Here at Concise Training we love to use spreadsheets to organise work and to aid us in carrying this work out.

In this series Steve will be looking at how you can use spreadsheets, specifically Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets to make your social media management more efficient.

To start off, we thought we would look at using spreadsheets to plan your social media publishing.

Publishing Schedules

If you are going to manage a large amount of content for regular publishing to the Internet, you will need to keep track of what you are publishing and plan when to do so. You can do this by creating an editorial calendar using any suitable spreadsheet software. It is useful, for reasons that will be covered later, for the software to be capable of saving a file in CSV (Comma Separated Values) format.

You can choose the layout that you wish to use yourself and it can be as simple as a column for date, a column for the content that you are going to publish and one for the network that you will publish your post to. It could also include a lot more detail such as on this free template which you can download from Hubspot:

publishing template example

You can see that this particular template uses a separate worksheet for each social network which is a good idea if you publish to a variety of networks.

We prefer to use something a bit simpler and to be able to track the topic or theme of the content that we will be publishing:

publishing template example2

By using a layout similar to this, We are able to sort and filter the spreadsheet by theme and topic.

A useful tip for using a spreadsheet to schedule content for microblogs such as Twitter, is to use the function “=LEN( )” to count the characters in the status update cells. This way, you can avoid your tweets getting too long.

You might also want to introduce a column that joins the status update, hashtags and link URL together into one for easy posting. You can do this using the function “=CONCATENATE( )”.

Comma Separated Values

This is a simple text file format that you can save a spreadsheet in where each item of data is separated by a “delimiter”- normally a comma. It is very useful if you can save your publishing schedule in this format as with a bit of manipulation, you will then be able to upload your file into social media management tools such as ViralHeat or the Pro version of Hootsuite and schedule your content to be published automatically.

Next week we will look in more detail at how you can integrate spreadsheets with social media management tools. Meanwhile we would love to hear how you have used spreadsheets to plan your social media content.