Thursday June 29, 2017
Do you have a content scheduling system that works for you?
There are a plethora of options for scheduling your blog and social content and a multitude of articles telling you which tool you should choose, but I have found very little practical advice on how to create a workflow. Granted, there is no one correct way, there are many effective ways to manage and schedule content even within CoSchedule you can create custom workflows in nearly endless combinations. In the interest of saving everyone time… I will share one single system, which I regularly use, with you.
Y'all, this post is a beast! I suggest you bookmark it as a resource for easy reference.
Take from my system what works for you… and leave the rest.
Tools and Social Channels I Use in this Example:
Blogging - Your Core Content
Blog PrepBased on my content and editorial calendar I know which themes and topics are appropriate to my purpose before I get started. I also have a great title with a green score on CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer and an outline ready to go that gives me ideas, keywords, and the ultimate purpose of the article… time to write!
Before I hop on WordPress I have already written the article and created any images I plan to use. For a time-sensitive article (with a limited run planned) I generally create a blog title image (rectangular) and a social image (square) on Canva. For an evergreen article which I plan to share for a long time to come (like this one), I will create optimal images for each social network using the recommended image sizes in Canva.
I have also included in my document any sources, links, quotes, and supporting images and/or videos for the article. Everything is organized in one place and easy to access. Ideally, several blog articles are ready to go at any given time so we aren’t scrambling to publish at the last minute!
Blogging in Minus
Because I set up my blog posts using the Thrive Content Builder, which is a custom formatting option available directly from within my post, I publish directly from WordPress. I prefer to dig into my formatting and make my posts “just so.” Once my post is formatted and author, categories, tags, etc. assigned, I am ready to schedule my post to publish to my blog and to all my social channels.
Setting Up Your CoSchedule Plugin Template
You can set up as many templates as you want in your CoSchedule calendar using the WordPress Plugin. This feature is by far my favorite amongst many fantastic features!
Because you only need to set each template up ONCE and then you can apply the appropriate template to each scheduled post, make minor adjustments… and you’re DONE.
This is literally the biggest time-saving system I have yet to implement in my business. It gained back 25 hours of time for my virtual assistant on a weekly basis. No joke.
Setting up your templates is simple. Based on your content calendar, you should know on which days you plan to publish and share social content for each article. Here’s a specific example for a regular blog post which we plan to actively promote for a three month period. This illustrates the minimum number of posts we would share for a post. Each post is scheduled using the “best time” feature in CoSchedule which takes into account our other posts and peak hours for audience interaction based on past behavior and analytics it gathers from our channels.
*Pro Tip* Make sure to set up your “helpers” which automatically pull in information like Title and Post Link.
Once the posts have been scheduled, adjustments can be made to the text. Your helpers will have pulled in the post title, link, and images. You can modify the text by adding in more information or a call to action. You will need to add custom text for Facebook posts because without adding this information it will not publish!
You will also want to choose the blog post image or social image for each post so that it will display your choice of rectangle or square. (For an Evergreen post this step is a MUST and you should have a different image size optimized for each social channel.)
Once all your posts are scheduled, make sure to save your queue as a template. This is where the real magic happens!
Now you can see all your posts in your CoSchedule calendar. Ideally, you want to be consistent in your publishing and sharing to create a sense of expectation and build trust with your audience, however from time to time you may need to move some posts around if you see that one day is too content heavy. In CoSchedule, you can simply and easily drag your posts from one day to another. Easy peasy…
Using Your CoSchedule Plugin Template
The next time you schedule an article to publish you simply apply the template you have already made and…
Voilà! Your social posts magically populate!
You can then go back in and make adjustments to text, photos, etc. to make your posts stand out more, but the brunt of the work has been completed. Congratulations! You have just learned how to take back your time.
What have you been putting off that you can fit into your schedule now?
ReQueue - Your Secondary Content
Sharing Your Evergreen Content
Okay, so what about all that evergreen content that you’ve spent extra time preparing? You’ve got content upgrades (free opt-ins or lead magnets) for your readers to download and use. You've created marketing funnels around this core content and have automated email campaigns set up and ready to run, right? That stuff takes time, effort, and resources whether you’re creating this content yourself or have a team behind you. Don’t let this content sit unused!
*Pro Tip* Make sure to mix up your content share types and the text you add when creating them. CoSchedule gives you several options from which to choose including photo, link, text, video, and more…
There are 2 handy ways to keep this content in rotation using CoSchedule.
The first method is to use your blog template to keep this content rolling out at regular intervals, such as quarterly, after the initial date of publish. You have total control over your calendar with this option.
The other way is CoSchedule’s genius tool, ReQueue! This clever little upgrade fills any empty spots in your calendar with content from your evergreen queue. You can set posting parameters for how much content can post overall from the queue and how many times each piece can be posted, so it doesn’t go overboard and plaster your channels with this content. Brilliant!
