Social media support is becoming second nature to administrators in their support of businesses. Administrators are diversifying their skill sets to cover more elements of design, planning, blog writing, editing and engagement. Scheduling social media is an important element of a business plan to inform and engage with your peers. You can’t do everything, so scheduling makes it easier to provide content regularly without the need for live intervention.

Louise Mackie from LM-VA is an administrator who has been working with Blue Ninja on scheduling social media to engage with our audience. I asked Louise to describe why and how you should schedule your social media, and what products are out there to do so.

Let’s start with an easy question – why should you schedule your social media? 

Social media is a useful tool to help you reach your audience and attract clients to your business. You can show potential clients that you have expertise in your field and how working with you can help them. Scheduling helps you plan what articles or posts you are sharing and to which platform and on which days and what times. You can’t really plan social media effectively without scheduling, and it saves so much time on a daily basis!

You can’t really plan social media effectively without scheduling - it saves time @LMVirtualAssist Click To Tweet

You can ensure that you are sending different content out at different times, and if you have a social media plan that includes only posting certain types of genre on certain days (motivational Monday etc), then schedules are a great way of making sure you stick to that plan in advance.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of scheduling content?

There are definitely both advantages and disadvantages to scheduling content in advance. The benefit is that you can put a couple of hours aside once a week with a cuppa, and get all your social media posts and or blogs researched, wrote and prepared and ready to post, and then not have to think about them for the rest of the week, which can be a god send on a very busy day and you just don’t have the time to think about what your next twitter or facebook post should be.

The downside to scheduling is that, depending on how long in advance you schedule your posts, you could be posting out of date, or at least not the most recent, content – things change quickly in the digital world!

If you use a scheduler you also need to make sure you are on top of when your scheduled posts are coming to an end, or you run the risk of thinking you have content being posted when actually you are in the middle of a social media silence!

Facebook is a bit sneaky when it comes to scheduled posts, it doesn’t really like you using a third party and can mean that your reach can be quite limited. Facebook has its own scheduler and you will get a better reach by using that.

What tools are out there to schedule on social media?

I’ve used Hootsuite in the past which is quite simple to use and has free options. I’ve recently started using Buffer which I prefer for no other reason than it seems a bit easier on the eye! Buffer also has free and paid version, if you can go with the paid version then you can schedule up to 100 posts per social media platform, which is so handy to get as much content in as possible!

Where do you find your content?

My main source of content for articles is Feedly. I create ‘boards’ of topics that I and my ideal clients will be interested in and it acts as a filter to bring relevant articles in. I can then schedule them to post or save them if I want to read through them before scheduling.

I also share content from people that are of influence to me and my ideal clients, share articles that I have seen others share that I think will be of interest, I share blog posts – there is a lot of content out there and you don’t need to look too hard!

How often should people be scheduling and checking content?

This all depends on how many posts your scheduler will allow you to post. Ideally, in my opinion, you should be scheduling content on a weekly basis to make sure you are using as recent content as possible. If you are scheduling posts on a monthly or longer basis, make sure you have a note in your diary to check that you haven’t run out of content!

A bit about you – who are you? 

I’m Louise, and I am the owner of Louise Mackie Virtual Assistant (or LM-VA for short!!). I live in North Wales with my husband Andrew and our 2 children Alex (7) and Hannah (3).

What do you love about being a VA?

Everything! I love all of my lovely clients who are so appreciative of the support that I give them, and really make me feel like I am an integral part of their team. I love the flexibility of working around my children and I love that I can be doing completely different tasks from one hour to the next!

What is your favourite software, app or tool to do your job?

At the moment I am loving a project management software called Asana. Even though I will never ditch my to do list on my trusty notepad that is right by my side every day, I really like Asana for being able to set and assign tasks, provide updates on each task with everyone that is assigned to it, attach documents under each task – it really is a great way to project manage.

What is the most important skill a VA needs to be effective?

There are lots, and different VAs will tell you different things. But for me, I think it is important to be friendly, helpful, flexible and on top of things.

 

Thanks so much Louise for some great info on scheduling social media.

 

You can find out more about Louise and Louise Mackie Virtual Assistant via the following:

Website: www.lm-va.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/louisemackieva
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LMVirtualAssist
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/louisemackievirtualassistant