If you've been around these parts for a while, you know I'm a big fan of scheduling social media. The ease and convenience of writing it when you're able to and knowing it'll be posted at an optimum viewing time is fantastic.
When I don't schedule social media, I forget or it gets pushed off until I'm at my least-witty-and-engaging self. And you're not going to be making any connections if you don't post anything!
First, let's get something clear: consistency is king, quality is queen.
When you schedule your posts at a time that's convenient for you, not only are you ensuring that you're consistently posting, but you're writing at the best possible level you can (no rush jobs just for the sake of posting something here!)
What's more, you can plan things ahead of time so you don't miss out on an important promotion or holiday. It would be a shame to overlook Saxophone Day.
(By the way: Happy Saxophone Day!)
With Buffer (or any scheduler, really, but for this instance, I'm talkin' about Buffer), I know that shit is being taken care of, even when I'm doing something else.
And really, you're working on making awesome jewelry or candles or helping your customers in your store. You don't have time to think about posting each and every day. It just isn't going to happen if you don't do it when it's convenient for you.
So why do I love Buffer to manage my social media scheduling? Oh, let me count the ways.
Buffer allows me to:
- Write when I feel like it
- Schedule at an optimum time for each page
- Re-use my content
- Have a consistent schedule
- Review my work before it's published
- Connect RSS feeds to curate content from other sources
- Plan Instagram
- Use a bookmarklet to save and schedule content I find online
- Analyze and track my performance
You can also:
- Schedule pins to Pinterest
- Moderate a Facebook group
- Update LinkedIn
- Post to Google+ (though that kinda died...)
- Collaborate on social content with a team
- Review content before it's published
Personally, I only use Buffer to schedule Twitter and Instagram. Yes, there are other programs that are free that'll allow me to do that, but I need this to be convenient for me. All if my clients' schedules are in one place. If I used Tweetdeck, then later, bounced over to FB then did some stuff on Pinterest, then opened Instagram - that's asked for a lot of your time.
I don't know about you, but keeping it as simple as possible ensures I'll use it.
I mean, who ever watched an infomercial that said, "Cleanup SUCKS. It takes forever when you use our Problematic Pan-o-matic! But your eggs will be fluffy soooo there's that..."?
Right, no one. These things are all boasting how easy it'll make your life.
I do want to point out that Buffer has two plans for individuals (free and Awesome) and a few team options (Small, Medium, and Large - depending on the size of your agency). If you're scheduling for yourself, you can probably get away with the free plan. It limits you to one profile per network and 10 posts per network. I need to plan further in advance (and I have many more Twitter profiles to manage than just one), so I looked to the Awesome plan.
Back to scheduling. Here's how you can save time by scheduling ahead with Buffer.
I cover the Why, How, and What of making a marketing plan in this eBook - you may want to take a look and make sure your foundation is solid before jumping in.
First things first, pick the networks you're posting on and how often you want to post to them.
Buffer allows you to set a posting schedule. With the Awesome plan, I can tell Buffer when I want my posts to drop. Every day can be the same time or I can set the schedule independent of other days. I can also vary my frequency if I wanted to post more on a certain day and less on another.
I find this to be super-helpful for a few reasons:
- Buffer allows you to set by the hour and minute (not like :15, :30, :45, :00) so I can schedule a post for 1:34pm and it looks like I was posting something in the moment.
- I can see which days get the best response and up my posting on that particular day. That'll ensure I'm using my time wisely.
- I can back off on weekends/holidays.
- I can also hit Share Now and it'll post when I want it to OR I can make a custom time and post outside of my proscribed posting schedule.
Pick a day and schedule on that day every week.
Make a date with yourself and stick to it. Ensuring that you're always scheduling at the same time gets a rhythm going. Oh, and ensures you'll actually do it so you don't skip any posts.
We're creatures of habit - make it work for you!
Now, go into Buffer and schedule posts.
I love to micro-batch my batching. Or batch within batching. Or whatever you want to call it. Basically I schedule all of Content Type A before moving on to Content Type B and so on. Cycling through allows me to focus on getting everything of one type settled before moving on to the next.
Like batching, it helps to save time because my mind is focused on one type of activity before moving on to the next. In this case, a particular type of content.
For example: if I'm promoting an event, I scheduled all tweets pertaining to that event. Then I move on to promoting blog posts and sprinkle those throughout. Then I use the RSS feature and look at popular content I've already shared and want people to see again to fill in the blanks.
This works for two reasons:
Varying content keeps it interesting for your readers and you know you hit all your points.
In an hour, I have four tweets per day, an Instagram post, and a Facebook post (which is the same as Instagram) scheduled for about a 2-week period.
It saves me time and I know it gets done, which saves me from having it nag on my mind all day long.
And that saves my sanity and allows me to free up my brain for other stuff.