Blog and Social Media Management Made Simple
As a solo entrepreneur or a small business owner, there are always 5000 things that need to get done. In order to stay ahead of the game, you should make automation your best friend especially when it comes to social media management. But it is so easy to put tasks off because there are only so many hours in a day and you have only two hands.
Case in point:
A while ago I decided to stop being lazy in my business about blogging. I knew that was important but I kept putting it off because I had so many other things on my plate. You know what I’m talking about. Those small things that can really make a big impact on your business but you keep putting them off because other seemingly more pressing things keep coming up, screaming for your attention.
Things like being consistent with posting articles to your blog and social media channels on a regular schedule. Sure, you’ve been “Tweeting" and “Liking" when you think about it but not being consistent and purposeful with your own content.
Now, we all know that blogging is a long-term strategy that is great for SEO and building your tribe of loyal readers. But this can take a long time! But don’t worry, your tribe will eventually turn into buyers of your products and services but the task itself can take some time and commitment. You have to:
- write the article
- review for it for SEO keywords
- find or create the perfect images
- post it to your blog
- post it to your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter pages
Oh, and don’t forget that each of the social media platforms has different image size requirements, so that will cause you to create more than one main image. Otherwise, your image will come out looking funky on one of the four (Instragram)!….
Whew! Blogging can easily be put on the back burner of your business until one day you realize that you haven't posted an article on your blog or social media channels in about six months.
Get More Done By Being Lazy
Now, being the Lazy Entrepreneur that I am, I am always on the hunt for easy to use tools that will allow me to expand and reach my productivity goals quickly.
So, as I started to blog every week, I decided I was going to set one day aside every week to write and post an article on my blog and all my social media channels. The great thing is after a few weeks blogging has easily become a habit but I really wanted to reduce the time that it took so I could move on to other money making tasks.
So, I looked around for software that would allow me to write and publish my article on my blog and also post to all my social media channels. First, I tried Buffer. If you're not familiar with it, Buffer is a tool that allows you to post to several social media accounts.
With their free plan, you can post to 3 accounts, schedule 10 posts per account and is compatible with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. If you have a Pinterest account, you will need to get their Pro plan.
I like Buffer but it was still more manual than I really wanted since I still had to upload my images for each platform and add my text for each post. So, I used Zapier to connect to my blog and pull those articles into Buffer. From there I could schedule them to post to my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
It was still kind of labor-intensive so I decided to keep looking. Next, I tried out MeetEdgar and I really liked the scheduling evergreen posts feature but I didn’t find it that easy to use so after my free trial I canceled.
Then I got an email from AppSumo! If you didn’t know AppSumo is a website that promotes deals for kickass software tools for entrepreneurs. The deals are fantastic because you can get software for your business for a one-time cost and get lifetime access!
Say Hello to my new content best friend, ContentStudio!
I can use a ContentStudio automation campaign to pull my article directly from my blog with my image, then I can edit the text, add hashtags and view what it will look like on each of my social media channels before I schedule it. The system even lets you know if there was a problem posting so you can reschedule anytime you choose.
Here are the highlights of what you get:
Post planner (Editorial Calendar) – You can view your calendar by the month, day or week so you can keep up with what you have scheduled and know exactly when your articles, quotes and funny videos will hit your audience.
Discovery - Find top performing content through quick search or create custom topic feeds that will keep updating with new content relevant to your keywords or sources from around the web, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and more.
Content Curation – ContentStudio allows you to discover topic-relevant content filtered by social shares and different media types. You can select them manually or set up an automated feed by topic or keywords.
Composer – This is a feature that you can’t do in Buffer or MeetEdgar. The Composer enables you to actually create your articles and post directly to your blog in addition to all your social media accounts! How is that for efficiency?!
While creating your post, you get content suggestions and SEO optimization toolbox. For social media posts, you also get hashtag suggestions and image editor to quickly enhance your images. You can post your articles immediately or schedule them at a day and time you select for highly productive social media management.
Since I started using ContentStudio, I am having more fun not just creating my blog articles but also discovering the additional content that I can share with my tribe. All in one place.
There are so many features, you really need to check it out for yourself. Grab yourself a free account to try it out but like anything free you won’t get the full effect of how much more productive you can be with this one tool.
For most of us, Lazy Entrepreneurs, the Pro plan is enough at $25/month and well worth the investment. This plan lets you post directly to 10 social media accounts, 1 WordPress, 1 Medium and 1 Tumblr blog, in addition to creating 10 Automation Campaigns to further streamline your engagement strategy.
You get unlimited social and blog posts per month, custom topic feeds and content searches per day. There is also a team option in some of their plans, just in case you decide to outsource some of your social media management. Best of all, it’s easy to use even for the tech newbies.
ContentStudio is a much better deal than any other software of its kind that I have taken for a spin in my business. My creativity and productivity have improved tremendously since I integrated ContentStudio into my business and I’m sure yours will too.
Sign up for ContentStudio and get your happy dance on! BTW, I found this little ditty in the Discovery tool. Enjoy!
Rating: I’m loving it! I give it 5 Twisted Peppers
I am a very happy user of ContentStudio. My purpose is to always bring you stunning tools to help you be successful in your business.
If you would like to compare ContentStudio to some of the other Social media management tools out there, check out my article, 9 Tools to Automate Your Social Media for More Visibility for additional options some of which I mentioned above.
Now that you have an introduction to my go-to tool for social media management, here are twenty-one tips for making the most of your social automation …
1. Don’t Sound Like a Robot
My first tip is my most important: Just because you are automating a post, or sharing a link to your latest blog post, you don’t have to sound like an impersonal robot. Add a “you”-based sentence that speaks directly to your ideal audience member. Be warm. Use your authentic voice! (They shouldn’t be able to tell your post is automated!)
