Author Archives: michaellocalmarketing

How to Sell on Instagram Like the Pros [Proven Tips & Strategies]

By now, you’ve most likely heard that the Instagram platform has surpassed 1 billion monthly active users worldwide and that 400 million+ people are using Instagram Stories on a daily basis.

But, did you know that Instagram now makes up more than one-third (36%) of Facebook’s total ad revenue? A revenue number that is expected to grow to $5.4 billion in the U.S. alone in 2018 and $9 billion globally by 2020.

Needless to say, Instagram advertising is becoming a huge deal  for Facebook and an even greater opportunity for business looking to diversify their advertising channels and reach new customers.

In our latest episode of The Science of Social Media, we’re exploring tons of detailed tips, strategies, and best-practices for how businesses can sell on Instagram like the pros.

Let’s dive in!

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

How to Sell Your Product on Instagram Like the Pros - Proven Tips and Strategies

What you’ll learn in this episode

What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation between Hailley Griffis and Brian Peters. Short on time? No worries! Here are four quick takeaways:

  • Instagram Shoppable Posts: How they work, how to set them up, and how to get started
  • Our top dos and don’ts when it comes to how to sell on Instagram
  • Why UGC (user generated content) and influencer marketing are a few of our go-to Instagram marketing strategies
  • How to create an Instagram business profile that doubles as your business’ home page
  • Measuring the ROI of your Instagram advertising efforts

Must-read resources on how to sell on Instagram

How to sell on Instagram [complete podcast transcript]

Hailley: Hi everyone! I’m Hailley Griffis and this is The Science of Social Media, a podcast by Buffer. Your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and learning.

Brian: Welcome to episode #103! I’m Brian Peters and this week we’re exploring the exciting world of Instagram advertising. There are many opportunities for brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs to sell on Instagram – and all they need is a solid place and guide to get started.

Hailley: And what do you know – we’ve got that (and more) in store for you today. Let’s kick off the show!

Brian: In September of last year, Instagram announced their business community has grown to 2 million advertisers, up from one million advertisers back in March of 2017.

Now in 2018, that number is rapidly growing, which means 1) it’s a perfect opportunity for your business to jump on this exciting advertising trend and 2) two million advertisers might seem like a lot, but in reality, competition is still fairly low and return on investment remains high compared to other platforms such as Google and Facebook.

Hailley: Instagram is a very promising platform in terms of both organic posting AND advertising in 2018 and beyond.

Learning how to promote your products on Instagram without seeming sales-y offers businesses of all shapes, sizes, products, and services some incredible opportunities to reach their target audience and drive sales.

Get this, KeyBank analyst Andy Hargreaves recently estimated that Instagram could generate nearly $9 billion in revenue this year – and one The Street analyst believes that Instagram could hit 1.1 billion monthly active users by the end of 2018.

Meaning, your target audience is likely on the Instagram platform… or will be very, very soon.

Brian: Very soon!

However, being that Instagram is a visual platform first and foremost, the rules of the game are a bit different than you might be used to with other forms of social network advertising and posting.

Businesses and advertisers need to take a different mindset going in. Instagram is all about inspiration, discovery, branding, and what AdWeek calls the “continuation of customer journeys”

Hailley: Exactly. And, of course, the tradeoff with ads focusing on inspiration, discovery and branding is that there tends to be less drive for users to click directly on the ads, since their engagement is more likely to be about simply viewing what ads are offering to them than, say, purchasing a product.

But! this doesn’t mean that Instagram posts and ads aren’t valuable-in fact, it can be quite the opposite.

Instagram is one of the best platforms for brands to engage with customers who may not have intended to purchase a specific product.

Brian: So with that. What we have for you in today’s episode is a list of best-practices, tools, and key data points that you’ll need to know to be successful with Instagram posting and advertising, and ultimately, selling your product or service on the platform.

And remember, every successful content marketing and advertising strategy contains a willingness to experiment a TON, analyze results, and learn quickly.

The best top-level advice we can give you right off the bat is to take a growth marketing approach to your Instagram sales efforts.

HailleyAlright, right off the bat lets cover Instagram Shoppable Posts.

You might have seen these in your feed over the last few months, but essentially Shoppable Posts allow eCommerce and others businesses to tag and add products directly to an image.

