Our new Favorite Social Media Tool: CoSchedule
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how important it is to have a solid social media plan in place. The problem we’ve run into is we want to be consistent BUT we don’t want to live on social media. All that constant consumption and scrolling just aren’t good for your creativity or productivity and we want to make sure our ideas are fresh and coming from other places beyond social media. So, what is the alternative? Getting organized and investing in the right tools that put social media on autopilot so you can do other things.
It’s been a struggle over the past few years finding a quality social media scheduler that either 1. Doesn’t cost upwards of $50/month and 2. Saves a major amount of time to upload content without having to schedule every single individual post to each individual platform. The scheduling tools we were using had very limited capabilities and took forever to fill. There were no easy options to repeat messages or fill up more than the current month at a time. Which almost defeats the purpose of a social media scheduler: to save time and not have to live on your platforms. If you’re living on your social media scheduler, that’s almost just as bad as posting all of your messages live and that’s a no-go for an up and coming media company.
But guess what? We found a solution and it’s called CoSchedule! This post is going to be all about how we use the tool and how you can implement it into your own strategy without breaking the bank.
What is it?:
CoSchedule is an all-in-one online marketing tool that can house your editorial calendar, social media calendar, newsletter schedule and more all on one platform. We’re currently using the Editorial Calendar plan, best for solopreneurs and start ups, which helps to organize our blog posts and social media posts seamlessly. Beyond the built-in settings, the program has numerous integrations that will make your calendar even more productive. If you need more capabilities, CoSchedule also has a full Marketing Suite that does everything the Editorial Calendar does plus in depth analytics and more content and work organization options. Depending on how big your business is, it may be best to invest in the Editorial Calendar first and then grow into the Marketing Suite.
If you’re interested in seeing how it works, here’s a quick view of what you see when you log in and an overview of how our our account is set up:
When you log on, you see a “My Upcoming” page that houses all of your upcoming projects and any tasks you have outlined in your account (similar to Asana or Trello). You can also see your notifications, recent projects and favorite projects on the right side of the screen. To get to our actual calendar, you click the menu button in the upper left hand corner.
2. When you click the menu button and click “Calendar,” you get to this page and you see your most recent scheduled posts. The ones that are faded into the background have already been sent and the ones that are in full color are upcoming posts. Each individual post is a little block where you can see the platform and the scheduled time as well as a piece of the message. The messages with the green arrows are spaces for ReQueue messages and we’ll explain what those are and how we use them later in the post. For now, we’re going to show you how to add in your first blog post project (CoSchedule calls each of your scheduled groups of content, projects). To get started, click the orange “ +Create” button in the upper right hand corner to create a new set of social media posts for an upcoming blog post. You can also click the “Ideas” button to plan your posts ahead without adding them to your calendar.
3. Once you click the “+ Create” button, you have the option to create a blog post project or a social media project. For our scheduling needs, we click the “Blog Post” button so we can match up our social scheduling to our editorial calendar.
4. Once you click the “Blog Post” button, it opens up a new page for your project to add in your content. We color code our calendar so, all of our blog posts have the blue setting at the top. It will prompt you to give it a title and for the sake of this post, we’re just going to use “New Blog Post” and then click the “Create project” button.
5. Once you click the “Create Project” button you end up on this page where you can select different elements to add to your blog post. The Text Editor is a great option if you want CoSchedule to help you create titles and you want to add in a description of your post. You can also attach files and Google Docs or link other projects you’re working on. The option we select here is “Social Campaign.”
Once that button is selected, a smaller menu appears that has the options “Templates,” “Helpers” and “Upload.” Templates are exactly that: templates you can create once you have the magic formula for how many platforms and how many messages you want to send. You can apply the same template every time so you don’t have to manually select each platform each time you schedule a project. We have a template for our blog posts we select and apply and then we just need to fill in the content. Helpers pull the URL, an excerpt or a title directly from your post so you don’t have to type it every time. The Upload option is for those of you who prefer using a spreadsheet to create your social messages. You can upload your spreadsheet (using their CSV template) and input your messages that way.
6. Once our template is applied, CoSchedule asks you to add in your link. We usually use Bit.ly to create a short link (for the sake of this post, we just used the direct link to the website but you can do it either way you prefer), and then the title and an excerpt is already pulled from the link. If the post is not already live, we usually turn it on and off for the sake of CoSchedule being able to pull the information it needs. In that first tweet you see at the bottom of the screenshot, we have Helpers in place that automatically pull the title and the URL so we only need to double check the image and the other details.
