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how to create an effective social media content plan: tips and template

Everything that can go unread (as well as unseen and unheard) will go unread. This is the main obstacle of the modern overloaded information environment. Any text and any material for publication must be carefully thought out, planned, work in conjunction with other publications and lead to a common goal.

Systematicness is the word that should be the main characteristic of working with content. In the case of social media, the content plan plays such a system-forming role.

Together with ICU's Head of SMM, Anastasia, we'll figure out how to create a content plan and make sure it works. And at the end of the article, you'll be able to download a free content plan template.

What is a content plan?

A content plan is a convenient tool for planning publications on social networks, on a website, or on external resources, which is prepared in advance for a certain period of time. In other words, it's a regularly updated document containing a list of publications for a month/week.

Some SMM specialists create separate content plans for each social network, but at ICU, we prefer a consolidated document for all content and create it for a month.

Why create a content plan?

There is an opinion that a content plan makes an account template-like and lifeless, destroying creativity. It's like considering a schedule of a restaurant's operation hours on its door to be the killer of good service or the chef's creative spirit. What if the restaurant isn't planning to stay open until the evening or the chef only cooks when the muse visits?

So, a content plan solves several tasks at once:

Proper distribution:

  • — of content categories: the ratio of educational, promotional, entertaining, and engaging content
  • — of publication formats: posts with pictures, videos, articles, live streams.

Insurance against "content gaps" and time-saving: you always know what to publish, in what format, and can prepare everything in advance.

Alignment with business goals: all publications are distributed in a way that logically leads to achieving business objectives.

Consistency: develops a habit of publishing content constantly. This is important to remind your audience of your brand and maintain interest in your product/service.

Maximizing audience reach: it's often difficult to reach the entire audience with one piece of content. Therefore, topics should be thought out for each segment separately and logically arranged into one line.

In addition to systematization, a content plan gives you an understanding of:

  • - how to communicate with the audience to involve all its segments
  • - how to distribute content types - text, video, podcasts, infographics - to use all opportunities to attract and retain the audience
  • - how often to publish content so as not to get lost among competitors, but not to annoy the reader

Spending a few hours creating a content plan will significantly save you time for a leisurely cup of coffee and organized thoughts in your head in the future.

How to create a content plan?

When creating a content plan, follow these criteria:

  • - distribution of content by topics
  • - alignment with the audience avatar - focus on what is interesting to your target audience, not just what interests you
  • - pursuit of business goals - each post and series of publications should serve a single purpose - be it sales, warming up the audience, launching a new product, or building trust.

There is no single standard for formatting a content plan - it can be a text document, a presentation, a table, or even a MindMap. It's important to experiment and find out which one is most comfortable for you.

At ICU we use a table that marks:

  • - content release date
  • - platform
  • - content format
  • - post category and topic
  • - expected visuals (photo/video or cards)
  • - content type
  • - space for comments
  • - a line where the designer inserts links to ready-made visuals

We use different colors to indicate the type of content (post, story, article, or case study preview) to make it visually easier to read the table.

It's up to you to decide which type of content plan to choose. The main thing is to make it convenient to create, easy to navigate, and tailored to your goals.

You can download the content plan template used at ICU here.

5 very important tips

Before creating a content plan, keep in mind:

A content plan ≠ written law. It is a "flexible" document. If you have an urgent news update or an idea for a post that you really want to share, go ahead. It's okay to shift things around, and your content plan remains your working framework. This won't make your content worse, won't ruin your whole strategy, but will reflect the real situation in your company, which is very valuable to users.

You can also adjust the publishing time. If the plan requires you to post something on Monday at 2 p.m., but for some reason, you can't get it perfect by that time, it's better to refine it and post it on Tuesday morning. One or two days won't change anything, but well-developed content is always better than raw content.

Use ideas that come to you in the process. A subscriber asked a question, and you decided it would be great to cover it in a post? Great, jot down the idea in your content plan for the next period. By the time you compile a new content plan, you'll already have a list of ready-made topics, which will make your work easier and faster.

If you see that a particular type of content is more effective, use it more often, but don't overdo it. Subscribers will quickly get tired of reading similar posts.

