Imagine having a quick and fast way to get up to speed with social media or to get your work done in less time (and with more confidence).

When I’m in a pinch or into something new, one of the first places I turn is toward a template. I’ve built a stash of headline formulas, social media updates, and more to help organize my mind when it comes to working fast and learning something new.

Templates can be a lifesaver and a time-saver.

Once you’ve got your templates, we’d love to help schedule and analyze your posts! So you can save even more time on social media 🙌

get-started-with-buffer-free

I have my favorite go-to templates, and I was also able to dig up a huge number of others, created by some really amazing folks who are generous to help us all work smarter. I’ve collected them here below. I’d love to know which ones might be useful to you!

Social Media Templates - save timesocial media templates

15 Time-Saving Social Media Templates

The list below is full of a variety of different templates, some helpful in a high-level way of organizing your marketing efforts and others in a specific area of social media marketing and sharing. If you have a favorite template that didn’t appear on the list here, let me know in the comments!

1. Social Media Report

Social Media Report Card

We built this social media report to be easy to fill with just a simple Buffer data export. Take your Buffer stats and import them here, and you can see stats for the past week as well as how they compare week-over-week and to your monthly benchmark.

Instructions:

  1. Export your data from Buffer or add in some stats manually (For extra oomph, you can pull more data from some of these free social reporting tools.)
  2. The spreadsheet does the rest!

> Free download <<

2. The 15-Minute Social Media Audit

Social Media Audit

We’ve used this template on a monthly basis to check in with our social media accounts and see how things are growing, changing, and (hopefully!) improving. It’s also good to run through the list here to stay on top of any new networks or pages that might need a visual update to stay consistent with your branding.

Instructions:

  1. Add all your social media profiles to the spreadsheet
  2. Duplicate the sheet every month to have a fresh template to start with

> Free download <<

3. Social Media Publishing Schedule

This template comes in handy for each new blog post that you publish—a way to extend the life of your content and get as much value as possible. Share a new piece of content multiple times, and schedule these shares once the article publishes. Here’s the schedule we go by:

social media posting schedule

Other great scheduling templates include:

4. Tweet Headline Templates

Twitter headline template

We get a lot of mileage out of headline formulas at Buffer, and a lot of this value comes in the way that we can use variations to share on Twitter and other social media outlets. In many ways, we consider these headline formulas to be a really excellent source of Twitter headline templates. I’ve placed them all in a PDF here for you to reference easily:

> Free download <<

5. Copywriting templates

A copywriting template might seem a bit far afield from social media, but where we find the most social media value from these templates is in composing a short update or thinking through the value and message behind what we’re sharing.

For instance, here is a handful of copywriting templates that we’ve found valuable to think on while we’re scheduling new updates:

  1. Before – After – Bridge
  2. Problem – Agitate – Solve
  3. The 5 Basic Objections
  4. The 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 Formula

Michael Hyatt has a great system also for blog posts and longer social media updates:

Killer Opener – Story – Main point – Practical application

(via)

The copywriting formulas are all here in this blog post.

6. Ways to write an update

Social Media Update Templates

We’ve written before about 71 ways to write a social media update (a handful of variations for each of the different networks). It’s been helpful for me to refer to this list often for new ideas and templates to try. Here is a sampling of favorites:

  • Multi-line tweet
  • Fill-in-the-blank
  • Title case vs. Sentence case updates
  • [NEW], [new post] or [blog post] to tell people what they’re clicking on (via)

All these templates are available in a spreadsheet where you can quickly test out and reference the different styles.

> Free download <<

7. Visual social media templates

Visual Social Media Templates

Visuals are a key component of the social media updates we post at Buffer, and one of the best resources for developing a system of visual sharing is the templates provided by HubSpot. The free download gives you 30 rectangular and 30 square templates, plus an assortment of warm, cool, and neutral color combinations.

Instructions:

  1. Download the PowerPoint files and open in PowerPoint or Google Drive
  2. Choose the template you wish to edit
  3. Add your text
  4. Save to your computer
  5. Share to social media

> Free download from HubSpot <<

8. Influencer Marketing Template

Influencer Marketing Template

With influencer tracking, you can keep on file all those who have reached out to you or linked to you or otherwise made an impact on your social media profiles. You can turn the list into potential/future outreach options as well.

The great part of this template from Content Marketing Institute is that it includes social media follower numbers as well so you can easily combine your website and social strategies together.

> Free download from Content Marketing Institute <<

9. Editorial Calendar Publishing Schedule

Editoral Calendar

Along with organizing the way that you’ll promote each of your articles, it can be helpful to see how your content and social media marketing fit together from a bird’s eye view. Which campaigns are coming up? Which holidays? Which major events? What product launches or feature releases are on the horizon? Things like this can be great to add into an editorial calendar so that all your many events and activities can mesh with your social media marketing.

Instructions:

  1. Print off the editorial calendar template
  2. Add your big events to the year-at-a-glance view
  3. Add events, campaigns, holidays, etc. to the monthly templates

> Free download from CoSchedule <<

10. Social Media Strategy Template

Social Media Strategy Template

Most all good social media programs begin with a strategy. The strategy template from Hootsuite covers all the essentials:

  • Clarify your business’ social media goals
  • Audit your current social media status
  • Create or improve your social media profiles
  • Develop your content strategy
  • Use analytics to track progress and adjust your strategy as needed

Plug in your business’s unique info, and away you go!

> Free download from Hootsuite <<

11. Social Media Content Calendar

Social Media Content Calendar

Adding your content to this template from Hootsuite will help you stay on top of the performance of your social shares, making sure that you’re focusing on the best-performing posts and maintaining a steady stream of content across all your accounts.

Instructions:

  1. Place the title or category of your update in the first column.
  2. Add the update text to the second column.
  3. Add the URL to the third column.
  4. Check back on the performance of the post and add the number of clicks (or whichever metric is most key for you)

> Free download from Hootsuite <<

12. Social Media Image Sizes

Social-Media-Image-Sizes-Twitter-01

There are many great social media image size templates out there. The one I keep coming back to is this resource from Sprout Social, which lists the ideal image sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr.

Sprout Social keeps the list always up to date, and you can find the ideal image sizes either via the blog post or via a free Google Doc.

> Free resource <<

13. Social Network Overview

Google+ Tips from Short Stack

For specific advice on each network—including a simple tutorial on identifying the different pieces and parts of the social network—the templates from Short Stack provide a lot of great value. Each one is available as a separate download so you can pick and choose the ones that are relevant to your strategy.

> Free downloads from Short Stack <<

14. Social Listening Template

Social Listening Template

This helpful template from James Prideaux allows you to track the conversations and engagement happening around your business or keywords.

Instructions: Add the following information to the spreadsheet.

  • The social network where the conversation happens
  • The day and time
  • The post and topic
  • The potential reach, clicks, and reshares

> Free download <<

15. Twitter Chat Planning template

Twitter Chat planning template

This template from Cathy McPhillips is great for those interested in starting up a Twitter chat. We’ve found that many of the fill-in-the-blank options here are similar to what we do for our weekly #bufferchat.

> Free download <<

Bonus: Free Photoshop plug-in for ideal image sizes

Ideal Social Media Images

Social Kit—a free resource from Source—contains templates for Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube, as well as custom social buttons. If you’re savvy with Photoshop, you can download the Social Kit plugin for free and have an easy way to build ideal social images for your business.

Over to you

Which templates do you use to help with your social media marketing? Which ones from the list above looked most helpful? I’d love to hear from you about your favorites! Feel free to leave a comment below.

And once you’re ready to get going with your templates, we’d love to help schedule and analyze your posts — and save even more time on social media!

get-started-with-buffer-free

Image sources: Pablo, UnSplash, IconFinder

The simplest social media tool for businesses

Schedule posts across the top social networks, collaborate with your team, and measure the performance of your content — all in one place.

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! 🍟

  • Thanks so much for sharing, it’s very helpful!!

