Over the holidays, many social media accounts keep silent or at least only are active very sporadically. That is not necessary if you use tools for scheduling updates in social media.
Why scheduling updates for Social Media is good
It is not only holidays that ask for scheduling tools. Even in your day to day life as an entrepreneur and marketer scheduling social media updates makes a lot of sense. Or to put it more drastic: It often makes the difference between being on social media and having success with social media marketing.
For instance, in many social networks, it will give you much better results if you spread out your posts over the course of the day instead of pushing out a bunch of updates once a day and otherwise be silent (and invisible).
I have seen many Twitter accounts that push a couple of updates within minutes once a day – and keep silent for the remainder of the day. The reason is that the owners of these accounts are busy working their business and allocate a couple of minutes once a day for their social activity. There is nothing wrong with it. Or rather it makes total sense. You cannot spend 20 times a day on Twitter to keep your account active if your real job is to work with clients, work on a product or whatever else your real job is.
One of the aspects of social media (marketing) I love is that everybody can be a marketer, no matter if you are a teacher, a consultant, a cook, or a restaurant owner. Your business can profit from you being active in social media. But you will need the aid of tools to get the most out of your efforts and not lose time you need to spend on your “real” job with the need to log into all your social accounts multiple times a day.
There are many different tools to schedule social media updates. Some of them work in entirely different ways and solve totally different scheduling problems. You have to choose the tool that serves your purposes best.
Here are 6 tools that help you schedule your social media updates. Keep your social accounts active, not only over the holidays but also in the days, when you are busy working on your business and cannot spend hours on end on social media.
Buffer is one of the most famous tools for scheduling your social media updates. It gives you the opportunity to set times for the day (or even for days) when you want your social media updates to be posted. Based on your location Buffer will make a suggestion for your optimal schedule. With Buffer, you can schedule a bunch of updates at a time and have an active account while you are out celebrating Christmas or working on your client’s projects.
Buffer can help you schedule posts on most social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
If you are looking for more content to share, Buffer also offers some ideas on what to post.
SocialOomph offers an entirely different way of keeping your Twitter account active from what Buffer does. You can upload or manually upload updates into a queue. SocialOomph will send these out in an endless circle. Thus, your Twitter account is never running out of updates.
Be careful with this kind of scheduling, you need to have a large number of evergreen updates to not annoy your followers with either outdated or repetitive tweets.
I do not know another online tool that allows this queuing of tweets and that is the only reason to mention SocialOomph in this tools list. Apart from that, it has a horrible user interface and is not very comfortable to use.
Hootsuite offers you two different ways to schedule Tweets. Either you can manually compose the tweets and schedule them. Or you can upload 350 tweets at one time. For this you have to create a list of tweets in a CSV file according to Hootsuite’s given format, this includes the times you want your tweets to go out.
I find it rather complicated to create the CSV file first and then upload the posts. However if you have a large number of own updates for instance for Twitter, which you can reuse later, it is worth the effort.
You can also use Hootsuite to help you find the perfect times for your scheduled tweets.
Hootsuite also allows you to schedule Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Instagram posts. It can also help you find content for your social channels.
PostPlanner is for scheduling Facebook posts. But that is not saying enough. PostPlanner can also help you find content to share on Facebook. That is still not saying enough.
PostPlanner helps you find content to share on Facebook, which is already proven to speak to the Facebook audience. If you want to post motivational quotes you can use PostPlanner to give you a variety of quotes related to your line of business, which have already inspired a lot of interaction in the form of likes and shares. This way of proposing to you content and updates for Facebook which have already inspired a lot of interaction makes PostPlanner especially valuable since it helps you find updates that will resonate with your audience and schedule them at perfect times.
If you are looking for an alternative for Buffer for scheduling pins for Pinterest you should look at Tailwindapp. Scheduling on Tailwind works in a similar way to Buffer: You set up times for your posts and add pins that will then be sent to Pinterest by the Tailwindapp at the preset times.
Tailwind gives you a suggestion for your schedule based on the topics you pin, your audience and when they are online and overall Pinterest trends concerning traffic, repins and conversions. Of course, you are free to change your schedule or add timeslots to the schedule.
Both Buffer and Tailwind offer a browser extension that makes uploading pins into your schedule as easy as clicking on a picture. With the paid version of Tailwind, you can upload a large number of pins to the schedule. This way you can even set your Pinterest pins once a week if you want to cover your holidays or times of a busy client project.
Learn how to get the most out of your social accounts with “The Social Traffic Code!”
If This Then That (IFTTT) is a tool that can more or less do anything you tell it to do. You can set up a condition, which will trigger activity. For instance, if you have a blog, you can let IFTTT automatically push an update to your social channels. You can also set automatic retweets or likes on Twitter; you can make your Facebook Fanpage share every update from another page containing a particular keyword or whatever else you want to do.
You need to be very careful with IFTTT. It is very powerful, and that makes it dangerous. Before you set up automated routines with it, think it through carefully. You do not want to over-automate your social accounts and risk posting content that is not good enough or is really about a topic that has nothing to do with your line of work. Sending automated updates that you did not personally check before posting them are always a risk.
IFTTT may not be as comfortable or easy to use as some of the other tools, but it is one hell of a tool if you have your own routines you want it to cover.
Scheduling social media updates are very powerful. It will help you save time and be active while being busy with your job. However, as with anything automated do not overdo it. Your accounts still need to show personality and not look like a machine. Social media is and will always be about building social connections. Do not lose contact with your audience by using too much automation.
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