With the festive season approaching, and many of us beginning to think about winding down for Christmas, it is important to remember that life doesn’t stop just because it is Christmas - businesses still need to function and continue to reach out to their customers. One huge aspect of this is marketing. It may be that over the Christmas period there is only a “skeleton staff” in place to keep things ticking over, but customers still need to be looked after as always.
However, for some aspects of a business, such marketing and social media, there are opportunities of putting a system in place that enables your social media posts to be scheduled in advance, meaning that you are able to leave your desk on Christmas Eve knowing that your social media campaign will continue in your absence.
This is of course not just useful at this time of year, but throughout the year for many different reasons.
Planning your schedule
Sitting down and planning your social media campaign, social media messaging and the time of your posts can only enhance your engagement with your customers, as you are giving it the time it needs to make it successful. Planning these things and scheduling accordingly will allow you to be more prepared and enable you to really create some imaginative and engaging messages.
There are a number of social scheduling tools out there, many free to use, that will assist you in managing your social media platforms, making your life easier and more productive.
Which Tools are best to use for Social Media Scheduling?
There are many effective social media scheduling tools out there to choose from. Hootsuite is a popular choice for many, allowing you to sync with all of your social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ LinkedIn, YouTube The interface is simple, and allows you to schedule content, monitor popular hashtags,topics and usefully provides information on performance analysis, which you can use to see how well your campaign is doing in terms of reach.
Another popular option is Buffer, allowing you to share content at the best times, making the most out of your content and effectively coordinating within your team. It also has analytics that enable you to track conversions, trends and engagement. There are obviously many other options out there too including Sprout Social, Social Oomph and Meet Edgar to name a few. Many offer free trials so it is a good idea to have a look at a few options before committing, to find out which one suits you best.
Why Schedule your Social Media Content?
Scheduling your updates saves you time and allows you to be more organised and structured in your approach. It can be a panic-stricken moment when you realise that you are behind and haven’t had the time to post on your social media platforms. Have a plan in place, and a schedule set-up ready to fire out will reduce this stress and allow you to be safe in the knowledge that you have put provisions in place to take care of this for you. It will also encourage consistency to your posts. This is an important aspect of social media engagement. Posting consistent messages daily will keep your business high on newsfeeds, keeping your profile raised.
Use Analytics to Improve
By using analytics you can assess which posts have the highest engagement, what times are best to post and you can even see what are popular, trending topics and hashtags that you can perhaps use in your own messaging, taking your own slant on a subject in relation to your own business. For example, if you are a Bakery or Sandwich shop, it might be worth using the trending hashtag #NationalSandwichDay.
Recycling Evergreen content will also allow you to continue to drive traffic to that particular article or blog post time and again. This will also create opportunities for further engagement from new followers who missed this the first time round.
Interaction should still be key
There are obvious benefits to social media scheduling, but you should also make sure to take the time to engage with your audience, as this can improve your relationships, sales and profile. By having a schedule in place, you will free up your time, enabling these interactions and making sure that there is still a percentage of your social media that remains unautomated.
Social Media needs to remain “social” in order for it to be successful, but taking the time out to consider your messages, schedule relevant and engaging content then preserving some time to have the personal interactions online will provide you with a good balanced social media management process.