Content calendars aren’t evil

But the people who make them often abuse them. Here are the essentials of using them effectively.

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Most companies are still trying to break outside the mold of corporate approvals. Legal and compliance loom large, and it can take a long time to develop the trust needed for certain constituencies to step back. Clients’ need to micromanage content out of fear that inappropriate content will make its way online is another significant factor. Frankly, the risk of bypassing those approvals is too high to be worthwhile anyway. It’s important to keep one eye on the big picture. By avoiding planning—and instead taking a simple day-to-day approach—you run the risk of veering away from a strategic approach to content and toward a purely tactical, reactive approach. It’s all too easy to find yourself responding to daily business demands (promote this or that sales message, promote this campaign, etc.) and lose track of the big-picture approach that is rarely so sales-driven. Content calendars enable consistency across channels. Not that companies should ignore the differences between audiences on their different social channels (you’ve done that research on your communities, right?), but consistency can be helpful when coordinating programs.

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