Social media scheduling: A guide to making the process easier
Social media has drastically changed the way we communicate with each other, and with that change has come other shifts in the world of business, non-profits, and even personal relationships. As a necessary part of marketing, you might be struggling to keep up with it all. However, through planning ahead, you can easily schedule updates and make the process less time-consuming.
Scheduling updates is a small thing you can do that saves a lot of time and energy. You can create a full list of status updates at once and release them at certain times. Especially if your primary target base is in a different time zone, scheduling is an efficient way to ensure that you hit a certain hour even when you’re not available.
Before diving into social media scheduling tools, here are some tips on how to schedule updates properly:
1. Try using a social media scheduling template from HubSpot. It works for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Just fill it in and upload it right to Hootsuite.
2. While scheduling is great for social media productivity, you’ll still need to supplement these updates with on-the-fly content. Natural and emotional updates, such as sharing breaking news or your current mood, are essential.
3. Learn how to create a social media schedule. This tutorial takes you through the steps of getting organized and breaking down your daily and weekly social media tasks.
4. Optimize your social media schedule. This guide provides insight into the most effective days and times of the day to share on each social media network.
Now, let’s dive into some of the best social media scheduling tools available:
Log in using either Twitter or Facebook, then schedule posts for either or both. You can create multiple status updates at different days and times, and then just sit back and relax. The downside is that it limits your Facebook update to a much higher word count than the actual site does.
Using analytics based entirely around your Twitter account, Timely works by allowing you to schedule a list of updates you would like to see on your profile. Then, it ascertains the highest impact times for the posts and publishes them accordingly. This is done through looking at the last 199 tweets on your account to come up with the best time.
Buffer allows Twitter users to sign up through their account, and they will be given a secret email address to put in their contact book. From there, you just email the tweets to that account. The site will then create a “buffer” full of your tweet suggestions, and release one three times a day. They have both paid and free accounts. The free plan allows up to fifteen tweets scheduled at a time.
For Google Plus, this is a handy Chrome extension. It gives you a simple text editor, a draft save option, and a scheduler, all from your browser and in the same place. You can save and schedule as many as you like, and keep an eye on the status of your posts. There is also an autosave on all drafts.
This program’s interface looks similar to Facebook’s main page, making it easy for casual users to schedule multiple posts in a similar way to LaterBro.
6. Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Seesmic
These are well-known social media scheduling apps that support Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, offering multiple account support and useful features like archiving Twitter hashtag results, analytics, and auto-tweeting (through the RSS feed), among others.
Scheduling your posts is a simple way to increase productivity and give you more time to focus on other things. You can find endless programs to do it for you, not to mention social media dashboards like TweetDeck or HootSuite. The free and easy-to-use tools I’ve listed above are excellent choices to get started.