Everyone deserves a break once in a while, right? But what happens when you want to take a break from social media marketing but your business can’t? You automate!
By automating I don’t mean “set-it and forget-it.” What I do mean is to take advantage of some of the easy tools out there that are designed specifically to make your social media efforts a little easier. And, most of them are free!
For Twitter I love Hootsuite. Hootsuite is free for most small businesses if you have only one account per social media platform. Even if you manage a few accounts, the cost is negligible. You can also use Hootsuite to manage Facebook and LinkedIn. (Linkedin doesn’t have it’s own scheduling function, which is a bit weird, right?).
Here’s a glimpse at my Hootsuite Twitter feed. It’s looks complicated, but it actually makes managing Twitter easier:
As you can see, the Hootsuite scheduling tool is pretty intuitive:
Buffer is worth checking out, too. Buffer posts your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn updates at the most optimal times based upon an algorithm to get you the best visibility. I know a lot of folks who use Hootsuite to manage their profiles and pages, and Buffer for scheduling.
For Facebook, I use Facebook’s own scheduling tool. It’s super easy and the best part is that you can actually see what your post will look like before it’s published (I’m a bit obsessive about that, and that’s why I don’t schedule my Facebook updates on Hootsuite).
Pinterest doesn’t have it’s own scheduling tool, but many pinners use PinGraphy. On Instagram, there doesn’t seem to be a scheduler, either (if I’m wrong about that let me know), but there are two tools that look pretty good: Schedugram and Latergram that let you schedule your images. (Note: Since this article was first published in Dec. 2014, Buffer and Sendible now both offer Pinterest scheduling.)
A newcomer to the automation world is a platform called Edgar. Edgar’s not your ordinary scheduling tool in that it enables you to keep a library of your posts (for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and then queue them up, as you like. For a lot of people this is a huge timesaver.
Of course, if you want to go the fully automated route with your website, blog, email and Social Media content you can do that, too. Hubspot’s the clear leader here with a robust platform that enables you to nurture your leads. There is definitely a learning curve with Hubspot, but it’s worth checking out.
Pre-scheduling and automation lets you breathe easy knowing that your fans and followers are still getting your valuable content while you’re partying away with your family or just taking a rest for a few days. You’ll still need to check-in at least once a day to stay engaged and respond to comments and questions, but you can handle that, right?