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Hello friends of Balsamiq!
This is the last installment of our 5-part mini-series of posts about how we do marketing.
Here's the full list:
Today's topic is Social Scheduling: how to share interesting content with your community without going crazy logging in and out of all of your social media accounts.
Scheduling your social accounts' activity is crucial if you manage a bunch of them and want to have a steady and consistent stream of updates.
Finding out a good tool to do the job is vital if you don't want to do it manually. We used to manually post messages on our different social accounts, but it was way too time-consuming.
Even if there are a lot of tools out there, we still haven't found "the perfect tool" we're looking for: a solution that works well with all the major social media platforms and provides extra features, such as analytics. That's why we currently use 3 different tools for social media scheduling over our main social accounts.
Balsamiq has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin (Company page and Balsamiq Lovers group), Google+, Instagram - and more will come.
For Twitter accounts and Google+ we use Buffer. Buffer is like a big 'tank': the first step is to predefine posting schedules for every day of the week - this is its biggest timesaver feature. After that, you just have to write your tweet or message, attach a link (images are optional) and put it into Buffer. When the time comes, Buffer takes the oldest tweet/message from the tank and shares it.
You can also decide to schedule a message on a particular day and time, if you want - I have a hybrid approach to it, depending on the content I'm sharing.
You can also drag and drop messages if you need to switch the schedule around.
Apart from that, Buffer is great for scheduling. 🙂
For sharing on Facebook, we still prefer to use its own built-in scheduling feature: it works very well, and I believe it’s nice for people to see that we use Facebook from the “inside" (if you use an external tool, they can see it). More than that, sometimes Facebook messes with metadata and your update ends to be published with a weird title or image, or nothing at all:
and you have to add them manually. So at least at the moment, the only way to be sure it will come out right is to do it all within Facebook.
We recently opened an Instagram account with the aim of showing people's wireframes to our Community.
We rely on Repost to post our favorite sightings and properly mention the authors.
Nothing to say about improvements: Instagram is relatively new to us. Moreover, unlike other social networks, it doesn't have a lot of features - and that reflects on third party apps like Repost.
Speaking of Social Scheduling, I thought it might be useful to add a reference to our blog scheduling calendar.
Trello is a project management tool with many potential applications, but we started using it for a small task: keeping a well-organized blogs calendar.
We run 4 different blogs; there are 5 of us as main authors, but other Balsamici write blog posts, from time to time, and requests to write guest blog posts are growing. We felt that our old calendar (a simple Google spreadsheet) was too rigid and poor in features.
Now when we open Trello we can see all the details at a glance: what the next scheduled blog posts are, who's in charge of them, how the month is going, etc.
In our Trello Board, each column represents a month and every scheduled blog post has its own card.
For every card, we provide:
After the blog post is published, I move its card to the Archive.
So, these are the tools for Social Scheduling we use right now. Maybe some of them will be replaced - we tend to adopt the most effective tools we can find on the market and the ones which fit our needs better.
And what about you? What kind of tools do you use? Looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂
-Francesca for the Balsamiq Team
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