The advancement of technology and the Internet has brought many changes to us all, both on a personal level and on a business level. While many in the business sector are struggling to get up to speed with the multitude of tools and options which are available to them, some are enjoying the ever changing landscape like a vast playground or candy shop equivalent. This holds true in the realm of social media scheduling as much as it does anywhere.
[Tweet “Some enjoy the ever changing technological landscape – do you?”]
Who should read this?
In this particular article, I’m going to address the latter group, I promise I’ll do another article down the road geared more towards the former group. But for now, if you’re a social media scheduling junkie who’s always on the look-out for new-to-you tools then I’d like to steer your eyeballs and thoughts towards one, that I have settled on, to thoroughly enjoy and embrace.
As social media continues to grow and flourish in the business sector, it can turn into something of a nightmare trying to keep everything current and scheduling content, picking the right times and frequencies and so forth. Even when we use many of the various scheduling tools available there always seems to be something that doesn’t work quite right or a piece that’s missing and we find ourselves digging for a work around or spending more time than we’d like to trying to keep it all in line. Thus social media scheduling ends up being a chore that we dread.
Over the last couple of years I have played around with a few of them including, Hootsuite, Buffer and Edgar. All three of these schedulers are incredible. They shine in the spotlight for their specialties and they deserve much kudos for the advancements they’ve made. But more recently I came across another option. It’s one that has sort of been in my peripheral for a while but I kept putting it on the back burner. Because let’s face it, researching, testing and implement a new tool does take a certain amount of time – some more than others.
Well I finally took the plunge and signed up for a free-trial with Coschedule, and then things got busy, but I had poked around and I was pretty intrigued. So as my trial was creeping to an end I emailed the folks at CoSchedule to explain my predicament and they were generous enough to extend my trial for a bit longer. Not wanting to abuse that generosity I set aside some time and really dug in to what they had to offer.
The outcome? I was blown away. These guys have really hit the nail on the head. They integrate with self-hosted WordPress sites in a way that is super slick and feels completely native. They also have their own portal that you can work through independent of WordPress and if you are using WordPress you can jump in and out of scheduled, published and draft posts direct from the CoSchedule portal with incredible ease.
[Tweet “CoSchedule have really hit the nail on the head!”]
They have a team structure for businesses that have more than one person working on content. You can assign posts and tasks on each post to specific people. You can even setup templates for tasks so that if you have any recurring type work you don’t have to manually recreate each task on each post one at a time – just a couple of clicks and bang you’ve got as many tasks as you want assigned and scheduled to a particular post with a timeline for your workflow. The calendar lets you know what percentage the assigned tasks are at so you can easily see at a glance where things are at and then a quick click gives you the details so you can see who should be getting things done.
While there are numerous features that are very awesome and cool with CoSchedule, there is one aspect in particular that just won my heart over. This would be the way they handle the process of social sharing. I honestly don’t know if I can even come close to doing it justice in a semi-brief review article (which is why I am also planning to create a walk-through tutorial video). But it is definitely something I want to brag about because it rocks. It’s got the usual control over when you want content to share out to particular accounts, but the user interface outshines all the others by leaps and bounds. Yes there is a learning curve to find your way around, but it doesn’t take long and once you’ve got it figured out you’ll wonder how on earth you lived without it before.
But the amazing part is that CoSchedule didn’t end things there, oh no, they went a step further in a way that seriously got me excited. They setup the ability to create social sharing queue templates. So what does that mean? A boat load of saved time! In a nutshell, you set up a sharing queue that you want to reuse on different content, so then each time you create a piece of content you don’t have to set up the shares one at a time. Instead you choose the template, customize a couple of pieces of information and hit apply. You can literally schedule massive amounts of shares within minutes.
Social media scheduling
So for example, you pick a particular type of content that you produce and share out – let’s say you do how-to articles on something related to your business once per week. You spend a bit of time and decide where and when you would want that article to share out. Now we all know (well some of us do) that we can share to Twitter with a much higher frequency than any of the other platforms and that with LinkedIn and Google+ you really don’t want to push it past once per week in most cases. So you logically create a line up of what works for you and your business, maybe it’s something like:
- Twitter three times per day
- Facebook Page every other day
- Instagram every other day
- Facebook Group once per week
- LinkedIn once
- Google+ once
That sounds like a lot really, and if you were trying to share the exact same image, headline and text on all of those, it would be a lot and many would fail to post. Well CoSchedule are brilliant because they understand that.
