FACT: More effort does not equal more value. Not when it comes to sweeping, and definitely not when it comes to social media management.
Think about it this way: Either you sweep your floors yourself every single day, or you set your Roomba to do it for you when you are out running errands. The end result is the same whether you kill yourself trying to accomplish it or if you get something to do the work for you…your floor is [mostly] rid of dog hair and dirt.
Unless you’re brand new around these parts (and if that’s the case, let me be the FIRST to say helloooo!) you know that I’m a huge fan of automation. I automate everything that I possibly can, including my welcome emails and content upgrades. The phrase “set it and forget it” makes my heart sing, because it means that you put in a little bit of work up front and then you let things work for you for weeks, months, or even forever. Now that’s an ROI i can get behind.
Something I used to seriously overwhelm myself with was social media management. Like sweeping the floor when you have indoor pets…posting on social media is a DAILY necessity for your business, not only for brand development, but website traffic and lead generation as well. I have known this from the beginning, so I’ve always tried to stay on top of my social media management – but I was RUNNING MYSELF INTO THE GROUND, Y’ALL. Logging in during “peak posting times” to manually post content, trying to keep up with what I posted when and when I should post it again AND engaging with my followers turned into a living social hell. But what I didn’t realize is that this overwhelm was completely self-inflicted…because there’s a much better option out there when it comes to social media management (and it’s FREE).
Behind organic search, social media referrals are my second highest traffic source. So when I’m not posting…my traffic decreases, my new subscriber numbers drop and the potential for making money shrinks by alllotttt. The bottom line being: I need to post and I need to post every single day (without actually having to post every single day).
After researching automated social media management programs (there are a ton of them) I found that Buffer was a perfect fit for me. There are five different plans to choose from, from a free plan to the large plan that manages up to 150 social media accounts – so there’s something for everybody. Personally, I use the free plan because I target three main social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I have a presence on Instagram, as well, but I’ve found that is a lot easier to manually update because I’m ALWAYS on it. So I use Buffer to constantly post on the social media accounts that I don’t frequently use, but where I know my audience hangs out.
When you’re looking into social media management programs for your business, I recommend first doing an analysis of where your target market spends the most time. One of my marketing clients is in the construction industry, and they recently asked me about upping their following on Instagram. Never one to sugar coat things, I told them that I do not care about their Instagram following, and neither should they. Why? Because their typical customer falls within the 40+ age range, and a recent study by Business Insider tells us that over 90% of the 150+ million Instagram users are under the age of 35. So while it doesn’t hurt to have a presence on Instagram (they do, by the way), it doesn’t make sense to spend money or a lot of time trying to grow their following there, because it’s likely that none of those followers will ever become customers.
Take some time to think about this. What social media platforms are your audience using? If there are three or fewer platforms, the free plan will work for you. If you need more than that, you may want to consider moving into one of the paid plans.
Social Media Management: How to Set Up Your Buffer Account
- Create your account using a business email address (preferably one that is tied to your social media accounts).
- Once you’ve created your account, you will be directed to this screen where you can connect your social media accounts. You’ll notice that under some of the platforms it gives the option to connect a Profile, Page or Group. If you are wanting to post from your personal profile, you would choose “profile.” If you want to post from a business page, you should choose “page,” and if you want to post to a Facebook group, you should choose “group.”
- After connecting your profiles/pages, you will be prompted to set up your posting schedule for each platform. You can post once a day, multiple times a day, a few times a week…whatever you prefer! But keep in mind that if you’re using the free plan, you can only have up to 10 posts in the queue for each platform. So if you post multiple times a day, you will need to reload your queue more frequently. I typically post once a day so I am able to schedule about two weeks worth of content at a time. A cool feature that is included is recommended posting times. There will be a series of posting times under each day and you can choose from those or create your own. I used a different recommended posting time for each day just to switch it up.
- Next, you’ll need to load your queues. Click on one of the accounts and you’ll see “Queue” “Posts” and “Settings” – the queue is what is ready to go out and the posts is what has already been posted. In the posts tab you can view analytics for past posts which is also pretty cool. You’ll want to go to the Queue tab first to build some content. I typically include a link to my website, a photo and a description about the content in each of my posts, but you can customize the posts to fit your content. Like I mentioned before, you can have up to 10 posts in each queue under the free plan.
- Once your queue is full, all of the posts will show up like this. You can rearrange the posts by dragging them around, and you can edit the posts up until the time they are scheduled to go out.
- After your posts have gone out, if you want to recycle some of that same content at later dates, you can easily copy the content from the posts tab to any of the queue tabs by dragging and dropping. I have all of my content on a rotation so this is a feature that I use very regularly! I usually just change up the wording to keep it fresh.So there it is! You can set up two weeks of social media content FOR FREE in less than an hour using a social media management program like Buffer! And after you’ve built up the posts tab, you can schedule everything in ten minutes or less by dragging and dropping content to your queues!
Unsure how to structure your social media sharing schedule? Use my FREE downloadable excel template to organize and plan out your social media posts!