social Media Content Calendar (+ Free download)

You’ve probably heard people talk about setting up and using a Social Media Content Calendar, but how do you do that?

When I first started my business I heard people throw this term around and I was CLUELESS as to what they meant. I even downloaded a few free Social Media calendars, but they just looked like normal calendars to me...and I still didn’t understand how to use it.

This may seem like a simple question, but it’s NOT a dumb question.

How the heck do I use a Social Media calendar and plan out my content?



I’m going to show you how to use a Social Media calendar, how to plan out your content in advance (with a few different methods to try) AND how to schedule your content, plus at the end of this post you'll get a FREE calendar download so you can get started right away.


Ready to jump in?




  • Choose 1-2 Social Media platforms to plan for. I personally plan for Instagram, that’s my preferred Social Media platform. (If you’re struggling to know which Social Media platform is best for you or you wish you knew how to use a specific Social Media platform, click here for my beginners guide).


  • These methods work best for Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. Twitter & Pinterest require you to post too many times a day, so let’s save that subject for another time.


How to use a Social Media Content Calendar:

It looks just like a calendar, now what? There are a few different strategies you can take:

  • Set themed days. For instance:

Monday's - post an inspirational quote, Tuesday’s are all about the color pink, Wednesday’s I highlight a new business, Thursday’s I show my latest work/product, Friday’s I promote my blog post, Saturday’s I share a personal story, Sunday’s I post pics of my furchild (or human child). :)


  • Plan it ALL out a week in advance:


  • Plan it ALL out a month in advance:


What content should you post?

  • If you’re stuck on what to post to Social Media, think about your Brand.
    • What do you want your brand to represent?
    • How do you want to make people feel when they see your post?
    • What elements of your life are you willing to share?
    • Choose 5 things you always want your audience to know about you.
      • For example: I’m a Brand Designer, Photographer, Encourager, Silly/Fun-loving (personable & honest) and I love supporting other businesses. (I also include a lot of tea and my cat). 
Instagram @BrightlyandCompany ( shows my Brand Design, Branding Photography, Me, Support of local businesses, encouragement and for kitty ).

Instagram @BrightlyandCompany (shows my Brand Design, Branding Photography, Me, Support of local businesses, encouragement and for kitty).



Scheduling your content:

Use a project management system like Trello to plan out your content.


For Instagram:

  • I currently use Planoly, and I also used Later (free). These programs allow you to organize, write your caption and schedule your Instagram posts in advance. (I schedule all of my Instagram posts for an entire week in about an hour now).


For Facebook:




For LInkedIn:

  • I recommend using a program like CoSchedule or Buffer for scheduling content on LinkedIn. These programs allow you to schedule content in advance and would also work great for Facebook and Instagram.


Any time you can plan or schedule ahead, it always makes your life easier. If you haven’t before download your free Social Media Content Planner here: Click here to download. Take an hour to brainstorm some content ideas and then schedule them out. It will take you longer the first time, but I promise it gets easier each time you do it. :)


Experiment! Try different methods. Do different things to see what works and what doesn’t.


What was your favorite idea above? Comment below and share your favorite social media profile with us.

Let’s get some community building happening here!

Learn how to Brand your Instagram! FREE online workshop hosted by myself and Stephanie of Ms. Paper Moon. Click below to join us and register for the event, January 5th @ 1pm.