Use cross-content. Expand on a topic in a post, provide a reference to a quiz on the topic running on Stories, and send readers from Stories to watch a video on your YouTube channel or read a full article on Zen.

And most importantly, remember that a content plan is a tool designed to make your life easier, not more complicated.

Monitor the audience's response to each publication: likes, reactions, comments and their sentiment, engagement rate. Test new things and improve what works well - as a result, you will be able to create your ideal content plan.

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1. An overview of data protection


The following gives a simple overview of what happens to your personal information when you visit our website. Personal information is any data with which you could be personally identified. Detailed information on the subject of data protection can be found in our privacy policy found below.

Data collection on our website

Who is responsible for the data collection on this website? The data collected on this website are processed by the website operator. The operator’s contact details can be found in the website’s required legal notice.

How do we collect your data?

Some data are collected when you provide it to us. This could, for example, be data you enter on a contact form.

Other data are collected automatically by our IT systems when you visit the website. These data are primarily technical data such as the browser and operating system you are using or when you accessed the page. These data are collected automatically as soon as you enter our website.

What do we use your data for?

Part of the data is collected to ensure the proper functioning of the website. Other data can be used to analyze how visitors use the site.

What rights do you have regarding your data?

You always have the right to request information about your stored data, its origin, its recipients, and the purpose of its collection at no charge. You also have the right to request that it be corrected, blocked, or deleted. You can contact us at any time using the address given in the legal notice if you have further questions about the issue of privacy and data protection. You may also, of course, file a complaint with the competent regulatory authorities.

Analytics and third-party tools

When visiting our website, statistical analyses may be made of your surfing behavior. This happens primarily using cookies and analytics. The analysis of your surfing behavior is usually anonymous, i.e. we will not be able to identify you from this data. You can object to this analysis or prevent it by not using certain tools. Detailed information can be found in the following privacy policy.

You can object to this analysis. We will inform you below about how to exercise your options in this regard.

2. General information and mandatory information

Data protection

The operators of this website take the protection of your personal data very seriously. We treat your personal data as confidential and in accordance with the statutory data protection regulations and this privacy policy.

If you use this website, various pieces of personal data will be collected. Personal information is any data with which you could be personally identified. This privacy policy explains what information we collect and what we use it for. It also explains how and for what purpose this happens.

Please note that data transmitted via the internet (e.g. via email communication) may be subject to security breaches. Complete protection of your data from third-party access is not possible.

Notice concerning the party responsible for this website
The party responsible for processing data on this website is:

Telephone: +66815434565
E-Mail: hello@icu.agency
Company registration number: 0845566007085

The responsible party is the natural or legal person who alone or jointly with others decides on the purposes and means of processing personal data (names, email addresses, etc.).

Revocation of your consent to the processing of your data

Many data processing operations are only possible with your express consent. You may revoke your consent at any time with future effect. An informal email making this request is sufficient. The data processed before we receive your request may still be legally processed.

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Opposition to promotional emails

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3. Data protection officer

Statutory data protection officer

We have appointed a data protection officer for our company.

Alexander Rusin
Telephone: +66815434565
E-Mail: hello@icu.agency
Company registration number: 0845566007085

4. Data collection on our website


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Cookies which are necessary to allow electronic communications or to provide certain functions you wish to use (such as the shopping cart) are stored pursuant to Art. 6 paragraph 1, letter f of DSGVO. The website operator has a legitimate interest in the storage of cookies to ensure an optimized service provided free of technical errors. If other cookies (such as those used to analyze your surfing behavior) are also stored, they will be treated separately in this privacy policy.

Server log files

The website provider automatically collects and stores information that your browser automatically transmits to us in “server log files”. These are:

Browser type and browser version
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IP address
These data will not be combined with data from other sources.

The basis for data processing is Art. 6 (1) (b) DSGVO, which allows the processing of data to fulfill a contract or for measures preliminary to a contract.

5. Analytics and advertising

Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service. It is operated by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.

Google Analytics uses so-called “cookies”. These are text files that are stored on your computer and that allow an analysis of the use of the website by you. The information generated by the cookie about your use of this website is usually transmitted to a Google server in the USA and stored there.

