Social Media Calendar Templates – Basics

Wondering how to organize your content calendar? And improve team collaboration at every step of the process?

Type: a social media calendar template. Calendar templates allow you to visualize your entire range of social content in one place. With a master social calendar, you can spend less time ironing out your collaboration woes and more time creating quality content.

But many calendar templates are too generic. The better alternative? Create your own custom template created for your branding and publishing needs.

This article explains all the essential components you need to create a working social media calendar. And how upgrading to a tool like Sprout Social can make content planning as easy as the click of a button.

Why you need a social media calendar template for your team

With a template, your team can streamline your workflow—from first draft to approved post to measuring success. You can share new post ideas, exchange feedback, and keep all images, videos, and other media content in one place.

Creating a calendar template for social media posts also makes your content development and approval process repeatable. A well-constructed template is customizable and scalable, allowing it to adapt to different publishing needs and campaigns over time.

Suppose you open a new TikTok account. Even if you add TikTok posts and media to your existing content calendar, it’s still easy to visualize your entire content lineup at a glance.

Once you start using the template, you can even improve the measurement of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The template we’ll help you create in this article tracks awareness and engagement metrics.

What to include in a calendar template for social media content

To make your social media content calendar template effective, add each of the following components.

A graphic of a list named "Social media calendar template checklist." The list includes text and media, date and time, links, networks and accounts, campaigns, collaboration notes/approval steps, KPIs, and keys.

copy and media

Your content is an essential part of your social media content calendar template. Include all versions of a post message – optimized for each network (within character limits, including platform-specific hashtags and using a platform-appropriate tone).

Also add any appropriate media assets. Directly copy and paste or link to images, videos, infographics, memes and GIFs included in your post. Set media size based on the needs of each network.

Date and Time

Include the date, time, and time zone that each post will be published. This clarifies your publishing time and helps you stay organized. You can sort your calendar by month or week if you post a lot of content.


For easy publishing, approval and tracking, paste your shortened UTM links into your social media calendar template.

networks and accounts

For each post, identify the network on which it will be published. Include options like: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube and any other channel that might be relevant.

If you manage accounts for multiple brands, include the brand name next to each post.

Pro tip: Depending on account size and posting frequency, it may be best to create separate calendars for each brand’s social presence that you manage. For example, if you’re an agency, it’s best to create one calendar per client to plan and get feedback.


In your template, indicate whether posts are part of a social media campaign or a larger campaign at your company. Examples of campaigns are annual campaigns, email campaigns or product launches.

Grouping posts by campaign makes it easier to sort and report on campaign progress/results.

Notes on collaboration and approval steps

To avoid messy email threads and hectic direct messages, include space for collaboration in your template. Enable back-and-forth communication between teammates, stakeholders, and customers to share feedback and ask questions.

Also crucial: Make approval steps transparent. For example, you could include a column identifying the stage of content development as Draft, Under Review, Approved, or Released so that the relevant people can be engaged at the correct production stage.


To track and analyze your social results, add key performance metrics to your calendar template. This makes it easy to spot trends and replicate the success of your top-performing posts. Select metrics relevant to your individual goals, including clicks, likes, shares, comments, mentions, conversions, and website traffic.


To ensure your social media content calendar template is easy to use, create a color-coordinated key to categorize your content. Categories on your key can include blog posts, webinars, and product launches.

The 4 steps you need to create your master social media calendar template

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your own editorial social media calendar template that can grow with your brand.

1. Add columns

Start with an empty table and add columns for:

  • Copy
  • media
  • date
  • time
  • connections
  • campaign
  • network
  • Account
  • Collaboration Notes
  • approval phase
  • metrics
A screenshot of a social media calendar template showing the categories in each column.

2. Add dropdown menus

To save time and make filling out your template easier, add dropdown menus with pre-populated options for campaigns, networks, accounts, and approval stages.

A screenshot of a social media calendar template showing dropdown menus for categories with recurring classifications (example: social media network).

3. Create a key

Create a color-coded key with labels that correspond to your content categories. You can implement the colors from the key in a new column or change the color of each row.

A screenshot of a social media calendar template key showing content labels (example: blog posts).

4. Start adding content

Start adding content to your social media calendar template to test how compatible it is with your team’s workflow. Customize the template further to suit your unique needs.

A screenshot of a social media calendar template showing what the completed template looks like, including adding text and media.

A better way to manage your social media calendar templates

While social media calendar templates are helpful, they often rely on manual updates, which can be tedious and time-consuming.

If you want to eliminate spreadsheets and simplify the planning of your social media content, you can easily do so with a tool like Sprout Social’s shared content calendar. The calendar’s multiple views (including weekly and monthly) allow you to dive into both granular post details and the big picture of your content strategy. It’s an intuitive tool that lets you plan, schedule, collaborate, and auto-post from a single platform.

A screenshot of the Sprout Social release calendar showing a weekly view of all outgoing posts.

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Here’s an overview of some of Sprout’s key publishing and scheduling tools designed to simplify content management.

Message scheduling and approval workflows

You can compose and schedule multiple social posts simultaneously across different profiles and networks. Take it a step further by queuing different posts in advance.

A screenshot of the compose feature in the Sprout Social release calendar.  It shows how to request approval with one click.

Generate approval workflows as part of your publishing process to control message submission, review, and approval, and facilitate collaboration. You can even add and remove external stakeholders so they can review social media posts before they are published (without having to log into Sprout). Social media marketers can efficiently manage the entire drafting, approval, and publishing process in one place.

message marking

Sprout’s internal tagging tool makes it easy to group and categorize messages based on content type, campaign, workflow, business goals, and marketing strategies as you compose a message. Tags automatically organize content and optimize performance analysis.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's compose function showing how tags are added.

Asset library and media integrations

Instead of storing your social media assets in different places (including your social media posting calendar template), Sprout allows you to create, organize, edit, and publish assets from one central location. From your asset library, you can manage media and quickly create visually appealing social media posts.

A screenshot of the asset library in Sprout Social.  There are several images on the screenshot.

Sprout integrations allow you to add videos and images to your asset library directly from tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Canva.

URL tracking

Sprout’s URL tracking capabilities attach tracking data to links to easily identify social traffic in Google Analytics and monitor campaigns, referral traffic, and social post conversions. Links are automatically defined by the social network, account, and post in question, with no need to create parameters manually.

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Having a social media calendar template is non-negotiable for team organization and efficiency. But it’s not the most effective way to up your social media management game.

By using a tool like Sprout, you can have a single source of truth for creating and maintaining your social posting strategy. Sprout’s shared content calendar saves you time and simplifies your process while improving your content performance and audience engagement.

Try Sprout’s social media publishing calendar and other engagement, analytics, and social listening tools for free today.

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