This week for social media marketing explained we’re talking about pre-scheduling some of your social media efforts, blog posts, and newsletters. For some people, taking an hour out of every day to post things on your various platforms is just not feasible. Lucky for them, there are a variety of tools that can be used to create and schedule content in advance. You can schedule a day’s, week’s, month’s, or even a year’s worth of content in one fell swoop. Easy peasy lemon squeezey. I’ll be the first to admit that I often don’t have the foresight or creative capacity to plan that far ahead all the time, but I do use these tools from time to time. They are great for those times when you know you’re going to be slammed with work, flooded with personal engagements, or out on vacation.
Here’s a list and a quick description of some of my most favorite scheduling apps:
1) Wordpress post scheduler. There is a nifty function built into Wordpress that allows you to draft, preview, and SCHEDULE your posts. This means that when inspiration strikes or when you have some down time (usually this is at 3am for me), you can go ahead and create a spiffy blog post and schedule it to go live at a more opportune time (let’s say 10am which is when I’m usually making my second cup of coffee for the day and checking emails, not writing/editing blog posts). Wordpress even has options to grab the shortlink of the post before it goes live to automate your social promos! Love this. Everyone should use this tool all the time.
2) Hootsuite. This is a great tool for scheduling Twitter and Facebook posts. It’s also a great tool for aggregating all your various social media platforms in one nifty browser window. Very reliable, very well known - I highly encourage you to play around with this app and explore all it has to offer.
3) Buffer. Similar to Hootsuite in that it’s used to schedule Twitter and Facebook posts, but this time instead of logging into a separate account in a different app, you get little buttons directly in your Facebook and Twitter that say “Buffer” next to the “Post” or “Tweet” button. It’s all built in for your convenience - post it now or schedule it for later. The choice is yours!
4) Mailchimp. You can use MailChimp to schedule out email blasts of individual blog posts, weekly digests and newsletters, or autoresponders with important information. In my honest opinion, it's the best platform out there for email marketing campaigns. It's very easy to use and has a million amazing features that allow you to custom design your emails, track opens and clicks, and really grow a mailing list. Some other options are AWeber, eJunkie, and Constant Contact. But I absolutely adore MailChimp above all other platforms.
Taking a Saturday or a Sunday or a couple week nights to plan out part of next month's content can be really helpful when life gets busy. Obviously you can't find relevant articles and share links before you discover them... But things like blog posts, quotes, promotions, etc? These can all be planned out in advance and put into motion using automatic schedulers. Cut out the hassle and streamline the process. See? Social sharing doesn't have to be hard!
If you'd like to learn more about content planning and scheduling, take a look at some of my social slingshot services or shoot me an email.
And don't forget to check out the first three episodes of this Social Media Marketing Explained series:
Sending scheduled kisses, xx Nikbear