To Schedule or Not to Schedule Your Social Media

There are those of you who may find “scheduling” social media impersonal and disengaging, yet as someone who monitors multiple social streams everyday, I can’t fathom not scheduling social media. I have now even set up minor social media scheduling for my personal tweets as well. I’ve experimented with and tried out various modes of scheduling on all types of social media. In any case, there are definite pros and cons to scheduling and not all social networks are meant for scheduling. Here, I will rundown my recommendations for each one as it pertains to business.

Social Network

Scheduling Rule Reason
Twitter Yes I had the chance to read a fascinating chapter from the unreleased book: The Science of Marketing. It basically stated that the ideal tweets a day are “22”. Given the timeline changes so quickly, I recommend scheduling tweets (heavy on the links) evenly throughout the day or during your desired time zone. I use Hootsuite, Buffer, and to schedule tweets.
Facebook (page) Yes I would recommend scheduling a maximum of 3 posts. Generally, people check Facebook first thing in the morning, lunch time, 3 pm and after dinner. This will require some testing as it varies based on your target market’s Facebook habits. Facebook works well, if you do some paid ads or promoted posts (more on this later). I use Facebook (native) and buffer to schedule posts, although I usually post in real time since it’s less frequent.
Tumblr No I have tried “queuing” 10 Tumblr posts throughout the day. But, I realized that Tumblr is a community that does bursts of sharing vs. queuing throughout the day. They’re more likely to engage when they see 5 to 10 of your posts all at once vs. 1 every hour.
Blog Yes Your blog should be scheduled since you’re probably only blogging at maximum 5 times a week. (Wow if you are!) This will again depend on testing and figuring out when your target market likes to read your content, start with common sense times like Facebook posting.
Pinterest No There are a few Pinterest scheduling tools that exist like “Pinerly” but for some reason you have to pay to schedule; you can do up to 3 for free. Like Tumblr, the community is built on bursts of sharing so I don’t really see the point of scheduling. Alternatively, you can create a board that is shared with a bunch of people who will post various times a day.
Instagram Can’t You have to do this manually
Google Plus Can’t

You have to do this manually, in fact Google plus discourages third party posting.

While I do cross promote content from Pinterest/Tumblr to Twitter and Instagram to Facebook etc., I treat each social network as its own community. What I mean by this is I don‘t just schedule and forget about it, I ensure I check each feed for engagement and analytics.

This leads to two more topics: analyzing the behavior of each network to figure out which one works for your business and how to best analyze and find insight around what‘s working and whats not working. These two posts coming up next! Stay tuned.

How to Use Social Media to Target New Audiences

As a start-up, in most cases, your primary job in the first year besides building a great product/service is to widen your audience so that it goes in front of as many people as possible. This is done a lot easier with a chunk of cash, so it’s a catch 22. With limited funds and a fuzzy idea of your product market fit, your best option is to start off with all the free options, since one thing you do have a lot of is your time (along with your blood and sweat).

Here are a few things I do, although they may not work for every business, these are just ideas that may be of use to you.

Quora is a place where people go and ask questions on anything and everything. Its not filled with spam or “stupid” questions as it’s linked to your Facebook account. Other people who may have an answer based on their experience can answer questions. It’s very easy to set up and subscribe to topics in your niche or industry. You then get emailed every time a new question is asked and you have the chance to answer it. This is a simple way to build up your credibility and get some eyeballs on your profile which leads to your company page.

Guest Blogging has been mentioned in almost every article on this topic as an inexpensive way to widen your funnel. There are a few ways to go about doing this. You can cold email blog owners which is more likely to be accepted if they have a “write for us” section. In most cases, blog owners will not bother answering your emails unless you make it truly genuine and unique. Even then, a blog worth writing for probably has a lot of requests. My dating blog gets a few requests a week from random people who serve as third parties and only get paid once a back link is published. In any case, I was able to write this blog for a Style Girlfriend only because I sought her out and met her in person while I was in NYC. I did blindly email months before, but got no response. You could definitely try to build warm connections with bloggers or you could just go after blogs that are not popular but still have a decent and loyal audience. Even if you don’t get any bites through their blog, you’ll build your SEO and credibility. But, popular blogs can also be deceptive, I got less than 50 hits to my website from the Style Girlfriend blog post probably because the placement of it was tiny and at the bottom.

Create your own Syndication. What I mean by this is, share your content to various channels beyond your own network. I re-blog my company blog to my old menswear blog which has an established audience and gets around 5000 hits a month. Further to this, I created a generic menswear style and trends facebook page where I post my blogs and Pinterest pictures. I make it so it has nothing to do with my company.  I haven’t shared it heavily as of yet. The problem with Facebook pages are that only 10% or less of your fans see your content. The only way to get it seen is through very strategic ads. So, I keep this page’s content completely automated and will return to it once I have a bit of money to spend on ads. I created the page as another channel to build an audience on as more of a long term strategy.

Google + is the underdog of social media networks. It gets a lot of hate and neglect (especially from me). Meanwhile, it’s highly engaging and posting on it only helps your Google search rank. The Google team is smart as they don’t allow automated posting, you have to sign into the page and post manually. By doing so, you actually visit the page. So, I have made it a habit to check it everyday and post something while adding people and plus 1ing a bunch of things. It’s an interesting, and friendly crowd on there that actually interacts with you, very unlike Facebook.

