Originally published June 2018, updated with even more awesomeness September 2019.
This is a guest post from Yolanda McAdam from YSocialMarketing. social media consultancy.
Note from Leesa:
This week, I’m welcoming a guest for you. I’m all about health research, credible blogging, and content strategy. But let’s be honest – getting more social traffic is one of the keys to blogging success. I’ll always admit where I’m not an expert, and that’s why I invited Yolanda from YSocialMarketing to share some of her expertise.
In this post, she reviews the pros and cons of three different social media scheduling tools. If you’re manually posting to social media, these tools can really help you save time. Especially because sharing (promoting) your blog posts over and over (i.e., not just once) is necessary to get your hard work and valuable content in front of your ideal clients on a regular basis.
Here are Yolanda’s expert recommendations:
In this post I recommend the 3 best tools for time-crunched business owners like yourself to manage their social media accounts, but I’m going to start by talking a little about blogging and social media.
Because, while it’s possible to talk about one without mentioning the other, it’s wiser not to do so because if your blog was a car for example, social media would be the fuel that keeps your car going and going…
And vice versa.
A website establishes your credibility because it shows that you are one step ahead of other health professionals who live on rented space like Facebook.
Furthermore, a blog helps you personalize your brand.
It’s the place where you shine because it’s where you get to share a bit of your personality and a lot of your knowledge and experience. So relationship building starts, in fact, with your blog and not with social media.Your blog is where you shine - it's where you share a bit of your personality & a lot of your knowledge & experience. So relationship building starts with your blog. #BloggingTips #SocialMedia via @suite532 Click To Tweet
Now let’s dive in and take a look at the content you create.
The best type of content is content that will continue to be relevant long after you’ve published it. This type of content is known as evergreen content because it will keep attracting readers.
Here are a few examples of evergreen content:
- How-to guides
- How-to checklists
- Case studies
- Your own research
- Ultimate guide (everything you need to know on a topic)
Here’s how Copyblogger defines evergreen content:
In some industries, like health and wellness, scientific findings may impact your evergreen content from time to time. So remember to update your posts accordingly. #Science #Evergreen #BloggingTips via @suite532 Click To Tweet
These special resources are in-depth examinations of a problem, solution, trend, or topic. They can help your audience find tons of information on a subject that interests them, which adds value to your blog.
A combination of common sense and scientific fact show that people read in an F-shaped pattern which is why I recommend you insert social share buttons in the following places in your blog:
- Left of post: This makes sense because people read from left to right
- Top of post: You want to make it easy for readers to share your posts by not making them scroll to find a sharing button
Here are some quick social media stats from Brandwatch:
- For context, as of May 2019, total worldwide population is 7.7 billion
- The internet has 4.5 billion users
- There are 3.5 billion active social media users
- On average, people have 7.6 social media accounts
So, you can bet your clients are on social media.
The question now becomes not why aren’t you using social media for your business but how does social media help grow your business?
- Search engines look for relevancy and authority cues by tracking social media engagements, like when someone shares content from your site on Twitter, for example. So the more people share your content via social media, the better your ranking and visibility.
- Not only do your clients expect to see you on social media, but so do your peers, journalists, PR professionals, and potential collaborators.
- Social media helps extend your overall reach. Reach is the concept that all your fans and followers have their own fans and followers. So when someone who, for example, has 500 Twitter followers tweets your latest blog post, the reach of your blog post has expanded by 500 people.
Now that you know you have to be active on social media it’s important that you choose the right social platforms because you want to be hanging out with your ideal audience.
Use Buzzsumo for quick competitor analysis
If you know who your competitors are (and you should), head on over to Buzzsumo and type in a competitor’s domain (you can also type in a keyword phrase like “wellness coaches”).
Buzzsumo will then show you your competitor’s most shared content.
If your competitor’s content is shared mostly via Facebook then you will want to be on Facebook.
Interview your clients
If you already have clients, you can ask them where they prefer to hang out. Do this either face-to-face or on a call. If you’re just starting out and have no clients consider interviewing 3-5 people you regard as ideal clients.
Look at your own preferences
Chances are you are already on at least one social media platform following peers and industry leaders so you are a follower among followers.
See what I’m saying, here?
Always take into account your personal preferences because if you decide to do your own social media marketing it is vital that you enjoy being active on your selected platform or platforms.
