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Editorial Calendars: They’re Not Just for Ad Buys
By: Elaine Reed
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Those of us with a background in traditional Marketing are familiar with Editorial Calendars for ad placements and even article submissions. But this traditional tool can help make a Social Media strategy really hum. Here are a few reasons you should take the time to develop your own calendar, distribute it and refer to it every day.

Editorial Calendars are a mainstay in the traditional marketing world. They break each day, week, month, quarter, and year down into manageable parts with specific goals. They help determine seasonality for Marketers and they help ensure that critical Marketing channels are routinely refreshed. These are all benefits that can transform a social media strategy from a thing that a company does because everyone else is, to a powerhouse performer.
  • Editorial Calendars require Marketers to give some thought to the business life cycle to determine when, how, and how frequently they should reach out to each of their target markets. It also formalizes the time and effort required to complete each effort. This is critical to Social Media. Many businesses still think that Social Media is something that can be squeezed in whenever there is time. Like any other Sales or Marketing effort, that simply isn’t the case. Using a traditional tool, like the Editorial Calendar, reframes that and literally illustrates that Social Media cannot be an afterthought.
  • Editorial Calendars make it easier and more likely for Marketers to track success and plan future campaigns. Once you know what you’ve talked about on Social Media, it’s easier to find your successes and failures. And that makes it easier to plan for more successes. Who wouldn’t want that?
  • Editorial Calendars make it easier to spot trends. Any good Marketer knows that an Editorial Calendar is a living document, changing based on customer response and the needs of the business. If you can refer back to a list of what was promoted and then tie that to analytics, it’s easy to see if your free coffee promotion should be moved from July to September or if your Caribbean Cruise contest will get a better response from customers in Pacific Northwest or the Southeast.
  •  Editorial Calendars make it easy for someone else to pick up the reigns. You used your calendar to prove that you need more time to dedicate to Social Media, and you’ve used it to track your successes. Now you can use it continue your success if you have an extended absence. Simply grant your back-up person access to the calendar and the Social accounts and there’s a very real chance that not only will your customers never know you aren’t there, they’ll continue to keep the word going and drive more successes while you take care of other business offline.
It’s easy to scoff at traditional Marketing methods, but whether you are trying to build a case, or make your Social campaigns more successful, pairing traditional tools with the new ones can make your really shine.

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About the Author
Elaine Reed is a marketing professional with heavy emphasis on e-commerce and Internet marketing. She blogs regularly on her website and tweets often.
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