Twitter Lists are great for keeping track of your potential customers, prospects and existing clients. The best part is lists can be kept as private so no one can see they’re on your list. It’s online stalking at its best. Keeping track of lists are best done in Hootsuite or Tweedeck, since you can view everything on one screen.  Twitter takes work as it’s not really built for one way communication, but more so for direct one on one engagement. If someone shares something about their day, they do it so they can get reactions or comments on it. As brands, its best to engage like you would a friend and not push your propaganda more than once or twice a week, unless someone directly asks. In that case, share your twitter card.

Do you have any other tricks or hacks? What service has worked best for you?

My Favorite Social Media Shortcuts

I’m going to be writing a few posts on social media in the upcoming Mondays, just because there is a slew of stuff I want to talk about based on personal experience. To start off, I wanted to share a few of my favorite website/apps as they pertain to social media. You may probably use most of these or may have similar ones that work better – please do share!


I really like buffer, especially their amazing blog which talks about really useful start-up stuff. The app allows you to schedule your tweets based on time, day and time zone via their nifty bookmarklet. All you do is click the bookmarklet while you’re on the site you want to tweet and it creates a neat 140 character message that gets queued. You can also manually schedule your tweets on their site. I use the free version which allows 8 tweets a day, while the unlimited version is $10 a month. I know, I’m cheap. is very close to my heart as it has been built by my team. It’s basically a lazy person’s dream come true. It has all the charm of buffer except you don’t have to bother with scheduling anything. It has 3 settings: low, medium and high representing frequency of tweets during your desired time zone. I use this for all my personal tweets since I read a ton of articles online and like to schedule them all instead of having them tweet out all at once which can be a bit annoying. There’s no limit to tweets, its a free service, for now.


I’ve been using Hootsuite for a few years now because I love the dashboard. I like being able to see my tweets, mentions, direct messages and my personal friend list all in one screen. Its great for business as well, since you can create various columns of keywords, hashtags, or specific types of people you want to follow. The unlimited version is $10, but again I use it for free, since I don’t use it aggressively.


This is by far the most useful tool online. It’s basically a way to trigger an action based on another action. “If I publish a photo on instagram than upload it to my dropbox” is an example of a recipe. I have about 7 recipes going on around various things getting pushed to other places. I have tumblr, pinterest and instagram going to buffer because I have it hooked up to for analytics. It’s easy, always running, and something you don’t have to think about. Is there any easier way to track your social media metrics? Perhaps. (more on this in a future post).


There are so many picture editing apps out there, its a crime not to take advantage of them. I’ve tried a few paid and unpaid ones and I find Pixlromatic matches my style the best as it has really punchy filters, effects and borders that match my personal blog style. I use basic Instagram for my business, since we have a few designers and photographers on our team, most of our blog photos are edited in Photoshop.


The new trend in blog pictures and pin-worthy posts is having words on pictures. I use instaquote, free version which shows the annoying “instaquote’ at the bottom. It’s alright for now, but eventually I’ll have to upgrade!


Another photo manipulator app which corresponds to photo editing trends is multiple photos in one frame. PicFrame does the job really well, but, I’m sure there are a slew of others that can be used in the same way.

What are some of your favorite websites and apps?

Social Media Rules to Live by

I wrote this list out a few months ago and came across it today when I realized I was super late posting today. 🙂 Looking at it, its definitely my philosophy when it comes to social media for business.
  1. Don’t abandon an existing traditional marketing plan. Social media does not replace anything. It should be added to the overall marketing strategy to enhance activities and more importantly create a channel to interact with your audience.
  2. Know your target market. Not all companies need social media as a part of their existing plan. It all depends on your business goals and if your (potential) customer base is actually online.
  3. Know your target market even more. Before jumping on the bandwagon of social media, first understand the online habits and behavior of your (potential) customer base. Do they even go online? What do they do when they are online?
  4. Don’t blindly create social media profiles on various outlets without having a consistent strategy of posting. Do not create profiles if you (or your team) cannot consistently post engaging and relevant content. There is nothing worse than a stale account or page which a potential customer may look up on a Google search of your company name.
  5. Don’t view social media as a loudspeaker from which you inadvertently advertise your product/service to death. Social media is not a platform for this – save it for your landing page. No one will appreciate it and it may get you blocked or worse, marked as spam.
  6. View social media channels as conversations. This is about things that your customer is interested in and talking about like the weather, pets, food, reading, traveling etc..
  7. Respond and post as a friend would. This is done in a neutral yet positive voice that makes friends not enemies, doesn’t take sides and doesn’t meddle in politics, religion or any controversy as it will directly affect your company’s views.
  8. Use analytics. Like all marketing strategy, social media efforts should be tracked and analyzed to see what works and what doesn’t work. Moreover, timing of posts and relevancy of the post can be analyzed here as well.
  9. Monitor competitor’s social media movements. It’s not against any rules to follow or investigate who follows your competitor’s social media channels and then follow them on yours.
  10. Lastly, remember that no one is interested in you or your company. Sorry, but social media is not about selling, it’s about sharing relevant information and being helpful and friendly. People will respond to you or follow if its in their best interest only.

These 10 Rules should give you a good starting point on whether you need a social media strategy based on your target market. Your voice and style should be empathetic, happy and neutral, while downplaying your business and what you’re trying to sell. Initially, Yes, its the opposite of what you normally do, but it’s important to gain trust and credibility from your (potential) customer. This is not achieved by banging them on the head with your product/service, no one likes that. By watching your analytics and competitors, you should be able to find a good balance of what works and eventually your social media strategy will help you indirectly with sales and customer service. Most importantly, what most businesses do wrong is they don’t consistently post, I think this is due to not seeing results right away, not believing anyone is watching and of course, not having enough time! But, all of this takes a substantial amount of time, and effort, so don’t give up!