If there’s one thing most of us would agree on, it’s that we need more time.
More time with family.
More time with friends.
More time to travel.
In summary, just more time with wine in our hand.
But when you’re trying to grow your business and do everything you can to promote yourself, sometimes it feels like you’re just working against a clock that’s gone rapidly off the rails. And with every app and tool that promises you can save time or schedule your posts, you feel a little confused. Are you more disconnected if you’re scheduling out your conversations? Do you wrestle with the idea of scheduling social media, because how can it be “social” when you’re not even present?
I get it. And I’ve been there. But I can now safely say the benefits of scheduling social media far outweigh those concerns, plus I’ve found they’re also a little unfounded and short-sighted. Interested? Read on…
6 Benefits of Scheduling Social Media
When scheduling posts, you’re likely planning a little further out in advance. Afterall, it wouldn’t save you much time if you were still logging in daily to schedule it. And since you’re planning even just a little further in advance, you’ll have a greater awareness of any themes or messaging that develops.
I actually recommend planning your Instagram 90 days in advance… and it’s not as crazy as it sounds. See four reasons why I think you should plan 90 days in advance too.
2. Time to Perfect that Caption
Now, I don’t mean spend 2 hours agonizing over what to say (not like I’ve ever done that….) but rather to give yourself time to be thoughtful and say more than “love these new arrivals!”. You can think of what you want to say or update if you change your mind. Plus I often feel I write better captions when on my computer, instead of fat fingering on my phone, and all of these tools can be used off mobile too. You’ll also have time to ensure you’re including the right hashtags, including your call to action, updating any links, or setting up bitly to track your clicks!
Related Post: How to Create a Better, More Engaging Instagram Caption – it’s easier than you think!
(Bitly – simple, free tool that shortens URL’s and also sets up tracking and measurement of their performance. Perfect for tracking Instagram conversions to your shop.)
This is one of my all-time favorite reasons to schedule. Seriously, if you consider nothing else; think about this one. You can do all your work for a week at once. That’s insanely valuable. Schedule a couple hours on Sunday to plan out your Instagram images – shoot, edit, upload and you’re done for the week. It’s sad for me to admit, but not having that IG stress everyday of “ohmygod what will I post” is such a relief. (I’m assuming I can’t be the only one who feels that way!? Right?)
Related Post: For more ideas on how you can save time on social media + batch tasks: check out this article on 25 ways to do more with what you have
Each day is done so if other tasks come up (because let’s be real – they will) and take away from checking your social accounts, no worries! You’re covered + stress free. Your customers will still feel engaged with your brand and you’ll be able to continue to attract new customers.
Not to mention you’ll be able to focus on the more important money making tasks of quality customer service, creating new items, and looking for new opportunities.
Unplug babayy. You can still be active, useful and valuable to your followers while on the beach sippin’ cocktails.
6. Varied, Yet Cohesive Feeds
When scheduling, you can see a full picture of your posts. Is every tweet a question? Change it up with some facts. Did you write 5 tweets in a row screaming about sales + gimme your money? Add something more personal. And speaking of personal, every few link tweets remember to still be a person, even if it’s a scheduled one. Sprinkle in a favorite quote, bit of motivation, or a simple “hey girl- what are you working on today? I’m doing xyz….”
The best benefit of all?
Bonus! You get to spend your daily social media time actually interacting. And that’s the biggest win. Now your “social” time is spent being social – chatting, responding, leaving comments, and liking your little heart out.
And that to me is the number one benefit of scheduling social media: connecting.
Being present with your time, instead of hurriedly posting and then moving onto the next. What kind of connection could you make with your consumer if you were more present?
4 Useful Tools for Scheduling Social Media
Instagram Schedulers: Planoly vs Later
Instagram Scheduling Tool – I’m newly obsessed with this tool (over Later) because it gives me exactly what I want: you can drag and drop to rearrange images, write and edit captions, and schedule future posts. Same as Later, you’ll receive a push notification on your phone to actually post within the Instagram app (this is based on Insta’s requirements).
However there are a few features on Planoly that I now can’t live without:
- Live Preview: your preview feed which includes ALL images. On Later, you only see a preview of images that you uploaded through the app. So if on a whim you add a post, that won’t be seen. If you keep a specific theme and flow on your page, you’ll miss out on that full view when planning out your feed.