2. Customize Your Automated Posts for Each Social Network
Don’t send the exact same message, worded the exact same way, to every network. For one thing, most networks have different requirements. You have to condense your message to fewer than 140 characters on Twitter, whereas a Facebook post can be longer.
Make the most of each network’s unique sharing guidelines! Take the time to customize for each network … then automate!
3. Schedule Your Posts Before You Go on Vacation
Just as you prepare for other activities in your business, you also need to prepare your social sharing before you go on vacation. Yes, mobile devices make it easy to keep up with social media no matter where you are … but ten to one that consistent schedule you’ve built up will go out the window (or prove to be a pain) if you rely on keeping it while taking a vacation from your daily routine.
Pre-scheduling regular social posts will ensure that you keep your visibility prominent. And you won’t be left hung out to dry if you find yourself with no mobile coverage in your vacation spot … or you have to fulfill your promise to your spouse not to work on vacation!
4. Pre-Post About Your Vacation
If you’re planning a vacation, be sure to share images and posts about your preparation, if you think your audience would enjoy it. Doing this makes your followers feel included in your plans (disasters as well as triumphs). Including them makes it feel as if you are taking them along (not leaving them behind).
And you can create a whole bunch of posts as you shop and pack—and pre-schedule them at designated intervals for maximum engagement.
5. Automate Post Content Creation—but Don’t Automate Interaction
The fact is … you can’t automate interaction. Better to have someone write posts for you—but ALWAYS go over them to add your personal “voice”. And monitor responses, and respond!
6. Use Content Creation Wisely
It’s a great idea to find and curate highly useful, interesting content for your audience: But even if you pre-schedule pieces, do go into your schedule and add a sentence introducing the curated content, or putting your own twist on why you are sharing it.
7. Fill the Gaps!
Use social media apps and tools to automate posts and fill the gaps between your posts—and make sure you anticipate all the “lows” in the month when you won’t be available in person to post. (E.g. you’re busy at a three-day conference or in the hospital for a minor operation or off the grid hanging with your friends for the holiday.)
8. Never Automate Direct Messages
Nobody—and we do mean nobody—responds well to automated Direct Messages on Twitter. It’s a quick way to get yourself branded as a spammer … and avoided.
9. Don’t Automate ‘High-stakes’ Content
If you anticipate provoking a huge emotional response from a tweet or Facebook Post, don’t automate it—no matter how great the temptation to “get the word out” to as many people as possible.
Make your post—and be there to respond in real-time.
10. Forget the Words ‘Set It and Forget It’!
While automating your messages can save you lots of time and help you focus your social posts efficiently, you should never apply an “out of sight, out of mind” strategy. Scheduling makes sure the posts appear at the optimum time. It doesn’t release you of the responsibility of checking your posts for responses—then responding.
Otherwise, you become a spammer if there’s zero engagement.
11. Do Make Use of Notifications
The next best thing to being there in real-time: Setting up your automation tool or app so that it notifies you the moment someone responds. So look for tools and apps that offer this feature, and consider them before exploring other similar tools and apps.
12. Check In Once A Day on All Your Social Networks
No matter how much you do (or don’t) automate, still maintain the habit of checking ALL your social networks at least once a day, at the same time every day, in order to respond and acknowledge those who have commented on your social posts.
13. Find Out When Your Audience is at the Party
Check your analytics on each network to find out when your ideal audience is present and engaging with your posts the most often.
Then schedule your daily live interaction for that time—and automate other time periods (particularly ones that are incompatible with your time zone).
14. Create Seasonal Posts in Advance and Pre-Schedule
This works especially well with graphics-based posts, such as seasonal image quotes!
15. Never Make Automation a Substitution for Engagement
Automation should be used to maintain consistency—not keep you from interacting.
16. Make the Most of Your Posts!
Each blog post, video or podcast you create is a potential goldmine for creating quotes, image quotes, comments, points and more. Get into the habit of going through posts the instant you complete them, and creating social posts for each network from each post.
17. Pay Attention to Social Post Lifespans
Don’t let any social post circulate and be repeated longer than six months. Even if you have a post leading to an evergreen article or product, make sure to create completely new social posts for these types of articles or products, basing what you say on current interests and trends, rather than last year’s focus.
18. Use Automation to Create Reminders
One of the most time-saving strategies is to use your tools and apps to create auto-reminders about upcoming live events like Twitter parties, webinars, book launches, contest deadlines and podcast episodes.
19. Include a Share Request in Reminders and Other Automated Posts
Many people automate posts such as reminders and contests—and forget to ask others to share news of the event in question.
Don’t be one of those people. Include a request to share in your reminder.
20. Monitor Your Social Posts
Use automation tools that let you monitor your automated posts and find out what’s being said about you and your brand. (Use keywords and hashtags to maximize the effectiveness of your monitoring)
21. Keep a Social Automation Journal
The good news is, you won’t have to do this forever; but for the first six months, do make notes of social automation strategies and post types that gather the most interaction—and social automation strategies and post types that result in negative or static results.
Automating your social media should be seen as an aide, rather than a substitute when it comes to social interaction and growing your reach. (Think of social automation as leading a party of schoolchildren to the zoo … and having three extra teachers along to make sure each child is properly monitored and cared for.) You’re still present … but you’re making sure you’re everywhere, even when you’re not.
Social media is the fastest way to connect with your audience. Be sure to make the most of it, every opportunity you get.
Now Get Your Post ON!