How to save time on planning, creating and sharing content on social media.
Social media marketing can be a time-consuming task. In particular, sharing on multiple social platforms can be quite tedious. Luckily, there are tools and strategies to ease the sharing pain so there is no need for you to do all the work by yourself. Templates, calendars, auto posters, resharers: All of these features and more can save you so much time.
Don’t know where to start? Consider this your all-in-one guide for an effective and efficient social media automation and scheduling. We’ll provide you with easy-to-use checklists and templates and introduce you to a bunch of free and premium tools for your everyday social media tasks.
Download the complete guide and toolbox now:
Table of Contents
Preparation is half the battle
Write a good description/ introduction/ excerpt
Choose a format for your post
How to prepare your images
What are the best image sizes for different social platforms?
Keywords and hashtags
Schedule and share your posts automatically
Customize and schedule
The best times and frequency to post
Social media calendar
Monitor and evaluate your campaign
Use your social media metrics for the best times to post
Blog2Social social media metrics
1. Preparation is half the battle
The best prerequisite for a solid social media strategy is a content hub. For example, a blog or website can be a good place to present and collect all your content.
Before you get to share your social media post, you’ll want to make sure that your content is well prepared. This will not only improve your SEO, but also save you a lot of time when it comes to sharing your social media posts later.
You can share text posts, link-posts, image-posts, videos – you name it, but as an example, we’ll guide you through the preparation of a blogpost.
The anatomy of a perfect blog post:
A well-structured post is fun to read and easy to understand. Learn how to turn your draft into a perfect blog post to maximize the readability of your content.
Download the comprehensive infographic and save it for later: https://www.blog2social.com/en/blog/the-anatomy-of-a-perfect-blog-post-infographic/
Write a good description / excerpt
A description explains briefly what your content is about. This can also be the introduction and excerpt for your blog post. When writing your description, keep in mind that you can use this text part for the comment of your social media posts in a later step.
A good description in the introduction or the excerpt of your content also makes a good SERP-Snippet for the display of your post in the Google search index. Some social media tools allow you to share an excerpt with a link. So the better your description the more time you’ll save when scheduling your social media posts. Just like your description, the introduction of your blogpost should briefly summarize the content, so your reader is intrigued to continue reading.
Choose a format for your post
There are several format options for your social media posts that you can choose from. A text-, link-, image- or video-post. Here’s what you need to know about the different kinds of post-formats:
A text post simply consists of plain text without an image. You will often find these on Twitter. Text posts are used to send a quick message or news out into the world. You can include a link in your text to redirect the reader of your post to your content or landingpage for further information.
A link post contains text and a link that can redirect the reader to your website, store, blog post or a specific landing page. Social networks automatically generate a link preview from the OG parameters in the meta tags when you include a link in your posts. A well-chosen thumbnail will display an eye catching visual for your content to attract more followers, generate more clicks and drive more traffic to your website.
An image post is the best post format for your foto, graphics, GIFs, infographics or if you want to present an article with a special focus on one of your visuals. If you have the media gallery option activated, the image of your image post will automatically be added to the gallery or photo album of your social media account. This way, your images and graphics don’t get lost in the fast-flowing social feeds and remain visible and easily accessible to your community.
Videos are very popular on social media. You can either upload on the respective social media so they can be played directly in the social media feed, or include a link to the video and the viewer gets a redirected source, e.g. YouTube or vimeo.
How to Prepare Your Images
Now that you learned about the different kinds of post-formats, it’s time to get your images well prepared.
Visuals help to attract attention to your content and captivate the reader. Each social media platform comes with different image sizes. Preparing a graphic for each network is very time-consuming. A WordPress featured image size is 1200 x 628 pixels, but an Instagram tile is square and only 1080 x 1080 pixels. So if you simply share the title image of your blogpost, the sides of your graphic will be cut off and your Instagram feed will look sloppy.
