I’m all about saving time on social media. Trying to maintain an active presence across all the different social media networks and connect with our audiences is exhausting!
When I found out I could actually schedule posts in advance and ‘batch process’ the content I was posting… well, it felt like someone had let me in on the secret to the Colonel’s fried chicken.
But, with great knowledge comes great responsibility. It soon became clear to me that there’s a right way – and a wrong way – to automate social media.
Here are my top 5 tips for automating social media like a pro:
1. Know your platforms
Unfortunately, social media platforms are about as unique as we are. Pinterest loves its full length portrait images, but Instagram prefers square, sometimes Twitter refuses to show us our pics altogether. Joy!
But hey – where is the fun in being the same as everyone else?! It’s just worth keeping in mind the quirks of the different social media platforms, if you decide to use them.
A great tip I learned from Donna Moritz is to cut your losses by creating a square image with any text kept in the centre third of the image. This allows for Hootsuite’s heartless letterbox-crop, and looks pro on the majority of the others.
If you’re going hard on Pinterest though, you might want to extend it to make it longer – but you can keep the text where it is.
2. Have a plan
Don’t freak out – this doesn’t need to be a super strict, meticulous regime, just a repeatable weeks-worth (or months if that suits you better) of ‘daily themes’.
So, if you decide you’re going to share motivational quotes on a Monday, a behind-the-scenes look at your business on Wednesday – do that!
I’ve just found that it helps to have an overall plan that will ensure your content keeps fresh and varied.
Plus, it’s a lot less stressful when you can’t figure out what to post.
When adding a post to your social scheduling tool, it can be easy to slip into autopilot and just share the default article title and link.
I implore you to spend 30 seconds to personalise it! This could be taking a quote from the article, or giving your opinion (why are you sharing it?)
Some bloggers helpfully use the plugin ‘Click to Tweet’ which is often a good source of inspo.
This tip was going to be ‘post at the best time for your audience’ but honestly, it’s worthwhile experimenting, especially if you’re new to automating.
Even though there are great tools out there to help you work out when the majority of your audience are online; you never know when your super fans might pop up and make your day.
The lesson: don’t take the robot’s word for it. Do your own research by scheduling posts at a range of times, and take note of the results.
5. Keep it real
Now, as much as automating social media makes me as happy as the cold side of the pillow, I don’t recommend scheduling all your posts.
Mix it up: maybe spend some time setting up a week’s worth of content – a post or two a day – and then pick your favorite platform (we all have one – admit it!) and ensure you’re posting live content every day.
It’s up to you, and your audience of course, as to where this is and how often. Keep experimenting!
Bonus tip: Outsource
Ready to step up the automating game? Time to outsource! Hiring someone to help you source content that resonates with your audience, share your awesome blog posts, and fill your scheduling tool up to the gills… is a MEGA timesaver.
Yep, it is an investment, but the time you save will be well worth it. Try posting your job on a freelance site like Upwork or Fiverr and try someone out for a week.
If you’d like more in-depth tips about saving time by setting up your social media schedule and hiring your first freelancer, you can grab my free 3-part course, Social Media Saver.