When you're busy running a business or a blog posting on social media can quickly drop down the priority list. However there's one tool which I use that allows me to spend around an hour every Friday afternoon to schedule all my social media posts for the following week to go out automatically. Of course I still check into my social media platforms to respond and interact with my followers but I do this when I'm making a cup of tea or taking a little break. Having my social updates scheduled means I don't have to constantly be thinking about posting, it saves me loads of time and allows me to focus on my clients and project work during the week.
There are several social media scheduling tools out there such as Edgar, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc, etc. However my favourite and recommendation for small businesses and bloggers to try is Buffer.com. I've mentioned it a few times in blog posts already but today I wanted to show you just how easy and useful it is!
No sales pitch intended, I just genuinely find it a really valuable tool for my business so hopefully this post will help other small business owners too!
What's so good about Buffer? - The pro's:
- It's intuitive, simple and easy to use. Compared to some of the other tools I've tried which filled my screen with all sorts of things going on!
- You can schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and Google + all in one place
- Not only can you schedule specific post for specific times, you can also set up a posting schedule then plug in a batch of updates to a 'queue'. Buffer will then work down your list of updates and schedule them to your social profiles according the your optimised schedule!
- You can attached photo's, videos, animated GIFs and links to your updates
- You can choose whether to shorten the links in your posts and if you do, you'll be able to see analytics on how well they've performed for you
- You can choose whether to receive weekly emails with performance stats and reminders when your queue is empty which I find really useful
Anything you should know? - The con's:
Buffer is free to use however you will be limited to having 25 posts scheduled and can only connect one profile per social media platform. If you want to have more than this scheduled they have some very affordable options. I pay $10 a month and get up to 100 posts a month, plus this allows me to connect more than one profile to each social media platform e.g. a twitter profile for my business and second twitter profile for my blog.
Like most social scheduling tools it doesn't yet include Instagram. For this I'd recommend the Latergramme app although this is the one platform I prefer to do real-time!
How to get set up on Buffer
Go to Buffer.com, set up an account and then connect your profiles on the left hand side. You're now set up and ready to schedule updates by entering them in the "what do you want to share" box. Click on the social profiles you want this to post to and then choosing whether to "share now" or "schedule" using the drop down in the bottom right hand corner:
If you want to set a schedule and front load your updates just go to the "schedule" tab and choose the days and times you want your posts to go out for each of your profiles. Then when you add your updates in the 'Content' tab choose "add to queue" or "share next" from the drop down options.
1 - Click on the "Settings" tab to select a trackable link shortening service. You can also turn this off for specific posts if you want too (you'll see how to do this in the bottom left hand corner of the box when you enter the post)
2 - To save time enter one post for all of your social profiles then go into each profile (down the left hand side) and adapt it slightly if needed e.g. remove any hashtags from the Facebook version of the post
3 - Take a look in the "Analysis" tab regularly, you can order your recent updates in order of popularity to see what kind of updates are working best for you and then do more of that!
Have you tried any of the other social scheduling tools? Which do you prefer and why?
I hope you've found this post useful if you were thinking of using a social media scheduling tool, of course one of the other tools mentioned may be working for you already or be more to your liking but if you're just starting to up your social media game Buffer is a great place to start!
PS. If you are wanting to up your social media game and start see more success for your small business or blog you might be interested in THIS!