- Analytics: basic analytics on followers, likes/comments per post and trends over time.
- Track Comments: you can manage & reply to comments directly within the app
- Splitter feature: If you’ve seen those fun accounts that spread an image across a few posts, they have a tool that perfectly splits your image!
Give it a try with a free 15-day trial.
Instagram Scheduling Tool – (update: now called just Later). Let’s you upload photos to a saved photo library. You can crop photo, craft your caption and save for desired date + time. Since Instagram does not allow third-party posting, your only obligation is once that time comes you’ll receive a notification on your phone from Latergramme. Just select, your caption will automatically copy to your clipboard and open Instagram. Then paste the caption + hit share!
If you add your captions in the comment below (instead of in the main caption), just enter your comment and you’re all set. Plus check out this post for a super easy time saving tip for using hashtags!
Unsure when your best times are to post? Sign up for Iconosquare which gives you a ton of analytics and tools for your account, including the best times to post each day based on past engagement rates.
You can see an example of mine below, the darker shaded purple are my best times:
I share the 4 metrics I find most useful to review in this post + if interested, save 20% on the yearly plus plan by signing up with my affiliate link.
Facebook + Twitter Scheduler
Twitter & Facebook Scheduling Tool – Simple interface for writing tweets, plus when you enter the link it automatically shortens it for a more ideal tweet length. You can schedule it for an exact date + time, or select Autoschedule. You set which days of the week + how many tweets per day and it will automatically optimize scheduling based on your audience. You can spend time finding and crafting the ideal content for your audience and let Hootsuite worry about finding the best time!
You can also link your Facebook page and schedule articles to share directly from Hootsuite as well. #winwin!
Pinterest Schedulers (the absolute best thing)
Boardbooster vs. Tailwind
Pinterest Scheduling Tools – Not that I’m ever mad about spending time on Pinterest, but trying to post at the right times and as often as you should be each day can honestly suck some of the fun out of it. Using a scheduling tool allows you to enjoy the process of pinning when you have the time.
On Boardbooster, it sets up private boards that you pin to and then it will automatically pin out to your real boards based on your set up. So you can mass pin a bunch of images in a few hours one day a week or month, yet look active every day as it does the hard work of re-pinning for you. It also has this amazing feature – worth it alone for the $5/month – called “looping”. This works best for your larger boards with a lot of pins, as it will randomly select old pins to re-pin to your board, this keeps your old content from being buried and constantly resurfaces great information and content (plus, you can spend a little less time finding new pins to always have ready. You can then set it to wait a few days to see which pin has the most re-pins and it will automatically delete the one with a lower re-pin count. This keeps your boards active, continually accounting for better quality pins with higher engagement of re-pins/likes/comments, and cleans up your boards for you!
Investment: Try your free trial today! You can schedule 100 pins free to start (and even after that, the plans are super reasonable). Easy to set up and start – any questions, feel free to ask!
Tailwind provides some fantastic analytics, easy scheduling tools that adopt to your audiences best times to post, PLUS you can add your Facebook & Twitter accounts so you can select by-pin if you want to also share on those accounts. Just another way to automate and help make your social sharing easier. When you select a pin to schedule, you can choose multiple boards to pin it to (spaced out across your schedule) or set up a ‘group board’ that automatically going to schedule it out to a group of boards you’ve designated. You can add the “Tailwind” Publisher extension to your browser, so you can easily schedule pins while reading articles or directly from Pinterest; its basically like the Pinterest browser extension except this will save them to pin later, rather than immediately sharing.
Investment: They offer a free trial, or about $10/month if pay yearly (it’s worth it). You can schedule your first 100 pins for free. This one admittedly took me a little longer to set up, so feel free to ask any questions once you log in!
Why do I use both you ask?
Boardbooster is really simple and easy, especially if you prefer pinning on the go from your phone. It’s interface is easier to use within the Pinterest app, so its more natural. (You’ll feel like you’re just pinning to a regular board, except that its your specially designated private boards). However Tailwind’s analytics are amazing and when working on my laptop, I prefer using Tailwind to really tailor when my content is going out and can better plan when to “set” a pin to go live.
What do you think? Will you be trying out a new tool to schedule one of your social media channels? Let me know what you think!
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