How and When To Schedule your Social Media Content
Let’s talk scheduling and social media.
In my line of work, I see all kinds of different approaches to scheduling social media content. Here are the two most common styles of content publishing on social media I see:
1) The DEFCON 1 Method: The content is done and it gets published IMMEDIATELY!
2) The Burst Pipe Method: Content is collected and saved for days or weeks, and then published in a rush all at once on the same day.
If you are working with a partner right now that publishes content immediately or uploads it all at once, you need to switch things up. Your social content is getting missed!
(If your posts are being scheduled in a tool, but the content isn’t resonating with an audience, that’s a different issue for a different column. We’ll get to that one later.)
Here is a tip to remember – if your content is good enough to publish, it’s good enough for people to see.
Let’s use one, single piece of content as an example to build upon.
It’s important to understand how and when you should publish your content. Let’s dig in in three separate ways… how you plan it, schedule it, and measure it.
Plan Your Social Media Content
I know, I know… “social media is about being in the moment and authentic.” We both know that, and planning your social content does not violate any unwritten rule of social media marketing.
In fact, keeping a good, steady base on content publishing through your social channels helps build an engaged audience that will love your timely content even more.
Good social media marketing includes a base of great content published FOR your audience that is planned and executed on a schedule AND a healthy amount of timely stuff that your audience will care about.
Build the base, then deliver what they care about in the moment, too. Your audience will grow and it will be engaged, too.
Schedule Your Social Media Content
There are a lot of tools for scheduling your social content. Hootsuite and Buffer are both worth looking into.
I could write a whole piece reviewing the best features and benefits of these tools. Truthfully, they are both great, and they are differently great.
Instead of the tools, let’s talk tips for scheduling.
First, publish the same content more than one time. Yes, repeat post your content!
How you do this depends on the channel.
On Facebook, I recommend publishing the same content twice. After the initial publishing moment, publish it again in the following month. Figure out a different way to position it, too. It can’t be the same post with the same image more than one time.
On Twitter, publish it twice on publish day, once the next day, then once a week for a month or two. People spend an average of 13 minutes a day on Twitter (for active Twitter users), but content does not live in a timeline for more than a couple of minutes.
On Google+, after the initial publishing moment, publish it again a week later, and then once more later in the month. While not a heavily traffic social channel, Google often gives some additional SERP real estate to Google+ pages that publish regularly. For that reason alone, it’s a useful publishing platform, and spacing out when the content is published maximizes its exposure without turning your audience off.
All of these scheduling techniques promote website traffic and are driven by the different user habits in each channel. The best traffic driving ideas are based first on how the channel is actually used.
After that, it’s up to how well your content engages your audience.
Measure Your Social Media Content
Setting up the measurement for this style of publishing is easy. If you publish more than one time, just setup a spreadsheet to measure engagement, reach, and clicks for each time the original piece of content is published.
Each time you publish a piece the first time give yourself three days. At the end of three days document your reach, engagement, and the amount of clicks it generated. Then for each additional time you publish, measure after two days. At the end of the publishing cycle see how you did.
The more content you measure this way, the more comparisons you’ll have and the better you’ll understand what your best content looks like.
Each of the main social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ – give ample data to support some basic information about your audience, such as when they are online and active.
Producing good content is HARD! You put a lot of time, effort, and money into it. So make sure you’re maximizing its value!
Think of your content not as a single-issue moment to publish. You worked hard on each piece. Give it a cycle that makes sense to maximize its exposure and to drive as much website traffic as possible.