Let’s face it: social media is one of the most time-consuming parts of running a blog. I love, love, love getting to talk to other teen bloggers, but the writing and coming up with new content to share on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest every single day used to be such a hassle.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I’ve been given as a blogger is to use use social media to share content that will benefit my followers, including my own content and the content of other bloggers. It’s great advice, but actually taking the time to write that social media content and send it out through the day wasn’t fun. Actually, let’s face it. It was the part of blogging that I used to dread the most.
I absolutely wanted to share epic content with you, but writing content for social media wasn’t fun when I knew I could be planning a new product launch, writing a blog post, or doing dozens of other things (Netflix, anyone?)
That’s when I discovered batch scheduling.
Batch scheduling essentially means that instead of popping online a few times throughout the day to send out a tweet or post a photo on Instagram or pin some cool blog posts to Pinterest, you sit down at the computer for a few hours straight and just create and schedule lots of content at once.
It has completely changed the way that I run my social media, and I’m going to share how I do it.
Batch scheduling all of your social media content is an incredibly effective strategy. Let’s think about it. When you decide to get online and share something, you probably take a few minutes to scroll through your feed and check out what the news is. I usually check to see what’s trending, and try to visit and follow a few new people. You click “Create New Post” and stare the screen for a few moments to figure out what you want to share, and eventually type and send something out.
It’s a process that takes a few minutes, and then you have to do it all over again for the next social media platform. Fun?
Batch scheduling is essentially cuts out all of that empty time that you spend doing…essentially nothing. Sure, I might still check out the trending hashtags on Twitter and scroll through my feed or mentions, but once you get into the groove of it, those few hours fly by so quickly. It’s the easiest change I ever made, and has had a huge impact on the amount of time I spend creating content for social media.
First, let’s think of social media as a funnel.
Your website is the home base of everything you do online. Your site is where your visitors buy your products, get to work with you, and see everything that you’re up too. Your social media is NOT your blog. It’s how people get to your blog.
Here’s how it works:
Reader sees your content on social media > Goes to your blog > Checks out your free content > Subscribes to your email list > Transaction
It takes a while but you can see how slowly, you are being more and more influential to your reader and are building trust with them. Eventually, a transaction takes place, meaning either someone buys your product or buys a product that you recommend (as an affiliate). Everything that you are doing is building up to that transaction, but the main thing that you need to do is get people to your website in the first place.
The biggest mistake that many bloggers make is not having a social media strategy.
Batch scheduling all of your social media content at once helps with you see exactly how your social media strategy is working. When you schedule your social media content for several weeks at once, you can clearly lay out how you will be engaging current followers and getting new followers to go to your website and enter the funnel ( of dooooom. Just kidding.)
Now let’s talk about how to get this social media content scheduled all at once (in less than 4 hours).
Last Friday was my social media content scheduling day (which is what inspired this post!) and I scheduled all of my social media content until April. This consists of 5 tweets a day (5x 31 = 155), a few Instagram posts, and some Facebook and Pinterest content.
I did all of that in less than 4 hours.
Pretty cool, right? Creating your social media essentials, like sharing valuable blog posts, is something that becomes easy and painless if you sit down and schedule them all at once.
1. First, make sure that you know exactly what you’re doing.
Don’t just sporadically schedule content, or just tweet out links to your blog posts once a day. You should definitely have some sort of plan when you start writing your social media content. Here are a few things that you might want to think about:
- Are you gearing up for a launch? (If yes, you might want to share an higher amount of content relating to your new product’s topic.)
- Who are your readers? What are their problems, and what type of content are they interested in?
- What types of content do you share? Content that tells your readers how to do something? Content that inspires?
- What type of content do your readers look for on each social media platform?What times are your readers online?
If you have a blog business plan written out (and it’s a great idea to have one!), then that is something you can refer to when figuring out what type of social media content you should be sharing.
2. Get In The Right Mindset
If you want to get all of your social media content scheduled in just 4 hours, getting in the right mindset is important. This isn’t the time to take lots of snack breaks, or start texting someone in the middle of your social media scheduling time. I get it, Netflix is distracting, but now is not the time to multitask.
Instead, set aside a chunk of your time to get everything done. I typically do all my social media scheduling on the first Friday of the month so that I can get it all done before the weekend, but I also have lots of time to work on it if something breaks down or goes wrong (and it has happened!)
Once you’ve got a plan and set some time aside to get this done, all you have to do is actually sit down and do this thing. All you need to do is get in the right mindset and believe that you can seriously do this.
3. Use A Batch Scheduling Program
Since I mostly schedule content for Twitter and Instagram, I use the free version of Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a social media management system that allows you to schedule your content ahead of time. One of my favorite parts of Hootsuite is its “Autoschedule” ability, which can automatically choose the ideal time to schedule your tweet based on Twitter peak times. Hootsuite works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, and more.
Another highly recommended social media management system is Buffer, which is something that I’d love to try out in the future. Buffer is similar to Hootsuite, but has more options for scheduling social media content and also has a mobile app you can use!
4. Fall Into The Groove Of Things
While some creativity is required, much of what you are doing is repetitive. Create new tweet, write the tweet, schedule it and repeat a couple hundred times. Eventually, you will fall into the groove of things and the process will become almost like a rhythm. It’s so easy!
To speed things up, you can use a rough template for your social media content. Here is the content template I use when sharing blog posts on social media.
[quick hook] [blog post title] [tag the blogger] [link].
Here’s how that might look in an actual tweet:
Want to learn how to manage your blogging time? (I do!) Create your own blog planner in less than an hour (via @totallylegitblogger). www.totallylegitblog.com/blog-planner.
When I’m working on scheduling blog posts to be shared (both my own posts and the posts of others), this is a template that I often use. It’s quick and gives me enough room to display my personality and also give a quick description of what to expect from that blog post.
5. Create Your Content + Schedule It
Yes, this would be important! 😀
When you are creating the content for your social media, remember to think back to those questions that you answered in step #1. You shouldn’t be posting to social media just for the sake of posting to social media. You should be following your blog goals and every single thing you share on social media should be helping you do the following:
- Reach your long-term goals.
- Get people to visit your blog and enter your funnel.
- Provide value to your readers
- Connect with your readers
- Establish yourself as an expert
If the content that you are sharing on social media doesn’t do at least a few of the things above, then just delete it. Yep, poof! Gone. The truth is that readers are selfish. While yes, it’s fine to post content about yourself every once in a while, readers are really looking at your blog and thinking, “How can this help me?”
Your social media content is the first impression that many of your readers will get of you. Make it a good one.
Here’s my challenge to you.
Even if you typically just write your social media content on the day it goes live, I want you to take one month and try to write and schedule all of your social media content. This post is appearing in your feeds at 6am, and you have the rest of day (and the evening) to take action and schedule your social media content for the next month.
Let’s do this thing.
Do you schedule your social media content? Which programs do you use to run your social media accounts?