Do you feel like posting consistently on social media is like having a full time job? It does take a consistent and active effort to be successful. Luckily, there are tools you can use to automate, save time and keep you from pulling your hair out!
Buffer is a social media scheduler with a super easy interface to get you set up and started right away with scheduling posts to social.
If you’re just starting, they offer a ‘free forever’ plan where you can:
- link all of your social media platforms for free
- schedule up to 10 posts in advance (to schedule more than 10 posts in advance or add more social profiles, you may want to consider upgrading to the ‘Awesome’ plan for $10 per month. The ‘Awesome’ plan allows you to schedule up to 100 posts in advance)
- get free images and motivational quotes through their Pablo image creator
- use the optimal timing tool (if you’re not sure what times to post your content on each social platform) to discover the best times for posting your content to each social platform.
One of the most beneficial features in Buffer is the analytics (likes, comments, shares, mentions, retweets) to help measure post performance.
Here are two behind the scenes posts from my Buffer account with posting analytics:
Another beneficial Buffer feature that saves loads of time is the ‘Re-Buffer’ button. Buffer stores your posts, making it easy for you to go back to older posts to ‘Re-Buffer’ them. Re-Buffer is simply re-sharing a post from your buffer account
Top brands like Fast Company, Business Insider, and even the Denver Broncos use Buffer!
Here’s a sample tweet (along with Buffer analytics) from the Denver Broncos:
IFTTT is not difficult and will save you time like no other when it comes to automating recurring online business, social media, and marketing activities like:
- Sharing a single message across multiple social platforms
- Adding all your Instagram photos to Dropbox
- Sharing all your Facebook posts to Twitter (or vice versa)
- Building a Twitter list from uniquely specified hashtags
- Adding new blog posts to twitter
- Getting emails to your Gmail from your favorite publication (like The New York Times) every time they post breaking news
In IFTTT, these are called recipes - much more appealing than that math equation, right?!
Here are a few “if, then” IFTTT recipes:
If you share a new link on Facebook, then it will automatically post to twitter.
If you share a post on Instagram, then it will automatically post to Facebook.
If you publish a new blog post, then it will automatically post to Twitter.
If the New York Times publishes breaking technology news, then you will get a notification.
You can select recipes by looking at popular IFTTT recipes or create your own.
IFTTT offers 349 different types of channels in a wide variety of areas:
- And much more!
- Social media
- Business Tools
- Cloud storage
3. Get Stencil
Now this one is my "secret weapon"! We live in a visual world, especially online and even more so on social media.
Not everyone has time or even cares to read but a captivating image speaks for itself. Get Stencil is great for the ‘graphics challenged’ entrepreneur. Just like Buffer, Get Stencil has a free option. With the free plan, you get up to 10 free images per month, and Get Stencil has inspirational quotes that you can use as well to inspire beyond the image! For more images and additional template features, upgrade to the ‘pro’ plan or higher starting at $9 per month.
You can work directly from your Get Stencil dashboard when logged in or if you primarily use google chrome you can download the Get Stencil extension.
With the Get Stencil google chrome extension you’ll save time by being able to grab images and text from any site:
To grab an image, right click on image from any site, click the Get Stencil icon and the image will load into your Get Stencil dashboard for additional editing and publishing.
When you initially sign up for an account, you will have the option to click to add the chrome extension if you choose. Since time is the one commodity that most business owners can never seem to get enough of, this Get Stencil app is heaven sent. You can share your images directly to the social media platform of your chose, but better yet...Get Stencil integrates seamlessly with Buffer for easy scheduling!
Which of these tools (Buffer, IFTTT, Get Stencil) do you think would be most beneficial to start using first?
If you are currently using any of these three automation tools for your business, which one are you using and what do you like most about it?
P.S. – Feel free to join us in The Social Business Café. It’s a free Facebook group that I created for entrepreneurs and small business owners.