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How to schedule social media posts

Whether you’re a brand new blogger or seasoned entrepreneur, managing all the social media channels for your business and learning how to schedule social media posts can be overwhelming and feel like a full-time job.

Each social media channel has unique quirks to learn and rules of engagement to follow. Learning the unique traits of each channel and posting authentic, engaging content day after day is not realistic for new bloggers.

You have a million other tasks demanding your time. On top of that, you likely haven’t made much (if anything) on your blog yet, which means you don’t have a budget for fancy social media scheduling tools.

That’s why I’m going to show you exactly how to consistently schedule content to all your social media channels without spending a dime!

Please note this post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase.  This is, of course, at no cost to you, and I only share products that I use and love myself.  Please read my disclaimer for more information.

Before we get started, I’m going to jump on my soapbox and urge you to narrow down the number of social media profiles you manage.

Select 2 – 4 channels that are best for your target market, and then select only ONE in which you fully engage. All the rest, I want you to schedule and automate.

Personally, I fully engage with Pinterest and I schedule posts to my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

I talk about the importance of selecting just one channel in my blog post: Why you’re not mastering social media, and what you can do about it.

Next, I want to share my one exception to free scheduling, which is Pinterest. I highly recommend paying for Tailwind to schedule Pinterest content.

I made the decision to invest in Tailwind when I first launched my business for a few reasons.

First, I have not found a free tool that allows me to schedule unlimited pins throughout the day, so I elected to spend the $15 per month for Tailwind.

Second, Pinterest is the number one source of traffic to my website. To maximize the traffic Pinterest generates, I chose to invest in Tailwind.

To learn how to drive traffic to your blog, read: How I Got Over 5,000 Pageviews My First Month Blogging.

And third, Tailwind saves me HOURS of time each week – which is absolutely worth $15 a month.

Check out my post, Learn the Traffic Driving Strategies I Use to Grow My Blog,for more details and two video tutorials on how Tailwind saves tons of time scheduling Pins.

Ok, now that I got Pinterest out of the way, let’s dive in!

I’m going to show you exactly how you can schedule content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+ using completely free tools!

Below is a list of tools and software you’ll need:

Now let’s walk through these tools and how to use them. Be sure to watch the four video tutorials that walk you step-by-step through the process.

Canva

Canva is nothing short of amazing. I’ve been a loyal Adobe user for years, but after one month of using Canva, I was hooked.

I love Canva for many reasons, but my favorite feature is the layouts tab. This tab is loaded with professionally designed templates in the exact dimensions required.

For example, if you need to design a YouTube thumbnail image but don’t know the exact dimensions, you’re in luck. Canva knows the exact dimensions, and they have a ton of templates you can use.

Canva Example

You can use the free version of Canva to design all the images and graphics for your blog and social media posts.

You can quickly create a free account at Canva.com. The tool is very intuitive, but if you need help getting started, let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to create a video tutorial.

HootSuite, Feedly, & Google Chrome Browser

HootSuite is a social media management tool that allows you to monitor all your social media channels and schedule your content.

You’ll want to sign up for the free version of HootSuite, which allows you to connect up to three social media profiles.

You will use HootSuite to schedule other people’s content, which you can curate using Feedly. Like HootSuite, Feedly offers a free plan and you can upgrade to a paid plan to access additional features.

Watch the video tutorial below to learn my exact process on how to find content on Feedly and schedule it through HootSuite.

I’ve used HootSuite for years and I adore this tool. That said, I do have one complaint.It doesn’t allow you to easily recycle content, which is why I use it for curated content that I only plan on sharing once.

My own content, on the other hand, is content I plan to share often. For that, I use Buffer.

Buffer & Google Sheets

Buffer is a social media management scheduling tool that does allow you to recycle posts. For that reason, you’ll use Buffer to schedule posts promoting your own content.

To keep track of all the social media posts you’ve written to promote your own content, use Google Sheets.

Watch the video below to see exactly how to use Google Sheets and Buffer to quickly and easily schedule posts promoting your own content to your social media channels.

You can also use Buffer to schedule your Instagram posts. Buffer sends you a reminder at the time you specify.Then, you open the Instagram app on your phone and complete the posting process there.

Once you’re in the Instagram app, you can opt to share the post to your Facebook page, but don’t share it to your Twitter account.

When you post to Twitter straight from Instagram it shows up as a link, not an image. See the example below.

Instagram to Twitter

See what I mean? The image doesn’t show up. It just displays a link to Instagram, which no one is going to click, by the way.The good news is, there is a better way to share your Instagram images on Twitter using IFTTT.

IFTTT

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That and it’s a free tool that allows you to connect two tools together and automate basic actions.

I use IFTTT to share my Instagram photos as native images on Twitter. See the example below.


See how much better that looks? These images get much more engagement on Twitter compared to the text-only posts. For years, I was overwhelmed by IFTTT, assumed it was too complicated, and never touched it.

Wow, do I regret that. IFTTT is so simple! To prove it to you I’ve created a short tutorial video on how to set up a simple IFTTT automation.

Social Media Content Calendar

The last tool you need to schedule your social media posts is a social media content calendar.

I created my first content calendar four years ago when I was completely overwhelmed managing the social media channels for the company I worked for.

Once I created that calendar, I sailed through my posts each week and was no longer stressed or wasted time figuring out what to post. It was glorious!

A content calendar will save you hours of your valuable time planning and scheduling social media content.

Watch the video below to learn how to use a content calendar to schedule social media posts.

ACTION STEPS

In case you’re overwhelmed by all the training I just dropped on you (or you skipped straight to the bottom) I want to give you some simple-to-follow action steps.

  1. Create or buy a social media content calendar (Request the free download to access my calendar at the lowest rate offered)
  2. Create free accounts for Feedly, HootSuite, Buffer, and Canva.
  3. Watch each video again and select one video per day to implement and master the process.

If you follow those three action steps, by the end of the week you’ll have a killer system in place to schedule your social media posts!

Let me know in the comments below of any free resources you use to schedule social media posts.
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