In today’s digital world, spending time on social media has become almost second nature for many professionals and firms. (If that doesn’t sound like you, it’s time to reconsider and get on the social media bandwagon.)

With just a few clicks of the keyboard, we’re able to send out a tweet or share content to our LinkedIn connections.

However, despite the immediacy and near-routine nature of social media, professional services firms interested in getting the most out their social media marketing still need to plan ahead—with a social media content calendar.

If the thought of building a social media calendar seems like a daunting task, don’t worry. Once you have everything in one place, you’ll wonder how you ever operated without it.

A calendar for your firm’s social media activity can be an invaluable tool for tracking content, allocating resources, building credibility, and staying relevant.

Here are five big reasons why your firm needs a social media content calendar:

1. Save Time

Using a content, or editorial, calendar can help your firm ensure that it’s allocating resources in the best and most efficient manner. In addition to tracking what you’ll post and when, the calendar can also double as an “assignment board” so that individual team members will know when they’re supposed to share posts or engage with existing posts.

This would be particularly helpful if your firm has an employee advocacy program.

Planning ahead with a social media calendar also allows you to save time on any future research needed for potential topics and posts. You’ll know well ahead of time what you need to prepare in order to stay on schedule, so there will be no last minute scramble.

2. Stay Organized

This is perhaps the biggest reason for keeping any kind of calendar, but especially a content calendar. Keeping your processes organized and easy to see helps you know what content you’ve published and when.

Having a formal record of your posts allows you to see a snapshot of topics so you can maintain a fresh perspective and keep a balance between the different types of content you post.

By mapping your calendar to specific social media platforms, you can stay organized across each of the channels you utilize. And don’t forget: for most professional services firms, LinkedIn and Twitter are the most important social networks to have a strong presence on.

3. Be Timely

An editorial calendar keeps you on track to publish content in conjunction with relevant campaigns and events. This ensures you don’t miss out on creating important content for specific occasions or launches.

For example, what new blog posts or other content are you publishing that needs to be promoted on social media? What news is going on in your industry that your firm should be weighing in on? Or what upcoming events or conferences are you attending?

You can easily include prompts or reminders for time-sensitive content to make sure your social media activity remains timely with the goings on of your firm.

4. Be Relevant

When you plan out your social media content in advance, you have the advantage of getting feedback from your team members. Your calendar can be easily shared for further input, so you can make sure you’re putting out the best and most relevant social media posts to achieve both your firm’s marketing and business development goals.

Team members from different departments can use their unique knowledge set to inform the choices you make on each platform. For instance, your Business Development team can add their insight on current trends and client pain points to make sure your posts are on par with what’s going on in the marketplace.

Staying plugged into the market and up-to-date on what’s important to potential buyers will help you to remain relevant and increase your ability to close the sale.

5. Build Credibility

Maintaining consistency on your social media accounts is one of the first ways you can build trust and credibility with early prospects discovering your firm. New followers will quickly learn that you’re sharing educational content and that your firm that has the depth of expertise to help them.

Since followers like to know when they can expect posts from you, maintaining a consistent calendar enables you to set and meet their expectations. Your audience will soon be able to anticipate your posts, which can make them feel more connected with your firm. This can help with engagement as you build your following and establish your credibility on each platform.

Whether you’ve been holding off on creating a social media content calendar because you weren’t sure you needed one or didn’t think it would be worth the effort, it’s time to think again.

The advantages and benefits of creating a calendar can help take your social media strategy to a higher playing field. Your firm can post, tweet, share, and comment more effectively and efficiently with just a little extra planning.