We all know that the key to building a speaking and writing ministry today is social media.
And yet most of us hate social media.
It takes so much time; you don’t always see the results; and you’d rather be doing something REAL.
But before you complain, “Facebook is dead anyway!”, I want to tell you that I get 2,000 visitors to my Christian marriage blog each and everyday from Facebook. I get another 1,000 from Twitter. And that’s because I’ve built up a loyal readership there.
How you gain followers on Facebook and Twitter is a post for another day, but I know that to maintain my relationships with people so that I can book more speaking engagements, sell more books, and increase my reach, I have to make sure that I’m posting quality stuff to all of my social media channels.
The problem is that posting to social media can take a long time. Sure, Facebook pages allow you to schedule posts in the future, but you can’t do it if the post isn’t live yet. If I’m going on vacation and I have three posts going live that week, I can’t schedule them because it can’t pull the picture or the URL until it’s live.
And then there’s another problem: If I write a gem of a post a month ago that gets me tons of traffic, it all peters out after a few days. How am I supposed to keep track of what my popular posts are and keep them in front of people’s eyeballs?
That’s why, when my daughter told me about Co-Schedule last month, I jumped to try it.
Here are the big things it can do:
1. Co-Schedule lets you plan posts in advance
Co-schedule is a WordPress plugin that functions as a calendar for planning posts, sharing posts, and assigning tasks to your assistants or team members (if you have any).
The main dashboard looks like a calendar. Here’s my calendar for next month for my blog To Love, Honor and Vacuum, that shows the posts that I’ve got planned out, along with some social shares that I’ve scheduled:
Now let’s say that I want to move the post that’s currently scheduled for the 25th, Getting Out of a Rut in the Bedroom, to the 3rd. I can just drag it. I don’t have to type in a new date, like I normally would have to in WordPress.
This way I can brainstorm posts, and even if all I have written is the title, I can see what my blog will be like for the next few weeks.
2. Co-Schedule lets you share your posts on social media
Here’s the post that published yesterday. In the morning, I just went into the calendar and scheduled a post for my Facebook Page and a bunch of tweets for it to show up yesterday. But I also scheduled a tweet for the next day.
It also gives you the choice to schedule a post for a week from now, a month from now, or on a custom date. And it can appear now, an hour from now, 3 hours from now, 5 hours from now, or a custom time. There are enough choices that you rarely have to type anything; you just click. And it’s so quick!
You can add up 5 social media accounts in the basic plan–twitter, Facebook, Facebook pages, Google+ pages, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and more. It’s great!
3. Co-Schedule Lets you See Your Social Media for the Day
I’ve never found anywhere that makes it as easy to visually see what will appear on your social media in a day. Here’s what my calendar looks like for this week; the light coloured items have already posted; the regular ones are scheduled. So I can see what has appeared where, and if I should be adding more posts.
4. Co-Schedule Lets Me Put My Top Posts Back in the Rotation
Co-schedule lets me see which ten posts have done the best overall. And then I can make sure that I’m still scheduling them to appear on social media! Here you’ll see that I don’t have anything scheduled for “The 4 Kinds of Talk You Need in a Marriage”. I better get that scheduled!
5. Co-Schedule Lets Me Assign Tasks to My Assistant
I know many of you just dream of having an assistant, but I have hired someone to help me with some aspects of the blog. And if I want, I can create a blog post and then tell her what I want her to do with that blog post.
For instance, here’s a guest post I have scheduled for next month. On the right, under Tasks, I can assign Tammy a task to format the post. That task will show up in her email box and in her tasks folder when I tell it to, and then she can do it–without me having to send her an email or a link or anything. It’s so much easier!
I’ve been using the trial version for two weeks, and of all the WordPress plugins I’ve tried, I’m honestly most excited about this one. It’s not just saving me time; it’s also making me much more effective by helping me keep track of what’s actually going out on social media, and making sure my good stuff is still being shared.
Here’s a video which shows you in more detail how it works:
Try Co-Schedule today if you want your social media to be easy, effective, and actually fun!