Tools like Canva will make adapting your graphics an easy task. All you need to do is create one graphic and copy the contents into the other size. This way you can make smaller changes to fit the size and upload them to your media gallery.
What are the Best Image Sizes for Different Social Platforms?
Following the optimal image sizes for social media will ensure that your images are displayed in the best way. The aspect ratios, image sizes and posting options vary across the many social platforms. This offers you several options to diversify your content and optimize it for the specific social platforms.
Simply upload the different images to your media gallery and choose image-posts as your post format.
Social media images sizes cheat sheet
The images featured in your social feeds are the first things your target audience sees and as we all know, first impressions count. Each social network offers different ways to post images. As social networks evolve, image formats continue to change. To make sure that your social media visuals stand out in the best way possible it’s worth taking a look at the image sizes that work best for each social network.
Here’s all you’ll need to know about the image sizes for the most important social media:
>>> Download your social media image sized cheat sheet
This is where social sharing tools come in handy. The social media automation platform Blog2Social has a build-in feature that you can use for your graphics. It allows you to add a frame in a color of your choice to your existing graphic or to cut out part of your graphic. This way, your uploaded pictures will always have the right format for Instagram.
Keywords and hashtags
Keywords and hashtags are used to optimize your content, so that people can easily find it via search. While keywords help the search engines to match the content of your post or website with the search phrases people are looking for, hashtags are clickable keywords that categorize your social media posts to a specific topic within a social network. You can save time on creating your hashtags by using the ones you have already researched for your content.
When you create your keywords and hashtags, think about what people will most likely enter in the search query and on social media to find your content and adapt your keyword accordingly.
Use your own hashtags for social media campaigns or to draw attention to your new product. You can further use hashtags to add humor or sarcasm to your posts. Many users follow hashtags on Instagram or LinkedIn, so posts with those hashtags will show up in their feed even though they don’t follow you.
The best tools for keywords and hashtags
Take a look at Google Trends to see which keywords show the best results. Another great tool is the browser extension LinkedIn Hashtags. The extension indicates the follower count of a hashtag when you hover over it. For Instagram, Hashtagfox is quite a useful tool. It shows you exactly which hashtags you should and shouldn’t use. All you’ll have to do is add them to your collection and paste them in your caption.
Blog2Social automatically adds the keywords from your content as hashtags to your social media posts. You can optionally edit or add additional hashtags for specific social platforms.
2. Schedule and share your posts automatically
Once you have prepared your blogpost or website content, images, keywords etc. it is time to schedule and share your social media posts. You can, of course, do all of that manually by copying and pasting your description or comment, uploading your images on each network and adding your hashtags. You can also use the Creator Studio for Facebook and Instagram to schedule and share your posts.
But since this guide is all about efficiency, you can save tons of time, work, and resources for your daily chores of managing your social media channels with social media automation. The benefits multiply if you have to manage several social channels. Social media automation tools promise to do all the work for you. But don’t get trapped by convenience. If you let yourself get carried away by the benefits of getting too lazy, automation can also backfire on you and crash your reputation. If you neglect the unwritten rules of the social web, automation will turn your feeds into lifeless content streams and drive away your followers.
For the best results with social media automation tools, stick to these DOs and DON’Ts:
Customize & schedule
Each social network comes with a different audience. So, the way you phrase your posts on Instagram should be different from LinkedIn or Twitter. The users have different expectations from a network. While Twitter is often used for quick news updates, LinkedIn users are more willing to read longer comments, connect with you and engage with your posts in general. For Facebook, for example, it is sufficient to use one or two hashtags, while on LinkedIn and Instagram it is okay to use more. That’s why your posts should be tailored to each network.
Blog2Social automatically turns your content into an adapted format for social platforms. To customize the posts for each network, you can add individual comments, #hashtags or emojis, change the post format, or select a preferred image for your posts.
Post templates come in handy when it comes to efficient social media planning. They are pre-made layouts that you can use to speed up the process of sharing your posts. You can save a template for your images and stories or prepare text variables for your social media captions. By using post templates, you create a visual style for your brand that becomes more recognizable.
