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If you are a blogger who is trying to grow your presence online, then social media strategy is a key component of your business plan. Since choosing to transition my blog from an online diary to a business, I have had to educate myself on social media and put it all into practice. However, I felt like my days could be haphazard with trying to fit different social media sharing into my schedule so that all platforms had some activity. Gone are the days of sending a post to your social media just one time and being done.
Recently, I started hearing a bit about a new application called CoSchedule which integrates with your WordPress platform (self-hosted) to help you take hold of your social media stream and truly manage your shares as well as your editorial calendar. I’ve now been using CoSchedule for almost 2 weeks and am in love with the ease. I love it so much that I’m subscribing for the year and just had to share about its awesomeness for any of my readers who are also blogging professionally or considering that transition. (Note ~ Links in this post are affiliate links.)
Managing Your Editorial Calendar with CoSchedule
Now, I realize that there are some free options for an editorial calendar. And, until my recent introduction to CoSchedule I was using a combination of a print blogging calendar and free WordPress plug-in. I’ll admit that seeing the layout of my posts in that free plug-in was helpful for a bigger picture, but I never felt like it was more than a different view of what had already happened rather than a way to manage what would be happening on the blog.
CoSchedule allows you to drag and drop both drafts and scheduled posts on the calendar taking any associated social media messages that are scheduled with it. Whether you have contributors to your blog or are trying to rotate through your main topics on a schedule, you can use this to easily balance out the flow of posts. I haven’t done it yet, but I plan to be color coding my main topics so that I can easily see at a glance if my calendar has more of one type of post than another so it can get balanced out.
I do not plan to ditch my print calendar as there are times when I want to check on my workload away from the internet. However, that other free plug-in is history as just the editorial calendar function of CoSchedule is a better fit for me.
Managing Your Social Media Strategy with CoSchedule
This is really the aspect of CoSchedule I was most interested in exploring. I kept hearing about how important it is to share each post on your social media channels more than once. Some channels might need more sharing to get eyes on them like Twitter, while others, like Facebook and Google Plus, need less frequent sharing because of their format for followers finding your posts. While I was trying to do this on my own with all social shares tracked in a spreadsheet, I found that I could easily forget to share something again and sometimes wondered if I was sharing too often or not enough.
CoSchedule makes the whole process of implementing social media strategy easy. All shares are linked to your blog post and you can link CoSchedule with bit.ly so that a new shortened link is automatically generated for each social share. While I’d personally prefer just one bit.ly per blog post, I can see the benefit for this as you can see exactly which social media share is generating clicks to your post and how many. Plus, I am saving time by not having to log into my Bit.ly account to get those shortened links. (I do still need to log in and add tags to those shortened links for sorting, though.)
Built into the system is a suggested publication schedule for those social media shares. Before your post has even published, you can set up a stream of sharing that will save you time on the backend. Plus, all sent shares are saved so that you can easily grab permalinks to each one. (As someone who totally forgot to share all her social sharing links for a sponsored campaign a few years back and then had to hunt for them all a month after it was done, this is a BIG benefit for my sanity.) I might still keep my Google spreadsheet going to track all my social sharing for sponsored content, however I think that extra step might go by the wayside for my nonsponsored content as I can grab what I need from my dashboard or the web based app.
CoSchedule Can Help You Determine Which Posts To Share More Often
Bloggers all want to know which content is resonating the most with their readers. CoSchedule takes the approach that looking at your total social shares is a good indicator of this rather than just pageviews. You can look at different time periods of publication (last 24 hours, last 7 days, last 30 days, last year, and all time) and see which were your most shared posts on social media. These are the posts which some might consider ‘pillar content’ and could be worth regular sharing. Of course, if it was a giveaway post then you just know what kind of giveaways get the most attention.
Is CoSchedule Worth the Price?
Okay, as a frugal lady who will admit to trying to do it all myself for ‘free’, I have to seriously evaluate whether spending money on something to help me manage the blog is worth it. I come from a family of DIYers and fight the idea of paying for something that I know I can do myself.
Pricing for CoSchedule is dependant upon your needs. As I am the lone author here (for now), the lowest level of their subscription is perfect. The more you need, the more it costs. All plans offer the option to pay for a year and save 15% (This is what I’m doing as I like saving money when I can and know that I want CoSchedule for the long term.)
I can honestly say that CoSchedule is definitely worth the price to me.
We all have to make choices on how to spend our time and one of my goals for this year was to work smarter and not harder. Doing it on my own with all that direct posting on my social media channels was taking more time than I care to admit. Being able to write a post and then plan out a stream of social media sharing at the same time really streamlines the process. I consider it an investment in my blog and a method of growing and maintaining a presence on social media without requiring a large commitment of time.
Beyond saving me some time, what I am noticing through using CoSchedule to fill my social media stream with shares is that I am starting to get more visits to the blog posts. How do I know this? I have been checking my Bit.ly account to see if those individually generated shortened links have clicks on them. I can’t say that there has been a deluge of activity, however I am pleased to see that small increase in just the past week. It has me optimistic that as I continue to use CoSchedule and become more intentional in my sharing an increase in visitors to this blog will follow. After all, making Day by Day in Our World more visible to the people who will find my content valuable is one of my main goals.
If I had to sum up why all professional bloggers should consider a CoSchedule subscription, it would be this:
The best thing about CoSchedule is that as you drag a post from one date to another, your social media messages move with it. This allows bloggers to create a series of messages that promote their blog posts on a rolling schedule.
Learn More about CoSchedule:
Convinced you need to try CoSchedule for yourself? Get started with your first 14 days free.
If you are a blogger, how are you currently managing your editorial calendar and social media strategy?
How often are you sharing a particular blog post in your social media stream?