One of the best assets we have for promoting our work and profile is social media. At a recent The Resolution Project event, this was illuminated when we had the opportunity to pose questions to a panel on any topic of current interest. Social media was a hot topic! The panel members Domini Marshall, Bec Mackey, Tess McCabe and Phoebe Miller (chaired by Madeleine Dore) offered great advice on how to manage social media, especially around content management. Many of the participants were intrigued as to how to best use their time, and how to manage building a profile with specific audiences. "The best approach is to post two to three times daily to build your audience”
- Domini Marshall
So I thought I would share my adventures into strategic social media management as I begin my new creative business and profile on Instagram. After the panel presentation, I was intrigued to explore platforms that would allow me to populate and schedule content. This is attractive to me as real time generation of content is not always possible. Plus, I’m very much looking towards productive strategies that can assist me in product and profile development planning and delivery. I went on a search, discovered that there are no 100% free platforms with all options available that offer this service for Instagram as yet, but there are plenty for Twitter.
What I did find was the platform Later.com. This is a platform that allows you to upload and schedule your Instagram posts from your mobile or computer. What I like about this platform is that is offers a free sign up option while exploring if it works for you. You can post image and text content 30 times in the month for free. This allows for the flexibility to capture spontaneous moments, as well as scheduled content.
Scheduling content for the week: desktop view
The platform sets up your week in a calendar format. This allows you to visually plan your time, and for you to post at the times that are ideal for your audience. This is where the wisdom of Kylie Lewis and Belinder Langler (of Of Kin fame) comes into play. Their research has indicated that you should be regular and consistent. Their work is also a great reminder to link into the digital patterns of most people’s social media habits of checking the first thing in the morning and in the evening before they go to bed. A great guide to when you can regularly post to build your profile.
A record is maintained of the content you have shared and how many times (stored in the ‘used’ section of the platform). And there is the opportunity to preload images for future content stored in the ‘used’ section of the platform. Once again, another benefit within the platform to support strategic management and smart use of time.
Creating content ahead of time
In planning your post you can add your image and caption. I think this is one of the best features of this platform to assist in content generation. The image and content can be added, then scheduled. This is then saved and ready to ‘pop up’ as a reminder to allow for posting.
Mobile application reminder on phone screen. This is a ‘pop up’ that serves as a reminder to post (transfer) the content already created into Instagram.
I have been approaching my content management by loading the images and captions of a Sunday for the week ahead. I have identified the times I would like the post to appear. By populating the content on the desktop I am dedicating my time to plan and consider how I want to share. This then connects nicely to my app, with an alert coming up on my screen.
Later talking to Instagram to transfer your preloaded content.
Some thoughts in regards to the pros and cons of using a platform such as Later for Instagram as a summary includes:
- You can populate and schedule your content and pre plan for the week or month ahead.
- Can support you to think about your digital marketing strategy.
- Reminders are sent to your phone (once you have download the app) for the time and date you set the content to be launched.
- Can edit and proof read your populated content before you post. Perfect if you wish to add or change the content based on your thinking.
- An organisation helper.
- The app allows for sharing and posting on the go. Perfect for the creative juggling multiple tasks.
- Time efficient.
- Helps you forward think to align your posting to core values and missions as a creative or creative business.
- The content is created, however, it does not post it. You still need to transfer the content across to Instagram, however this is easy from the mobile app as it does a direct copy and paste for you with a few directed clicks.
- Must be connected to wifi.