One of the keys to harnessing the power of your social media handles, be it Twitter, Instagram, etc., is managing it with the help of a Social media plan or Content Calendar.
It is interesting that most persons will not embark on a trip, business meeting, etc. without first making a plan; however, they feel comfortable managing their business social media accounts without a plan.
Truth is, you will hardly maximize the benefits of social media, operating at random. As the saying goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
What is a social media plan/strategy?
A social media plan or strategy is a summary of everything you plan to achieve on social media. It guides your actions and helps you know how much progress you making per time. It comprises a list of clearly identified goals, a content calendar/strategy, an established measurement mechanism, etc.
This article will be guiding you on how to schedule your tweets in advance for free on Twitter, Hootsuite, and how to organize your social media plans effectively. Let’s get going already!
How to Schedule your Tweets
How would you feel, knowing that all your tweets for the week have been automated and you do not have to bother yourself about remembering to post at various times? Of course, this a great feeling that most social media managers love to have. The best part is, it is not as difficult as you may have imagined.
In this section, you will be learning how to schedule your tweets for free on Twitter, Hootsuite, and Tweet deck.
So let’s start with how to schedule tweets in advance on Twitter.
How to Schedule Tweets on Twitter
Scheduling your tweets in advance on Twitter is quite easy. To schedule your tweets on Twitter, go to https://ads.twitter.com/, and then follow these steps:
Click the New Tweet button at the top right of the tweets manager within the creatives tab.
When the tweet box appears, write your tweet—include any image, location tag, card, or hot takes you want.
Select if you want the tweet to be promoted-only. Selecting promoted-only will make the tweet go only towards a Promoted Tweet campaign—and not organically to your followers.
Select the dropdown arrow next to the Tweet button and choose Schedule.
If you select a schedule, you will be given the option of selecting a publishing date and time (up to one year in advance). You can also choose to post immediately or save the draft if you wish to edit the post later.
Select the date you want to publish. Then click Schedule. With that, you have just completed the scheduling process, and the scheduled tweet will ready to go live on the chosen date and time.
Note: Scheduling your tweets on Twitter is free.
How to schedule Tweets on Hootsuite
Did you know you can also schedule your tweets on Hootsuite? Hootsuite offers you a variety of options when scheduling your tweets.
Hootsuite offers more ways to draft, schedule, and review your scheduled tweets all in a single dashboard. It also offers you the option of scheduling bulk tweets at once. Find below how to schedule tweets on Hootsuite:
Sign up on Hootsuite.
From your dashboard, create your tweet by clicking on the New Post icon.
Then write out the text for your tweet. You can also include any photos, videos, or any gif of your choice.
Click on Schedule for later at the bottom and choose the date and time you would like your tweet to be sent. If you are using a paid plan on Hootsuite, you will have access to their auto-schedule tools, which come with options that make scheduling your tweets less stressful.
Click Schedule in the bottom right corner. With that, you have scheduled your tweet to go live at the date and time you selected. You will also be able to see your scheduled tweet on the Publisher tab on the left of your browser.
Bulk scheduling of tweets
Hootsuite also provides the option of bulk scheduling of tweets to businesses, and many that need such service. This can be done with the Hootsuite “Bulk Composer” that allows users import and schedule as many as 350 tweets at a time, from a handy .csv file.
To schedule your bulk tweets using the Bulk Composer, follow these steps:
Start by going to your launch dashboard on Hootsuite. On the left side, click on Publisher.
From the Publisher menu, select Bulk Composer on the left side.
In the Bulk Composer menu, click on Download example under “How to prepare your messages.” This downloads a sample .csv file showing you exactly how to set up your file to bulk schedule.
Open the file in a program that supports the .csv format. Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel supports .csv files.
Copy the file to create a new version of it for your bulk tweets.
Fill out the file correctly.
After filling out the .csv file with your posts, go back to Publisher, and click on Bulk Composer.
Click on “Select File to Upload” and upload your file. Choose the social account you want to upload.
Select the date format you used when picking a date.
Select the “Review message” option. Here, you will have the chance to proofread any post for any errors.
