Before you get started with putting your content into some sort of schedule, your ministry will need to decide on two things.
- Content – What exactly will you post? Newsletter information? Bible verses? Pictures from ministry events?
- Schedule – How many posts will you send each day and at what time will you post. I recommend 3 posts per day for Facebook, 1-2 for Instagram, and 5+ for Twitter. You can refine your timing once you evaluate the insights and analytics for your platforms (Social Media sites).
If your ministry is set up via Facebook PAGE rather than Facebook PROFILE, then you already have a built in scheduling tool without the need for additional doodads. But if you’re into doodads that will make your life even easier…read on.
FACEBOOK SCHEDULER VIDEO
Social Media Platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
The free version of Buffer allows you to add one of each platform listed above (excluding Pinterest). Once you have created your schedule, you can load up to 10 posts into your queue. For ministry purposes, I would recommend the Awesome Plan which allows you to schedule up to 200 posts for only $120 a year and multiple accounts for each platform.
Buffer is great especially when you find a great article online, a post on Facebook, or even a sweet Tweet. You can download plugins to your web browser so that you can share impromptu information via Buffer and keep your content fresh and relevant. Buffer is available on all computers and there is a mobile App you can download for on the go posting.
An added perk is Buffer’s analytics which help you understand what posts are working, when, and which ones have missed the mark.
Social Media Platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, WordPress, YouTube, and Instagram.
Two key features with Hootsuite, which makes it better than Buffer, is the ability to schedule unlimited post and scheduling for Instagram. When you follow your schedule, Hootsuite makes it easy to get your content out there and even has their own in-house analytics to help you see what’s working for you ministry.
Hootsuite is also the only free scheduling platform (that I am aware of) that will schedule posts for Instagram…this is huge! (Instagram is more widely used by youth, which makes it a great tool for youth and children’s ministries.)
The caveat with the Instagram scheduler is that Hootsuite will not post it for you; rather your smart phone or tablet will receive a notification when it’s time to post to Instagram. From there, you open the Hootsuite App and the post will be copied for you and you will be taken to the Instagram App to complete the post. I know what you’re thinking, “I thought this was supposed to make it easier.” Unless you want to pay a monthly fee, this is the best option for keeping your Instagram up-to-date.
Social Media Platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Edgar is not free, in fact it’s $50 a month. There isn’t even a free version, just a 30 day trial. However, once you use your trial, you won’t want to go back to using anything else. Here’s why…
EDGAR VIDEO ->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_iXM98ihgg
Here’s how I use each of these tools for ministry:
Facebook Scheduler – I don’t use this.
Buffer – I use Buffer to flesh out the Twitter account and only use fresh content, buffered in three time slots.
Hootsuite – Instagram youth account. It’s the only thing I use Hootsuite for anymore.
Edgar – Everything else. I have several categories I keep fully stocked: Sermons and Members, Ministries and Fundraisers, Bible Verses, and Music. I check the Sermons and fundraiser posts once a week to make sure they are up-to-date and delete old posts. Since Edgar allows me to keep a library of posts, I don’t have to sweat over Social Media every day, I simply add to what we already have. This means our Facebook is never barren and it’s always up-to-date, leaving me free to do my job more fully.
How would you use each of these tools for your ministry?