What if I told you that you could save time scheduling social media?
We all know how important it is to be active on social media to build our brands, network and grow traffic. But what nobody seems to talk about is how time-consuming it all is. I could easily spend all day every day on social media (and that doesn’t count my own personal accounts where I watch cute animal videos for hours on end)!
When I first started out, I would spend 10-12 hours each week scheduling social media posts. Every Sunday, I’d put on a film (well, usually 2 or 3 films), sit down on the sofa and schedule my social media updates and promos for the week ahead. With around 20 Tweets, 2 Instagram posts, 2 Facebook Group posts and 4 updates on my Facebook Page each day, I would easily spend 5-6 hours on this.
Then came Pinterest. When I was pinning things manually, I would spend at least an hour each day on Pinterest.
Whilst what I was doing was time-consuming, it was working. My traffic from social media was growing daily, But, maintaining that level of work each week was impossible. That was until I found a solution!
Here’s how I save time scheduling social media each week now (by about 8 hours).
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1. Plan Your Blog Content Ahead of Time
One of the main things that helps me save time scheduling social media is knowing what I’m going to be posting.
There’s nothing like a last-minute blind panic to slow you down. Trust me, when you rush, you make mistakes and everything takes twice as long!
Planning ahead also means that you can batch tasks which saves more time. You can read my full post on increasing productivity by batching here.
I use a simple blog post planner to plan out my blog content at least 2 months in advance. You can grab a FREE copy of my blog post planner template here.
Knowing what you’re going to publish and when on your blog might not seem like it’s going to save you any time when it comes to social media scheduling but I’ll get on to that in more detail in a second.
2. Use Templates for Images
If you’re looking for a way to significantly save time scheduling social media, templates are it!
Here I’m talking about using templates for your images and graphics. I’ll be talking about templates for your updates and promos later.
Really helpfully, every social media platform requires different dimensions for your images! So, for each blog post that I write, I create 6 images – one for Facebook, one for Twitter, 1 for Instagram (which doubles as my featured image) and three different pins.
Creating 6 new images for each post I publish could take hours. But, because I use templates, it takes me less than 10 minutes to create all 6.
I’ll be completely transparent and honest here and tell you that it took me the best part of a weekend to get all the templates set up but it was so worth it in the long run.
Here’s how to create your templates:
I started by creating Pinterest images because they are the largest in terms of dimensions (which helps when it comes to resizing later).
Using Canva, I created a Pin using their Pinterest Image template. I added in the shapes, colours, fonts etc. that I wanted to feature on all of my graphics, ensuring that they were on brand. Then I uploaded all of the stock images I had and created 50 copies of the same pin, each with a different stock image in the background.
I have all 50 of these templates saved in a folder on Canva now. Each time I draft a new post, I go into that folder, choose a template, make a copy of it (so I don’t lose the original template) and edit the text to fit the new post. It takes me no more than a couple of minutes to make a pin for each new post.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Once the pin is ready, I use the “File” button in the top left-hand corner and hit “Magic Resize”.
The magic resize function is one of the main reasons that I upgraded my Canva account to pro. It takes the image you’ve already created and makes another copy of it in the correct dimensions for the social media platforms you have selected.
So, after clicking “Magic Resize”, you will see a list of social media platforms to choose from. Simply select the ones you need and hit “Abracadabra – Resize!”
The new images will usually require some slight adjusting to make sure that everything fits correctly but in a matter of seconds, you can go from having one Pinterest image to having one for each of your preferred social media platforms!
One of the best pieces of advice I ever read and implemented when it comes to Pinterest is to create multiple pins for each of your posts.
So, as I mentioned before, I spent a good few hours creating two additional sets of Pinterest templates:
As with the other Pinterest templates, I just select one, make a copy and edit for each new post.
So now, for each new post I create, I can have 6 images in under 10 minutes just by using the templates I have on Canva.
3. Use Templates for Your Updates & Promos
For a little while, I used to write new updates each week. After typing “Do we follow each other on Instagram yet?” 3 or 4 times each Sunday, I realised that I should probably be saving these updates and promos somewhere and simply copying and pasting them.
I appreciate that not many of you will have taken so long to realise this!
So I created a spreadsheet like this to save them in:
As you can see from the tabs across the bottom, there are templates for my blog posts, my other social media accounts, freebies & courses and for affiliates.
Each time I create a new post, freebie or product, I draft 3 or 4 attention grabbing Tweets and save them in the spreadsheet. I then copy these and expand them out a little bit for Facebook updates.
Once you have your template Tweets and images ready to go, it’s time to start scheduling!
