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Guide to Scheduling Posts: A Little Bit of Planning, Big Rewards

Social media is free, but good social media management is not. One of the most important investments you can make is time. Unfortunately, most of us who are tasked with social media in higher education have only a small portion of our jobs devoted to it. How can you maximize your time? We’ve found a little bit of planning goes a long way.

Tip #1 – Organize your ideas in one place

Schedule out on an editable monthly calendar – we download a Microsoft word version from WinCalendar.com and plug things in – low tech, but it works!

As things land in your email – or you have ideas for posts – you can put them directly onto the calendar so you don’t forget them. The calendar Includes holidays and other important dates to help you with planning your posts.

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Tip #2 – Plan! (And utilize student help)

We meet weekly to review our social media calendar. Review your content and decide what to post for the coming week. Student help is invaluable. Hire a student with good writing skills (social media savvy is a plus) and task with scheduling your posts. You will save lots of time since sizing photos and drafting engaging posts takes effort. And students will thank you for the professional experience.

Tip #3 – Schedule your posts a few days at a time, review, edit

We utilize Facebook’s scheduling feature and Tweetdeck for scheduling. Hootsuite is another option. Once posts are scheduled, you can review them and make edits as needed.  In general, it is a good idea to have more than one person reviewing posts to catch typos, fact check, etc. Hint – Check Facebook insights to find out when most of your fans are online to help decide what time of day to schedule.

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Note – You can edit text on Facebook and Twitter – if you want to change an image or link in Facebook, you will need to delete and reschedule. Just be sure to copy your draft text first so you can paste it back in. If you want to edit a tweet with an image in it, you will need to re-upload the image. Have a standard place and naming convention for saving images to easily locate them.

Tip #4 – Be flexible and reschedule

If something unexpected comes up, (that coveted snow day, big win for one of your athletics teams, or trending topic) you can easily reschedule your post or tweet – especially if it is evergreen content –  to a new date or time to make room for current, time-sensitive content. It’s always a good idea to be able to react to what is currently popular with your audience to maximize engagement.

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With your social media planning handled for the week, enjoy the time you’ve freed up for the many other duties in your job description!

By Gretchen Gerding and Marissa Isgreen