Guest Post By Blanca Valbuena of Socialdraft
Chances are you as a blogger don’t have a huge war chest for marketing. Good thing you’re smarter, tougher, and hungrier than most out there. What’s a blogger to do when competing with publishing behemoths? Although social media has matured and traditional media is definitely battling you for traffic, you can do things better and more effectively than their underpaid intern can. Besides, there are some awesome tools, including inexpensive and easy to use social media scheduling dashboards that you can use to your advantage…but before you get to scheduling, let’s run through some things that you need to know about social media scheduling.
1. Social Media Is Not Set It And Forget It
[bctt tweet=”Social media scheduling is not ‘set it and forget it’ @jolie311″]
Yes, social media scheduling dashboards are built to save you time by letting you schedule posts ahead of time, but this does not mean that you can simply let things go. Why? Remember when Joan Rivers promoted the new iPhone from the grave…or when a certain publication congratulated Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck on their anniversary right after their divorce had been announced. These are just a few examples of what can happen, and why you should keep an eye on your social media posts after they have been scheduled.
2. Save Time On Design By Using The Following Size And Dimensions
This image size will save you lots of hours. It looks amazing on Twitter, Google+, Facebook AND LinkedIn. Make your image 1600×800 pixels. Leave 160px on each side (basically, use this as background – no integral part of your image should go here). Your image will look gorgeous on the 4 social networks and you can use the same image to schedule to all of them at once.
3. Social Media Schedulers Are More Reliable Than Facebook (most of the time)
If you schedule directly on Facebook, you’ve probably run into posts not publishing. This rarely happens with Social Media schedulers. Just make sure you choose a social media scheduling dashboard that has a built-in system to let you know when a post does fail…just in case (Socialdraft for example!).
4. RSS Feeds Are NOT Social Media
Social media scheduling is a tool built to compliment your social media efforts – aka – engagements and interaction. Many marketers (and Gurus…or Ninjas…or whatever they are calling themselves these days) get lazy and use RSS feeds that spew out “related” articles as a lazy way to fill up space. It’s basically mindless chatter. Besides, these feeds look horrible on social since they usually post with no images. You as a blogger can shine here. Instead of automating this type of content, take the time to thoughtfully share this content. Instead of an auto post that merely shares the title and link, edit the RSS to craft a post with an @ mention. This way you share great content AND create an interaction with the person who created the piece. This one thoughtful (and engaging) post will yield you significantly more ROI than 100 auto RSS posts. It’s all about using tools intelligently.
5. Beware Social Media Rules and Stats
You know all those articles that come out telling you the best time to post? I’m not telling you to outright ignore them, but instead to look at them as information for you to test. Every brand and demographic is different. So is yours. The best idea is to test to see what gets you best results. At Socialdraft we use TrueTime to analyze best time to post, but more individual analysis is always a good thing. Check analytics to see what they say, but always test. Things change all the time in social media. This includes site algorithms, people’s habits…so continuously test to see what gets YOU the best results.
[bctt tweet=”10 Key Social Media Scheduling Facts For Bloggers”]
6. Find The SMM Scheduler That Is Right For You
Just like there is Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Zara, and Century 21; there are many SMM dashboard options for you. It all depends on your needs and budget. Before you pick one, create dummy social media accounts to test each. When you sign up for trials for social media dashboards, use the dummy accounts to test their capabilities. This way, if anything is off, you don’t put your actual accounts at risk.
Pro Tip – do your math to make sure that there are no hidden fees within these SMM dashboards, at times those that seem cheapest end up being the most expensive. I am not saying be cheap on your budget in that the tool you select will save you hours/days/weeks of work, but make sure you know are aware of hidden costs that could cut into your ROI.
7. URL Shortener Implementation
URL shorteners like bit.ly are awesome. Not just because they save precious room for characters, but because they offer amazing analytics on your social media posts. Make sure your SMM scheduling dashboard allows you to use your own URL shortener so you can get accurate analytics and learn from each and every social media post.
8. It Is OK To Repeat Content
Not all the time…but sometimes, this is totally ok AND beneficial. Think about it, your entire fan base is not online all at the same time. This means that if you publish something to come out at 11 am EST, people in other time zones may never be exposed to your content. Besides, as a blogger, you should be creating evergreen content (content that can outlast time). This evergreen/everlasting content is absolutely perfect for ephemeral social networks such as Twitter. So go ahead, repeat/duplicate your evergreen content for your social media pages. Just make sure that you space it out so it does not become spammy. Try re-packaging it with different images and write ups. Test out different hashtags to see what gets you the best response.
9. Influencer Marketing
The great news is that you don’t need a billion dollars to locate and reach out to influencers. Social Media makes it so you can reach out to anyone on a public forum and most likely get an answer. Use lists on Facebook and Twitter to keep tabs on those influencers you want to collaborate with. Use systems like SmartID to find out which influencers are interacting with your posts – heck – if they are already interacting with you, you should be doing something with them…right?
10. Keep Score
Just like baseball, Social Media is no fun if you don’t keep score. You need to stay on top of your social media metrics. What is your reach, engagement, new followers, CTR, ROI. Then compare and contrast to see what is working for you so that you can implement this into your social media campaign. If you are not using anSMM dashboard with built-in analytics, we recommend that you use the following tools alongside your social media scheduling dashboard in order to get the whole picture, and take a little time to analyze this data.: google analytics/statcounter, bit.ly
Social Media Scheduling should be looked at as a tool to save you time so that you can get down to business and make connections on social media. As soon as you begin to treat it this way, you will see your social ROI increase (as well as your financial ROI).
Blanca Valbuena is the Co-founder of Socialdraft, a social media dashboard based around a content calendar heavy on in-dash analytics. She became a social media addict while marketing her first business, FriendsEAT on a super tight budget. The site grew to 1 million monthly visitors, 48k likes on Facebook, 58k followers on Twitter, and 1.8M followers on Google+. She’s always glad to connect, so ping her on social if you want to chat on Instagram and Twitter.