4. Use a Scheduling Tool
My original scheduling tool of choice was Hootsuite. And I would still recommend it to bloggers on a budget or those who are just starting out. I would, however, definitely recommend the pro version for $10 per month.
Each Sunday I would copy and paste the template updates into Hootsuite for each of my social media platforms. Having the templates ready saved me a couple of hours but I was still spending faaaaar too much time on it.
So, I went on the hunt for something better. Something that would help me save more time. My first port of call was MeetEdgar. I’d seen a lot of other bloggers using it and it had been recommended to me by a couple of people in Facebook Groups.
MeetEdgar offers a 14 day free trial with no obligation to continue – you don’t even have to add your card details until you decide you want to. I registered for the free trial and had a play around with it. I must admit that I found it really difficult to get to grips with to start with. But, once I was a bit more familiar with it everything looked great.
That was until my free trial ended and I was faced with the $79 per month price tag! The price now seems to be $49 per month, so they’ve clearly been listening to people.
Now, I’m not one to shy away from spending money on my business but $49 per month seemed really steep – especially when MeetEdgar only supports Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
That’s when I came across SmarterQueue.
Grab your FREE 30-day trial here
How Using SmarterQueue Saves Me 8 Hours Each Week
Before I go into all of the ways that I save time scheduling social media through SmarterQueue, just feast your eyes on this little video clip.
At the moment, you SmarterQueue covers these platforms:
- Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups
- Instagram (through their phone app)
- LinkedIn Profiles and Company Pages
They also have a couple of others in the pipeline which will be coming soon:
Grab your FREE 30-day trial here
Categories and the Content Calendar
Scheduling your social media content is super easy with SmarterQueue. As you can see from the video above you create a list of categories and fill each category with your posts and updates. You then schedule the categories and SmarterQueue posts something from that category at that time.
Here you can see that I have created 8 categories – all of which are colour coded. You then use the calendar to schedule which category you want to post when.
Within each category are the templates that I used to have the spreadsheet I mentioned earlier. So, within the category “Own Blog Posts” there are 3 or 4 Tweets and Facebook posts for each and every blog post I’ve ever written.
Within the “Social Media Promo” are all of the templates I have that are along the lines of “why not follow me on Twitter”.
It’s all fairly self-explanatory really! You create your categories based on the types of content you share on your social media account. The number of categories you can have is determined by the package you have.
When you have created the categories you need, you can add content to them by clicking “Add Content” from the main menu across the top of the screen.
When the pop-up appears you can select which category and which social media platform you want the content to appear on. Then it’s a simple task of writing your post (or, if you still have a spreadsheet you can bulk upload!)
You can choose whether you want it to be a one-time only post or Evergreen content that will be recycled.
Recycling Evergreen Content
This was the selling point for me really.
We all know how quickly social media newsfeeds move and, as a result, how important it is to share your updates and posts multiple times.
On SmarterQueue you can write a post, select “Re-Queue After Posting” and that post will be looped around again and again in your queue. It’s kind of like the Looping feature on Boardbooster. No need to rewrite or copy and paste that post ever again!
You can even choose how long you want that post to be re-queued. It can never expire or you can choose a set number of posting times or a date after which the post expires. How cool is that?
Finding Other People’s Content to Share
A huge part of running a successful blog or business is about networking and sharing content from other people. I used to trawl through my favourite blogs to find articles that I could share with my audience and then add them to my calendar in Hootsuite.
SmarterQueue makes this so much easier and, you can do it all from your SmarterQueue dashboard!
You can find content from other people by using a search term or hashtag. Or you can let SmarterQueue suggest content for you. So, in the example below, I searched for “#bloggingtips” on Twitter which returned loads of results. Now all I have to do is scroll through and select which ones I want to share.
You can also instal the SmarterQueue browser extension which means that you can save content from anywhere online.
FREE Trial Anyone?
I know from experience that a huge part of deciding whether to buy something is whether it works for you personally. Just because I’m totally in love with SmarterQueue doesn’t mean that you will be.
You may work in a different way to me or the features may simply not be what you’re looking for.
So, why not give it a try for free?
The free trial is usually 14 days. BUT, if you use my link below, you get a whopping 30 days free! That’s a great amount of time to allow you to get things set up and really see the benefits of using SmarterQueue.
Grab your FREE 30-day trial here
Skipped to the end of the post? Here’s what you missed:
- Have a content calendar for your blog so you know what’s coming ahead of time
- Create templates for your images using a tool like Canva
- Invest in a tool like SmarterQueue to loop your evergreen content – set it and then forget it!
- If you’re not ready to invest in a tool like that yet just yet, opt for something cheaper like Hootsuite and use templates stored in a spreadsheet
- Grab your 30-day FREE trial of SmarterQueue here.