by Lily Bradic
As your online presence grows, it can become difficult to give your social activity the attention it needs in order to be consistent. It’s not practical to stop what you’re doing every two hours to post something on Twitter. Your productivity will suffer, and it simply isn’t sustainable.
If you’re finding that distributing your posts is becoming as much effort as writing or curating them, then it’s time to familiarize yourself with an automation tool. But where to start?
Schedule Posts on Facebook
Your Facebook Page’s dashboard has an inbuilt post-scheduling feature, which looks like this:
To use it, craft a post as you normally would (including any links, videos or images you’d like to share) and then, instead of clicking “Post”, click the little arrow to reveal the “Schedule Post” option. Then select the date and time you’d like the post to go live, and you’re done.
While this is great for ensuring the occasional real-life event doesn’t get in the way of your posting schedule (“I need to postpone the meeting so I can share a meme online” just isn’t going to work), Facebook’s post scheduler lacks the option to bulk-schedule updates — and that’s what will really make your life easier.
The good news (kind of) is that you’d need to use an additional automation tool anyway, as Twitter and Google+ don’t have inbuilt scheduling tools. That’s why social dashboards like Hootsuite and SproutSocial are so popular.
Everything in one place
Let’s take Hootsuite as an example. From your dashboard, you can access your brand’s profiles on the following networks:
You can then share posts simultaneously across as many of these platforms as you like. Choose to share immediately, or schedule for tomorrow, next week, or (if you’re organized) next month.
Bulk Scheduling Posts
Bulk scheduling means planning all of your posts at once, and then not worrying about them for the rest of the week. While you can schedule a whole month's worth of posts in advance, there are risks involved — you don't know what's going to happen in the world over the next four weeks, so something that seems funny and lighthearted now may seem cruel and insensitive (or simply irrelevant) by the time it goes live. Promotional posts and discounts are generally safe to schedule weeks in advance, but it's best to pick articles, news features and videos closer to the time you plan on distributing them.
With Hootsuite, you can bulk-schedule your posts using an Excel spreadsheet. This has the added bonus of making you really think about what you share (and when). If you set campaign goals that align with your business objectives, deciding what posts to share should come pretty naturally.
The holiday season is stressful enough without having to worry about regular tweets and Facebook posts. Why not save time andstart scheduling your Christmas campaigns now?