For social media tools, post templates are your secret weapon, because this is where your fine preparation of descriptions, keywords and images pays off. Post templates allow you to automatically create customized social media posts for each network. All you need to do is define the sequence of variables you’d like to include in your text. If you have a WooCommerce Shop, you can define which details of your product should be shared in a social media post.
Tip: The Blog2Social post templates help you to turn your social media posts automatically into tailored posts for each network and community by customizing your default post layouts with a unique structure. The post templates can also contain static words and hashtags.
These are the possible variables to include in your posts:
- Title: The title of your post.
- Content: The content of your post.
- Excerpt: The summary of your post (you define it in the side menu of your post).
- Keywords: The tags you have set in your post.
- Author: The author of the post.
- Price: The price of your WooCommerce product
Blog2Social shows you a preview on how your post would look like on social media with the settings you defined.
The best times and frequency to post
Whenever you share a post on social media, only a fraction of your followers will actually see your post. The outreach of your post is depending on the level of activity in your community at the time you publish your post. Posting at the best times will make your posts more visible and generate more engagement in return.
The best times for maximum outreach and engagement of postings vary according to each social network. Posts on Twitter and LinkedIn are most likely to get the most attention during rush hours in the morning and afternoon, that is before and after office hours. Posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest will rather get the best traction in the afternoon and evening hours.
Try to figure out when your target group is active online and develop a timetable to post your content at the right times. Our infographics provide you with the perfect starting point for the right timing. Use the suggested days and times for orientation.
The best times to post on social media
Each social network has its “best times”. These are days and times when your audience is particularly active on social networking sites. The time of publishing can play a decisive role in achieving as many likes, shares, and comments as possible as well as a wide reach.
Download the complete infographic for the most important social media and save it for your social media scheduling:
Blog2Social offers a built-in best time manager and provides you with a pre-configured time-scheme to automatically schedule your social media posts for the best times to share on each social network based on recent research.
You can also change these times and configure your own individual time settings for each of your social media accounts. By configuring an individual cross-posting schedule for all your networks you can set up an effective social media posting plan to reach as many followers as possible. Easily customize your individual best times settings and apply them for all your social media accounts while you share your posts or apply them to the auto-poster. You can even delay your posts for several days automatically, to spread your posts out through the week.
Social media calendar
A social media calendar helps you keep track of your social media planning and all upcoming posts. You can see where and when your content is scheduled or where you might have some space to add some extra content. Many social media managers use excel spreadsheets or Google calendars for this task.
The Blog2Social social media calendar lists all your scheduled posts and displays the posts of each user with a different color. If something urgent has come up, you can easily reschedule your posts per drag-and-drop to another day. You can also click on unscheduled days and quickly add another post to this space.
To save even more time on social media management, auto-posting allows you to share new blog posts as soon as you publish or update them. This way, you’ll never forget to share your fresh content on social media and it is immediately added to your editorial calendar. The sooner you publish your post on social media, the sooner you’ll generate traffic on your page.
However, you might want to share your social media posts at a later time or at the best times for each social network. Or do you want to schedule posts for your scheduled blog posts?
The Blog2Social auto-poster comes with multiple options to automatically share your website content (blog posts, pages, WooCommerce products etc.). You can configure the auto-poster settings to share your posts immediately, by defining a specific day and time or by using the Best Time Manager settings.
You can also share imported RSS feeds automatically.
Whenever you share a post, only a fraction or your followers will actually see your post. Re-sharing your posts automatically helps you to revive your best content from time to time. Automatic re-posts make it even easier for you to create your perfect content mix of evergreen content with new posts, images or videos, and curated content to keep your social feeds interesting, rich, and diverse.
Blog2Social makes it easy to automate your resharing process. You can define which blog posts, pages, or custom post types you would like to revive, as well as the time and interval. Blog2Social will fill your social media feeds for you automatically so you save time to interact with your community.