Users can then click on a specific product within an image and purchase the item directly on Instagram. So from discovery to checkout, users never have to leave the Instagram app which is pretty incredible.

Brian: Yeah I’ll admit that I’ve been hooked by several Shoppable Posts over the last few weeks. The experience is pretty seamless and fun actually.

However there are a few eligibility requirements you’ll need to check off before you can get started with Instagram shoppable posts:

  1. You must be located in one of the following countries: United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, or Australis
  2. You need an Instagram business account
  3. You must be on the latest version of the Instagram app on either iOS or Android.

Hailley: Yeah, all pretty easy to that point. But there are two more steps to get started which can be a little tricky.

The first is that your business must sell physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies. You can find these on Facebook’s website by searching “Facebook commerce policies” in Google.

And then second, your business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalog. This can be created and managed on Business Manager, directly on your business’s Page on Facebook, or through a 3rd party tool like Shopify.

Brian: I know it’s a bit hard to demonstrate how to complete the steps that Hailley just mentioned, however, be sure to check out this episode’s description in iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts and we’ll include a great resource that HubSpot recently created on getting all of this stuff set up.

Anyhow, as soon as you’ve completed those steps, your account will be reviewed by Instagram before you can access their shoppable posts feature. And once you’ve been approved, you will receive a notification letting you know you’re ready to start selling on Instagram. Boom!

Hailley: And that’s where the fun begins!

Whether you have access to Shoppable posts or not, there are some must-dos (and donts) when it comes to selling your product. And these apply to both organic posting and advertising on Instagram.

The first is that while selling on Instagram is easier than ever, it’s important to remember your audience shouldn’t feel like they are being sold to.

One way to think about it is that you as a business should aim to maintain your current content strategy, and only incorporating shoppable tags on photos that are a natural fit for your profile. The same goes for organic content as well.

Brian: Great point, Hailley. In other words, you’re going to have a lot more success by doing what’s already working for you rather than completely changing your strategy to try and sell products.

For example, a great way to organically sell your products through your posts is by leveraging high-quality user-generated content in your content and ads.

Here’s a fun fact, Millennials trust UGC 50% more than other types of media, so it makes sense that these images would work well for selling your product as well.

One of my favorite brands on Instagram is a outdoor retailer called Huckberry. They do a great job of incorporating UGC into their content naturally. Definitely go check them out for inspiration.

HailleyYeah and somewhat in the same realm of UGC is that you can also optimize your Instagram sales strategy by using influencer posts.

According to HubSpot, Instagram influencer collaborations and sponsorships have nearly replaced traditional ads and are a huge part of a social media strategies today.

One cool example of this is when Herschel Supply (a brand many of you might have heard of) featured a popular fashion model (Michelle Dee) using one of their suitcases on their profile. They of course tagged the suitcase allowing users to instantly purchase it.

Brian: Such a good example, Hailley, and so easily replicated as well.

You can quickly identify several influencers in your space and offer them some sort of compensation for capturing themselves using your product or talking about your product in some way.

Then, you can feature that post on your profile. And for a double win, you can also have them post it to their profile as well.

Lots of fun and creative ways to go about it.

Hailley: Switching over to some quick-fire tips and strategies for selling on Instagram like the pros.

First and foremost, and we’ve chatted about this before, is to treat your business profile as if it were your website’s homepage.

Think about this, there are currently about 3.2 billion internet users in the world.

1.1 billion of those people use Instagram. Meaning that more than one-third of the earth’s population of internet users are on Instagram searching, exploring, and connecting with brands and influencers.

It’s time we start treating social media profiles as more than just a means to an end. They are becoming the end!

Brian: Perfectly said, Hailley. Love that.

So what does this mean for you, you might ask?

Well, this massive shift in behavior means you should be spending as much time and effort curating a beautifully-designed Instagram feed as you would creating your website.

Yup, I said it!

Your Instagram Business profile is your first opportunity to make a great impression and entice people to follow your business. By creating a consistent brand story and aesthetic, you can turn new customers into devoted followers – taking one giant leap closer to making a sale.

Hailley: Another quick tip, along with doing what already works, is to use one of the most effective strategies out there for Instagram advertising and that’s promoting posts you’ve shared on Instagram.