After completing the edits you wish to make, click on “Schedule All Messages”, and your tweets will be ready to go live (according to schedule). You can view these scheduled messages in the Planner section.
Note: Hootsuite has a free plan for scheduling tweets, although it is limited. For more information, visit https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-schedule-tweets.
Scheduling Tweets on Tweetdeck
Scheduling your tweets can also be done using Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck allows you to schedule tweets for multiple Twitter accounts free of charge. Tweetdeck is a social media dashboard app for managing Twitter accounts.
To schedule your tweets on Tweetdeck, follow these steps:
Sign in to your Tweetdeck account and click “Tweet”.
Select the Twitter account you would like to Tweet from.
Compose your Tweet. Include an image or video with the Tweet by clicking Add images or video.
Click “Schedule Tweet” and select the date and time you would like the Tweet posted.
Click “Schedule Tweet at [date/time]”.
You can view and edit your scheduled Tweets by adding a Scheduled column. For more information, visit https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/how-to-use-tweetdeck.
It is important to note that the scheduling of tweets works best when there is a social media plan in place. This is because social media plans give direction to the scheduling of tweets. How do you organize your social media plan?
How to Organize Your Social Media Plan
According to Hootsuite.com, a social media strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media. A social media plan comprises of identified social media goals, a content calendar/strategy, an established measurement mechanism, etc.
To organize your social media plan effectively, follow these steps:
Measure What Is Available
This is simply reviewing the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts so far. In doing this, you will discover what you are great at, what needs improvement, what should be discontinued entirely, etc.
Set Your Social Media Goals
According to Tony Robbins, goal setting is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Without goals, it will be difficult to measure how much progress we have made in our social media plan.
To set effective goals, they should follow the SMART principle of goal setting SMART is an acronym that represents the following:
Each of these principles helps ensure that your goals lead to positive business results.
A quick example of a SMART goal will look like this:
“We will use Facebook for customer support and reduce our average response rate to less than 30 minutes by the end of this quarter (Q1, 2021)”.
Social media goals should always align with your overall marketing objectives. This makes it easier to measure the effect your Social Media plan is having on the overall marketing objectives.
Learn About Your Audience
The importance of understanding your target audience can never be overemphasized. Take the time to know what they want, when they want it, and how they will prefer it.
This will help you create content that they will like, comment on and even share. This is even more important when you want your audience to pay for your products and services. Try to know the following about your audience:
Typical job title or industry
Knowing these will go a long way in boosting the success of your social media plan.
Note: Learning about your audience is a continuous process, as human needs tend to evolve with time.
Learn from Your Competition
Research your completion and find out what they are doing great in their social media campaigns. Besides, research other organizations that you admire their social media presence. Doing these will help you gain some insights that will be valuable for you as you organize your social media plan.
Create A Content Calendar
For clarity, a content calendar is a written schedule of what, when, and where you plan to publish upcoming content. In other words, it details the topics you wish to publish, the date you wish to publish each, and the platform on which you plan to publish them.
A content calendar gives direction to your social media posts. It removes randomness from your social media posts and increases its productivity. Your content calendar should have addressed the following:
Determine the right content mix. It should list the dates and times you should publish which type of content on your various social media channels.
It should give direction to your daily postings and social media campaigns. Additionally, your content calendar helps you space out your posts appropriately, and publish content at times when it will produce the most effect.
Determine the right mix of content. It should also specify the goal of each post. It should specify things like:
If it is directed at driving traffic to your website.
If it should be curated.
If it should contain details about your organization, etc.
Doing this will help you maintain a good mix of content for your social media accounts.
If you are creating your social media content plan for the first time, and so not sure of what will be the right mix of content, you may want to try the 80/20 mix:
Eighty (80%) of your content should inform, educate, and entertain your audience.
Twenty (20%) of your posts should promote your brand.
These steps will help you have a solid social media plan that wins in the market. However, if you want more, you can get a social media management tool that helps manage your content calendar, and improves your social media overall efficiency. Buffer, Hootsuite, ContentCal, Coschedule, etc. offer such services. For information, kindly search them on the internet.