How to publish like a pro in just a few clicks
The automation solution to reach entrepreneurs and professionals
The results of a recent study by Balihoo unveiled by eMarketer (via @fondalo Robert Caruso) shows that 78% of local brands attach importance to social media. At the same time, only 25% of respondents intend to make it a priority in 2014. In other words, for most entrepreneurs and professionals, social networks are still perceived as a necessity that faces backwards, like a visit to the dentist.
Faced with evidence, companies are still reluctant to make the shift to Internet and social media. They realize the importance of a presence on social platforms if they want to join their customers, but they do not want to get involved personally. But, to stand out and position themselves as leaders in their industries, they also have to rely on content quality. However, many do not know where to start. And they realize that they will mostly rebuild their reputation from the bottom, and build their network of influence across social networks before resuming their market share (see also: The pyramid of influence on social Media – Re-Start at the bottom).
Also, when they see the amount of work it will take as well as the ways they will have to change how they operate, it seems like an uphill climb of a mountain. I can’t blame them. They have not chosen this path to write memoirs or become editors of web magazines, but rather, for doing business.
Often, it is not just a matter of budget and resources that set someone back, but also the lack of skills and understanding of this new ecosystem. As a coach/advisor, I often reassure skeptics and help them choose the best tools to make up for any shortcomings. I then accompany them throughout the process, showing them with the right tools, they can publish on the web like a pro in just a few hours a day. This is one of the great advantages of using content automation tools.
Develop a rational and pragmatic action plan
Several tools, accessible via the Web, help plan and organize the process of creation, curation and publication of content on different platforms. At first, there must be a precise and detailed action plan with the company (or professional):
– Revise the current contents of any archives, and determine which can be enriched with new audio and video technology.
– Develop a list of potential new content to create via activities of the company (or professional).
– Recruit and train responsibly for content creation and management of community. Hire the right consultants needed to complete the team (or staff).
– Select tools and curation of the most appropriate publications, depending on the specific campaign objectives.
– Determine a schedule of production and deliverables reasonably based on available resources.
Tools for content curation, such as Spundge , Paper.li , and Scoop.it, among others, allow users to find and archive the best content broadcasted among social networks according to the themes and keywords. Other applications such as HootSuite, IFTTT, Triberr, Zapier, and Buffer may be used to effectively plan and organize a publication schedule. Other applications can later analyze and measure the results of marketing campaigns’ influence in social media. I will address this in a future article.
Personally, I use a combination of Spundge, Paper.li and tools for curation and archiving of content, with Buffer to establish my publication schedule on the four major social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. More than half a million professionals worldwide use these channels. A combination of applications that fit my current needs as a freelance consultant allows me to dedicate the rest of my time to other professional activities.
Early in the morning, I peel my thematic books on Spundge * and my Paper.li newspapers in order to select the best content. My selections are relayed directly to Buffer, which adds to the publication schedule of each of my social platforms, as determined in advance. Thus, any content I selected through Spundge and Paper.li are scheduled to be release at different times, even on different days. That only takes me a few hours a day, mostly during the breakfast period which is most convenient for my personal schedule.
That allows me to continually offer the best content at different times of the day (according to my audience which is in different time zones). With these applications, I can program my content while respecting the rule of 5-3-2 on each network. This is an unwritten rule of bloggers which means that of sent posts on social networks, half must come from external sources. And of the other five internal sources, three must be non- commercial in nature, and the other two oriented to humanize the relationship with customers. (See also the article by Eric Tung on BusinessGrow : Social Media Automation: Here’s a Rational Plan! )
A grid of publication in social networks
To further facilitate the task of my clients, I have developed a grid of publication in social networking with Buffer, which can easily adapt to different contexts or different campaigns. Based on various studies, including a Scientific Guide to Posting Tweets, Facebook Posts, Emails and Blog Posts at the Best Time, by BufferApp establishing the best times to post on the various platforms, this grid still remains flexible and can be changed at any time . The table below has been developed for a company that begins its transition to digital and is therefore limited to four posts per day per platform (except the day when the network is featured.)
Based on an assessment that is entirely personal (nothing scientific), this grid of publication is therefore a canvas, fairly simple to apply, and covering the five weekdays during typical business hours (7 AM to 5 PM). In the grid, each day of the week is identified by the color of the platform of the day (one that gets the most impact according to studies), and each of the times of the day box is identified by the name of the platform preferred at this time.
Thus, according to studies, the days of the week are divided as follows:
– Monday (Ochre / Blog / Twitter): The preferred day marketing content. This is the perfect day, first thing in the week to post a blog, or any other personal content. That day, Twitter proves the best return for shared content.
– Tuesday (Purple / LinkedIn / Google +): This is the day for B2B Marketing. For professionals concerned with the immediate success of their presence in social networks, LinkedIn reveals the best platform on Tuesday. Google+ users there are then also on their accounts.
– Wednesday (Blue / Facebook / Blog): For bloggers, Wednesday proves the best day of the week for B2C marketing. To reach a large audience, Facebook is still proving to be the most effective platform, despite all the criticism. And Wednesday is also a very good time to publish a blog.
– Thursday (Red / Google + / LinkedIn):Thursday is the day Trends / New Technology is highlighted and thus is another successful day for professionals. This is when tech bloggers on Google+ emerge, revealing recent discoveries or commenting on the news of the week.
– Friday (Turquoise / Twitter / Blog): Friday is the journal day of the week. This is another good day to publish a blog and respond to conversations undertaken during the week. This is the perfect day for Twitter and other micro- blogs.
In the final schedule, as you prepare from the grid, the precise time of publication may vary from half an hour, one box to another. Darker boxes correspond to the best times of day to post (according to the different studies that have served to prepare the grid), and they can also be modified, depending on the time zone of your audience. All possibilities can be envisaged, depending on the objectives, and that is what makes these tools beneficial.
For professionals, businesses and organizations who are new to social media, this basic grid is therefore limited to only four publications per day, social platform, but five publications on the day of the week when each network is most popular among users. Empty boxes can be filled by new news during the week, or you may choose when to increase the pace of publications on various social networks.
What do you think? Is this grid appears useful? Otherwise, how could it be improved? Submit your ideas and share your comments.
by Christie Barakat (Infographic by SocialMarketingWriting)
by Krissy Brady (Infographic by SocialCaffeine)
by Belle Beth Cooper (Infographic by Buffer)