Once you have a Business profile set up on Instagram, you can decide how much you want spend, where you’d like the ad to be seen, and how long you want to run it for.

What we do to decide which posts to advertise with is focus on engagement rate, rather than guessing or randomly picking posts. You can quickly calculate engagement rate for posts by going to your Business profile analytics and dividing the total engagement by total reach.

We also offer many of those same Instagram analytics and data points within the Buffer product for marketers managing Instagram from our dashboard.

Brian: Yeah, I love using Buffer to quickly figure out which posts to boost on Facebook and Instagram. Super easy.

One pro tip is to make sure that you’re using Facebook Ads Manager to manager (instead of just using the Promote button. This will give you a lot more options when it comes to audience targeting, creative, budgeting, and placements. So just a quick heads-up there.

HailleyYeah and, this is material for a separate episode entirely because there’s a ton to cover, but a lot of what we’re talking about today applies to Instagram Stories as well.

So, the basics like making sure you have a complete business profile, not totally changing your strategy just to sell, experimenting a ton, and promoting what works instead of guessing are all applicable to Stories.

However, I know I glossed over that part a bit, so stay tuned for another episode in the near future about using Stories, videos, and multimedia to continue to sell your products on Instagram.

Brian: Good call, Hailley. We could easily turn this episode into a 4-hour deep dive into Instagram advertising. Which we might have to do at one point!

But one more thing that I wanted to mention before you go is measuring the success of your Instagram content and Ads.

Be sure, be sure you have some sort of attribution model or tracking set up for your Instagram content, particularly with ads.

Hailley: Yeah, one of the biggest frustrations we hear from businesses is that they aren’t able to track the success and ROI of their advertising content.

Ensuring that your Instagram ads get credit for their role in any conversion is paramount to painting a clear picture of the full customer purchase journey.

And it has other benefits like making you look like a genius as well as justification for increasing your advertising budget in the future.

Brian: Yeah so first and foremost, use some sort of doc or spreadsheet to keep track of the links you’re using, the copy and image that was used with those links, and how they performed.

It’s important to keep experimenting with images, copy, shopping tags per post, or any other factors that may contribute to your Instagram sales success and have a system in place to track all of that will only make your job easier.

Hailley: No matter what type of products you sell, delving into your Instagram analytics allows you to understand your audience’s wants, improves your content, and ultimately helps you drive more traffic and sales.

Brian: Thank you for tuning in to the Science of Social Media today. The show notes for this episode are available in either iTunes, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. We’ll include links to all of the resources we covered into today’s show.

If you ever want to get in touch with me or Brian, we’re always here for your on social media using the hashtag #bufferpodcast. You can also say hi to us anytime and hello@bufferapp.com.

Hailley: As always, thank you so much for your iTunes reviews! We see more and more pouring in every week and we can’t tell you how much they mean to us.

Our goal is to get to 200 reviews by the end of the year and we’d love for you to help us make it happen!

How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing strategies from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 15,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

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How to Discover Irresistible Content Ideas Using Reddit

We’ve all been there.

Staring at that dreaded blinking line on a blank page.

Every marketer knows the pain of struggling to come up with a topic for their next article, email or social media post.

And while there are lots of ways to come up with great content ideas, I’d like to show you one that doesn’t get talked about much.

It’s a simple strategy that I’ve used to source content ideas for blog posts, workshops, online courses and more.

And all it takes is a site that many of us already visit every day: Reddit.

But first, why Reddit? 3 reasons you need to pay attention

There are plenty of websites and communities online that you can use for your content research.

And you should poke around to find those corners of the internet where your audience is lurking.

Some other places you’d do well to look are:

But here’s why Reddit is a can’t-miss resource, especially when you’re just starting to look:

It’s massive: Reddit is the 6th most popular website on the planet

According to Alexa.com, Reddit is the sixth most popular website on the planet.

And Google Trends data shows no sign of this growth slowing down.

2. Users find it really engaging: 43% more engaging than Facebook

It’s not just traffic that makes Reddit so valuable. It’s how engaged that traffic is.