7. Here’s a better view of what the upcoming social media posts will look like. Because we already have a template in place, it already knows we’ll have 2 tweets and a 1 Facebook post on the same day that the project is scheduled. If you don’t have a template in place yet or just want to add in more posts, just click the big + and you can add in additional posts to your heart’s desire. When you click on each individual message, you can adjust the copy, change the time you want it to post (we leave ours at “best time” so CoSchedule magically chooses and we skip the guesswork) and you can also add it to a ReQueue group so that it consistently is reposted based on your settings. Once your messages look how you want them to, you can schedule the post in the upper right hand corner and change it from a drafted post to a scheduled post in the lower right hand corner to officially add it to your calendar. If you’re not ready to schedule it, you can click the “close” button and it will have a yellow circle around the posts when you return to your calendar to indicate that it’s still in draft mode.
Once your posts are drafted or scheduled, you can see them in the calendar just like the second screenshot and you can assess the analytics from clicking on the sent grayed out posts or from the menu in the left hand corner and click “Analytics” to view the analytics from each social media platform.
How we use it at TBH:
We actually use CoSchedule and can give you a million reasons why you should invest in the tool. To keep up with the publishing frequency of our content, we use it in two main ways:
Keeping our social media in line with our individual blog posts
We relaunched TBH using campaigns to publish content in bulk related to our overall message of redefining our relationship with hustling. Once we got our footing on campaigns, we started publishing more frequently and with more posts in between each campaign so, we needed a tool that seamlessly keeps us organized and on task.
Just like how the screenshots indicate a blog post project above, each of our posts gets pushed out multiple times over the course of the month after it’s published on our website. When we publish the social media campaign for each post, nineteen posts are scheduled to trickle out at the same time. NINETEEN. Remember, CoSchedule lets you create templates that automatically upload your desired amount of posts and platforms and you just fill in the information. That number will most likely fluctuate as we incorporate more social media platforms into our strategy and shift things over the coming months. You can decide what number and combination of posts works well for you and your business.
Keeping the campaign content constantly circulating
In the exact same fashion we use CoSchedule to promote our blog posts, we do the same thing with our campaigns. We created pages on our website for each campaign like this one and then each campaign gets its own Blog Post project within CoSchedule linking back to that main page and to the different links for the individual posts. Each individual post is also linked to its own blog post project and curated the same way we explained in the screenshoots above. The major way we keep our social media calendar filled is by having a lot of those campaign posts constantly circulating without having to reschedule them over and over.
Our absolute favorite feature on CoSchedule is ReQueue (those messages with the green arrows on the calendar in the second screenshot above) . It’s exactly what it sounds like: a feature that allows you to keep some of your social media messages on auto-pilot. With our campaigns, we currently only release them about once a quarter and then we have posts in between which means, we’re recycling a lot of posts at the same time before the next campaign is released and the cycle continues. We needed a scheduler that allowed us to repeat a lot of those campaign messages and ReQueue does it perfectly. You can set send limits and you can create different ReQueue groups that send only at specific times aka “Topic Tuesday” or “Motivation Monday” type posts. You can access your ReQueue groups and all of the settings in the menu in the left hand corner.
Why you need it:
After explaining how we use it and how much time we save, there’s not much left to say! For the price, CoSchedule is super robust and will be all you need for a while to manage your website and social media. Eventually, we’ll probably invest in the full Marketing Suite but there’s so much you can do with just the Editorial Calendar, we’re in no hurry. Plus, we have receipts! We’ve been mainly focusing on implementing CoSchedule for our Facebook and Twitter accounts and have been closely measuring them before we add on the rest of our platforms just to be sure that CoSchedule is the real solution to our problems.
According to our analytics, over the past 28 days, our Facebook post engagement has gone up 190% and our post reach has gone up 83%! Our Twitter numbers have also grown similarly and once we have all of our social media platforms added, we expect to see huge growth not only on social media but in an increase in website traffic, which is our goal to be able to monetize. If you have similar goals to boost your traffic and website conversions, go ahead and sign up for CoSchedule and try it out for 14 days to see if it's right for you before you commit.
Once you sign up for your trial, Coschedule has an in-depth set up process that also includes videos and instructions throughout each step. If you want to level up your marketing, their blog is really beneficial and they also have an online school that teaches social media and online marketing tips so you can stay ahead of the game. You’re ready to sign up, right? You can click the button below and enter your email to get started on your trial without entering your credit card information. Make sure you sign up when you’re ready to implement it because those 2 weeks goes by fast and you’ll want to make sure that you like the platform!
If you’ve used CoSchedule before and have any tips and tricks or if you started using it after you read this post, let us know!
P.S. If you like posts like these, we give a lot of insight on our tools and internet finds on our newsletter, Creative Control. You can read the first few issues below: