Most social media managers know the power of content marketing. By creating and sharing our best content, we generate great resources for our social feeds and huge value for our audience. But are we really getting all of the value we can out of our content? We may not be, and the fix may be as simple as adjusting how we approach our social media sharing.
Too many of us spend hours crafting new content only to spend a few minutes promoting it on our social channels. This is a shotgun approach, and it represents a lost opportunity.
Creating a content-sharing plan
As a new blog post is published, our normal mode of operation usually includes sharing that post on each of our social media feeds immediately after it is published. Some of this work is automated, while other portions are manual. Methods aside, the biggest problem here is that this initial blast is usually all that occurs. What happens tomorrow, or even next week? Do we let that content that took so much work to create die quietly, never to be shared again?
By creating a content sharing plan through the use of a message queue alongside our post, we can add new life to our content, and increase the chances of our post going viral. It’s very simple process that anyone can do.
A message queue is as simple a series of messages that get sent in order once our blog post goes live. The goal is to create a “peppered” social media approach rather than a one-time blast. Think of it like this – rather than hitting all of our social media feeds at once, a queued method will slowly drip our campaign to our feeds over several days, weeks or months. A well executed queue may look something like this:
- Day 1 – Blog post goes live
- Same day – Initial social messages trickle out to your accounts over the next 2-3 hours.
- Next day – Messages are shared again on the appropriate social channels.
- Next week – Another series of messages are pre-scheduled and sent the following week.
- Next month – Even more social messages are pre-scheduled for the following month.
- Next _____ – Additional messages can optionally be scheduled for the three-month mark or beyond.
Simple right? It’s smart, too. Of course, you will want to develop a queue strategy based on your individual needs and resources. The idea here is that by peppering links back to our content after it goes live, we can easily create an engaging social media feed, and maximize the promotion of our posts. We can even increase the chances of our post going viral.
The viral post
On her Lone Prairie blog, Julie Neidlinger shares how a simple message queue was used to to promote her post a full month after it was published. The later tweet netted her 20,000+ views in only a few days, and the effects of that traffic still continue months after its initial virality.
Putting it in practice
A content sharing plan like this can be put into practice with just about any social media dashboard that allows you to preschedule posts. Some tools, however, will make the job easier than others.
- HootSuite – The leader in social media dashboard tools allows you to upload a series of social messages via an Excel document. While it can be finicky, this provides a quick way to create a message queue. The major downside is that you will have to wait until the post is live to create the messages.
- Buffer – Buffer is a great tool for scheduling and allows you to add some randomization to your feed very quickly. Like HootSuite, you would also have to wait until the post is live to create the messages.
- CoSchedule – CoSchedule is an editorial calendar for WordPress, and an excellent tool for creating a message queue if you have a WordPress blog. With CoSchedule, you can create a message queue while you write the blog post and automatically set your social messages into motion once the post goes live. As a quick disclaimer here, I am a founding member of the CoSchedule team, but we certainly believe that CoSchedule is the fastest and simplest way to create a great message queue. It is also the method that was used in the viral post mentioned above.
The reality is that the method matters more than the tool. When we blast our social messages into the ether, we need to have just as much strategy behind them as we did with the blog post itself. Great content and great social media go hand-in-hand, and can do wonders when they are used together to create a content sharing plan. Don’t let your tools stop you. Use what you have available now, and started scheduling better content.
Garrett Moon is a founder and designer at Todaymade, makers of CoSchedule, a content marketing editorial calendar for WordPress. He believes in scheduling your social media and blog posts all in one place. Follow him on Twitter.