Dear Socially Stephanie,
What are your favorite post-planning tools across platforms? Any favorite Wordpress plugins for social or imagery?
Organized in Omaha
You just said some magic words, my friend. Wordpress + planning is a match made in heaven because it means you are blogging. and more importantly if you are at the level of planning your social posts around your blog, you are blogging often enough to make me happy. Go on with your bad self!
All right, let's be honest. Social media takes a lot of time to manage. If you aren't careful, it can suck up your whole day in the blink of an eye. I'm sure you've been there before. You wake up in the morning, grab your coffee and before you know it you are crying over viral videos of dogs and kids. (Come on, I can't be the only one who does that, right?) Yes, tools are great. But too many tools can be overwhelming and, again, a time suck. You want to be careful when choosing the right tools for yourself. So let me help you.
I like to keep my scheduling tools to a minimum. I use two, and only two. One is designated for scheduling and analysis, and the other is designated for management. Some might even call me old school in my choices for social media tools, but hey, they work, and I'm all about simplification.
For scheduling, I'm a huge fan of Buffer. It's easy to use and pretty to look at. Before you get all crazy adding content to your feed, I recommend setting up your sharing schedule. Mondays and Tuesdays are your busiest days? No problem, create more posts to be live that day. Sunday slump? A few posts is probably all you need. Once you set up your personalized schedule for each network, you are ready to start adding content. To make your life even easier, Buffer offers a bookmarklet or a browser extension that you can use and share directly from. One click from an article that's ready to go, and boom, scheduled.
Just so we are clear, I want to stress this next fact. You can schedule posts, but real-time engagement is necessary. You can't schedule your engagement. Sorry. So for management and real-time engagement, I'm all about Hootsuite. Not only can you monitor hashtags and keywords (muy importante), you can also manage and monitor your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, G+ and even Instagram accounts through the dashboard, which makes your life a lot easier.
While these two tools are my favorites, I've also heard great things about Edgar, which is advertising their way to the hearts of many a Facebook user, and PostPlanner, whose content marketing and blogging game is on point.
Lastly, I use Schedugram for Instagram scheduling. While it can become pricey when you manage many accounts, it is worth the investment. You can schedule your posts far in advance and get notified of successful posts. Of course, you won't want to post and run; make sure that if Instagram is a part of your strategy, you check in and say hello, comment and engage. Without engagement, you've got nothing.
All right, social scheduling is out of the way, now let's talk about the big W - Wordpress. I'm a big fan of floating social bars because they encourage more shares. I mean, no matter where you go on the page that pretty Facebook F, pale blue Twitter bird and bold red Pinterest P is staring you down, saying "click me, click me." Lastly, I'll take Yoast any day to give my blog posts a little SEO juice. Stick to those two "musts" and you'll be golden.
And while we're on the topic, a new tool that I'm enamored of is SparkTrend. It's still in Beta, but I expect it to be a heavy hitter. It's analytics and reporting on turbo charge, but still extremely beautiful to look at.
Well, my friend, it sounds like you have some work to do. Let me know which tools become your go-to!
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email [email protected] and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)