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The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Scheduling

The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Scheduling
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    I won’t even bother asking if you use social media…of course you do. Everyone does, from Facebook to YouTube. If you have an internet connection (which I am assuming you do, if you’re reading this), then you are probably a regular social media user.

    The platform has changed the way we communicate, and with that change has come other shifts in the world of business, non-profits and even personal relationships. There is no denying the impact on society as a global entity that this technology has had.

    As a necessary (but time consuming) part of marketing these days, you might be struggling to keep up with it, however. There is so much to do in a day, especially as a business owner or freelancer, and you might feel overwhelmed. How can you make the process easier and more-focused?

    The answer, as it is with so many other things, is: through planning ahead. But how can you do that through social media, when the aim is communication?

    I always suggest scheduling updates. It is a small thing you can do that saves a lot of time and energy. All by allowing you to create a full list of status updates at once, to be released at certain times. This is especially helpful if your primary target base is in a different time zone, or if you want to hit a certain hour, even when you’re not available.

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    All you need is the right program, and there are plenty to choose from.

    Social Media Scheduling Tips

    Before listing some tools, let’s make sure we know how to schedule updates properly:

    • Try using this social media scheduling template from HubSpot: it works for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Just fill it in and upload right to HootSuite. Good tip here: While scheduling is great for social media productivity, you’ll still need to supplement these updates with on-the-fly content (there’s nothing better than natural and emotional hot updates sharing breaking news or your current mood).
    • How to create a social media schedule. This article is a good tutorial into getting organized. It breaks down your daily and weekly social media tasks and even outlines some essential tasks for each week day. This one is a perfect guide to getting organized.
    • How to optimize your social media schedule. This one gives most effective days and time of the day to share on each social media network (here’s some more insight into choosing best time for your social media update).

    Best time to schedule

      Best Social Media Scheduling Tools

      Obviously, there are quite a few well-known social media scheduling apps like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Seesmic. I’ll list them all in the summary table. So far, here are a few more:

      LaterBro

      Log in using either Twitter or Facebook, then schedule posts for either or both. You can create multiple status updates at different days and times, and then just sit back and relax. It isn’t the best program, but it is easy to use and doesn’t require a sign up. Just keep in mind that it limits your Facebook update to a much higher degree in word count than the actual site does.

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      Timely

      Timely

        Using analytics based entirely around your Twitter account, Timely works by allowing you to schedule a list of updates you would like to see on your profile. Then, it ascertains the highest impact times for the posts, and published them accordingly. This is done through looking at the last 199 tweets on your account to come up with the best time. All of it is done while you relax.

        Buffero

        Twitter users can sign up through their account, and they will be given a secret email address to put in their contact book. From there, you just email the tweets to that account. The site will then create a “buffer” full of your tweet suggestions, and release one three times a day. They have both paid and free accounts. The free plan allows up to fifteen tweets scheduled at a time.

        DoShare

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        DoShare

          One of the rare posters for Google+, this is a handy Chrome extension. It gives you a simple text editor, a draft save option and a scheduler. All from your browser, and in the same place. You can save and schedule as many as you like, and keep an eye on the status of your posts. There is also an autosave on all drafts.

          Buffer

          Available for both browsers and mobile phones, this is an awesome app. You are able to “clip” different links, photos, text, videos or just write status comments easily through the app. Then they collect them all in a buffer and release them for you, at a slow pace to space it out. They are compatible with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

          There’s an iPhone app as well, so if you use iPhone to Tweet, like and share, be sure to examine this guide on how to use scheduling on iPhone.

          Postcron

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          What makes this an interesting program is the interface. It has been created to look similar to the one that Facebook has always had for their main page. You can easily schedule multiple posts here, in a similar way to LaterBro. This is a good one for the casual user who doesn’t need many features to be getting on with.

          Choose Your Best Scheduling Tool

          Runs on Supported social media networks Best Feature* Drawback*
          Seesmic Desktop Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Multiple account support. You can deselect all but one accounts with one click Almost impossible to run on Mac
          Tweetdeck Desktop Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Multiple account support. Runs fast No good way to organize accounts (e.g. differentiate Facebook accounts from Twitter accounts), so it may be hard to choose a few from the list
          Hootsuite Online Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Multiple account support. Useful features: archiving Twitter hashtag results, analytics, auto-tweeting (through the RSS feed), etc Kind of slow
          LaterBro Online Facebook, Twitter Minimal and easy Somewhat too basic
          Timely Online Twitter Chooses the best “most efficient” time to run your update N/A
          Buffero Online (through email client) Twitter Great app for those who spend lots of time sorting our mail Paid for more than 15 tweets a day
          DoShare Google Chrome Google Plus The only app for Google Plus Limited to Google Chrome
          Buffer Online (Also through the buttons, mobile apps and browser addons) Twitter Collaboration, multiple account support, easier sharing (called “buffering”) N/A
          Postcron Online Facebook PAGE Collaborate with your team members Used to be very useful, but is now somewhat outdated as we can schedule FB page updates using the official tool

          * The “Drawback” and “Best Feature” columns represent only my personal view and experience.

          Scheduling your posts is such a simple way to increase productivity and just give you more time to focus on other things. You can find endless programs to do it, not to mention social media dashboards like TweetDeck or HootSuite. But those above are free, easy to use and helpful, so be sure to check them out!

          (Photo credit: Social Netowrk Maze via Shutterstock)

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          Last Updated on July 20, 2021

          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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          You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

          Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

          Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

          Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

          1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

          According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

          “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

          Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

          Warming up

          If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

          If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

          Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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          1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
          2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
          3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

          Stay hydrated

          Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

          To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

          Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

          Meditate

          Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

          Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

          Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

          Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

          2. Focus on your goal

          One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

          Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

          Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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          Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

          If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

          3. Convert negativity to positivity

          There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

          ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

          It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

          Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

          Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

          Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

          4. Understand your content

          Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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          However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

          “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

          Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

          Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

          One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

          5. Practice makes perfect

          Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

          In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

          Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

          6. Be authentic

          There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

          Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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          Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

          To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

          With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

          Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

          7. Post speech evaluation

          Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

          Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

          We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

          You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

          Improve your next speech

          As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

          Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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          • How did I do?
          • Are there any areas for improvement?
          • Did I sound or look stressed?
          • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
          • Was I saying “um” too often?
          • How was the flow of the speech?

          Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

          If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

          Reference

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