Posting on social media. For many, you do it for a while with the best of intentions, then you stop because you are busy or you forget to do it that day. Before you know it, it’s July and your last post was in April Much as you want to create regular posts and keep your social up to date, its all too easy to get bogged down and let it slide. We take a look at how scheduling your social media posts can help you be more organised and consistent with your social media.
That’s right, whichever platform you use as your main communication tool whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Facebook groups, there is more than one convenient way to schedule posts. We are going to look at how you can do this successfully and save yourself a lot of time. We will even include a handy tip on creating content that looks like it has been designed by a pro.
Social Media Scheduling Software
There are many useful and user-friendly social media scheduling tools that can help you to create great content and schedule it. If you want an easy way to manage and schedule your content then look no further than Sprout Social.Not only can you use the scheduling software to create and schedule your social media posts, you can also get a wealth of insights and advice on what and when to post. We aren’t making it up when we say we have used Sprout Social countless times to work out the best times of day to post, the best platforms and a whole host of other information.
In addition to creating and scheduling your posts, you can also use the social listening tools to hear what your customers are saying and engage with them. Discover which of your campaigns are working in real time both from your laptop or on the move. Use the Sprout Social app to stay up to date with your social media activities. Using the free trial, get to grips with the platform and discover just how much help this useful social media tool can be to your business before committing to one of their 3 business packages. Now your social media is taken care of while you get on with what you do best.
Other Scheduling Tools
While we favour Sprout, there are many other scheduling tools in the marketplace that you might prefer. We just love Sprout Social because it has so many features that suite the needs of our customers. It has always offered us what we were looking for but if were to recommend any others, Hootsuite and Buffer are both reputable alternatives. Spend some time researching for yourself and find what works for you. Often, these companies offer free trials so that you can get used to it and make sure it offers what you are looking for before you buy.
Facebook’s Scheduling Tool or Business Suite
If you just operate on Facebook, you can actually use the Creator Studio on your desktop or you can schedule posts from your app. If your Instagram account is connected to your Facebook, you can use the Business Suite app to schedule posts on both platforms. Of course, this is restrictive when it comes to other platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn so it’s not a one size fits all solution.
Scheduling Your Social Media Content
Deciding on which tools to use is one thing, next you need to decide how much content you will schedule in advance. It’s not always wise to post too far ahead as times can change. You may want topical content, your business may change, seasonal trends may be affected by the unpredictable weather etc. You can’t always predict too far ahead. We tend to schedule up the absolute content for a month or so ahead and take it a week at a time with the day to day stuff. You will find a pattern that works for you.
Be Flexible with Your Social Media Scheduling
Be prepared to be flexible with your posts. If you have something better to go out today or tomorrow or on a specific day, you can reschedule the original post for another day. You may run a business that is weather dependent so it may be difficult to schedule certain posts or to change something at the last minute.
Experiment with Times and Days
If you want to try different times of day, different days etc. then you can schedule posts for different times of the day or days of the week. There is lots of data out there that tell you, by platform, which is the best time to post.
Set Aside Time to Bulk Schedule
While social media scheduling will save you lots of time, you still have to put some time aside to actually sit and schedule your social media posts at regualr intervals. We recommend delegating it to a team member or carving out a couple of hours that you can dedicate to finding and scheduling relevant content. Remember to use your content to educate, inform, entertain and add value to your customers.
If you are struggling for inspiration and perhaps want to make more of your reviews, images, company branding etc. then you can create your own graphics. ‘But wait’, we hear you cry, ‘I am not a designer’. the good news is that you don’t need to be. There are handy design sites like Canva which are really user-friendly and help you create brilliant content that looks like you got a professional designer to do it. Just upload your logos, your images and use the handy tools to make cute little posts for Instagram. It’s ideal and will give you the edge over your competitors. And, if you are feeling really clever, you can even design your own professional content planner.
Encourage User Generated Content
If you want to make things easy on yourself, and create a buzz and additional interest around your products, encourage your customers to share their photos. Get them to take pictures, to share them on their social pages and tag you or to post them to your page. You can either share their post or, and we prefer this option, repost their content and tag them. Sharing their post may restrict visibility because of their security settings.
Keep it Up
You can either approach social media scheduling as a chore or you can embrace it and get creative. If you really don’t have time to do it, then consider employing someone that does it as part of their job or give it to a team member to be responsible for. Alternatively, you can hire a social media agency to do it for you.
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links which may provide a small commission to me at no cost to you. The products we recommend are either those that we’ve used or that our fellow runners have used.