When I first flirted with the idea of going vegan, I became ob-freakin’-sessed with almond milk.
I thought it was so much better for my insides than dairy.
I felt like a chic hipster goddess making my own homemade milk from raw almonds and dates. (I took this horrendous, grainy Instagram photo to prove how cool I was.)
I poured the stuff on everything — cereal, tea, coffee, smoothies, oatmeal — and drank glass after glass straight.
But what I didn’t realize is that almond milk, while delicious, all-natural, and animal-friendly, was full of fat and calories.
It’s the good kind of fat, of course. But I was so focused on the healthy benefits while guzzling it down that I forgot about all the calories I was adding to my daily intake.
(I should note here that I’m not a calorie counter by ANY stretch of the imagination, nor do I ever hope to be. My mom lovingly calls me “piglet,” if that’s any indication of what my appetite’s like.)
But my point is this:
Sometimes, we think we’re making a smart, responsible move…but it ends up bringing some unexpected consequences.
Planning your content and scheduling social media is a really smart business move. There’re no two ways around that. But there are some huge mistakes that can come with the territory.
Here are 5 big kahuna scheduling mistakes, and how you can avoid them:
1. Using automated post copy.
Many social media scheduling tools (including my fave, Buffer) can automatically write post copy for you. While it’s tempting to go with the wording they generage, don’t!
When you use pre-written posts, you lose the opportunity to give your spin on things. You lose any chance at originality and you miss out on sharing that beautiful voice that makes you, YOU. Many Times, The Automated Copy Also Has Capitalization Like This, Which Just Looks Weird and Robotic. Who types like that? It’s a dead giveaway that you’re taking a shortcut and didn’t write the post yourself. So take ten seconds and write your own post copy. Your followers will get a much better sense of you that way.
2. Setting and forgetting.
Once posts are scheduled, many people think their job is done. Not so! You never know what could go wrong behind the scenes with your scheduling tool. Check in periodically on your scheduled posts to make sure everything is running a-okay.
You also want to mix in live updates with your scheduled posts to keep it real. On Wednesday, my dog Brody got sick and I set up shop next to his bed. I knew my entrepreneur audience would relate to that, so I bumped my pre-scheduled post to another day and shared a photo of my workspace on the floor instead. Real-time updates make your social media feel more genuine, which is the #1 thing you always want to convey.
Piggybacking on this point…
3. Always posting, never conversing.
Putting out content is only half the social media battle. You still have to respond to comments and get involved in social conversations!
I see a lot of people churn out high-quality content, but they’re not seeing the engagement they want. That’s because they’re not engaging themselves! Take 5-10 minutes a day to interact with your audience, respond to comments, and jump into other conversations around the social-sphere. It’s game-changing. Plus, it shows you’re a real person, not just a content-generating machine.
4. Keeping it too consistent.
Coming up with your Signature Blend™ is step 1 in the social branding equation. You decide on your topic mix and posting frequency + times, schedule your posts, and rather, rinse, repeat…right?
It’s so crucial to always be monitoring and responding to trends. Don’t be afraid to readjust your content mix and posting times based on analytics. In fact, I recommend you DO adjust those things, even if everything is going swimmingly! Talk about different topics. Post at different times. Try out a new graphic style. Punch up or play down your tone. Social is all about testing, testing, testing. And you can’t do that if you keep things too same-y.
5. Repeating yourself.
One of the biggest benefits of using a content calendar to plan your social media is that you have an easy way to repeat posts. I’m a big supporter of re-posting content that performs well, because chances are most of your followers haven’t seen it.
BUT — and this is a Kim Kardashian-sized but — you must use different words. Just copying and pasting your original post is NOT the way to do it. Your audience will be annoyed that you’re putting the same thing out there and they won’t get anything new out of it. In repurposed post #2, try asking a question, taking a different view, highlighting a different feature, using different hashtags, etc. so it doesn’t bore your loyal fans. Make it look and feel like something new.
If you’re guilty of making one or more of these scheduling mistakes, there’s no sense getting upset (over spilled (almond) milk.) We all slip up.
Starting today, make it a point to re-organize your systems so that you won’t fall into the trap of scheduling making you look impersonal. Because after all…
Scheduling your social media takes your biz to a new level. Don’t let that level make your brand feel like a robot. (Tweet this!)
Do you schedule your posts? Why or why not?
What’s your favorite scheduling tool?
What are some other mistakes you’ve seen people make when scheduling posts?