Content curation is one of the most powerful strategies in social media marketing. Sharing third-party content from relevant sources helps to turn your social media channels into valuable content resources for your audience. Content curation means to provide a selection of relevant resources on a very specific topic or theme. This involves collecting, sorting and sharing content that is important to a specific community. Curating relevant content from various valuable sources in your industry will provide a content consistency of fresh content for your social media channels. An added bonus is that curated content fills your editorial calendar without having to write the content yourself.
For the best balance, we suggest a content mix of 5 curated posts, 3 of your own and 2 about personal content per week.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could save time by immediately sharing a post or website you found online on your social media networks?
The Blog2Social Browser Extension allows you to curate content on your social media profiles directly from your browser. Just click on the Blog2Social icon in your browser and share interesting content the moment you discover it. Save your links to share them later or share them on more social media networks, profiles, pages, or groups.
Click here to download the free Blog2Social Browser Extension for Firefox or Chrome: https://www.blog2social.com/en/webapp/extension/
3. Monitor and evaluate your campaign
Now that you have shared your amazing content it is time to monitor the engagement and evaluate where and how you can improve your social media strategy.
Use your social media metrics for the best times to post
Each social platform comes with their own insights to analyze your performance. Use these insights to work on your strategy and find the best times to post your content. This way, you will create your posts most efficiently. Start by making a plan for at least 4 weeks before you start analyzing. Evaluate your metrics once after one month, after 3 months, and after 6 months. Basic social media metrics are available to you for free by the networks. You can usually find them directly in the profile settings under “Insights and Analytics”.
By configuring an individual cross-posting schedule for all your networks you can set up an effective social media posting plan to reach as many followers as possible. Easily customize your individual best times settings and apply them for all your social media accounts while you share your posts.
Here is a quick step-by-step guide you can follow:
- Use the best times from the infographics “The best times for social media posts” as a starting point.
- Download the “Social Media Schedule” as a starting script for your social media plan and schedule your posts for a couple of weeks in your social media scheduling tool.
- Monitor the engagement on your posts to get a better grasp on the times when your target groups are most active.
- Evaluate your social media metrics and record the times when your posts show the highest engagement rates.
- Download the “Social Media Schedule Template” to create your personal “Social Media Schedule” from the best times and the analysis results of your social media metrics.
Social media schedule
Download the “Social Media Schedule” as a starting script for your social media plan and schedule your posts for a couple of weeks in your social media scheduling tool.
Download the “Social Media Schedule Template” to create your personal “Social Media Schedule”.
Blog2Social provides social media metrics to analyze and display the impact of your social media activity on your connected social accounts.
Blog2Social allows you to track
- Impressions: How many views did your post get?
- Likes: How many likes did your post generate?
- Reshares/ Retweets: How many times has the post been reshared or retweeted?
- Comments: How many replies did your post receive?
You can use this data to analyze and improve your social media strategy. Having them included in your social media automation plugin has the advantage that you get metrics for all your social media activities in one place.
Social media management can easily consume tons of time in corporate communication, but not yours! You’ve now got everything you need to create your own most time-efficient social media strategy.
Following an editorial plan will help you to plan ahead and stay organized. A social media calendar helps you to prepare and organize your content across your social media accounts. Templates make your posts look great while saving you a lot of time. Social media automation will save you time from your daily routine work and manually posting to your feeds. FInally, insights and analytics will help you stay on track and evaluate.
The many tools and tricks you’ve learned about in this guide will each save you a little bit of time, and will make a huge difference when you put it all together. So make sure to implement these tips into your daily management to see the best results in a shorter amount of time!
Save this collection of all the most important tips, schedules, image sizes and infos for future reference and get started on boosting your social media efficiency!
Want to know more about time-saving social media management? Watch this video:
Sabrina successfully completed her Bachelor’s degree in German and Anglophone studies as well as her Master’s degree in Communications and American Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen. She is now responsible for Online-PR, Marketing and Social Media Management at ADENION GmbH.