How to Use 3rd Party Apps to Your Advantage When Posting on Social Media
For a long time, marketers have been told to fight against 3rd party scheduling tools out of fear that your posts’ organic reach would be compromised. The idea was that Facebook would favor posts that used their native tools to post content, therefore spending more time on the site. For a while, Instagram would even punish those who used scheduling tools to publish by banning accounts and hiding posts.
Lucky for us, the game has since changed. Organic reach is lower than ever on all platforms no matter how you choose to publish your posts. (Facebook now favors anything with ad spend behind it.) Here at TCG, we use Sprout Social to manage all of our postings and have actually seen a rise in our post-engagement since switching to the scheduling tool. Third-party tools often provide uniquely detailed analytics and reporting that can help you understand what is working (and not working) for you. Sprout Social, in particular, is great for collaborating with multiple clients and managers, but other third-party tools will offer you different capabilities and reporting.
However, the specific scheduling tool you choose to post from doesn’t matter at the end of the day, either. It matters what you post.
In fact, here are 3 factors that will impact engagement and reach more than how you schedule your posts. . .
Quality of Content
Schedulers get a bad reputation, but this often stems more from the mentality social media managers take on when they schedule. If your goal is to post on Facebook and Instagram 4 times each week, it’s likely your motivation will become to sit down and check those boxes off your list. As a result, you may end up putting little effort into individual posts– especially if you’re posting for multiple clients or have other tasks.
The quality of your content will always be king. No matter when or where you post, your content will not perform well if it does not resonate with your audience. Instead of aiming for a colorful social media calendar filled with queued content, make sure each piece of content has a purpose and is serving your audience.
Remember, social media is the handshake you give a customer before they buy your product, not the ad or pitch. Instead of focusing just on your products or services, work to develop connections with new followers, build trust with current followers, and share the stories of your business on your profile.
Consistency of Content
Using scheduling tools will allow you to consistently show up for your followers, without worrying what to post each day. Without scheduling posts, it is likely you will either forget to post on your account(s) or that when you post on the fly, your quality of content will suffer.
Make an appearance to your followers in any (high-quality) way you can. And remember, it’s OK to repurpose your best content, especially videos, especially if your page is growing. (A good hack to repurposing videos is to repost with a new copy a new thumbnail!) Go with what’s realistic for you, and stick to the plan.
Type of Content
Using a variety of content mediums is a great practice for testing what your audience responds to, and making sure each of your followers is absorbing at least some of what you share with them. Everyone learns and processes information differently, so offering a variety of content to your audience will ensure each person has a piece to engage with that works for them. (Don’t stick to just PDFs or just videos.) This will also provide the multi-faceted learners with enough content to keep them engaging with your account over and over again.
Videos tend to be the best-performing type of content for Facebook in particular. Given this, though, you don’t always have to show up as a talking head on your page. Play around with Facebook’s video tools for video and slideshows, as well as their other content tools. You can sprinkle in native polls and recommendation requests with your scheduled content.
Using scheduling apps to post to business pages is a successful social media practice for full-time SM managers and in-house managers alike. Relying on your memory to post to your pages would be a nightmare, and sticking to a schedule is impossible if you’re just posting when you “feel like it.” Without using scheduling tools, it would be near impossible to implement a successful social media strategy, let alone keep up with the quality of content your audience craves.