Scheduling social media content can be tricky if you don't approach it right. Today we've got 6 tips for scheduling social media content for your blog as well as two great scheduling tools you can use to help!
Today I want to address a somewhat controversial topic: scheduling your social media messages.
I know that some people swear by this practice, while others wouldn’t do it even if you paid them. At the end of the day, you have to choose what’s right for you, but I’m pro-scheduling.
I personally believe that with a little bit of planning, and a lot of common sense, scheduling your posts can be beneficial to your blog.
Scheduling a portion of my social media messages makes my life easier. It allows me to be active on my social media platforms, even on days when I know I’m going to be busy. It’s also a great way to re-promote older content, which I’ll explain later on in this article.
If you’ve never scheduled any of your social media content before, I’ve got some best practices to keep in mind. And if you’re a scheduling pro, maybe you can leave some tips of your own in the comments!
Tip #1: Remove scheduled content during a crisis
I’m putting this tip right at the top, because it’s the most important one to remember. If you're going to schedule your content, you must keep an eye on the daily news. If you see any sort of crisis that is garnering a worldwide reaction, remove your scheduled content for that day (and possibly the next) immediately.
This is such a simple thing to do, but it can really affect how your audience perceives you.
Sharing your latest recipe on Facebook, right after an earthquake has claimed the lives of thousands of people, will make you look completely insensitive. You don’t want to be that person.
This can be tough (if not impossible) if you’ve scheduled content to post while you’re out of the country, but if you can remove your content, you should.
Also, it goes without saying that Twitter parties should be cancelled as well.
Tip #2: Don’t Schedule Everything
Your audience probably won’t mind seeing a few automated tweets in your feed, but no one wants to read six of them in a row. Chances are that your live, off-the-cuff tweets are more interesting anyhow.
When you first start, you might want to schedule one to two posts on Twitter per day, and one to two posts on Facebook each week, and see how your audience reacts to that. You can get away with posting more often on Twitter because those feeds go by so quickly, but unless you have a very busy Facebook page you might want to schedule less there. The same goes for your Google+ profile.
This rule doesn’t really apply to Pinterest though, so you can pretty much schedule to your heart's desire on there.
Tip #3: Schedule your old content
This is my absolute favourite kind of content to schedule. Not only does it help you get fresh eyeballs on content that you put time and effort into creating, it gives you something easy to schedule to show activity on your feed.
If you’ve got great summer recipes on your blog from last year, now is a great time to start sharing them on your social media platforms.
Tip #4: Schedule your new content multiple times
Another way to help get more views on your content is to share it more than once. I think most of us share a new blog post as soon as we put it up, but then we don’t actively promote it again.
Try sharing that new content on Twitter the day after you create it, and then once more a few days later. On Facebook, you can share the post again later in the month, if it’s still relevant.
Be sure to also schedule your pins to some group boards to get some extra mileage out of that post.
Tip #5: Change it up
If you’re going to share the same content multiple times, you need to change up the wording of the messages. Otherwise, your audience might feel like you’re spamming them.
For example, if you post a new recipe for chocolate milkshakes on Monday, your first tweet might be: “Check my out my new recipe for chocolate milkshakes!” Your second tweet could be: “Do you love chocolate milkshakes? Then you’re going to love my new recipe!”, et cetera.
Tip #6: Respond to interactions A.S.A.P.
Just because your content is scheduled, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to monitor your accounts. I’m willing to bet that your followers will become annoyed if you don’t respond to their interactions! It’s super important to respond to people as soon as you can, so they know that you’re still the voice behind your account.
If you’re scheduling content to run while you’re at work, be sure to check your feeds on your break or at least by the time you get home.
Social Media Scheduling Tools I Love
So those are some of the basic tips for getting started with scheduling your social media messages. Now let’s take a look at the tools that I use to schedule my own content.
This is easily my favourite scheduling tool out of everything that I’ve tried. I do pay for this service, but I find that it’s well worth the price.
What is CoSchedule?
CoSchedule is a social media editorial calendar for WordPress. You can use this tool to schedule content for:
- Twitter profiles
- Facebook profiles, pages or groups
- LinkedIn Profiles, groups of companies
- Tumblr blogs
- Google+ Pages
How does it work?
You can use CoSchedule to plan your blog posts, as it allows you to see both published posts and drafts at a glance. The layout is similar to the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin.
Once you click on a blog post title, you can use this tool to schedule new social media messages, or check out basic analytics on published messages.
How do I use it?
Once you sign up for the service, you get access to their web application, as well as a WordPress plugin.
Installing the plugin will create a new section in your WordPress blog post editor. This is handy because you can schedule all of your social media messages as soon as you’ve finished writing your post.
If you’re not interested in adding yet another plugin to your website, you can just use the web application. It looks exactly the same:
How much does it cost?
You can sign up for a free 14-day trial here. After that, if you choose to keep the service it will cost $9.00 per blog, per month (billed annually).
I’ve used ViralTag and Ahalogy, but Tailwind is my favourite pin scheduler. Not only am I a fan of the layout of their website, but I also appreciate the analytics that come with my account.
What is Tailwind?
Tailwind is a Pinterest marketing tool. While most of the features (especially the analytics) are geared towards large companies, I love to use to it measure how my pins are doing. This helps me figure out which boards I need to focus on, and which boards to ignore.
You might be interested to know that Pinterest named Tailwind an inaugural partner in the new Marketing Developer Partner program. That means that Tailwind has special access to the Content Publishing API, making them an “official” pinning tool.
How does it work?
Tailwind syncs with your Pinterest account to allow you to schedule pins and keep track of how well they're performing. You can use Tailwind to schedule multiple pins from any blog post or website, and also schedule them to multiple boards.
How do I use it?
My favourite feature of Tailwind is the browser extension for Chrome and Safari. This extension allows you to easily create multiple pins from any website, and you can use it to repin pins from Pinterest too.
When you use the browser extension to schedule a pin, it will automatically be placed in a timeslot that Tailwind thinks will work for you. You can either just use the scheduled times as is, or go into the web application and set your own times.
I also love that Tailwind shows me a visual calendar of my scheduled pins, so I can make sure that I’m not pinning too much of the same content at the same time.
Tailwind has collaboration with Canva, so you can design pins straight from their web application. This is similar to the PicMonkey collaboration that Ahalogy has.
There are many scheduling tools available right now, at various price points, so be sure to find the one that works the best for you!
Read More of Shareba's Blogging Tips:
- 16 Writing Prompts For Food Bloggers
- Everything Bloggers Need to Know about No Follow Links
- How To Create Pinterest Recipe Rich Pins
You can read all of Shareba's posts here.
Editor's Note: None of these links are affiliate links and no compensation has been provided to promote these scheduling tools.
6 Best Practices for Scheduling Social Media Content was written by regular FBC Contributor, Shareba Abdul. Shareba is a food blogger and freelance writer. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Applied Arts in Media Studies, a Diploma in Journalism, and has a passion for writing, photography, and blogging. You can check out her yummy discoveries at InSearchOfYummyness.com or connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+.