I will admit that I use a plugin to share my posts through social. If you are a content marketer, you cannot live without one. Scheduled shares in the past were frowned upon, but with time being so valuable, more and more bloggers are employing this time-save.
Does It Really Save Time?
You may use something like Buffer. Or, like me, you might choose to use CoSchedule. There are others out there as well and more coming on board all the time. Each one has its own pros and cons. Some have sharing features that are more intuitive than others. Often those features will cost you more. I know that CoSchedule has some that I have not yet upgraded to.
But here’s my perspective. These tools for me are much more of a strategy builder than a time-saver. Sure, when I use CoSchedule is makes it easier for me. But how I use it isn’t a simple set-and-go process. It involves much more. For as long as I have been using it, there are two big lessons I have learned, from both my own experiences and watching others on social.
1. Customizing Your Shares
If I try to share the exact same tweet on a single day, CoSchedule will not send it out because it says that Twitter detected a duplicate tweet. But I can do that over a period of a few days. To be honest, I think it’s great that I cannot do that. In fact, I try to customize not only my tweets, but also my shares on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
On Twitter, nothing is more boring than seeing the same tweet throughout the day from a single person. Sure, they move through quickly, but even changing or adding a few words can be just enough of a change to attract a new reader.
For example, here is a scheduled tweet I have with just the title.
Now here I added a couple of hashtags. My thoughts? Don’t fill every freaking tweet with hashtags. Think of the reader, who may view it as much too spammy.
Here I just added a few words to the title and turned it into a question.
And a reminder scheduled later in the day.
Lastly, a full, customized message replacing the title completely.
Now on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, if I leave the tag title in as the default share, it ends up looking like this with duplicate titles.
I prefer to put in a custom message at the top in order to avoid redundancy.
2. Sharing Dated and Worthless Posts
One of the other features of many of these scheduling tools is the ability to share from your archives. From what I see on social, especially Twitter, people are letting their old posts be randomly shared. This can be very dangerous as far as I’m concerned, as it will share anything.
Here are a few examples I have seen.
Several podcast shares from various sources that might be something like this:
Watch for our podcast later today when Joe Smith blows our mind.
Today we are talking with Sandy Smith on our podcast, so get your questions ready.
Or how about these posts?
Today I Started My Job at Apple
See the New Features of WordPress 4.1
My 2016 Year End Review
See where I’m going with this? Think of each one of those shared on the day it was relevant, but then shared again, a week later, or even several months later.
Here is how I handle this. Using CoSchedule, I create several different templates for different kinds of post. These templates let me set shares for the post as far into the future that I want. Of course, I often edit them and delete some shares on certain specific posts. But for others, I may only want to share a week out, so I create a template just for that. And I create more templates as I see myself doing certain scheduling more often.
Most importantly, I pick and choose what I share from my archives. I don’t let any tool decide that.
But Bob, Damn, All That Time
Yes, you are right. I focus on my strategy than on saving time and sharing archives. Sure it takes more time, but that’s important to me. And if I were to do this same strategy without the tools I use, well, it would take even more time.
There are other strategies I use as well, such as avoiding shares across platforms at the exact same time. But I’ll leave that one for another post.
So is this the right strategy for you? Maybe, maybe not. I cannot make that decision for you. But I did want to share the method to my madness, hoping it will help you to re-evaluate how you do your sharing, and what small mistakes you may be making.
In any case, you need to decide upon your own strategy and decide if the end results match the time you are putting in.