    • Great to hear, Alice! Thanks so much for the comment. 🙂

  • Deborah

    i like me blog.bufferapp … _________ Keep Reading

  • Brilliant list, Kevan! Going to be busy setting these up. Do you happen to know of anymore resources for visual templates?
    Also, what did you use to reuse content for creating the article?

    • Hi there Gene! Thanks for the comment! Yeah, for other visual templates, I find the ones from Canva to be quite useful in terms of creating social media visuals. And for the content of this article, I just quickly ran through the reusable articles we’ve written about templates and took some screengrabs of the templates themselves. Hope that helps! Let me know if I can elaborate on anything else there!

      • Thanks for the reply, helps indeed. Checking Canva now, it’s really easy and the results are great.
        How do you store articles (or parts of them) so that they are easily accessible in the future. Is there a template for that too? 🙂

        • Awesome yeah I don’t quite have a system for storing any snippets from the articles, sorry. I’ve written a good number of them, so I think I rely a lot on that experience, remembering bits and pieces of them. Whenever I can’t quite think of the exact article I wrote something, I’ll do a quick Google site search by typing in site:blog.bufferapp.com [keyword]

  • Thanks for these resources. You have definitely saved me some valuable time. Much appreciated!

    • Wonderful! Really glad to hear it, Marie! Thanks!

  • Steven DeSalvo

    This is extremely helpful Kevan and hard tools and information to find on your own. Thank you!

    • Really happy to have helped, Steven. Wishing you all the best!

  • Hazel

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  • Great templates. Thanks for putting them together in one spot Kevan!

  • Great post Kevan – super useful, thanks! I am having fun (and success) with Pablo, love it! Canva also is a very good solution, but Pablo is easier to use 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words about Pablo, Mike! Really happy to hear you’ve been enjoying that one. 🙂

  • As always brilliantly organised piece of information and so useful. I will certainly be reading them and actioning those as appropriate for our business. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much! Hope you find some useful templates here!

  • Angi Cividino

    I don’t know how you keep coming up with all this great content, Kevan. I guess that’s why they pay you the big bucks, huh. 🙂 Just out of curiosity, come Week 1 in the NFL regular season, what team jersey will you be wearing on any given Sunday?

    • Thanks, Angi! Really wonderful to hear from you. 🙂 Glad this post was a bit helpful for you!

      (I’ll have my Drew Bledsoe Patriots jersey on hand for Week 1.) 🙂

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  • Sarah Fichtinger

    Thank you so much Kevan for sharing this with us! It’s not only gonna save me a lot of time but it will also help me to keep track of what works and what doesn’t and therefore improve my marketing as a whole. Since I’m still quite new in the marketing industry, posts like yours are really valuable for me. Gonna share it too 😉

    • Thanks so much, Sarah. Really appreciate the kind words and your sharing it with your audience. Let me know if I can help answer any other questions as you’re getting started!

  • I appreciate your work, Kevan, thank you. I downloaded the Hubspot template and customized a slide, though it saved only the background color without text or image (I made sure they were were both brought forward)—any suggestions? Or should I contact Hubspot…

    • Found the problem! If others had difficulty with this, here’s the catch (the first one worked for me):

      •How to Save Your Customized Images

      There are two ways to save a slide as an image.

      1.File > Save As > Choose Destination
      Folder > Select As Type (select .PNG from dropdown) > Save “Just This
      Slide” on pop-up window.

      2.Select all objects on a particular slide and group them by right clicking > Save as Picture. If you’re having any issues with text boxes or images not being included in the image you saved, you may need to:

      •Ensure all elements are grouped by highlighting all elements > right clicking > selecting Group.

      •Ensure when you right click to Save as Picture, you’re right clicking on the grouped entity as opposed to just the background image or a text box.

      Thanks again!

      • Amazing stuff, Sherrill! Thanks for sharing this workflow (and sorry for any problems I caused by not explaining this part of things very well in the post).

        • My pleasure—no apology necessary; goodness, your work is a gift.

          Great weekend, all!

  • SamathaNSimmons

    &^^&^Going Back blog.bufferapp There’s infoo

  • Found the Treasure!

