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Why social media calendars are essential for content experts

As content experts, we all know the struggle of figuring out what and when to post. The perfect moment and the type of content that we shoot out onto the internet can be crucial to a company’s success. With that being said, we need a tool that will help us engage our company’s social media audience and ensure that quality content is being shared.

A calendar, specifically a social media calendar, can be a lifesaver when it comes to making sure our posts really capture our desired audience. A visual calendar as simple as Google Calendar, or even more social-media specific, like SproutSocial, can easily be found online and will get the job done. Once you’ve selected the calendar of your choice, it’s important to organize it in the best way possible.

The whole purpose of having one of these calendars is to prevent wasting time and to be prepared for the next post. When planning exactly which days to post, add some extra information related to your content that might be helpful for your audience. Jot down related hashtags, add links to websites, or maybe even find a holiday that coincides with the content you are posting. For example, a bike rental company might be planning to post about a special discount that they will be providing for customers. The best idea would be to promote this discount during the month of May, which happens to be National Bike Month. Not only are you planning ahead, but you are also directing your post to an audience who will surely react positively to the message being sent.

Now here is an important question. How often should we post? Does every day feel excessive? Is three times a day not enough? Well, the answer to this question completely depends on the company, the type of campaign, the audience, and the type of social media you are using. Maybe you will receive more feedback if you post on Twitter multiple times a day versus posting on Facebook. Or you might have more success posting on Instagram if you post only 2 times a week instead of 3. Either way, the frequency of your posts can depend on a variety of factors. When it comes to making sure your content is well-received, your best bet would be to try different posting schedules on different social media and see which ones have the most success by monitoring the statistics.

Another way to use your social media calendar to its full advantage is by categorizing posts and strategically placing them for the months to come. Think about what types of posts you want to share. Is it re-sharing content, a company event or celebration, a new blog post? Whatever it might be, differentiate one type of post from another and think about its placement. For example, a post about an event hosted by your company might be perfect for a Friday afternoon when people are thinking about their weekend plans. A new blog post can be posted every Wednesday evening because it’ll be more likely that readers are unwinding after a day’s work and have more time to browse through their various forms of social media.

With that being said, it’s pretty clear that organization and some serious planning are definitely needed when it comes to making your content stand out. Social media calendars are perfect for knowing exactly what, when, and how often we want to post. Check out some of the social media calendar tools that can easily be found online and practice your planning skills. But keep in mind that the main purpose of a social media calendar is to plan well-thought-out posts with enough time to discuss and edit within your team. With a social media calendar in your back pocket, you will never have to question when or what you should post ever again.

Still not fluent in your second language? Find out why

For many of us trying to learn a second language, there comes a point in time where we feel unable to advance from one level to the next. In fact, we might begin to leave our intense studying habits behind and relax when it comes to those tricky grammar rules. This bump in the road to becoming fluent in a second language can be known as fossilization.

The first step in understanding fossilization is knowing the difference between our first and second language. The first language, or L1, is often referred to as the “mother tongue” because it is the language that we learn from birth. We learn to acquire our L1 by hearing the unique intonation and eventually repeating the sounds that make our native languages distinct from others. When it comes to learning a second language, or an L2, the acquisition process is completely different. Instead, we have to make a conscious effort to learn the mechanics of that language. Looks like we’ll have to put in a little more effort than we did when we were a few months old.

Okay, so the differences between an L1 and an L2 are pretty obvious. Now it’s time to understand what exactly fossilization is. Fossilization tends to happen when an individual feels stuck at a certain level of a foreign language. We might encounter this after we have achieved a noticeably high level of L2, which leads us to stop making a conscious effort when it comes to studying. Fossilization also includes the tendency to make errors without correcting them or even avoid using difficult parts of an L2 altogether. For example, someone who might be learning Spanish as their second language could have difficulties using the subjunctive form. Therefore, they might avoid using it when speaking or writing in Spanish. Although fossilization might not take away from what you already know, it could prevent you from reaching the ultimate goal of becoming totally fluent in a second language.

If you find yourself realizing that fossilization might be the reason you aren’t exactly fluent yet, try and discover new (and maybe re-use some old) methods to help you study. Dust off those already written-in workbooks and previous exams and review some of the concepts that you remember learning, but have yet to master. With this being said, you might have to put aside some extra time to study. But remember, this doesn’t have to be your 300 level advanced grammar course.

And if memorizing every single grammar rule is not your thing, try to completely immerse yourself. Watch your favorite TV series in a second language, listen to music, find a friend who is fluent, or if you can, pack your bags and head to a new destination where you will have no choice but to be surrounded by the language and culture.

Overall, the most important thing to remember is that practice really does make perfect, especially when it comes to learning another language. Make those mistakes, but also make a conscious effort to catch those errors and correct them. And if you are ever feeling discouraged, remind yourself why you fell in love with that language in the first place.