Back in the day, people used to get quite uppity about scheduling social media posts.
There were a lot of false arguments that anything not posted natively - i.e inside the application - was somehow punished and not seen by viewers (it could have been that your content wasn't great but that's none of my business).
People saw it as inauthentic, against the open and immediate nature of social, or just plain lazy.
They were wrong.
In the age of content marketing, you cannot post regular content natively and stay sane!
No-one wants to spend their mornings at work popping from one platform to another and keeping track of what you said where…never-mind trying to respond to comments as you go.
The social media world has matured and common sense has prevailed. Not only do social media scheduling tools save considerable time, the more sophisticated versions of these also provide valuable insights. Many can tell you the best time to post, allow you to post and comment across all major channels AND also provide content curation tools so you can share posts from others.
But, before you dive into scheduling tools - there are some other things you can do to get more organised on social.
1. Understand your key content pillars
Constantly asking 'what should I post?' is NOT saving your sanity. So what should you post about? A little bit of planning here goes a long way.
I want you to write down your business goals. Do you want to sell more of one service over another? Then that service should get more air time. Now write down all the things that your business could talk about - your products, services, team, culture, process, anything. From this, work out some key pillars or themes. This will be the basis for all content you create.
2. Make a calendar
I advocate setting out monthly themes in advance, and using a content calendar to plan out everything from e-newsletters to Instagram posts. This stops you from struggling week-by-week to come up with new fresh ideas. Or find other great content out there to share with your audience - because you’re focused on one topic, curation becomes much easier.
2. Plan your hashtags
On Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, hashtags make your content searchable — want’s the point of putting all that great content out in the world if no one can find it? Here's the rule - 30 hastags on Insta, sparing hashtags on Facebook and LinkedIn. Hashtags also help you get to the heart of social media — community. Find people like you or, more importantly, people who like the kinds of things that you do.
4. Get procedures and guidelines in place
Do you let others on your team help you manage the social load, or do you feel the risk is too much?
A good social media policy - and organisational Tone of Voice guideline document - can help you feel confident in sharing the load.
To nail down your Tone of Voice, you’ll first have to understand your brand persona. What kind of person is your brand?
Once you’ve got that sorted it is possible that multiple people could post on your social channels, and sound like one, creating trust and building a solid relationship with your customers and potential customers.
Then put some simple procedures in place — think, ‘If this happens, then do that’. If someone complains, what happens next (encourage them to email you — take the conversation offline). If someone likes your Facebook post, but they’re not a fan of your page, what happens next (invite them to follow you!).
5. Get scheduling
I was a very early adopter of Hootsuite and I am still are quite fond of that platform . Since then, I've tested out practically almost every social media scheduling tool.
If I'm suggesting a new platform into a client business, I'll start with this list.
SendibleMy platform of choice
Talks to every social media platform you could want
Social moderation - post, comment, like and reply inside Sendible
Easy to read and customise reports
Easily curate content and get daily suggested articles
Post at the best time
Queue and recycle posts
Competitive pricingLearn more
HootsuiteThe old classic
One of the most widely used platforms
Auto-scheduling fills gaps in your scheduled posts
Team management for moderation in higher level plans
Great free version if you have a few channels
Pricey, particularly to access customisable and advanced reportsLearn more
AgorapulseThe emerging favourite for larger businesses
User-friendly bulk upload
Set recycling rules per post, not by a seperate queue
Automated moderation rules - good for high volume comments
Unlimited reporting on all plans
Higher price point
Plann is a scheduling platform designed specifically for Instagram. It gives you planning, scheduling and analytics tools. And it's Australian. I love it. But - it is just for Instagram - so won't be for everyone.
Find out more here.