How can you schedule and share your social media without losing your mind? Yesterday we talked about how to plan your blog content and what to share, but if you want to share it with others, the chances are good that you will have to use social media. This is another area I struggled with. Once I knew what content I needed to write and how to pull together my content and the awesome content of others in a way that my readers would enjoy, I had to start scheduling the social media posts.
I thought I would go out of my mind.
I had lists. I had notes. I had Word documents, and I had Excel spreadsheets. I had lists of things I had posted on Facebook but not pinned to Pinterest or tweeted about. I had lists of things I needed to post on Google+ and pin to Pinterest. You get the idea—I love lists, but this was too much. I needed a list of what lists to check!
So, I started researching scheduling options. Cost is a huge factor for me. Most of my products are freebies. I don’t have the revenue to purchase a high-cost scheduler or someone to do it for me. As a result, I was trying to use the free version of several different scheduling websites online. By the time I opened all of my lists and signed into all of the websites, my time to work was over!
I also don’t have a wealth of behind-the-scenes computer skills. Whatever I used had to be easy to install and maintain. It also needed to handle all of my social media platforms. I studied the options for days and made (you guessed it) lists of the pros and cons to each service. I watched the video tour and decided to sign up for the free trial of CoSchedule.
The first thing I had to do was install the CoSchedule plug in. Things started off well, and then it said there was a problem and I needed to do a manual set up. I cringed. I selected the manual set up option, followed the prompts, and it was installed and synchronized with my website in minutes. That alone was a huge encouragement to me.
My next step was to connect my social media profiles. I’m currently on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. It was easy to connect my accounts. The only platform not supported was Google+ profiles (as opposed to business pages). My account is a profile, but perhaps they will add that feature later.
The third step was to try a test post. I followed the steps and was good to go.
The last thing I wanted to try out before starting to use it live was to find a way to schedule social media shares that aren’t tied to blog posts. For example, how could I schedule to share a friend’s post on another site, a news article worth reading, etc… This was the only thing I needed to do where I had to dig around and figure out what to click on. It turns out it’s the pencil icon in the top right of the calendar screen.
Then I was up and running. The CoSchedule calendar automatically pulled in my previous blog posts, allowing me to go back and quickly schedule follow up social media posts or tweets about any of them I chose.
I have been using CoSchedule now for ten days, and I am loving it! I start my website work time by looking at my content calendar that we discussed yesterday. Then I create the post on my website and schedule it for the appropriate day and time. While I am in the post screen itself, I can scroll down and schedule all of my related social media (except Google+). For now I am simply making a note go back and post to Google+ when it’s time.
Instead of lists upon lists, I have one content calendar, one website to open (mine), and one extra document to keep track of Google+.
CoSchedule and Pinterest
I am a big Pinterest fan, and I have a lot of boards. There is a free online Pinterest scheduler I use that I love (but that’s another post). Its one drawback is that the post has to be live before it can schedule a pin. So if I am writing content ahead of time (it happens occasionally!), I can’t schedule it to pin. What I love about the way CoSchedule works with Pinterest is that I can schedule it to pin my posts at the time I create them.
The only negative I have found with the automated pinning to Pinterest is that any time you change your password on Pinterest, you have to change it for each board you have linked to CoSchedule. So if you change your password faithfully, I wouldn’t recommend setting up all of your boards in CoSchedule. I would link the main ones that the majority of your blog posts are related to, or perhaps just one main board. That way you can know that your post will always be pinned to its most important board the day it goes live. Then you can repin to other boards and group boards in whatever manner works best for you.
CoSchedule Customer Service
So far I have only had one question I needed assistance on, and support replied within about 24 hours. The staff was pleasant and got me the answer I needed.
CoSchedule saves me time and stress. It is easy to set up, easy to use, and easy to maintain. It is well worth the $10 a month that it costs at the time of this post. If you are looking for a way to simplify your social media scheduling so you don’t get buried in a sea of lists, why don’t you give their free trial a try?