For years, I’ve been saying I’m only on Facebook for business purposes. The truth is, as it is for most of us, Facebook has become a part of normal life and keeping up with friends. It is so easy to login to Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social network you use, with good intentions but losing an hour+ of your day.
How do we keep up with social media for business without it being a complete time suck?
I am simutaneously proud and embarrassed to say that my web design business has sustained itself for almost two years now with no marketing of any type. I truly ignored my social media channels, barely blogged until recently, and did not network in person either. Work has purely come in from referrals. While this is wonderful, I am ready to grow to the next stage.
This has brought me to researching marketing and to exploring social media, since it is a natural avenue for me and content marketing blends so well with SEO these days. I started by exploring HootSuite, which is a good product but the interface just didn’t jive with me.
Next I started researching editorial calendars so I can be more strategic in planning blog posts. This led me to CoSchedule. Reading and poking around a bit, I quickly signed up for a trial account. I have done every video and lesson on their website, explored all the features, and started putting it to work right away.
In short, I love it.
I see it as three products in one: Editorial Calendar, Content Marketing Manager, and Team Project Management Tool.
Coschedule can be used within WordPress in several ways. I can scroll down to the bottom of a post and see the complete social media campaign scheduling options. I also have the option of viewing my editorial calendar right from an option in my WordPress dashboard.
It gets better. I can create posts and manage my WordPress calendar from right within the Coschedule app. This lets me move posts from day to day, really planning out content. I can label posts and even schedule drafts. So if I have an idea for a topic but have not written it yet, I can start a post, save it as a draft and put it on my calendar.
This is where Evernote ties in. Stuck waiting for 30 minutes for an appointment and only have your phone? Open Evernote on your phone and draft your next blog post. When you get home login to CoSchedule and import that Evernote folder automatically turning it into a post draft.
Blog posts can be color coded for categories as well within the calendar to help organization, and you can always see your past and upcoming posts.
As a solo blogger why do you need this? It’s simple. It’s much easier to write if you know what you are going to write about ahead of time. It also make it more managable to mix up content if you blog on different topics or some times like to include a personal post in, maybe every other week. This gives you a quick visual overview.
Content Marketing Manager
This brings even more power to CoSchedule and gets to my question of how to manage social media while being effecient with your time. We all complain these days about not having enough time. This tool will free you.
Let’s go back to that blog post. You finished writing it, added your images and either scheduled it or hit publish. Now we need to get it out there to the world.
Yesterday I scheduled a blog post to go to my Facebook business page, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest the same day. Then I also scheduled it to go to Twitter again the next day, and Facebook again a week later. I added some different starting text to grab attention to each of the social media campaigns, and even added a few more send outs for later in the month.
How long do you think this took me? How long would it take you manually even if you didn’t get lost on Facebook?
This truly took me less than a minute.
Don’t have a post to share but instead want to share a message or article from somewhere else on the web? Start a social media trip campaign. Give it a title and it works the same exact way as scheduling your blog post. Simply pick where and when for it to go out. You can tie Evernote in here too. I’ve been clipping interesting articles when I find them into Evernote so I can share them easily when I’m ready to setup social campaigns.
The topic of when brings me to another neat aspect. Do you know when your audience is most likely to reshare or comment? Do you know when more of your viewers are on LinkedIn or Facebook? This app has an automatic feature to choose the best time of day, or the best time within a selected set of hours.
Team Project Management
Currently Jessie Mary & Co. is only me, unless I count my cats who like to sit with me while I work. In 2017, I definitely plan on adding a team as part of my business growth, so I took time to explore this feature as well. Coschedule is setup to share your calendar with your team, assign tasks to different members of the team and even comment on the status of aspects of the project. While I haven’t tested this aspect out truly, I do feel like it does add significant value.
I realize my review here is only touching the surface of what Coschedule can do, so I encourage you to watch the overview video below and sign up for a trial.
In summary, as a small business owner do you need it? Yes. I think today every business should be blogging and have a social media presence. If you are going to do this, then CoSchedule can save you, or your marketing assistant time. It can benefit many types of small businesses and if you run a for-profit blog, or have aspirations of doing so, it’s an absolutely must have.