You are probably familiar with some of the more popular ones. There’s Buffer, Hootsuite, and for Instagram there’s Later. When it comes to Buffer and Hootsuite, I use Hootsuite for Twitter but not anything else. I’m talking about how do we create content and then schedule it to be published in an automated fashion. Buffer, Hootsuite, and later can all take care of that for you and they work fine but I don’t use any of these.
The reason for that is, when I’m shopping around for social media apps when it comes to content scheduling, I always look out for one feature that Buffer, Hootsuite and Later don’t have. That is a feature that allows you to recycle past content and have it automatically start posting older posts. That way your content goes further.
Why is recycling past posts important?
Social media, if you’ve done it for any amount of time starts to feel very high maintenance. You have to post so frequently, consistently, and you can’t take a break from it. You can go on vacation with your family for a week, but you can’t afford to let your social media go quiet for a whole week.
I’ve been on social media, in particular Facebook, since the inception of Tiny Hands. I believe this was in 2006. I’ve been on there for a long time and I have so many photos and so much different content that I’ve created for my social media. I personally feel that it’s such a waste for me to spend the time to take a really beautiful photo of my products, post it on social media once, and to not be able to use it again. This is where the concept of recycling posts becomes interesting and very valuable to business owners.
For one, people don’t care or just don’t notice that you have reposted a photo that you originally posted a year ago. Some creative people that I talk to about this give me some push back saying “I can’t show the same post that I posted a year ago because people will remember!”
Maybe that’s true but it’s very unlikely for most people, because we consume so much media and so much content that you probably won’t remember something you saw a year ago. Nobody is going to get upset over it and it’s not going to negatively impact your audience or business.
It’s totally okay to do this, in fact I really recommend you to do this. You’re not a social media manager and you shouldn’t spend all of this time creating, managing, and curating social media content.
There are a few apps that do this and the very first one that started to do this, I believe, is Meet Edgar. I did start using it and it’s really cool. Let’s say I have 100 posts and different pictures of my products. Let’s say I post one picture every day on Facebook and by the end of 100 days I would have used up all of those posts. Instead of having to go and start creating new content, the app will start recycling and showing back again posts that I had in that 100 posts.
I have found a few other apps that do this and there is eClincher and the newest one that is currently still in beta, called SmarterQueue. I have tried Meet Edgar and after using it for a few months it started getting very buggy, so I went on to eClincher but the user interface wasn’t very pleasing, so I went over to SmarterQueue and it’s so much easier and nicer for me to use.
The pros of using apps like this is it helps your social media efforts be a little more hands off, especially over time when you’ve already accumulated some content. And mind you, these apps that I’m talking about are specifically for Facebook and Twitter. I don’t think there is an app for Instagram that lets you recycle content, so unfortunately that is something you will have to manually manage on your own.
The disadvantage of using any form of automated scheduling apps is your engagement takes a little bit of a hit. I have been using these apps for years and I’ve seen that because I’m not really there, my engagement has dropped a bit. I think that’s because you’re just not present anymore.
One really specific way how this affects your engagement directly is for example with Facebook. Facebook really likes it when you use their built in scheduling system, which by the way is pretty dang good. I used it for almost a whole year when I was focusing on my Tiny Hands social media.
Obviously, it doesn’t have that cool recycling feature, but Facebook prefers it when you use their scheduling system. When you use any different app, they limit how many people see those posts.
I think there can be a lot of power in social media. I spent a whole year focusing on both Facebook and Instagram and it made such a big impact on my business, but then I stopped focusing on it so much and I started implementing social media scheduling apps.
It’s not quite the same anymore. If you want it to work for you, you can’t be 100% hands off. You can automate to a certain extent, but I would really weigh what you’re trying to get out of social media. Not everyone can afford to spend an hour a day on social media, which is actually a decent amount of time to spend on both Facebook and Instagram. Not everyone has that much time, so that’s where social media scheduling apps can help you work in batches and be more efficient.
It’s up to you to weigh what you have and what you can put in. I’m not saying it’s a totally bad thing, I don’t think it’s as clear cut as that. I’m still using social media apps and it’s only because I’m choosing to focus on things I believe will make a bigger impact for me than social media.
If you would like to chat more about social media, I would love for you to join us at Creative Hive VIP! That’s our private Facebook group and it’s filled with thousands of creators and makers just like you. I’ll see you over there and we can talk more!
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