I use a combination of these two methods to keep my calendar full and my content evenly spread out over time. You do whatever works best for you.
*Pro Tip* You can create seasonally appropriate evergreen content and schedule it for the appropriate season years in advance, but don’t use ReQueue or you could have a Spring post pop up in December!
Curation- Your Tertiary Content
At Social Savvy Geek We Follow the 70:20:10 Rule
That means that we share 70% useful content that has no other purpose than to serve you, our audience. This content is not created by us; we scour the Internet and collect content from trusted and vetted sources to share with the intent to be useful. This content comes mostly from our peers, reputable news sources, and conferences. You don’t have to create ALL the content you share. We’ve seen time and time again that your audience appreciates it more when you don’t.
Takes a little pressure off, eh?
20% of our content is branded, useful content (like this article) that I (or one of our team members) has written or created especially for you. It includes any content we create with the intent to educate, help, and serve. It’s primary purpose is to build goodwill and allow you to “like, know, and trust” us. The medium is less important that the intent when judging content in this way. We create and share blog posts, videos, images, our quotes, etc. Remember, this is content that your ideal clients should be happy to see!
10% of the time we share promotional content. Anything that says to your audience, “Look at me, look at me!” falls into this category. This is branded content like event announcements, webinar invitations, product announcements, etc. We also include direct interaction and public conversations in this 10% but that isn’t hard and fast and if more people are talking to us, of course we respond!
(The big exception is in groups where communication/interaction and branded content is the 70%, curated content makes up the 20%, and promotions are still kept to 10%. People who have opted into groups already generally know, like, and trust you. Plus, you are doing a LOT of work maintaining, moderating, etc. and more branded content is absolutely expected!)
How We Schedule Curated Content Without Going Down the Rabbit Hole
Curating content can easily become a huge time-suck if you don’t have a plan and a scheduling tool. Here’s how we do it:
First, We Know Our Rules of Engagement
We have specific topics and subtopics which we post about that are in line with our brand image and of interest to our ideal clients. We have a marketing calendar, and content/editorial calendar that tell us what our themes and objectives are at any given time. This makes it easy to choose content to share.
We know to ask a few quick questions and if we get all yeses it’s a GO, if not its a NO.
- Is it on brand and on topic?
- Is it from a trusted source?
- Is it well laid out?
- Is it grammatically correct?
- Is it free from excessive ads and popups?
Second, We Know Where to Look
We aren’t scrambling randomly around the interwebs searching randomly for content. Nope! We have a list of sources we trust. It’s made up of power partners, vendors we love (CoSchedule!), peers, and aggregated content sites.
Some of this content we see naturally as we browse about our social channels. We don’t just publish to social; we are also users, ourselves. Mostly, we are enjoying Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram on our own time because that is what people do! As we see something sharable we will save the link for later, so we can use it in the future. If it’s breaking news that cannot wait one itty bitty second, then we can share it immediately, but that is rarely the case.
Lastly, We Have a System in Place to Get These Things Scheduled
Monthly, we look at our editorial calendar and choose an evergreen piece or two from our favorite sites to share each week for the upcoming month.
Weekly, each Friday afternoon we choose a daily share from our saved links and if it’s been a slow week, we’ll make up the difference from our power partners.
Daily, each weekday, first thing in the morning, we open up Triberr, our favorite blogging community, and choose articles to share for the day. We share between 3-5 articles directly to Twitter and 1-2 of the very best we also share to our Facebook Page and/or other channels, as appropriate. This makes sure our content is fresh and new, plus it supports our peers who also share our content when we post our original blog content. It’s a win-win-win (you are the third winner!)
How, specifically, do we share this content out? Using the CoSchedule Chrome Extension, of course! It opens up a window that lets you choose where and when you will share. It allows you to choose the best image for each post and add a message.
*I’m sure that you’ve noticed Buffer in the tools list and wondered when we’d get to that, right? CoSchedule integrates with Buffer to post to Google +. Now you know!
Grab Your Free Easy to Follow Weekly Social Media Calendar Template
We’ve created a handy social media posting guide that shows you how much content to schedule to each social channel and win. You can download yours right here.
CoSchedule Free Trial
If you've gotten this far and you're not ready to try out CoSchedule... then you must already be using it. That's the only explanation I can think of! Seriously, I absolutely love this tool. I use it (obviously) and my clients use it, too. Aside from being the best tool, they also have the best people. They are ridiculously responsive and helpful folks. Get your free trial and check it out for yourself.
There you have it! There are many moving pieces when you’re planning and scheduling your content. If there is anything further you need to know, drop me a line! Tweet me @SocialSavvyGeek on Twitter (no DMs, please!) or stop by our Facebook Page and comment on this article.