How to Automate & Simplify Your Social Media Scheduling
I have a feeling we can all agree that social media, for the most part, is the bane of our existence. We realize the need for social media, but we're like a toddler forced to eat spinach - we just don't wanna!
But, alas, it's a necessary evil. I have tried so many methods to automate and simplify my own social media scheduling, and until a few months ago, nothing really worked like I wanted it to work. So what changed a few months ago? I fell in love with CoSchedule, and it has quite literally been a game changer.
I tried CoSchedule a couple years ago and it was intimidating, and lacked a lot of the features they have now, so I cancelled my service and went in search of another method. After years of circling and experimenting, and sometimes flat-out ignoring my social media accounts, I came back to CoSchedule to give them another chance. (Pre-P.S. All the links to CoSchedule in this post are my referral link. Just so ya know.)
HOW TO AUTOMATE & SIMPLIFY YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING
First, let me be completely transparent. I have the Solo Automation Calendar, which has all the bells & whistles. It's the top tier of their subscription options, which also means it's the most expensive. All of the plans have a ton of features, and I will notate which features are only available on the Solo Automation Calendar.
Is it worth the cost? In my humble opinion, hell yes. Every stinkin' penny. CoSchedule's Solo Automation Calendar solves a host of problems in one epic marketing tool.
PROBLEM #1: Multiple Tools for Multiple Social Platforms
There are social media tools that you can use to schedule your Instagram posts, others that are better suited for Twitter, some that are exclusively for Pinterest, and technically you'll see better engagement on Facebook if you schedule directly through Facebook.
It's a lot to manage, a lot of bouncing around, and to be honest, I don't have time for all that, and I'm guessing you don't either.
SOLUTION: CoSchedule's All-in-One Editorial Calendar
CoSchedule's All-in-One Editorial Calendar, available on all paid CoSchedule accounts, puts everything in one place, which simplifies your social media scheduling because you have one tool to use for every social media platform.
Literally EVERY social media platform I manage is on this calendar. That's why it looks so crazy.
- Both my Sweet Tea, LLC and Sweet Tea & Saving Grace Facebook Pages
- All of my Facebook groups (I manage 4 through CoSchedule)
- My Twitter account
- My Pinterest account (used in conjunction with BoardBooster, which I'll demonstrate in a minute)
- Both my @sweetteallc and @sweetteagrace Instagram accounts
You can also add LinkedIn, Google +, and Tumblr accounts. Epic, right?
FEATURES I LOVE:
- Sorting: I can sort my calendar view based on various factors, including posts by certain authors, posts in specific categories, social channel, etc.
- WP Integration: My CoSchedule calendar is right there waiting for me when I log into my WP dashboard, which means I don't have to go to another website to do my social media scheduling and content planning.
- More Than Blog Posts: I can write everything from blog posts to social media posts to to-do lists to notes right there on the calendar. One stop shop.
PROBLEM #2: The Time Consuming Process of Promoting New Blog Posts
You finally got a blog post written, right? It takes forever because you have to make the thing, photograph the thing, edit the photos of the thing, then write about the thing. The last thing you want to do next is spend forever writing and re-writing social media posts all over the place.
SOLUTION: CoSchedule's Fully Customizable Templates
CoSchedule's templates (available in the Marketing & Automation calendars) allow you to set up a set of social promotions that you will use over and over again, only changing the content for each post. It's ridiculously easy and such a huge time saver!
A social template can be used for several purposes. Essentially, you set up a template that says something like this:
- On the day the post goes live, I want to share it on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
- On the day after the post goes live, I want to share it again on Pinterest and Twitter
- A week later, I want it shared on Facebook again, maybe as a link post instead of as an image post.
- A month later, I want it pinned to these specific relevant boards.
And so on...
Each time a new post is scheduled on either of my blogs, I quickly select the corresponding social template, drop in the little blurb about it, and publish. It takes me about 30-60 seconds to schedule social shares on every social media platform from the day the post goes live until the end of time. Done.
I also have social templates set up that allow me to share recurring prompts in a couple of my Facebook groups. I add the template to the first day of each week, and it cycles through each daily prompt throughout the week. That one takes me about 10 seconds to schedule a week's worth of content to my Facebook groups.
FEATURES I LOVE:
- Social Helpers: When designing a template, CoSchedule gives you several social helpers that serve as placeholders for things like your blog post title, permalink, etc. You can also create your own custom helpers. This saves you from having to copy/paste the permalink or post title repeatedly.
