Social media is one of the biggest assets for a blogger, but also one of the biggest time sucks. I’ve experimented with tons of different ways of scheduling and posting things to social media, and while many of them took hours of time, I think I’ve developed a social media plan for my business that seems to work. Today I want to share with you how you can schedule social media to save you some time. (PS – this post focuses mostly on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I’ll be doing a post soon on how I schedule Pinterest posts using Tailwind!)
The first step in developing a social media plan is to evaluate what you’re currently doing. What’s working, and what isn’t? Maybe you schedule all your tweets, but feel like you try to do too much on Instagram, and it’s taking up hours of your time. Figure out where you’re struggling and apply these tips to those problem areas. Also, pay attention to what platforms your audience is using and responding to. If you’re spending hours on Facebook scheduling, but less than 1% of your traffic comes from Facebook, that’s a huge waste of time!
Figure Out What You Want to Post (and when!)
The next step in your social media scheduling adventure is to figure out what you want to post. Do you want to recycle old posts on twitter? Do you want to only promote new posts? Or maybe you want to do promotion manually, and just schedule fun facts and quotes. Whatever you want to do, grab a sheet of paper or use your computer and write out everything you want to be posting regularly, and develop a schedule. You can use resources like Pinterest to tell you when you should be posting, and what you should be posting.
Decide on Your Scheduling Tool
I use Buffer for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram scheduling. I’m able to view all of my accounts in one area and it just overall keeps things less busy and stressful for me. Buffer has a free plan, as well as a paid one, and I use the paid one. If Buffer isn’t your thing, there are a few other options. HootSuite is a very popular tweet scheduler. HootSuite also has a paid and free plan, depending on how many users and accounts you need. HootSuite also has some features such as analytics and content curation. Tweetdeck used to be its own company but has since been acquired by Twitter. It allows you to schedule tweets, respond to messages, see activity and see notifications all on one screen.
I use Buffer for Facebook as well. Facebook also has its own built-in scheduler, which I think should be used as much as possible, since the algorithms favor posts made on Facebook and not through an outside tool. If you aren’t a fan of Facebooks scheduler, you can use Postcron or Hootsuite.
Instagram schedulers are recently becoming fairly popular. I use Buffer for Instagram, but of course, Instagram doesn’t allow it to post for me, so I have to post when it notifies me. It’s not my favorite thing, but the Instagram algorithm doesn’t like scheduling apps to begin with, so I like posting it myself anyway. Later is an awesome Instagram scheduler, and even has a free plan for 30 pictures per month. Later also has really neat features with their paid plans, such as link in bio, which enables users to click the links from your Instagram pictures just by clicking one link in your bio.
How I Schedule My Social Media
For Twitter and Facebook, I sit down each night and schedule a handful of posts. It takes me about a half hour, sometimes less. I’ve tried scheduling for weeks at a time, but I find it ends up taking me hours and hours to come up with content for an entire week, but if I’m just scheduling for one day, it goes by quickly.
For Instagram, I sit down once a month and plan out images for my various accounts. I use Photoshop to put the images together to make sure they fit my ‘theme’ and then once a week, I schedule those images using Buffer and post as the app notifies me. This is what currently works for me, and maybe it can work for you too!
Thanks for reading!