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Tag: scheduling your content

#BePrepared – Should You Schedule Your Social Media Content?

When it comes to social media marketing, there is an age-old debate. Should you schedule your content in advance or post it as you go? Honestly, there are valid points to both sides of this discussion that you should understand, as a small business owner, before making your decision on how to proceed with your social media content.

Posting As You Go

Just like in the writing world where there are plotters (those who create a plot before writing) and pantzers (those who just sit down and write without a plan), social media marketing is a world full of people who swear by either scheduling their content in advance or simply posting when they feel the need.

Those who fly by the seat of their pants make a good argument for being present. They are there for their audience. Their content is never stale. Since they just posted something, it’s more likely that they will be there to engage with the audience and continue organically boosting the post by responding to followers. They are more likely to actually use the platform and not just post and disappear.

Many business owners that prefer this method argue that their engagement is way higher when they don’t schedule content. Which makes sense if they are around giving their post traction as it goes live. Engagement really is the key to gaining ground on social media!

Scheduling Your Content

Does that mean you shouldn’t schedule your content? Actually, there are plenty of solid reasons for scheduling your social media posts in advance. This is why so many businesses prefer this method.

Consistency

Consistency is so important when it comes to your online presence. It’s hard to grab someone’s attention at all online but once you have it, you need to take steps necessary to keep it. Maintaining a consistent, reliable presence on social media is the path to nurturing and growing your audience. The path to consistency is to schedule posts in advance. Then it doesn’t matter how busy your day, week, month is – social media is working for you in the background. No more panics about forgetting to post something that day or last-minute brain drains trying to come up with good content on the fly.

Strategy

Do you have a social media strategy? To get the most ROI, or return, on your social media marketing it’s important to create a strategy. If you don’t have one of those, you are basically throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping that some of it sticks. You’ll struggle proving that the time you spend on social is valuable because you haven’t determined which metrics truly matter for your business. If you are just posting as you go, it will be way more difficult to participate in social media in a strategic way.

Timing

The experts will tell you to check your analytics. Why? Because the best way to be successful is to track when social media success actually happens. What type of content is getting engagement? What time of day is your audience online?

Ideally, you would post your content at just the right time of day. The time that analytics has shown works well for your audience. It can be tough to do this well without scheduling your content in advance. If your audience is most active at 6:30 PM every night – then it’s likely you’ll be eating dinner at the most important time of day for your social media marketing. Wouldn’t it be nice to just schedule the content for 6:30 and then go and enjoy a meal with your family?

Productivity

Also, when it comes to productivity – the ability to batch tasks all at once has long proven to be effective. Being able to sit down and create and post all your content at once and then move on to other initiatives for the month is amazing. You can schedule the time each month to work on your social media without feeling overwhelmed by the task. Many business owners start questioning the value of this marketing approach when they feel like they are spending an exorbitant amount of time working on their own social media marketing. Who could blame them? Efficiency is more appealing.

Our Best Practice Recommendation

Now you understand why there is a debate over scheduling your business content. Social media is supposed to be social so scheduling in advance and walking away from your content is a bad idea.

You can probably also see the popularity of being able to use a scheduler, like Hootsuite or Buffer, to batch your social media content in advance and feel confident about maintaining a consistent, online presence.

As a social media expert, our recommendation for best practices when it comes to posting your content online is… do both! Set aside a few hours each month to schedule strategic content on all of the platforms where you maintain a presence. We recommend at least 3 posts per week but don’t overdo it. The more posts you create, the less likely people will see them (blame the algorithm and the billions of people using social media every day).

However, don’t just stop there. Make it a point to pop in every day and engage with folks on social media and post something timely. Whether it’s a picture of you at a conference or networking event, that blog you just published, or a live video – let your audience know that you are around.

This method of combining the two strategies ensures that you are consistent with your online presence but also reminds you that this experience is an exchange with your audience – not a one-way street. Social media is not a publishing platform where you post it, they come to read it and then they go away. It’s an experience and a connection with you, the business owner. The best way to #BePrepared for social media success is to understand the value of both methods and then build a social media strategy that actually works.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

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#AwesomeTools – Social Media Scheduling Tools

One of the best ways marketers have found to reach potential customers is with social media.  When social media first emerged, this was fairly easy because there was really only one platform—Facebook.  But now, there are dozens of different social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even video formats such as YouTube. 
If you are working in marketing, it can be a nightmare trying to juggle all of these platforms and reach as many customers as possible.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  There are now apps available that can help with social media scheduling.  Three of the hottest tools on the market are Buffer, Edgar, and Hootsuite. Let’s take a look and see what they have to offer.
Buffer
Buffer is a scheduling tool that allows you to upload your posts and set them to post at whatever time you need.  It also allows you to cross-post to multiple platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest with just the click of a button.
Buffer offers multiple plans for different users including the option to have a single user platform. If you have a big team and need many people to have access, Buffer allows you up to 25 additional team members. You can connect up to 150 different social media accounts which makes managing multiple brands a breeze. Buffer has a free account option which is perfect for people who are managing  just one brand.
                                                                                           
Edgar
Edgar currently only works with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but it offers a range of flexibility.  What makes Edgar so special is the ease of recycling your content. You can set a schedule that makes sense for your platform and Edgar will automatically re-share your content in a loop, so you’re getting the most out of your posts. Edgar allows scheduling for one-off posts too, so you can fill your social media to suit your needs. They keep their pricing structure simple, too with just one pricing option available.
Hootsuite
Hootsuite is another option for scheduling your posts to automatically publish on your social media platforms. You can even bulk upload messages to save you a ton of time! Hootsuite supports Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and WordPress. What I love most about Hootsuite is their extensive data and analytics. You can analyze your data in real-time so that you can make better decisions about what material to post to your various platforms. 
Hootsuite also offers a thirty-day trial that allows you to take it for a test run before you purchase one of their many plans.  Chances are, there will be a plan that fits your business’s needs.

Social media marketing doesn’t have to be stressful.  By using the apps and tools that are available to you, you can schedule your posts and save yourself some time and headache, allowing you to focus on other parts of your business.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.



#TimeManagement – Scheduling Your Content

Social media is an important part of your business, but it’s not the only part of your business. Yet some days it feels like we fall down the rabbit hole of social media information, losing hours of productivity without gaining ground on getting the word out to our customers. 

It doesn’t have to be that way.

One of the most effective #TimeManagement tools for social media involves scheduling your content. By having your posts and articles ready to go, ahead of time, you’re less likely to dive into real-time social media and get lost.

Using tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to manage your updates makes it even easier. Instead of logging into several different platforms, you can use a tool to update each branch of your social media outreach on one easy-to-use screen.

Create an editorial calendar. You schedule meetings, lunch breaks, and more, so give social media the time it deserves. Planning ahead means you can focus on a solid plan that can be measured and adjusted as needed. It’s an excellent time-saving strategy. The cost of time up front is more than made up within the first month of scheduled posting. It also helps with decision-making. 

Several studies have concluded that the human mind can only make so many decisions in one day before impulse control goes out the window. Seeing that you’ll be writing about “x” today takes away the extra focus you would otherwise need and allows you to divert that attention to something else that may need it more.

We hope these #TimeManagement tips help keep you and your social media campaigns on track. Do you have a plan in place? If so, let us know in comments! 
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.


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