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Ah, social media. It’s something we must do in our businesses to keep things active and people coming to us but its often something we hate; unless you’re a social media marketer and just love that stuff.
Truth be told, having to schedule out content really sucks, whether it be for Facebook or Pinterest. In fact, my social media pretty much died in the past month. Oops!
Besides that my Facebook page was usually dead (does anyone use pages!?) and I don’t even mess with Instagram anymore.
So I started thinking about my strategy and wanted to setup more systems to optimize my marketing. And finally decided to give LinkedIn more attention since it seems to coming back around.
After a lot of research and trying tools, I’ve come up with a way to keep almost all of my social channels active. This doesn’t include Pinterest though which doesn’t really have any free options for scheduling (aside from trials).
Before we get started – I’m no social media expert. I don’t have a big strategy, don’t use a content or editorial calendar and tend to just wing things.
But if you’re just looking for some ways to get content on your profiles without much work, follow along!
This plugin used to be called Tweet Old Post so I never really thought I’d need it.
Why bother tweeting out my old posts?
For one, I realized I could save about 30+ spots in Recurpost by using this plugin.
Before I had added my best content to Recurpost to send out to Twitter. But now that I’m adding more and more of other people’s content into Recurpost, I’ve realized those spots are precious and I don’t want to waste them.
Boom! That’s all it took and now my content is getting shared on autopilot.
The biggest downside is that you can’t choose the exact schedule your content is shared at unless you go for the Pro version. If you upgrade, you can also share to other social networks and have custom shared messages.
Another cool feature is that you can have the plugin automatically turn you blog post categories or tags into hashtags for Twitter!
Since I’ve already mentioned it – Recurpost is something you need to be using!
Update: Because of the change to Twitter’s policy you can’t share a duplicate posts. As such, Recurpost will only let you share a post once before it asks you to update the content.
Even if you just stick to the free version like me, you’ll be able to create libraries of content (up to 100 posts) to share automatically on up to 3 social networks. And you can post up to 10 times per day, per network.
One drawback I’m currently facing is having to create separate libraries for Twitter and Facebook content. Because Twitter relies on 280 characters and hashtags, the posts that go out differ a lot from Facebook posts.
So you can either have duplicate libraries with tweaked content or just focus all your posts on one network. Or if you don’t even care then just share the same content to both networks.
I’ve decided to keep most of Recurpost content sent to Twitter because I’ve already got Buffer + Pocket working together to keep my Facebook page active (read on that below).
Honorable Mention: I used to use Social Jukebox before I discovered Recurpost but after some updates to their system is stopped working for me. It’s similar to Recurpost and they have a free trial but I didn’t like it quite as much.
Both of these tools are free social media schedulers with more robust paid versions.
Buffer is more of a content library where you add content right in the dashboard or around the web (or through connected apps). You can share up to 10 posts per social network per day and you can have 4 social networks.
But you can’t have 2 of the same kind of social network. For example, only a Facebook page, profile or group. You’d need the Awesome plan to add more than one of those.
However, Buffer is really nifty in that you can connect to a lot of other tools like IFTTT and Zapier, which Hootsuite doesn’t do right now.
You can also go back in a Rebuffer old content so it’s added back into to queue.
Hootsuite on the other hand serves more as a hub for your networks so you can view all your feeds at once. You can add up to 3 different social networks and schedule out content.
Hootsuite has a browser add-on just like Buffer but you can choose whether to schedule content at a certain time or let Hootsuite choose the best time. It doesn’t seem like you have much of a limit on scheduling either.
Though I don’t use Hootsuite very often I do have it doing one important thing: sending out my new posts to Google+.
You might be thinking Google+? What?
And you’re right – Google+ basically sucks and no one uses it. But you build really good SEO by posting your content there so I have my RSS feed connected to Hootsuite.
So now you might be wondering how I fill Buffer up with content then?
I used to go around blogs and social media to find content, add it to Buffer via the Chrome add-on and write descriptions for each network. That took a lot of time and was boring so now I use a combo of the next three tools.
This is a tool that really makes automating anything so easy! IFTTT (if this then that) will connect your apps by setting up a trigger and then an action.