According to statistics published in The Next Web, the average Reddit user spends 15 minutes, 47 seconds on Reddit.com each day, compared to just over 11 minutes for Facebook.com visitors and 6 minutes 23 seconds on Twitter.com.

And the platform is growing at an incredible rate: Reddit had more than 330 million monthly active users as of April 2018, which is up from 250 million in November 2017.

Since the platform was launched, its users have posted nearly two billion comments and cast more than 16 billion votes.

Conversations on Reddit can get impressively active, and it’s not uncommon for conversations around hot topics to grow to hundreds of comments.

3. It’s unbelievably deep: more than 1.2 million subreddits

No matter what topic you’re trying to research, there’s almost certainly a subreddit (Reddit’s name for topic-specific forums) for it.

Statista suggests that there are nearly 1.2 million subreddits.

Given its size, engagement and depth, Reddit is certain to have something valuable for you to use to come up with a content ideas.

The key is knowing how to navigate this massive site, and how to extract the most powerful, specific insights from its users.

5 steps to mine Reddit for content idea inspiration

1. Find the most relevant subreddits

Let’s start by finding the subreddits that are already hosting discussions about our general topic.

The superstar content team at Buffer needs no help from me coming up with ideas, but we’ll use the theme of this blog – social media marketing – as an example.

Use the search box at the top right of any page on Reddit to search for communities where your theme is discussed:

To keep this process from becoming a messy 50-browser-tabs-open monster, I recommend saving the links for all of the relevant subreddits you find in one place, and tackling the next step one subreddit at a time.

2. Look for people sharing their struggles

Next, we’ll dive into the subreddits we’ve found and look for problems that we can solve for users with our content.

Using the search function again, look for phrases that indicate that someone is struggling with something.

Here are 15 of my favorites:

  • “How do you”
  • “How can I”
  • “I can’t stand”
  • “I’m struggling with”
  • “Can someone help”
  • “Figure out”
  • “Help me”
  • “Tips”
  • “Suggestions”
  • “Suggest”
  • “Biggest challenge”
  • “Biggest challenges”
  • “Hardest part”
  • “Biggest struggle”
  • “Struggle with”

Make sure to include the quotes, especially for the multi-word phrases, as that will ensure an exact phrase match.

Here’s a search on the r/socialmedia subreddit for “how do you”:

Sort your results by “comments”, as I did above, to find the most active conversations.

As you can see, in just my first few minutes of searching, I’ve come across 6 possible ideas for my next piece of content!

  • Tools and tips for running multiple social media accounts for clients.
  • How to overcome burnout as a solo Social Media Manager.
  • How Community Managers can stay organized.
  • Managing Instagram accounts for clients.
  • Dealing with the most difficult parts of being a Social Media Manager.
  • Getting your first 1,000 followers on social media.

You can repeat this process across all of the subreddits you’ve identified to come up with a list of dozens (or more) potential content topics.

Next, let’s dig in to get all of the information we need to ensure our content thoroughly solves the reader’s problem.

3. Go deeper

Once you’ve chosen a topic for your content, it’s time to dig deeper into the conversation so we can learn more about:

  • What other problems do Redditors have that are related to the core problem?
  • What solutions have worked for other Redditors?
  • What solutions have failed?

Understanding this information will help you create a richer, more thorough article.

Following the example above, let’s take a look at the thread for the first search result:

“I started my first ever job in Social Media last month for an agency. What tools/tips do you have for running multiple client accounts?”

In the thread, we find everything from tips for staying afloat…

…to follow-up questions from other posters…

…to tool recommendations, one of which I couldn’t resist sharing:

Armed with your Reddit-mined article idea and the research to build your post around, it’s time to write.

4. Create your content

If you’ve completed each step, then you have everything you need for your next valuable piece of content.

But don’t stop there!

Once you have a blog post written, think about how you can repurpose each idea to drive the most ROI for your business.

For example, you could use that blog post as a foundation for:

  • An Instagram post
  • A YouTube video about the topic
  • A Facebook Live session sharing your advice
  • A Tweetstorm

5. Come back to share

Your content should, of course, be shared in the usual channels that you use to promote your content.

But don’t forgot to also go back to the Reddit thread that inspired you and share your article with the community.

Because old threads might be forgotten about, you’d also do well to send a private message to the original poster letting them know about your post.

