Everything you need to know about scheduling social media posts
Scheduling social media posts is a marketing hack that requires a small chunk of time investment to begin with. After you’ve got the hang of it, this trick will save you hours and hours of your working day.
Social media helps you connect with your customers and therefore boost sales. Use it to your advantage to attract new customers, generate leads, and build relationships with the people who matter most to your business.
But if you don’t have time to post on social media every day, you might be wondering how best to use this valuable tool in your marketing strategy. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you automate some of your social media tasks so you can save time for other important things like running your business!
In this post, we’ll explain why scheduling posts is important (and how it works), then go over some steps you need to take before beginning any type of scheduling process.
Why should I be scheduling social media posts?
Scheduling social media posts saves time and makes your life easier. It helps you to be more efficient, so you can focus on other things in your business. You can also use scheduling to share the same post across multiple channels. This is a good idea for when you want to reach as many people as possible with one message or image.
With scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer (which I’ll talk about later), you can schedule posts for specific times of day. For example, if I’m going live on Facebook Live at 12pm, I might want to post on Instagram about it half an hour before so people know what time to tune in.
Scheduling means you also leave yourself more time for creating social media reports. We cannot stress enough how crucial this is to any business. There are apps to help automate this process too.
Schedule posts in advance to save time
If you’re a busy person, this is a major time saver. You’ll be able to post on social media without having to think about it or keep track of the time. It means no more stopping what you’re doing just because it’s 2pm and someone wants an Instagram photo of them holding up their lunch (or whatever).
Use hashtags to boost the reach of your posts
If you’re looking to boost the reach of your posts and connect with other users, hashtags are your best bet. There are lots of free scheduling tools that can add your frequently used hashtags at the click of a button.
Hashtags are used to categorise content and make it more searchable. They help you engage with others by adding context and allowing users who don’t follow you directly to see what kind of content you typically post.
Create a content calendar and share it with others
You can use a tool like CoSchedule or Buffer to help you create a content calendar. The important thing is that you share it with others and don’t forget to update it regularly. This way, all those shared will be on the same page and know what’s happening next.
Social media managers will also use this tool as a reference point when scheduling posts for their clients’ accounts. So if you have multiple social media managers working on different parts of your business (or even within one department), make sure they’re all sharing the same information in order for everyone’s schedules to be synced up properly.
Don’t forget customer service on social media
Customer service is an important part of your social media strategy. However, it’s easy to forget about it when you’re busy posting content and trying to build up your audience.
Scheduling tools often have facilities to reply to the direct messages and comments you receive from your different social media pages, all in one place.
As a business owner or manager, you should be monitoring your accounts at all times, not just when people reach out with questions or complaints. You should also have someone on staff who can answer questions or address concerns efficiently in order that they don’t turn into bigger issues.
The same rules apply here as they do for any other form of customer service: be responsive, friendly, polite and helpful, courteous (even if they’re being rude), authentic, and human.
Scheduling social media posts helps with consistency
If you’re scheduling a bulk load of content in one day to go out over the next few weeks or months, your tone of voice will be more consistent. Consistency develops your brand and helps your audience to recognise your content.
Consistency is also about how regularly you post. If you’re not scheduling content, it can be easy to lose track. You could end up posting 20 times in December and then six times in February with nothing in between. If you go quite for too long, you may lose your audience’s intrigue and eventually lose followers.
The frequency of your posts depends on the expectations of your audience. If you’re posting too often, it can seem like you’re spamming them. But if you don’t post enough, then they may forget about the brand altogether.
This is why it’s important to know what kind of content works best for each platform and how often people expect to see updates in their feed.
Scheduling tools that can help make life easier
There are a lot of tools out there that can help you plan, schedule and track your social media posts. These include:
- Hootsuite. This tool offers advanced analytics on which times of day are best for posting (and which hashtags). You can customise your feeds and consolidate your inboxes so you never miss a conversation.
- Tailwind. This services has more features than just scheduling. It allows users to manage their content calendars, find the best times for posting based on historical data from thousands of other brands’ profiles, and find relevant tags for each post.
- Buffer. Allows you to schedule posts for multiple social media channels in one place. It also has a free version that offers basic functionality and a paid plan with additional features (like team collaboration).
- Sendible. This one has excellent scheduling features and content recommendation tools with brand monitoring. It comes with analytics and keyword filtering.
- Later. A wonderfully visual application, Later is super easy and enjoyable to use. It has a ‘best time to publish’ feature and a brilliant media library tool.
Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of scheduling social media posts, it’s time to get started. Remember to plan out your content and share it with others so they can help keep things running smoothly. Take a look into some of the scheduling tools we’ve listed here. Some offer free plans or free trials. Whichever you might go for, it will be worth the investment – whether you’ve invested your time or money.