But know this: social media done right is time-consuming and takes a ton of work which is why you have to select a social media management tool to help increase your visibility and build a consistent online presence.Social media done right is time-consuming and takes a ton of work which is why you have to select a social media management tool to help increase your visibility and build a consistent online presence. #SocialMedia via @suite532 Click To Tweet
There are many social media management tools to choose from which is why I am only sharing the three I use to schedule social media posts and content for my clients.
What makes these three tools awesome though, is that there is something here for everyone.
Some common goals for using management tools include:
- Drive social traffic to your blog and website
- Create and maintain a realistic workflow
- Engage with community
- Competitor analysis
- Track, analyze, and tweak
1 – Hootsuite
You can do a lot with Hootsuite‘s free plan however it can be confusing to use and there are many drawbacks (as you will see).
- A free plan comes with conditions. On the free plan you can schedule up to 30 messages at any given time but once you reach the limit of 30 messages, you won’t be able to schedule another message until a scheduled messages is published or deleted.
- It allows integrations with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn WordPress, and Pinterest.
- If you sign up for the Professional Plan ($29 /mo) you get access to Key Performance Metrics with an ad spend limit of $500 to boost posts.
- RSS Integration.
- Excellent customer support.
- You’re limited to Hootsuite’s owl.ly URL shortener.
- It does not work well with Facebook. When you add posts to Facebook via Hootsuite your audience won’t see any thumbnails or previews. The solution is to add an image and caption to your Facebooks posts on Hootsuite but this does not save time which is why Hootsuite is not my favourite scheduler.
- No recycling feature.
2 – SmarterQueue
This one is my personal favourite for driving social traffic.
- It has a categorization feature so no more mindless posting! Categories include Blog Post, Inspiration, Questions, Tips (you can also add more categories). By categorising your content, you can set the ratio of different content types. This ensures you have a good variety of content.
- You can drag and drop your categories straight onto the calendar (super easy time-saving feature!).
- It has a post recycling feature, perfect for evergreen content. Recycling is a no-brainer because not everyone gets to see your posts the first time around. This is especially true on Twitter.
- Plans start at $19.99 /mo or $203.00 /yr for up to 4 social media profiles.
- They also offer a Custom plan, starting at $19.99 /mo which you add to your chosen plan with custom Add-Ons tailored to your business needs.
- It allows integrations with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
- RSS integration.
- Analytics is way superior to Hootsuite’s and super comprehensive. An analytics report shows not only your best content but also top hashtags for likes and retweets and if you’re an agency and sign up with an Agency plan ($79.99 /mo) you can analyze any social account on the web. This is great for competitor analysis.
And a quick bonus!
In February of last year, Twitter announced new rules to combat “malicious activity”. These new rules include (as understood by SmarterQueue and other scheduling software companies):
- No duplicate or substantially similar posts to be sent within the same profile.
- These rules apply for all time, not just for a 24-hour window.
- These rules apply for scheduled/queued tweets as well as live tweeting.
Here is what SmarterQueue does for you after you have scheduled your evergreen content:
We’ll be checking each tweet before it is published, to find out whether it’s been sent on any of your Twitter profiles already (profiles connected within your SmarterQueue account). If it is a duplicate, we will retweet the original post instead of sending a new tweet.
Here’s an example of super useful insights into Top Mentions for Retweets.
- They have a great feature under “Find Content” that allows you to search for and find great content that you can like or retweet or share. However at this time you can’t reply or comment.
3 – Post Planner
Post Planner promises to skyrocket your social media engagement and boy does it deliver! This is the scheduling platform I recommend the most to solopreneurs who want to do their own social media management.
- Easy scheduling and recycling option.
- Status ideas and viral posts at your fingertips under FIND.
- Starter plan at $3 /month (3 profiles).
- You can create a custom domain sharebar. This means when you share content you can enable the sharebar to show and drive your audience back to your website.
- You can design your posts with Canva within the Postplanner platform.
- You access this scheduling tool via Facebook.
- Integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- Simple analytics (not as comprehensive and insightful as Hootsuite or Smarterqueue).
Automation will get you more social traffic, more control over your accounts, grow your audience, and save you tons of time; but in the end, social media is about building relationships.
To be truly effective you need to be part of the conversation so don’t automate everything. Post your thoughts on trending topics, share tips, and show up daily to engage with your audience.
What software do you use to drive social traffic to your blog and website? What are the pros and cons of your tool of choice?
Yolanda works with passionate solopreneurs and business owners who are aching to find and connect with the people who need their services and products.
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.