This is a process you can reuse over and over again.

And with more than two billion comments to search through, it’s unlikely you’ll run out of ideas anytime soon.

Have you used Reddit to source content ideas? What was your experience like? Leave a comment and let me know.

It’s Time to Reconsider ‘Best Time to Post on Social Media’ Studies. Here’s What to Do Instead.

If you are a social media manager, you’ve likely looked at ‘best time to post on social media’ studies to come up with several posting times for your brand.

I know I have.

But now, I believe it’s time to reconsider these studies.

In the last few years, more and more studies on the best times to post have been released. (At Buffer, we contributed to this too!) And while knowing your best time to post is still very relevant, I’m starting to feel that it’s no longer useful to refer to studies on this topic.

Bad insights can drive poor decision-making and simply going with the best time to post from a study could hinder your marketing efforts rather than help.

Read on to find out what you should do instead…

How to Find Your Best Time to Post on Social Media

Why we should reconsider “best time to post on social media” studies

The concept of ‘best time to post on social media’ is still very much relevant.

Even with social media algorithms, it’s important to get engagement within the first few hours of posting so that the algorithms will show your posts to more of your audience. And finding the right times to post for your brand can help with that.

But I think it’s time we shift our focus away from studies on the best time to post on social media. While the studies are well-intended, they (including ours) are flawed in several ways.

Aggregated data vs unique audience

Many of these studies suggest best times to post based on aggregated data. The challenge with this is that the data includes businesses and individuals from different locations and different industries while your audience is unique to you. It’s hard to say that the average best time to post for a wide range of businesses would apply to your business.

Here are two good examples by Matt Rhodes from his article, The danger of bad insights and poor digital marketing decisions:

For a brand targeting mums, for example, it may make more sense to create engaging content at 2am when mums are awake and alone with their babies. For a brand targeting football fans, as another example, your research may find that your audience most wants to engage after football matches in the afternoon or evening.

Outdated studies

We are guilty of this at Buffer. Our best time to tweet study was done in 2016. Another guide on best times that we compiled was done in 2013!

As social media usage has likely changed over the last few years, the information in these posts might not be that useful now.

It’s also good to note that “newer” studies that were published recently could be referring to much older studies. So it’ll be great to check the primary source of the data before taking the recommendations.

Great starting point

Does this mean that those studies are not useful at all? Not entirely.

They can serve as a great starting point, especially if they suggest plausible explanations for those best times to post. For example, if you are working on an entirely new social media profile and do not have any data of your own to work with, some studies can come in handy. But they are not a copy-and-paste blueprint for success.

Try to go beyond just taking the “best times” from the studies and understand why those could be great times to post. Perhaps it’s because people are using Facebook while commuting to work. Or maybe it’s because teenagers are scrolling through Instagram late at night before they sleep.

And they are just that – a starting point.

What’s more important is to gain a better understanding of your brand’s unique audience such as their social media usage patterns. Let’s go through how to find your best time to post on social media while learning about your audience!

How to find your best time to post on social media

Social media is becoming increasingly personalized. From being a broadcasting channel, social media is becoming a one-to-one and one-to-few engagement channel.

To provide a personalized experience to your brand’s followers, you need to post according to your audience’s social media usage behavior. When done right, there’s a higher chance of them seeing and engaging with your social media posts – more reach and more engagement!

Here’s how to find your own best time to post on social media:

1. For a new social media profile, start with informed guesses

The approach that we’ll be going through below depends on your previous posts. Even if it’s your first social media manager job, the brand probably has some data for you to work with if they have posted before.

If you are taking on a brand new social media profile, don’t worry. You can start with a few informed guesses. Think logically about when your audience might be online and interacting with your social media posts. (Or some of the better studies could be useful.)

Here are some possibilities:

  1. Mornings and evenings during commute time
  2. Lunch and tea break
  3. Weekdays for B2B brands and weekends for B2C brands

If you know your target audience and their rough location, you could use that information to strengthen your hypotheses. For example, if you are a local business in Singapore, you might want to focus on times when people in Singapore are awake.

2. Set up a posting schedule

Once you have a handful of informed guesses, it’s time to test them!