Google Analytics cookies are stored based on Art. 6 (1) (f) DSGVO. The website operator has a legitimate interest in analyzing user behavior to optimize both its website and its advertising.

IP anonymization

We have activated the IP anonymization feature on this website. Your IP address will be shortened by Google within the European Union or other parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area prior to transmission to the United States. Only in exceptional cases is the full IP address sent to a Google server in the US and shortened there. Google will use this information on behalf of the operator of this website to evaluate your use of the website, to compile reports on website activity, and to provide other services regarding website activity and Internet usage for the website operator. The IP address transmitted by your browser as part of Google Analytics will not be merged with any other data held by Google.

Browser plugin

You can prevent these cookies being stored by selecting the appropriate settings in your browser. However, we wish to point out that doing so may mean you will not be able to enjoy the full functionality of this website. You can also prevent the data generated by cookies about your use of the website (incl. your IP address) from being passed to Google, and the processing of these data by Google, by downloading and installing the browser plugin available at the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en.

Objecting to the collection of data

You can prevent the collection of your data by Google Analytics by clicking on the following link. An opt-out cookie will be set to prevent your data from being collected on future visits to this site: Disable Google Analytics.

For more information about how Google Analytics handles user data, see Google’s privacy policy: support.google.com

Outsourced data processing

We have entered into an agreement with Google for the outsourcing of our data processing and fully implement the strict requirements of the German data protection authorities when using Google Analytics.

Demographic data collection by Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics’ demographic features. This allows reports to be generated containing statements about the age, gender, and interests of site visitors. This data comes from interest-based advertising from Google and third-party visitor data. This collected data cannot be attributed to any specific individual person. You can disable this feature at any time by adjusting the ads settings in your Google account or you can forbid the collection of your data by Google Analytics as described in the section “Refusal of data collection”.

Google Analytics Remarketing

Our websites use the features of Google Analytics Remarketing combined with the cross-device capabilities of Google AdWords and DoubleClick. This service is provided by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.

This feature makes it possible to link target audiences for promotional marketing created with Google Analytics Remarketing to the cross-device capabilities of Google AdWords and Google DoubleClick. This allows advertising to be displayed based on your personal interests, identified based on your previous usage and surfing behavior on one device (e.g. your mobile phone), on other devices (such as a tablet or computer).

Once you have given your consent, Google will associate your web and app browsing history with your Google Account for this purpose. That way, any device that signs in to your Google Account can use the same personalized promotional messaging.

To support this feature, Google Analytics collects Google-authenticated IDs of users that are temporarily linked to our Google Analytics data to define and create audiences for cross-device ad promotion.

You can permanently opt out of cross-device remarketing/targeting by turning off personalized advertising in your Google Account; follow this link: https://www.google.com/settings/ads/onweb/?hl=en.

The aggregation of the data collected in your Google Account data is based solely on your consent, which you may give or withdraw from Google per Art. 6 (1) (a) DSGVO. For data collection operations not merged into your Google Account (for example, because you do not have a Google Account or have objected to the merge), the collection of data is based on Art. 6 (1) (f) DSGVO. The website operator has a legitimate interest in analyzing anonymous user behavior for promotional purposes.

For more information and the Google Privacy Policy, go to: https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/ads/.

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We will, therefore, process any data you enter onto the contact form only with your consent per Art. 6 (1) (a) DSGVO. You can revoke consent to the storage of your data and email address as well as their use for sending the newsletter at any time, e.g. through the “unsubscribe” link in the newsletter. The data processed before we receive your request may still be legally processed.

The data provided when registering for the newsletter will be used to distribute the newsletter until you cancel your subscription when said data will be deleted. Data we have stored for other purposes (e.g. email addresses for the members area) remain unaffected.

Data processing is based on Art. 6 (1) (a) DSGVO. You may revoke your consent at any time by unsubscribing to the newsletter. The data processed before we receive your request may still be legally processed.

The data provided when registering for the newsletter will be used to distribute the newsletter until you cancel your subscription when said data will be deleted from our servers. Data we have stored for other purposes remains unaffected.

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