If you’re like me, you use a calendar to keep all your appointments and projects organized. In a matter of seconds, you can pull up your schedule to see what you have going on this week or month to determine how much more you can fit into your busy calendar.
And if something is not added to your schedule, it runs the risk of falling through the cracks altogether. Which is never a good thing.
When it comes to your church’s website, utilizing a calendar can also keep you and your website team just as organized.
In today’s post, I’ll be exploring the best calendars to use on both your website and social media platforms.
There are two types of calendars to help you and your team stay organized: an editorial calendar and an events calendar.
I know that juggling two calendars may seem like a lot at first, but trust me, they’ll make your job so much easier when you get the hang of it.
With that said, let’s see why it’s important to have both.For a quick comparison of each calendar that you can print and share with your website team, download our handy guide today. Click Here
Types of Calendars:
An editorial calendar lives on the back end of your church’s website, meaning members of your church community won’t see it. This type of calendar is used as a content marketing tool that helps you and your team stay organized.
Here’s how it works:
Using your new website team, brainstorm a list of topics or themes that you’d like to explore on your blog. Once you’ve generated a list of topics, you can schedule them on specific dates by adding them to your editorial calendar.
Your calendar can then be viewed by anyone on your team at any time so everyone is on the same page as far as upcoming blog posts.
Editorial calendars are a great way to stay on top of work and make it easy to collaborate with your team. They will definitely save you time in the long run.
Here at Faithmade, our favorite editorial calendar plugin – which also happens to be one of the best for WordPress – is CoSchedule.
We love CoSchedule so much, that we’ve even integrated into our Ultra package. Therefore, it’s ready to use as soon as you sign up as long as you have a CoSchedule subscription.
In order to explain what CoSchedule can do for your church, you’ll need to understand what it is first.
CoSchedule is an all-in-one marketing tool that’s sure to make your life easier.
After you download the plugin, you’ll have a calendar available.
Next, you can appoint someone from your website team to be in charge of this calendar. They’ll be responsible for adding each of your topics to certain days on the calendar.
Once that’s completed, everyone on your team can see what posts are upcoming. As you can see from the example above, each topic becomes a clickable link.
When your next post is ready to be uploaded, simply click on the topic link and a new window will pop up that allows you to edit the post.
CoSchedule gives you the option of publishing immediately (as in once you finish uploading the post it will go live) or schedule it for later.
Let’s say you want to keep a Friday deadline for a blog post that will be live Tuesday morning. You can mark the blog post on Friday in your calendar, but change your scheduled launch time directly in CoSchedule for Tuesday. It will automatically launch the post without you having to go back in on Tuesday morning to do so.
CoSchedule will even publish your post on your favorite social media platforms, too. So after it automatically launches on your website, it will also share the post on your social media walls without you having to update every platform, saving you tons of time and hassle.
Can you see why I love CoSchedule so much? It really makes your job so much easier.
Using an editorial calendar is awesome for keeping your team organized, but you’ll also want to utilize an events calendar.
2. Events Calendar
Unlike an editorial calendar, your church members will be able to see an events calendar. This type of calendar displays upcoming events on your church’s website.
By featuring your upcoming events right on your church’s site, your current members can see what’s going on and potential members can find events to attend. This helps bring traffic to your website and may boost your search engine rankings as well.
One of my favorite benefits of having an events calendar is that it can strengthen and build your online community.
We’ve made adding events to your church’s website even easier thanks to our pre made Events page.
Using this starter site, all you have to do is plug in each event you’ll be hosting, upload some photos and a short description and you’re all set.
After that, your church members will be able to find any upcoming events by clicking on the Events link on your main navigation.
Another plus to having events listed like this is that each event is given its own unique URL.
This makes it easier to share the event on your favorite social media platforms. When a user clicks on the event link on your church’s Twitter or Facebook page, they’ll be directed to the event on your church’s website, which gives them more details and contact information.
One important thing to note about editorial and events calendars: it’s imperative that you keep them both updated and active. Therefore, it’s a good idea to put someone in charge of these so you remain consistent in updating both calendars.
If your church members start seeing outdated events and information, they’ll be less likely to check back for new ones. See why it’s especially important to keep these updated?
Another way to use calendars to build an online community and keep things organized is by using Event Pages on Facebook.
Using an Event Page on Facebook
Generally speaking, you want to create an Event Page on Facebook only when your church is hosting something unique. Posting your service times to a new Event Page is not exactly necessary.
Instead, use your Event Page to drum up excitement about a special event that your church is organizing.
Facebook events display all of the details for this church’s event. You see the time and date, specific location, and a short description of what to expect.
Here’s how to create your own Event Page:
Go to your church’s Facebook page and click on the Events link on the lefthand side and then click Create to add a new event.
Next, you’ll want to enter as much information as you can and add relevant photos to make the page more inviting.
It’s also a good idea to invite as many church members as possible to this page so everyone is aware of the event.
Once your Events Page is completed, you can promote it and update it whenever possible. New posts could range from guest speaker announcements to change-of-location updates. The idea is to keep the page active and exciting so your church members will be eager to go and invite their friends.
Another thing to note: you’ll want to create an Event Page as soon as possible so you can give your church members enough time to mark it in their calendars and share it.
Can you see why it’s so important to use both an events calendar and an editorial calendar on your church’s website? Both of these will help your team stay organized and keep your church members informed about what’s going on in your congregation.