Does this sound familiar? You're sitting at your desk, starting at your computer screen and dreading what's next. Posting. What should you say? Your mind is blank. Are you funny? Should you even try to be? What should you post about your business? The answer comes back, I don't know! Which sends you running screaming from your office, or banging your head on the keyboard in frustration. Is this a common occurrence several times a day? It doesn't have to be. Let's talk about scheduling and save your sanity!
The first step in scheduling is finding an application to schedule your posts. There are a few options out there: Hootsuite, Buffer, Edgar, TweetDeck (only Twitter). I like and use Hootsuite, which I will get into in a bit. Buffer has a free option and an expanded paid option. Take a look at both and see which serves your needs best. I like that Buffer will look at your profiles and see the best times to post. You create content, add it to a queue, and Buffer will schedule it at optimal times. I like that. But it's not hard to figure out when your customers are most active. You just take a look at insights. Buffer is also the only scheduling tool to post to Pinterest. Check out how HERE. Edgar is another auto-scheduling tool. This one requires more work up-front. You load content into a library where Edgar will then select the appropriate content for the post times you've scheduled. For example if on Monday you want to share something from your Evergreen Content folder at 2 pm. Every Monday Edgar will post something from that folder at that specified time. This is a great option for a business that have a lot of content ready to go. Edgar, though, only posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Tweetdeck is great for monitoring your Twitter account, but doesn't support any other social media profiles. Though, now that Twitter has launched Periscope the real-time video sharing app, I could see that becoming a component. Facebook also has scheduling capabilities. It does the job, especially if you are only using Facebook.
Hootsuite, I like it and I use it. They have a a free account option for 3 social media profiles, it's just tricky to find. HERE it is. Easy. With Hootusite you have the option to upgrade to a paid account at any time. I suggest starting with a free account to see how you like it. I enjoy seeing all my scheduled posts in one beautiful column, ready to go. Hootsuite offers scheduling to Wordpress, and Instagram. Don't be fooled by Instagram, though. You write it all up and basically save a draft, then the app reminds you to post to Instagram at the scheduled time. It's something, but certainly not easy scheduling. Hootsuite offers collaborating tools, and approval features. That way if you're working with a few people you can be sure the content is optimal before it's sent.
Those are the tools, now what? Now you need to carve out some time to brainstorm. If you are unclear about your marketing goals, take more time. Or better still, take a couple days to brainstorm about your marketing goals online. Then, set aside some time to think about the week, or month ahead. What culturally celebrated events are happening? It's always a good idea to get into a built in conversation. April Fools' day, for example. Then, think about what you want to say. Remember the 80/20 rule. 80% content that relates to your business and followers interests and 20% sales for selling and buying opportunities. There are a ton of content calendars online. Honestly? You can just start creating content and then check out the week/month etc. in the queue of your chosen scheduling tool. Then you can review what you've decided to post. Is it in line with your brand and marketing goals? Yes? Perfect. Log out and get on with your day.
The more time you spend creating content, the easier it will become. Save your sanity and your time, schedule your social media posts. This doesn't mean you get off the hook from paying attention to your profiles. You still need to be online responding to comments and sharing posts as they pop up. At least daily posting, can be taken off your list of to-dos.
Until next time -
Social Network like a Diva,
p.s. I was definitely getting over a cold when I made this video. ; )