How To Create Your Ultimate Timesaving Tool: A Social Media Schedule

 Tell me, does this sound familiar? 

I just don't have time for social media!

I can't think of anything to post!

I have a book to finish! I don't have time for this!

I know those thoughts have crossed your mind at one point or another :) And you're not alone - there seems to be a universal thought that social media is a huge time sucking blob that will take you away from your true love - writing!

One of the great joys of my job is hearing and sensing a huge sigh of relief from authors when I tell them this: Social media should only take you about 5 - 10 minutes a day. Tops. Absolutely no more than that.

With a little planning, some thinking ahead, and a dash of help from Mixtus Media, you will be well on your way to mastering social media in just a few minutes a day.  

First up, here are some of the tools I use: 

Evernote - to keep quotes and links that I find, a list of all of our past blog posts, images, etc., all in one place. That and I can access it on my iPhone, computer, and iPad.

Google Calendar, iCloud Calendar, or Outlook/Office 365 - It's really a matter of preference, but you'll need to make sure you have your main calendar on hand that has events, signings, birthdays, holidays, etc., so you can plan. 

Your Social Media Calendar - I'll share with you my personal template that I created to help me manage all of our client's social media outlets. 

 

Here's how to create a social media schedule that saves massive time:

 

STEP ONE: GET YOUR RESOURCES IN ORDER 

Something that I encourage authors to do is a little bit of "Googling" in regards to finding quotes from other authors, thinkers, other's within your niche or speciality, etc., that are relevant. Sharing quotes from others is a great way to create content and a connection with others. Keep an ongoing list of quotes, links, past blog's you've written, etc., so you have an arsenal of content that you can share. 

Also, create a list of upcoming events, holidays, book signings, etc., that you have coming up to include in your schedule. 

Additional Tip: You can reuse and repost blogs that have already posted! You can always reuse content and share it again...

 

STEP TWO: SET ASIDE ONE HOUR A MONTH 

Setting aside at least one hour a month to plan out an entire month's worth of posts is the key to keeping my sanity on a daily basis. I sit down with my handy little social media calendar (I'll show you an example in a minute) and plan out my posts for the entire month. It might take you a little more than an hour at first, but once you get into a groove and figure out what your audience responds to, it will take you no time at all. 

 

STEP THREE: CREATE YOUR CALENDAR 

This is the scheduling template I created that I use for all of our clients. It's a Numbers/Excel document that allows me to include the date, social media outlet the post will go to, hashtags I will use, and if I need to tag someone in the post I'll make a note of that reminder. 

The cells expand as I insert content so I can include exactly what I will post on any given day. All I have to do is copy and paste. 

In regards to what you post, it really depends on what your audience responds to. But here is a general "formula" that I follow: 

Quote - Question - Link 

I tap into my list of quotes and create an image (using InstaQuote), I ask a question (it can be a fun, unrelated question), and then I share either a link to a blog post that we have written or a post that I found.

Remember, social media is 90% engagement / 10% promotion. Keep your posts focused on your audience. 

Here's an example of what a filled in schedule will look like: 

 

STEP FOUR: SCHEDULE IT 

I'm a huge fan of Buffer so I use that to schedule all of our social media posts. You may like HootSuite or another social media management tool. Whatever works best for you. I'll take the schedule I created and schedule my posts into Buffer. I schedule posts a week at a time, mainly because I want to leave room for unexpected posts, updates, trends, and on. You might want to schedule your posts for the entire month, and that's totally fine! 

 

STEP 5: CHECK IN DAILY 

The danger in getting everything done ahead of time is forgetting to check back in on your posts. What I do is set a timer for five minutes (No joke! It keeps me from being sucked in!) and I look over my news feeds, check on any comments, posts, or retweets, and respond to anything that I need to. I do that 2-3 times a day. Whim, bam, boom. You're done! 

Remember, a little bit of planning ahead will save you massive amounts of time! 

 

TAKE ACTION NOW: In the comments below, what is the one element from today's post that you already do or don't do that you will put into practice? Let us know!  

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photo credit: J. Mark Bertrand cc