    Thanks a lot. <3

  • Another timely Gem Kevan! As always, thank you! Have a wonderful Wednesday and keep up the great work my friend! 🙂

    • Cheers! Thanks, Steve!

  • Jonathan Henley

    You guys are just too darn kind to us mere mortals! This is such a timely post that i can’t help but dive straight in and suck out the goodness..

    • Haha, thanks so much, Jonathan! Enjoy!

  • Great for sharing, these are useful templates.

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  • Templates are always very helpful, they make everything quick and smooth requiring simple touch ups, The list you have compiled is useful and surely going to give a pace to my marketing strategies. Thank You Kevan!

    • Great to hear it! Thanks so much for the comment!

  • Isidora Valdes

    great post! thanks!

  • These are all really useful, thanks – have shared on Twitter!

    • Wonderful! Really happy to hear it. Thanks!

  • Philip Kushmaro

    Thanks for summing this all up.. 🙂

    • Thanks, Philip! Happy to help!

  • Mark Azevedo

    Great list and awesome tools. Thanks for putting this together! #rockstar

    • Thanks so much, Mark! 🙂

  • Des Yearning

    Super helpful templates. So definitely sharing this on my blog; http://desireeyearning.weebly.com/ and with other authors. Buffer has helped me tremendously with posting across social media. I especially love the helpful advice you all offer us as well. Thanks!

    • Hi Des! Thanks so much for the comment! So happy to know that we’re able to help you out with things!

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  • Sammy Jones

    Very helpful! Did you also know that there’s now an app to easily share your social media accounts? Check out this new app. http://bit.ly/SocialNetworkPassport

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  • Blair Smith

    HT Kevan and the good folks at Buffer. Keep crushing the helpful blog content!

  • Alexander Horoshkevich

    For social media images good tool is canva.com

  • Thanks for the time saving tips – this is a fantastic list!! Buffer really delivers for their customers.

    Del
    http://www.luxniseko.com

  • timushinka

    it is ok

  • Great templates. Will be checking all of them out.

  • Pallavi

    This is a treasure! Thanks so much for putting these formats together for people like us! Downloading all of these in a sp Buffer folder, in anticipation of more such valuable resources..

  • Jessica Lucnik

    I’m really excited to use the Social Media Report Card with my Buffer for Business account but I can’t get the information from buffer to populate correctly into the spreadsheet. Can you help??

  • Sixty Gelu

    Very useful article. Having a ready-made template for SM Monitoring will save me a lot of time and hassle moving forward!

  • tmpope

    Great information. I’m a copywriter but also create social media campaigns so this is really helpful info. Thanks, Kevan!

  • So helpful. I saw this post on Twitter just as I was going there to write now my number of followers with a PENCIL. What was I thinking?! Of course there was a digital solution.

  • Chrystalla Pieri

    Really helpful article.Thanks Kevan! For my social media image sizes i use http://www.adsvise.com. You can also download free psd’s.

  • Awesome tips. Content Calendar is pretty useful for all levels of business. Thanks for the insight..

  • paigesjob

    Just started to dive into the report card download (#1). It appears some of the formulas on this have broken. Is this still maintained, or is there an updated one? Iv’e been super excited to try it since upgrading to the small business plan!

  • Barbara Faison

    Great information for new or seasoned entrepreneurs! Thanks for being so generous with your content.

  • Ariel Bailey

    LOVE this roundup of social media templates! Here’s one more to add to the mix: a downloadable content calendar template. Thanks for your great work! http://info.madisonmilesmedia.com/editorial-calendar-template

  • veer

    It’s a really helpful article. Thanks! We also providing services Hubspot Templates, ready to use email templates http://www.hubspottemplates.com/.

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  • Thanks for sharing awesome ideas. It is helpful for me. keep it up.

  • Steve Aero
  • Gloria

    Great post! Very helpful templates, thanks! I will save it and use in the future for sure 🙂
    Also, about #14 luckily good tools for social listening like BRAND24 allows you to generate reports in xls, pdf or as infographic. It’s very nice and helpful feature.