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To Schedule or Not to Schedule

How Hootsuite & Other Content Schedulers Can Help Your Social Media Strategy

Love it or hate it, there’s no avoiding social media these days. Whether you’re a brand, an individual, or like us, an agency who manages social accounts for other businesses – social media needs to be part of your marketing strategy. It’s a fantastic place to showcase your brand and keep a meaningful conversation going with customers (and potential customers) in an engaging way.

Easier said than done. Social media can be overwhelming, whether you manage one account or ten. Algorithms change, content seems to move at the speed of light, and the ‘best practices’ of yesterday may not be the same today.

One solution to lessen the stress? A social media content scheduler. We use Hootsuite, a user-friendly dashboard that lets you manage multiple networks and profiles, schedule content in advance, and even measure your posts’ results.

Before we take a peek at what Hootsuite can do, let’s talk about scheduling content. No matter how many social profiles you manage, we highly recommend creating a content calendar and planning your posts out in advance. When you create a plan like this, you’re inherently encouraged to take a more intentional, strategic approach to the content you share (rather than sit there staring at a blank caption box, scratching your head about what post on a given day). It allows you to mix up your content, from photo and video to blog posts and graphics, offering a variety of means to keep your audience engaged and interested. And of course, it takes the pressure off coming up with a post idea the day you need to share it.

There are a variety of content scheduling tools available – and many of them offer free options in addition to more advanced plans – but Hootsuite takes the prize for us. We love the way this tool allows us to break down all facets of social media: by platform and by client, organized into customizable “streams” for easy viewing.

Here’s what our Hootsuite dashboard looks like on a given day, highlighting our DARCI Creative Instagram streams:

Notice how we organize our dashboard: by posts that we have already made, scheduled posts to go out, and posts from other accounts that we have ‘liked’. We even created relevant streams based on location (Portsmouth, New Hampshire has its own stream for all posts marked in that location), as well as relevant hashtags like #branding.

Now let’s take a closer look at the scheduling feature. Whether you’re looking to post on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, it’s easy to attach media forms like links and images, set a custom date and time to post, and tag a specific location. Save a draft for later or schedule it immediately to publish at the specified time – how easy is that?

We’ve found Hootsuite’s scheduling tools especially useful for Instagram. And now, all scheduled Instagram posts are automatically posted to Instagram for us (whereas the previous method of Hootsuite sent a “push notification” to our phones for us then to manually publish the post at the scheduled time). It’s easier than ever to plan ahead on social media – and a lot less stressful, too.

We hope you’ve been inspired to revamp your social media strategy, plan out content in advance, and use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to stay on top of your social media game.

And if you need a hand, let us know how we can help with your social media efforts. We’ll craft and manage a strategic plan that will drive growth for your business and keep your brand top-of-mind in today’s noisy world.

 

Alanna Hogan
DARCI Creative
Copywriter & Executive Assistant, Social Media Manager