- Social Templates in Text Editor: After drafting a blog post, I scroll down in WP to fill out my Yoast SEO plugin information, then scroll just a bit more to find my CoSchedule section right there in my text editor. I add my new post template, and I'm good to go!
PROBLEM #3: Manually Promoting Past Content Takes Forever
We all know that we should be promoting our archived content to fresh eyes on social media regularly, but seriously, who has time to go dig up a post, write a Facebook message or tweet, and schedule that stuff? I'm personally too busy promoting my new content!
SOLUTION: CoSchedule's Epic ReQueue Feature!!!
I feel like that phrase - "CoSchedule's Epic ReQueue Feature" - should be met with the sound of angels and "hallelujah's" and such. It's amazing!!! (P.S. This is only available on the Automation calendar.)
"What is this marvelous creature you speak of?" I hear you ask.
ReQueue allows you to drop tons of content into ReQueue groups, set a schedule, and sit back to watch CoSchedule push those social messages out in an never-ending loop forever and ever amen.
And every blogger says, "AMEN!"
I've got ReQueue groups for all kinds of things - one for my Sweet Tea, LLC posts on Twitter, another for evergreen content from Sweet Tea & Saving Grace that gets pushed out to my Facebook page, and so on. I add the content one time, and CoSchedule publishes the content on a loop.
FEATURES I LOVE:
- Time-Specific ReQueue Groups: I created a ReQueue group exclusively for my Christmas-related content. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and running through Christmas Eve, CoSchedule published all Christmas-related posts from Sweet Tea & Saving Grace to my Facebook page on a loop. As of midnight 12/24, it stopped. I've got another one running now that is for winter & Valentine's posts that will end on 2/14.
- Multiple Social Profiles In One ReQueue Group: Let's say, for example, that you want to create a ReQueue group to promote your evergreen content. You can set ReQueue to publish to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (or any combination of your linked social profiles) within one ReQueue group. You don't need one group specifically for Facebook, another for Pinterest, and so on.
- Total Control on Number of Posts from Each Group: Each group you create allows you to set limits on the number of posts that are pulled form that group each week. If you want only one post per day from a group, set it for no more than 7 per week.
- ReQueued Posts Mix In With Scheduled Posts: You don't have to worry about your Facebook page filling up with all archived content. The settings of each ReQueue group, as well as the settings for your overall calendar, allow you to control the content you share. For example, you might have 2 posts from a ReQueue group plus 2 posts you are scheduling manually to share other people's content, plus a new blog post, all going to your Facebook post in one day.
SIMPLIFIED PINNING WITH COSCHEDULE & BOARDBOOSTER
I mentioned earlier that I didn't like the thought of using multiple social media scheduling tools for all of my social platforms, which is one of the biggest reasons I love using CoSchedule. However, for more effective pinning, the only other social scheduling tool I use, in addition to CoSchedule, is BoardBooster.
The way I have it set up, I never have to physically pin any of my own blog posts to Pinterest. Ever. It's magical! Here's how it works:
START WITH BOARDBOOSTER:
Set up a Random Campaign in BoardBooster. Your blog board should be the Source Board. Then choose all relevant group boards and pinning intervals as the Target Boards.
This tells BoardBooster to randomly select a pin from your source board and repin it to your target boards at the intervals you set in the campaign. You can create as many campaigns as you need based on your blog needs.
ADD A PIN TO YOUR COSCHEDULE CAMPAIGN:
Now that you have all the group board repinning set up, you just need to pin your blog post.
With each new blog post, select Pinterest as one of your social shares in CoSchedule, then pin to your blog board.
With this setup, here's what happens:
- Your blog post goes live on your blog.
- CoSchedule pins your post to your blog board.
- BoardBooster picks up that pin and repins it to all relevant boards at the designated intervals you set in your BoardBooster campaign.
- Your post gets pinned all over Pinterest without you having to lift a finger!
LEARN HOW TO SET UP COSCHEDULE TEMPLATES & REQUEUE
I have two free video tutorials to share with you! Both videos have been added to my free Resource Library, available exclusively to my email community, but you can access the first one right here in the post!
Video #1 - How to Create a Social Template in CoSchedule
I walk you through the exact steps to create social templates two different ways. Social templates allow you to schedule all social promotion for new blog posts in bulk.
Video #2 - Setting Up the ReQueue Feature In CoSchedule
I show you the versatility of the ReQueue feature, helping you share and re-share all of your social media posts quickly and easily.