In a fast-paced digital world, harnessing the power of social media has become commonplace for businesses and individuals alike to connect with others and build long-lasting, loyal relationships. A strong presence on socials has the potential to give any business a boost in brand awareness and engagement - so what can you do to make sure you’re hitting the nail on the head? We’ve talked about how to choose the right channels for your business, and how to get the most out of them, but what ties it all together and ensures your campaign is smooth sailing? Scheduling.
To get ahead of the social media game, you can’t just expect to post sporadically with no POA in mind, you need to show up… and show off. Here’s the kicker, to give your business the best chance of succeeding on social media, you’ve got to be, well, social. Posting regularly and engaging with your followers is key to improving your chances of gaining a loyal customer base.
Not everyone has the time each day to think of fresh content ideas, plan them out and execute them, which is why scheduling is so important when it comes to social media management. Whether you're a business owner or marketer, scheduling your social posts is influential in building your following and saves you time - resulting in less stress!
Why should you be scheduling your posts?
How great does it feel to have everything planned out and not have to worry about that video you’ve got to post at 2 pm? Not only does social media scheduling help you stay on top of your strategy, giving you time to deliver effectively in other areas, but it promotes brand consistency and ensures you’re posting engaging quality content.
- Your social channels will be active, even if you aren’t.
- It gives you more time to focus on other areas, including making better content.
- You don’t have to worry about having a post ready on the days you’re too busy.
- You can choose when you post and how often.
- If you have multiple channels, you can manage your content easily across each.
- Promotes brand consistency.
- Collaborate with a team - share and assign tasks.
- Allows time to receive approval on posts.
How do you do it?
Everyone runs on a different schedule, some people are checking their socials religiously at lunch, whilst others will hop on Instagram when they’re eating their dinner. Not only this, but we all live in different time zones and countries - so you can’t ensure your posts are getting seen by the right people, at the right time, every day. This is why scheduling enables you to reach wider audiences, finding the right crowd for your content.
There are a variety of tools and platforms available, but before you take the dive into the world of scheduling, you’ll need to consider a few factors:
It’s all about your audience. They’re the people who are going to be liking your content, engaging with your brand and turning into loyal customers. Do your research and get to know them and find out what keeps them coming back for more. Remember, not every social media user is part of Gen-Z, and many businesses will be followed by millennials who are looking for a great local restaurant, stunning hotel or delicious bakery. The key is to cater your content to them and to do so, you’ll need to know what they like. Take a look at your user profiles, who tends to book with you, and if your social media channels are already up and running, who is interacting with them the most.
You can’t schedule content if you don’t have any! Don’t forget that every channel is different and you’re not necessarily going to post the same content on Twitter that you are on Instagram. Be ready to switch it up and tailor your content to a multitude of channels - focusing on the ones that work best for your business, of course.
Check out your competitors
Your target audience isn't the only ones you should be researching - take a look at what your competitors are doing. You should be able to tell which ones are using a schedule, including what they post and when. Compare this to your data to give your business the edge, analysing what posts and content are effective, and what isn't. This includes monitoring which hashtags and keywords are performing the best in your industry and when.
Know how frequently you should be posting on different channels
Again, reiterating the importance that each social media channel works differently. According to Hootsuite, the number of posts per day for each platform looks like:
- Instagram - between 3 & 7 times per week.
- Facebook - between 1 & 2 times a day.
- Twitter - between 1 & 5 Tweets a day.
- LinkedIn - between 1 & 5 times a day.
It’s also useful to know the best times of the day to post, to ensure you’re hitting the right audiences at peak times.
Put it into action - get scheduling
Now that you’ve followed the first steps towards social media scheduling you’ll need to create your schedule, there is a wealth of tools and applications you can use to post and upload content. Here are a few:
- Later - a favourite here at FLOCC, Later allows you to post to a variety of platforms, with a focus on Instagram. It works differently from other scheduling tools since you’re required to upload your image first, followed by its caption. It provides the option to add ‘suggested hashtags’ too, in the case you’re wanting to reach a wider audience.
- Agorapulse - an all-in-one social media management tool, it helps your team to share notes and track posts easily as well as offering the ability to collaborate on content with other members. Keep on top of interactions with a shared inbox, which keeps all your messages and comments across platforms in one place.
- Hootsuite - one of the most popular social scheduling tools, it helps you to manage all of your channels on a single dashboard. Not only can you schedule content, but you can measure your ROI from social posts, assign tasks to team members and run social ads.
- NapoleonCat - perfect for those who are driven by data. When you run a social campaign through the site, it will track its progress and measure your results so that you can make the necessary improvements in the future.
You can also utilise tools such as Google Calendar, Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel to set out your content plans, these can be easily distributed and shared between teams - it’s up to preference and what works best for you. The key to remember is that you need to set out a plan and stick to it. Decide on whether you’ll be scheduling a day, week or month ahead so you know how much content you need to prepare. Monitor which content you can create now and what events or deals you have coming up that you’ll need to save space for.
Scheduling is fundamental if your business wants to improve its brand consistency and awareness. Not only is social media a universal tool for people to locate new businesses and services, but it helps to connect individuals and build connections you can’t necessarily do through alternative forms of marketing. Are you running a day-specific offer or discount? You’ve got a seasonal competition for Instagram? Scheduling ensures that you’re posting at the right times, so you won’t miss out on building a following. Why not contact our expert team here at FLOCC so we can give you more advice on all things social media marketing? We’re just a phone call away on 01603 327837.