Whenever I ask my readers to share their biggest blogging struggles, social media marketing always tops the list. Social media isn’t just about broadcasting your content and your product and service offerings, the best results come from a combination of sharing your stuff and authentic, engaging and useful content from others in your industry. That’s where things can get rough for many. The time involved in sourcing and scheduling amazing things weighs down many bloggers – some they just abandon social media altogether.
The good news is, you don’t have to spend hours every week or every day to share. I’m here sharing with you the tasks and resources that have allowed me to get great results from social media and spend hours each month sourcing and updating the schedule.
Note: This post will focus on Facebook although the same techniques can be used on Twitter, Pinterest and more.
The best tool for social media scheduling
For those of you who want to make things work as you read, let’s start with scheduling tools. There are tons of great tools out there that allow you to schedule social media updates in advance When it comes to Pinterest, you can’t beat Tailwind for price and ease of use. When it comes to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, I have certain things I look for when choosing a tool.
- A visual calendar that lets me see which updates are scheduled on which days
- I’d like to be able to schedule things “on the fly” without having to visit the site myself, which usually requires a browser extension.
- Great report that shows me what content worked well and what days of the week and what times of day work best to post on my profile.
I’ve used all of the above and more, and my favorite social media scheduler at the moment is SproutSocial It’s not just a scheduler, it’s a full suite social media management system with great reporting. Most schedules come with free trials so try them out if necessary until you find one that you feel comfortable with and that you will actually use. This is the most important thing!
How often should I post?
Finding the sweet spot is different for everyone. I personally try to post one morning, afternoon and night during the week and evening on weekends. You may feel most comfortable posting twice a day to start, or maybe you have a large, engaged social media following and prefer to post every hour or two throughout the day. The decision is yours. The most important thing is not to overwhelm yourself and, on the other hand, don’t let your profiles stagnate. And, always choose quality content over quantity.
A social media content calendar must have categories
There are a few essentials for any social media content calendar, regardless of your niche. These are the things we sometimes routinely overlook promoting, but are often the most important in terms of revenue and impact.
popular post – You should always keep a running list of your most popular posts. These should be evergreen articles that will be relevant and resourceful for months or years to come. These pieces can be updated as needed to have the authentic parts they need. Sharing Frequency: Once per day, can alternate with new posts
Sign up for the newsletter – Your main goal with any marketing activity should be to get people to sign up for your email newsletter. Social media is fickle and platforms come and go. You don’t have to worry about your email subscribers – if you treat them well. They will be there when you need them and you can contact them at a moment’s notice. This is your most important thing as a blogger. Frequency of sharing: 2-3 times per month at different times of the day
sales page – If you have a product or service for sale, many of your readers don’t know about it. And with social media, people are coming and going every day. They can only view social media once a day. Consistency and repetition are key when it comes to reaching people through social media. Frequency: 2-3 times per month at different times of the day
Popular posts from others – Social media platforms are not intended to be your personal bullhorn. Sharing only your creations can damage your reputation. Share the love. Frequency: Once daily
Industry news – Social media is a great place to start building your brand and being seen as an expert in your industry. Share important news relevant to your followers. Hot topics spark discussion. Stay away from things that might alienate your followers like politics. Frequency: As they come, no more than once per day
Other profiles – We all have a social media platform that we prefer over others. Remind your followers a few times each month to catch you there for some extra goodies. Frequency: 2-3 times per month
Where can I find content to share?
Before looking into where to find the content, let’s write down if anything important is happening this month. Have a big vacation or a Interesting holiday That we could work in our niche? Do we have a product launch coming up? Some seasonal changes are underway (spring cleaning, back to school, etc.). Maybe something really important and “newsworthy” is going on in your industry right now. These are all things we can incorporate into our editorial calendar and make our search easier Some popular seasonal topics for social media:
- January – New Year, organization, fitness/health, starting a business, money, Super Bowl
- February – Super Bowl, spring cleaning, gardening, Valentine’s Day, taxes
- March – St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break, Homeschooling, Easter, Budgeting, Gardening
- April – getting ready for spring, summer
- May – Mother’s Day, graduation, Memorial Day, BBQ, travel, summer vacation
- June – Father’s Day, grilling, summer weddings, camping
- July – Fourth of July, summer recipes, grilling, gardening
- August – back to school, football, organizations, canning, tailgating
- September – Meal planning, back to school, harvest, fall weddings
- October – Halloween, fall recipes, football
- November – Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, DIY gifts
- December, Christmas, Hanukkah, Party, Organization
Always wait until next month because many people start planning in advance. This is especially the case if you want to create new content around one of the above topics. But, we’re unveiling the awesome stuff here today!
There are many places to find great content. You’ll want to dig through your own stats first to find the top 10-20 posts that are already getting a lot of traffic and are either evergreen or relevant this season. As you build your list, give them a quick look to make sure they don’t need any updates, any links are still working, maybe give them a new photo, etc. Keep them in a spreadsheet for easy sorting.
Looking for content to share beyond my own, I hit up BuzzSumo At first this site will try to get you to register for a paid account, but the free account has always worked fine for me.
I’m going to search BuzzSumo for keywords relevant to my niche or perhaps those important holidays or trending topics we discussed earlier. I can set the time period for the search – from 24 hours to 1 year. I can also sort the results by Total Share, Facebook Share etc. If I’m looking for things to share on Facebook, I want things that have already proven to be popular on Facebook.
After that, I’m going to start clicking through these links and checking them for relevance, quality, etc. Good start going to add to my scheduler
I love searching Pinterest to share not only on Pinterest, but also on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Just search for your topic on Pinterest and they will provide you with some popular results. Add to your Pinterest schedule. Click again and measure for quality and relevance. Good things can go into your content schedule.
Do a Google search for the topics you’re interested in and then narrow your results to include only news results The benefits are twofold. Not only will you be seen as “in the know” by your followers, news organizations often come with a lot of built-in social media credibility. You hope these things get a great reach on Facebook.
Facebook Page Posting Tips
Facebook can be really fickle and their algorithm is constantly changing. If you’re not seeing great results right now, don’t be afraid to experiment with what you share and how you share it Regardless, links with established social credibility always look great. This is why I put so much time and emphasis on choosing already popular posts from myself and others. Links to news outlets and other authority sites usually have good reach as well.
Analyze and revise your results
You can’t know what’s working and what’s not without analytics. One of the reasons I love SproutSocial is the reporting. I can sort all my status updates by engagement, comments or likes. I can then resend the post, boost it or remote it from Facebook without leaving SproutSocial. This is invaluable information because I can not only use it to push forward engaging updates to my page, but also to create more content based on what’s trending.