Social media is a necessity for any business. But for companies that don’t necessarily need to have a wild and crazy online presence, social media can really just be a pain in the butt. Every day you’re expected to find content, write something relevant, and direct whatever you craft to a handful of social profiles. And all of that can take up a lot of your time, patience, and sanity.
But thankfully, there’s Buffer.
Buffer is an online platform that helps you manage, organize, and analyze your social profiles. From one central location, you can plan ahead, post to multiple sites at once, and see how many posts, comments, and likes your profiles receive.
But before you can get the most out of Buffer and before you can decrease the amount of time you spend inside social media, you’ll need to fine-tune how you’re going to do that. Here’s what we suggest.
Make a calendar.
One reason Buffer is so great is that you can post content in advance… like an entire month in advance. Rather than going into each profile every day to create new content, you can input content into Buffer one time for all sites. Buffer will post this content to your accounts automatically, and you won’t really have to worry about updating social media for another month (or however long you choose).
However, to do this, you’ll actually have to organize and create your content first (and this should really take no longer than two hours if you’re building content for one month). A good way to do this is to build a simple calendar in Excel – typically, Monday through Friday is all that’s needed.
If you want unique posts for each profile, you can create one calendar for each profile you have (keep in mind, though, this will take much longer). But if don’t mind duplicating content on your profiles, then one calendar will work just fine (Buffer can post to all of your accounts simultaneously). Each day in your calendar should have something in it – like a link to a website and a short sentence about what to expect. Here’s what this could look like:
|Hi! I’m a short sentence!||Hi! I’m a short sentence!||Hi! I’m a short sentence!||Hi! I’m a short sentence!||Hi! I’m a short sentence!|
**As a suggestion, Feedly is a great place to quickly gather content sources for your calendar.
Set a schedule.
Once you have a calendar created, you’ll want to go into your Buffer account and set up a schedule. This schedule will tell Buffer what days to post your content.
Right now, this means that Buffer will post content for you every Monday through Friday at 12:30 pm. If you add content to your Buffer queue, it will automatically post to the next available posting date.
For example, if you have content already inputted through Wednesday and you went into Buffer to add another post, this new content would automatically schedule itself for Thursday. This is useful because you can quickly input your calendar into Buffer without needing to assign specific days to each post. The schedule you set up in Buffer already does that for you. However, you can always pull content off your Buffer schedule and customize when specific things are posted.
Whatever you decide to make your Buffer schedule, you’ll need to make sure that your calendar aligns with those days. If your calendar is designed Monday through Friday, but your Buffer schedule is set up for Monday through Thursday, then your content will not organize itself appropriately.