Sometimes we get asked about the tools we use to do the things we do. This afternoon I was creating and scheduling some social media updates for the upcoming week and realized that there are quite a number of the church leaders we work with who are still doing social updates by hand.
Because all of our websites are WordPress based, we were intrigued when about a year or so ago we received information about a new company called CoSchedule that would allow us to schedule social media posts about our blogs (or about anything else, for that matter) right from within our WordPress install. We’d been long-time Hootsuite clients, but the lure of staying within WordPress was just too much to ignore. So we gave them a whirl.
Installing the WordPress plugin was easy and once we punched in our account information, it was easy to add our social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ for us). Then we began adding social media updates.
You can schedule posts weeks in advance, but we tend to work a week at a time so we’re able to keep current. But if you’ve planned your sermon series for the next six weeks, CoSchedule will make it easy to let your Friends and Followers know about the series at just the right time. Just click on the calendar and you’re ready to go.
We like the fact that we have several post options: Share Blog Post; Link Post; Image Post; and Text Post. To be honest, we mostly use the Share Blog and Image Post almost exclusively because it turns out y’all are more likely to read something if there’s an image to attract your attention. We purposely eschew cute kitties and puppies, but most of the pundits seem to suggest that kitties and puppies command attention and clicks (think about that next time you’re designing the next sermon series 😉 )
Of course, being able to schedule your social media posts in advance is a huge plus – talk about being able to manage your time better (listen, the less time you spend on Facebook the better). But for us, the biggest plus in the ability to use CoSchedule with our blog posts.
When you first install CoSchedule, it populates its own database with several months of your most recent blog posts so that you can immediately begin re-posting your gems. This is one of the big mistakes many pastors make (at least the ones who blog). They don’t re-post their older blogs, even though they contain great content. But great content that is undiscovered is a waste of your time (it’s why you should be recording and publishing your sermons online!).
CoSchedule makes it easy to re-introduce your great content. Simply click on the Share Old Post button and you can choose one of your old blog posts easily – the post content will immediately populate with the blog post title and URL. You can add more details if you like (we like to include the author’s name, since we use multiple writers).
But even better, is that CoSchedule tracks which of your posts get the most traffic – in other words, which ones are getting read. The presumption is that if the post is popular, then it’s probably chock full of good stuff. So go ahead and share it again. CoSchedule makes that easy for you too by just clicking on the Top Posts dropdown. The cool thing is, as time goes by it will track the most popular of the this month, last month, this year, or last year. It makes it easy to leverage your hard work!
Frankly, we’re still learning all the features of CoSchedule and they keep adding more bells and whistle. If you’re interested in using CoSchedule in your church and you have questions, feel free to ask us … or better yet, give it a whirl for a free trial. That’s how we started!