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The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Scheduling

The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Scheduling


    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 February 21, 2019

          The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

          The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

          In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

          Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

          Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

          Conflicts are literally everywhere.

          Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

          Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

          Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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          Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

          Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

          Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

          The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

          Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

          Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

          How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

          Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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          Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

          Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

          How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

          Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

          Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

          Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

          How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

          Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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          Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

          Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

          How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

          Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

          Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

          Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

          How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

          Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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          Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

          Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

          How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

          Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

          Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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