You can browse the tons of recipes / applets already made and find cool things to connect your gadgets or even make your own. Here are some that I use:
Post new Facebook Page messages to LinkdIn – This is the secret sauce to keeping content going out to my LinkedIn account.
Any link post that gets shared on my FB page will automatically show up on my LinkedIn profile too. Oddly enough Buffer’s posts to my FB page won’t trigger this so not all my content is getting sent over.
If any new item added to Pocket, then add to Buffer – I won’t get into too much detail about Pocket since I’m only using it for this one thing, but it’s basically a curated feed of content and posts that you can search for by topic.
From there you can add stuff to your Pocket list. So I made a recipe on IFTTT that takes anything I add to my Pocket list and pushes it to my Buffer.
One major downside is that IFTTT will only connect with one social network you’re using on Buffer. I’ve chosen to use my Facebook page since Recurpost takes care of Twitter content.
It’s still super easy to share right inside of Pocket though, just click the arrow and share (to your other Buffer networks as well).
Now to add schedule the content, every few days I go into Pocket and search some topics that would interest my audience and click to add them to my list.
Boom! That’s it and it literally takes me like 30 seconds to do and I have my Facebook page content scheduled for a few days.
I haven’t played with Pocket a whole lot but it seems like you might find a lot of the same content over and over if you stick to the same topics. Using something like Feedly might work better for you but I haven’t tried it.
Some other cool IFTTT’s you can do with Pocket is have it automatically share it to Facebook or Twitter as soon as you add it to your list. And you can even have your Twitter likes sent to your Pocket list!
Even though I have the plugin sharing my old content I still want my new posts to be advertised when they are published.
Schedule Daily/Weekly Group Facebook Threads with Images Using Google Calendar + Buffer – I’m no longer using this recipe since I moved FB group posts over to Recurpost but it was a lifesaver before then.
When I first started my group I couldn’t find a way to schedule out the weekly group posts rather than manually Rebuffering them each week and that was so annoying!
Luckily I came across this blog post that walked me through the steps of using IFTTT to automate the process. Technically you could even build out an editorial calendar with this method.
Basically, IFTTT is a lifesaver for automating tasks! You may have heard of Zapier too but I prefer to use IFTTT for little things like social media that have to run quite often.
Finally, we have this new tool I just discovered (thanks to Brittany Berger) that curates content for you and sends it off to your Buffer. This tool is the definition of social media on autopilot!
For the free version, it will curate up to 2 posts per day and send them to 3 of your social networks on your Buffer account. You can also choose 5 different topics for it to pull content from.
So there’s basically no reason you should not be using this tool (unless they just don’t have the type of content for your audience).
Since I have my Facebook page, Twitter, and LinkedIn connected on Buffer I have Quuu sending out to all of them. No extra work on my part and I have 2 posts a day being published
Eventually I want to step up my game even more than cobbling together a bunch of tools. When I’m ready to invest, I think I’ll be choosing between Buffer’s Awesome plan and a tool called SmarterQueue.
Buffer unlocks a lot of great new features when you go Awesome: your 10 post limit gets upped to 100, you get 10 social profiles plus Pinterest, and you get access to the calendar.
It’s cheap and simple and a great way to upgrade.
SmarterQueue is a bit more fancy because you get evergreen recycling (aka more content on autopilot). I also love the visual calendar that shows all your content at a glance.
It also makes checking your social analytics and curating content a lot easier.
So there you have all the tools I’ve used to totally revamp my social media process. It isn’t perfect and it took about an entire work day to figure everything out… plus I’m still adding content into Recurpost (100 is actually quite a bit).
Unfortunately, when you use a bunch of different services it can get a bit messy. It’s hard for me to know what’s getting sent out, and to what social network and at what time.
It’s also really difficult to try and sync up all the tools so they aren’t posting at the same exact times and are spread out among the day. But for free this is what you’re working with and I’ve already seen an increase in traffic from sharing more.
Although you still need to show up on social media and be active and present, you have to choose where to spend your time.
Take a day to look at your social accounts and choose a few to automate and try some of the tools I shared. Let me know in the comments what systems you created!