A Stress Free System for Scheduling Social Media Posts
Confession time: I've been feeling very scattered. I share this with you all because I know at one point or another you've felt the same way. Maybe you feel that way right now. And when we find little pockets of help to ease that scattered feeling, even if it's something small, it tends to make a world of difference.
A few weeks ago I was consulting a client who was feeling incredibly scattered and overwhelmed with his social media. He has a busy life and the last thing he needed was more added to his plate. I could absolutely relate - as a business owner and a wife/mom with a busy home life, I needed to find a way to help organize all of my social media posts and create ease in scheduling them.
And I am so glad I found a way to do just that!
About six months ago I adopted this approach with inspiration from a marketer named Laura Roeder and it has been an incredible help in managing social media. She created a grid that I adapted to meet my needs as well as the needs of authors. What makes this tool so useful is that it breaks down social media posts into categories that not only help you organize your thoughts, but it also provides lots of content ideas, enables you to generate engagement rather than promotion, and saves you loads of time.
Below is a screenshot of my social media scheduling tool which I like to call the Content Grid. What I've done is created topics or categories that I know my audience is interested in, then I created posts that fit within each of those categories.
My topics are: blog posts (written by Mixtus Media), newsletter sign up, pull quotes/our quotes, inspirational thoughts, questions, helpful links (from other blogs/influencers), fun posts, and unique updates or promotions. Obviously it's taken some time to fill in and it's always growing, but it ensures that a) the content we create (whether that be blogs, pull quotes from our blogs, etc.) stay alive and are continually shared, b) we keep our content balanced and not only focused on us, and c) the information we provide is focused on helping our audience and connecting with them.
So how do we use this handy tool? Once a week I load up my Buffer account with posts to go live at specified times. I have found that two posts per day on Facebook, five scheduled posts on Twitter (not including retweets or responses to other posts), and one post per day on Instagram work best for our business. You might find that to be different for your audience - they might respond to more or less.
What I do is take one post from each column in the scheduler and put it into Buffer. I then highlight those posts that I've used in light yellow to indicate that I've used them. Once I've used up a column I change it back to white for another go.
I'm always adding to the list with new blogs posts, links I've found helpful, great quotes, etc., so we have tons of content to share with our audience. Some people think, "Why would you reuse that content?" Because not everyone sees every post you share at a given time. And (hopefully) you're adding new connections every day, so this is new content for them.
I also change up the wording for posts, so if I have a new blog post I create 3-4 headlines for social media so I can share the same link but have different headlines to keep the post fresh.
As an author, here are some topic choices that I would suggest you use for your social media content scheduler:
- Blog Posts
- Character Quotes (for Fiction writers)
- Pull Quotes (from blog posts or other insight you want to share)
- Funny Quotes/Pictures
- Your Writing Space/Where You Write
- Questions For Fans
- Writing Tips
- Your Reviews of Books
- Other Authors You Like/Respect
- Thoughts On Writing
- Newsletter Sign-Ups
- Special Promotions
- Free Content
- Reviews of Your Book
Obviously you can add or take whatever you want. But pick at least 7 or 8 topics for your calendar to keep the content fresh. Take an hour or so to start filling in the columns with content and set aside one day a week to load up your social media manager - whether that be Buffer, HootSuite, or whatever you use - and you're done.
But remember to check back into your social media accounts every day to check for retweets, posts, or questions. Engagement and interaction with your audience is key. But set a timer for 5-10 minutes so you don't get sucked into surfing the newsfeed or getting off track.
I love this tool because it gives me a single place to collect information, links, quotes, etc., so I know exactly where it's at. It has certainly helped me be less scattered in creating helpful and engaging posts on our social media. I hope it does the same for you as well!
To make this even easier for you, I've created an Excel file for you to download and customize for your own needs:
TAKE ACTION NOW: Download the free social media Content Grid and start inputting your blog links (with headlines and hashtags included) and other topics into the grid. Next, schedule time in your calendar to load your posts into your social media manager once a week to create consistency and put the Grid to work!