The big question for the day is…do you need to invest in a social media scheduling software or app for your Direct Sales or MLM business? There are lots of questions swirling around about this. Today, I have two truths you should know about scheduling social media software apps and one lie you need to be aware of. Plus read on if you want a step-by-step on how to get started with one of the most commonly used software.
Some of you are wondering what in the world I am talking about?! What is a social media scheduling software? Well, if you run a Direct Sales or MLM business and you have a social media account for your business on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, Reddit, Tumbler, or any other social media type, and you have tried to post daily for your business to any of these sites, you may have learned that just posting each day can be a FULL-TIME job! In fact, for most large companies, this is a full-time position called a Marketing Media Manager. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a team of people working for me and don’t have the means to hire a full-time marketing media manager so I have to do the posting myself. But have no fear! That is where a social media scheduling software comes into play. You can sign up for one of these great software apps and in one day, set up a bunch of posts to go live in multiple places at different times. You in essence schedule your social media, set it, and forget it! It is awesome.
There are many, many, many, different types of social media schedulers out there. In fact, here is a pretty comprehensive list from Medium.com that you can take a look at to see what is available and compare the features and costs. But if you don’t want to wade through this list, I have some condensed info for you…just keep reading.
Remember that get-to-know you game that you have to play in groups? A new team at work, a new classroom full of people at school, a new community setting and you need to go around the room and introduce you while listening to everyone else introduce themselves? It is called, Two Truths and a Lie. This game you are asked to tell two things that are true about you and one thing that is a complete lie. It is a fast way to share some cool facts about yourself and have people try to pinpoint the lie. This game, while sometimes hard to play because by the third of fourth person in the group you are bored silly by the odd facts that are shared, is a really good way to get to know people if you are really playing it well. That is why I want to share two truths about social media scheduling software and one lie so you get to know some good solid info about this subject in a short amount of time. There are some quick truths and one lie you need to know about when looking into social media scheduling software.
Truth 1: There are software schedulers that don’t cost money.
Yes! That is true. There are many that charge and can charge a LOT of money. But there are still some that are free and some that are cost effective with a low monthly fee. There are some that have a free trial period as well. What do I recommend? If you aren’t sure you want to do this long-term, for heaven’s sake don’t sign up for one that has a fee.
Hootsuite, often considered by many as the leader in the market, has a free option. If you are one person using it (1 user), and only want to share on up to 3 social media platforms (so your Facebook, Instagram, and one more like Twitter or maybe Pinterest), and you want to schedule your content and have some basic analytics, you can do it for FREE! Click here to get to the free Hootsuite plan. Of course, they also have plans that cost more.
There are some others with free options like Friends + Me, EveryPost, and DrumUp. But Hootsuite is more common.
There are some scheduling software apps that are more popular with the Direct Sales crowd. Cinchshare is a popular option that has a free trial period but then charges roughly $10 a month after the free trial ends. Check out Cinchshare here.
As a solopreneur, an independent rep for a Direct Sales company, don’t over think this one. If you want to spend a little money and feel like you have a budget to do so then do it. But if you are like most and you really don’t have money to spare, then go with the free plan aways.
Truth 2: Thinking of things to post in advance is possible!
It totally is. With scheduling software, you do need to take a little time up front to sit down and decide what you are going to post. So, take a few hours each month to plan for next month’s postings.
It is as easy as creating an editorial calendar. To learn how to create your own editorial calendar click here. This post will give you seven steps to creating a calendar for each an every month. Super easy.
One LIE: Facebook show what you manual post more than posts that you schedule with a software.
This is a myth. A post is a post. Facebook doesn’t care whether you use scheduling software, like Hootsuite or Cinchshare, or you manual post your content. There is a great article from Cinchshare on this very topic; it is fascinating if you have a minute to read it: http://blog.cinchshare.com/11591/are-scheduled-posts-seen-less . The reality is if your posts are boring, people are not going to comment or react on Facebook or other Social Media sites. So, track, TRACK, TRACK! what your audience is reacting to and do more of that type of content.
So, now that you know a few quick things about social media scheduling software apps, let me show you how to use some actual software. I am going to go with the Hootsuite FREE version because, well, free is awesome.
First, go to https://hootsuite.com/plans/free and click on the green “Get Started—Free” button.
Next, sign up for a free a free account with your name, business email, and password.
Next, connect your social media accounts. Remember, with the free options you can only connect THREE social media platforms. I would recommend Facebook, Instagram, and one other that you use for your business.
Finally, as part of signing up, enter your business info.
Once signed up, start by going to “Publisher”. Get there from the tool bar on the left side (publisher is highlighted in yellow).
Select where you want the post to be posted to. I have my twitter account and the Instagram account listed) I can also add another, like my Facebook group, if I want to later. I can select one, two or all three to post to.
Create a post to share. I selected my Twitter account and then the box to write my post appeared.
Write your content. Add your links if you have one, and then click on the calendar button to schedule your post.
The next step is to choose when the post is sent. You can check the box to have an email sent to you when your content posts.
You can preview your message before scheduling the post by clicking on the dropdown arrow on the save button. Or just click the schedule button to set it and forget it.
There is a bulk message uploader but that requires a paid monthly subscription. This maybe one reason if you have extra income to spend to consider a paid subscription with Hootsuite. But, know that you can post each individually each month after you complete your editorial calendar and then set it and forget it for the next month. It does take a few hours to do all of this but that is SO much better than doing multiple posts to multiple accounts each day!
Author: Stacy San Juan is a marketing maven who has worked in the direct sales industry at the corporate level for multiple international companies for nearly a decade. She specializes in marketing, training, and new product development. Because of her roles inside the corporate offices she gets why direct sales companies do what they do. And because she has interacted with thousands of direct sales representatives in her roles, she has seen what works for a representative and how they can get the most from their business experience. Not only does she have a passion for marketing, training, and new products, she also loves her family (her husband and two daughters) and her home in American Fork, Utah. And of course, Netflix, online shopping, and Diet Coke.