So once you’ve created this line up of something like 32 social shares you then also have this cool thing called “Social Helpers” and these are nifty little things that let you provide alternatives to components from the original piece. So, by default the “Title” of the article will pull into your 32 shares, but take a few minutes to set up some extra Titles (let’s say you create 3 extra ones) that can act as alternatives to your primary Title and bam you break those 32 posts up into 4 batches, so now only 8 of those posts have the same Title. You can then do the same with images, so let’s say you assign a total of 4 images to the post, well now each of your 4 Titles can be aligned with each of the 4 images – that’s now 16 unique image/title combinations before anything is repeated. We’re on a roll, so why not add in some hashtag combinations too, let’s say you come up with 4 different hashtags and you only ever apply 2 of the hashtags to any given share, you’d have 6 different hashtag combinations you could use… so you apply those combinations to some of the scheduled shares, leave some without and with very little effort you end up with 32 shares that have something different about every single one of them. No two are identical and your social media scheduling just got a whole lot smarter and more effective. There are no limits to what you can do with this Social Template and Social Helper combination.
[Tweet “Imagine 32 social shares, no two alike, in minutes…”]
When you’ve done the hard work once of mapping out when the shares will take place, to where, and what pieces you’re going to provide alternatives for, then all you have to do is apply the template to a new post, edit the alternative pieces you’ve assigned with the choices you created at the time you created the article and hit the apply button. It literally only takes minutes and you have 32 shares schedule out over whatever kind of timeline you want, that could be stacked up in a week, over a month, two months… you choose. PLUS, after those shares are pumping out and you start to see the analytics (oh yeah, CoSchedule amalgamate your stats for all of these shares per post too) then you can say “wow that post has been performing really well, let’s apply the same template again effective the day after the last currently scheduled share – and this time, all the alternatives you previously plugged in are still there so it’s literally 2 clicks to add an additional 32 shares to the end of the current schedule!
Fortunately, the folks over at CoSchedule are also really in tune with things, so they have taken the time to create tutorial videos that cover the basics of these very cool features and I definitely recommend that you go through them to learn how to use them properly (it will save you time).
As if all of this wasn’t enough, CoSchedule have even more for me to brag about. The first being that, as often happens with technology, I ran into a little snag and found a bug for them (by the way if a piece of software has a bug hiding somewhere, I will surely be the one to find it)… so I took a deep breath and said to myself, well here’s the moment of truth… I emailed their support team, provided details and screenshots and explained the problem. Their response time to acknowledge my issue was good, the standard “within 24 hours”… but not only did they respond, within 2 business days they had FIXED the bug. You may sense some of my surprise here – this isn’t my first rodeo with newer software and bugs, but frankly most of the ones that I’ve found bugs in I’m no longer using because they never bothered to fix them and I couldn’t find a work around. So for CoSchedule to fix the bug I found and so quickly – they seriously won my heart.
Then a few days later I get an email that’s talking about some of the new features they’re working on and that will be coming out soon… all I can truly say is WOW. We’re looking at Hootsuite, Buffer and Edgar all rolled into one with extras and a freaking sexy user interface.
This may not be your typical “technical review”, however, it is 100% genuine about how much I love Coschedule and why. I didn’t see much point in doing a breakdown of all the many features and exactly how they all work, because CoSchedule have that well covered in their own materials. Below is one of their videos to give you a little taste.
CoSchedule from Garrett Moon on Vimeo.
So enough reading about how much I love it, head over to Coschedule and check it out for yourself. I’ll likely put together another post showing more precisely how we’ve been using CoSchedule – as a digital media publication, posting 6+ articles per day, our application of it has been a bit different from the norm, but perhaps some might be interested to see how we were able to streamline our own workflow because of the Coschedule awesomeness!
Social media scheduling really doesn’t have to be a nightmare!
If you have any questions after taking a peek, come on back and leave me a comment or send me an email at email@example.com, I’m more than happy to help!