To effectively test your guesses, you would want to post at those particular times a few times. With Buffer’s custom posting schedule, you can easily experiment with the times over a period of a few weeks (or more).

Buffer custom posting schedule

Here’s how the posting schedule works: After you set up your posting schedule with several times, every social media post that you “Add to Queue” will fill up the next available time slot in your schedule (or “Buffer queue”).

To create or change your posting schedule, select your desired social account and click on “Settings”, then “Posting Schedule”.

Here are the quick steps to adding a new posting time:

  1. Select if you want to add the new posting time to every day of the week, only the weekdays, only the weekends, or only a specific day of the week
  2. Set the time
  3. Click on “Add Posting Time”

Add a new posting time

If you want to edit a time in your schedule, simply click on it.

Edit posting time

To delete a time in your schedule, hover over the time and click on the cross that would appear on its right.

Note: Your posting schedule is unique to each connected social account. Adding a new posting time to one social account’s schedule does not apply it to all your connected social accounts.

3. Schedule posts for several weeks

You could schedule a few weeks’ of social media posts all at a go or do it on a weekly basis. Up to you!

This is not truly scientific but three to four weeks of posting would usually give you enough data to work with and find your best times.

What you should be posting can be a blog post on its own (or several blog posts) so I’ll not cover this here. If you would like some reading resources, here are some of our blog posts on content creation:

To schedule your social media posts with Buffer, click on the composer (“What do you want to share?”) in your dashboard. In the composer, select the social media accounts you want to share to and add your text, link, or multimedia. When you hit “Add to Queue”, that post will fill up the next available slot in your posting schedule (or “Buffer queue”).

Tailored posts

Pro tip: When you add a link to the composer, we’ll automatically detect images on the page and suggest them for your post.

4. Study your analytics

Once you have a few weeks worth of data, you can start to analyze your results.

In your Buffer dashboard, select your preferred social media account and click on “Analytics”. There are two ways you can analyze your social media posts and find your best time to post.

Posts Report

The first way is to use your Posts Report. When you click on “Analytics”, you should see it. Otherwise, click on “Posts”.

(This report is only available on our paid plans.)

To find out the best times to post for your social media account, click on “Most Popular” and see when the top posts were published or if any times keep coming up for your top posts. Note down the times. These are your current best times to post.

Buffer analytics: Posts Reports

Pro tip: For a little more advanced exploration, you could filter by “Most Likes”, “Most Clicks”, etc. and/or by post types.

Overview Report

If you are on one of our Business plans and want a more advanced way of finding your best time to post, you could also use the Overview Report, which is available for your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In the Analytics section, click on “Overview” and scroll down till “Engagements by the hour of the day”.

With the chart, you can quickly identify when you receive the most engagements on your social media posts. These are likely the times when your followers are active and interacting with you – possibly also your best times to post to maximize your engagement. Again, note them down.

Buffer analytics: Overview Reports

Pro tip: You could also look at impressions, likes, clicks, etc. by the hour of the day by changing the setting in the upper-left corner.

5. Experiment further

By now, you should have a good sense of the good and bad times <img src="http://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/2.4/72×72/1f609.png&quot; alt="

How to Schedule Tweets to Maximize Reach and Engagement

Even though Twitter has introduced an algorithm to its timeline, most of the tweets we see on our timelines are still displayed reverse-chronologically.

This means that tweeting at the right times can help you reach and engage more followers.

But as social media managers, you most likely don’t have the time to wait around and tweet at specific times of the day. Here’s where scheduling tweets come into play.

Let’s go through why you should schedule tweets, how to schedule tweets, and what to know while scheduling tweets.

How to Schedule Tweets to Maximize Reach and Engagement

Buffer can help you with Twitter scheduling, managing multiple Twitter profiles, and more. We would love for you to give it a try and see the difference.

Why schedule tweets

If you are new to scheduling tweets (or social media posts in general), you might be wondering, “Why should I schedule my tweets when I can just tweet normally?”

Here’s why.

1. Keeps you productive

One of the top benefits of scheduling tweets is to help you be productive.

Think about how often you tweet. We used to tweet up to 14 times a day! On top of tweeting, we also post to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Imagine crafting and publishing every tweet just when we want to tweet. We’ll have to stop whatever we are doing at that moment to tweet.

