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Strategy VS Planning

Oftentimes content planning is misunderstood and looked at as a social media strategy.

It’s an understandable misconception, since you are thinking about your content, what topics you want to post about, when, and how often you’ll be posting, and what the content will look like.

However, you should have a content strategy, a content planning calendar, and an overall social media strategy for your platforms.

So let’s get into the differences.

Social media strategy vs content planning

Starting with the overall social media strategy.

This is the plan-of-action, steps you’re taking to reach your goals.

In this strategy, you are not just planning what type of content you’ll be posting, when, where, and in what order. You’re also identifying who your target audience is, what platforms you will be on, your brand persona’s, platform branding, your channel goals, what steps you’re taking to reach those goals, and more.

Your social media strategy is about identifying who your brand is, how it will be portrayed on social media, and how you are creating your digital presence.

It can be confusing when you ask what someone’s strategy is and their answer simply revolves around the content they’re posting. However, we will talk about content strategy and content planning next. This should show you how your overall strategy is not the same but should be the guide.


social media content strategy

Your content strategy.

Obviously, when you don’t have analytics, it will begin as testing. But, once you do have data to track, your content strategy will become guided by both the social media strategy and your metrics.

What does this mean?

Well, your social strategy is going to guide the channels you use, the voice and tone, topics, media types used, and the goals outlined.

For example, maybe you want to use Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. You could choose to make Instagram your combo channel, TikTok focused on educating and entertaining, and Facebook could be for advocacy.

Simply choosing these themes helps you begin planning better and creating better content. Your social media strategy will help you with these certain decisions.

Additionally, your analytics. What analytics align with your social media strategy goals? What analytics do you need to see grow to help you move closer towards your goals?

This is what your content strategy should be about. You’re not yet planning but you are preparing. Think of your content strategy as your content outline.


social media content planning

Now your content planning (AKA - content calendar).

Your content calendar is NOT a strategy. Your calendar is guided by your social media and content strategies.

The whole point of your calendar is to make sure you’re creating content centered around your goals and to make sure you’re not being repetitive.

The biggest mistake is thinking you can simply post the day of and that will just workout. What’s the problem with this?

  1. Easier to miss days

  2. No plan for sick or vacation days

  3. No content or low quality on low creativity days

  4. Easy to be repetitive

  5. Lacks strategy in the content

Creating a calendar helps you have more time to be creative. It gives you the time to review and analyze your metrics and makes sure you’re building on success. It can be easy to “just throw something up,” but it won’t be effective or sustainable.


Don’t ever feel rushed with your social media content or plan.

It’s not about getting content out, just to have content. Your content does nothing for you without a strategy, a purpose, a plan, and overall quality. You either have a recipe for success or a recipe for disaster.



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