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Steal This Social Media Calendar Template (+ How to Make Your Own From Scratch)

Create your own social media calendar with a step-by-step guide, or use this free calendar template to get planning right away.(image)

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

As a super Type-A person, that’s a favorite expression of mine. And — having spent many years managing various social media platforms in marketing and media — I’ve learned the hard way that this is one area where you absolutely cannot wing it. Especially if you’re managing multiple channels. 

You need a social media content calendar.

A social media calendar is a game changer when building a social media presence, be it as someone building your personal brand, a creator, or a social media manager

But you’re reading this article, so I’m preaching to the converted — so let’s get right into the meat of it. I’ll walk you through the benefits of having a social media calendar and exactly how to create your own calendar using Buffer. I’ll also share the social media calendar system we use in our Marketing team, along with a plug-and-play social media calendar template you can use right away. 

Why you need a social media calendar

We’ve written about why you need a social media calendar in-depth, so I’ll leave you with the essential benefits of having one here. A social media calendar will help you:

  1. Stay on top of multiple social media channels efficiently
  2. Stick to the content pillars in your social media marketing strategy
  3. Post consistently
  4. Schedule posts in advance and automate processes so you’re not working around the clock
  5. Work with team members (if you’re on a Marketing team or social media team), collaborators, or stakeholders 
  6. Stay on top of product launches, marketing campaigns, events, or even holidays
  7. Streamline a system of approvals before posting
  8. Save time with content batching 
  9. Repurpose content 
  10. Keep track of content ideas 

How to create your own social media calendar from scratch

Buffer is a social media scheduling tool built to make it easier to grow your following online. It’s a one-stop-shop for the entire process — from content ideation to publishing, right on to analyzing content performance. 

There are a host of other perks to housing your social media calendar right in Buffer — beyond the ability to plan and schedule in a single tool:

  • A high-level monthly view for big-picture planning.
  • A more in-depth weekly view to see all the key details at a glance.
  • The ability to exclude certain channels from view for extra clarity and focus.
  • Access it anywhere. Thanks to Buffer’s mobile app, you can check or amend your calendar on the go. 
  • More to come! The calendar is a big focus for us at the moment, and we have some really exciting plans for 2024.

📲 Download the Buffer app for iOS here

📲 Download the Buffer app for Android here

I’m going to walk you through exactly how to create yours in Buffer’s free social media calendar, take you beyond planning, and right into scheduling. 

1. Define your social media strategy

Before you even open a calendar tool, a social media strategy should be your first port of call. 

If you’re a creator and not a social media manager, it will be tempting to skip this step. But trust me, content strategy is not just for Marketing teams. They’re a crucial step in social media success. Random posting = random results. Having clear goals, understanding your target audience, and defining your content pillars will make your work much easier and more successful in the long run. 

Don’t just take it from me — I love this Reel by @stanforcreators, which outlines just how important it is for creators and their unique approach to creating one.

This doesn’t involve pages and pages — even just a single-page guide will help you get crystal clear on your goals and how you’re going to get there. 

You’ll find our complete social media strategy guide here, and it’s well worth working your way through it if you’re just starting (there’s even a template there, too!). Here’s a high-level overview of your steps:

  1. Pinpoint your ‘why.’ Why do you need to be active on social media? What is your ultimate goal?
  2. Define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your content?
  3. Define your content pillars. What are you going to share, and why will it resonate?
  4. Choose your platforms. Which social media sites will you use to reach your audience? How many social platforms should you choose?
  5. Set your cadence. Decide on your posting frequency (which may differ from platform to platform).

2. Connect your channels

Congratulations, the toughest part is out of the way! With your strategy in hand, you’re ready to connect your social media accounts to Buffer. First, make sure you’re logged in to those channels in the browser or on the device you’re using.

Then log in to Buffer, head over to, and choose Connect Channel. You could also click on your profile avatar at the top right of your dashboard and click Account, then Channels.

Click on the type of channel you'd like to connect. (If you already have channels connected, click Connect New Channel and then click the channel you'd like to connect.)


The process is pretty straightforward, but we have an in-depth guide to connecting channels in Buffer in our help center, plus specific how-tos for each platform if you run into any problems.

3. Create your tagging system

Color coding is my organizational love language (you should see my bookshelf), so Buffer’s new feature addition, Tags, has changed the game for me when it comes to content planning. 

There are a host of ways to use Tags that will be incredibly useful in your social media management system. You could use them to tag posts by:

  • Content pillar (my personal favorite)
  • Post status (idea, draft, ready to publish)
  • Format or type of content (text, video, photo, carousel)
  • Platform (while you’ll be able to see which social media app your post is scheduled on in the calendar, this could be useful if you’re also saving ideas here for, say, a blog)

What’s really neat about Tags is that they translate over to the Analytics section, too, so you can measure up the performance of one grouping against another. This has been incredibly useful for me as I experiment with my content pillars to see which resonate the most with my audie

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