In an eight-hour day, we’ll be “interrupted” almost every half an hour!

And science tells us that such interruptions are terrible for our productivity and quality of work. Every time we switch between tasks, we take about 10 to 20 minutes to disengage from the first task and move on fully to the second task1. If you tweet 10 times a day, that’s up to three hours of productive time lost!2

Multitasking

By scheduling your tweets, you can batch your content creation together to increase your productivity and content quality.

2. Ensure quality and consistency

Besides making you productive, the other key benefit of scheduling tweets is to ensure the quality of your tweets and to maintain a consistent presence on Twitter.

Scheduling tweets is essentially planning ahead. 

When you plan in advance, you can better stick with your social media strategy than tweeting on the spot every time. For example, you could plan and schedule all your tweets for the week every Monday. By batching the content creation tasks together, you can create better content and be more productive (as explained above).

Scheduling tweets is also great if you have an upcoming campaign, which you want to use Twitter to shout about. While you are planning your promotion, you can create and schedule all your tweets in advance. When comes launch day, you don’t have to panic or worry about your social media promotion. Your tweets will be posted smoothly at your chosen times.

That’s what we recently did when we launched our Instagram direct scheduling feature.

More Than Half Of School Support Staff Spend Their Own Money On School Essentials, Study Shows

More than half of school support staff are spending their own money on food for hungry children, tampons, pencils and books at cash-strapped schools, a new GMB study shows.

The union, which surveyed thousands of teaching assistants and other support staff, said the stories showed the “desperate situation” schools are facing. 

Staff report having to bring toilet paper, plasters, wipes and first aid necessities for their poorly funded schools.

HuffPost UK revealed last week that hundreds of “wish lists” on Amazon’s website carry the names of schools, with many including appeals for people to buy basic supplies ordinarily purchased through everyday budgets.

Recent research by the Association of School and College Leaders found 24% of school bosses said they expect the need for voluntary contributions from parents in order to keep funding mainstream activities.

The GMB’s research show the burden for buying school supplies often falls to the lowest paid members of staff at schools.

Over three quarters of staff told the GMB that their school has been forced to make “significant financial cut backs” as Conservative underfunding of education bites.

In a nationwide survey of members, more than 4,600 school support staff responded to the question “Have you felt obliged to spend your own money on things for the children (food, toilet paper, brought resources from home etc)?”

Barbara Plant, president of the union and a former teaching assistant, called the results of the study “horrifying”.

She said: “A generation of children’s education is being compromised as staff numbers are cut and classes get larger. Meanwhile staff are left out of pocket bringing basic necessities like toilet paper from home.

“Their goodwill is being taken advantage of because they care so much about the children at their schools. The government needs to stop denying that school budgets are being cut – the reality is in front of us.

“If staff cuts continue then many schools will struggle to fulfil their statutory obligations. It’s absolutely vital that schools get the extra funding they need as soon as possible.”

One person who responded to the survey described the challenges their school faces.

“The budget is extremely tight and the kitchen will only prepare a certain amount of food,” the school worker said.

“If the children do not have enough money for a lunch or do not like or drop their lunch, they often do not get another one. I have provided food for these children sometimes. I have also spent my money on books for the library and things for projects in school.

“I also bring in things from my own children as equipment in school is broken or has bits missing. There is no money to replace these items in school so the children go without.”

Another person who responded said: “Due to lack of resources I provide at least 90% of stationery. I regularly provide food and drinks to students. Also toiletries and sanitary products. I regularly clean and repair clothing at home.”

Another member of support staff highlighted the plight of children who are living in poverty. “We have some children under a child protection plan that don’t have any food at home. We buy them food and will cook food to be frozen to see them through the holidays.”

A government spokesman said: “We want all children to have the very best chances in life … We continue to support the country’s most disadvantaged children through free school meals and are provide schools with £2.5billion through the pupil premium to support their education.”

Previously a spokesperson for the Department for Education told HuffPost UK: “Core school funding will rise to a record £43.5bn by 2020 – the highest ever – and 50% more per pupil in real terms than in 2000. We are giving every local authority more money for every school in 2018-19 and 2019-20. In fact, this year a typical primary class will get £130,000.”