Marketing Strategy

The Best Social Media Schedulers for Sharing Evergreen Content

The best social media schedulers for sharing evergreen content - I've tried different social media tools so you don't have to - get the scoop on which social media scheduler is the best for automatically re-sharing content.

I’m a big believer in scheduling (at least some of your) social media, not only because it saves time and helps to streamline your workflow but honestly – because I KNOW that when I don’t schedule things in advance, sometimes they just don’t get done at all! If you want to be active on social media on a regular basis (and at optimal times), sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to be posting / pinning / tweeting / etc. while you could be working / sleeping / drinking too much wine / etc. – right?!

A while back I compared two popular social media scheduling platforms Hootsuite vs. Buffer, but as I noted at the end of that post, last year I switched to Edgar for social media scheduling – mainly for the ability to automatically recycle evergreen content. I love this feature! Recycling evergreen content saves a TON of time.

I had loaded up my Edgar queue with over 300 posts and things were humming along, but my one main issue with Edgar was pricing. Compared with the $10 plans I had previous paid for Hootsuite / Buffer, Edgar’s pricing was $49/month (it’s now $79/month, eek!) which I was never really thrilled about spending. In theory, because Edgar automatically recycles content (something that we were doing manually with Buffer back in the day), it saves a lot of time (and time is $$$) so I justified that it was probably worth the premium – but since I also use BoardBooster / Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling, adding Edgar’s fees on top of those was not really ideal.

At the end of 2016, I decided to look into some alternative options and came across Viraltag. I’m pretty sure I looked into Viraltag a couple years ago when I was comparing Pinterest schedulers, but since then Viraltag has added a number of new features including the ability to recycle posts (which is the feature I really loved about Edgar). So I decided to give Viraltag a try and around the same time came across SmarterQueue.

The Best Social Media Schedulers for Sharing Evergreen Content: Edgar vs. Viraltag vs. SmarterQueue

I thought I’d compare the platforms for anyone who is researching social media schedulers and is looking for a platform with a “post-recycling” feature.

 

PRICING

Viraltag and SmarterQueue were the two best social media schedulers I found that had the evergreen content recycling tool I wanted AND were priced lower than Edgar.

Edgar is currently priced at $79/month or $588/year, Edgar can schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages, and groups) and LinkedIn (profiles and pages).

Viraltag plans start at $29/month or $288/year for up to 10 social profiles. There are additional plans for teams / agencies who need multiple users and/or more than 10 social profiles. Viraltag can schedule unlimited posts for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (profile and pages), Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn (profiles and pages).

SmarterQueue plans start at $19.99/month or $203/year for up to 4 social profiles. There are additional plans for people who need up to 25 profiles. You can schedule posts for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages and groups), and LinkedIn.

 

SIMILARITIES

All of these social media schedulers allow you to schedule evergreen content to multiple platforms. Why is this so amazing? Not everyone sees what you’re posting. Recycling content is a no-brainer way to save time, and by sharing and re-sharing content, you’ll get in front of new people.

With these schedulers you can also create categories of posts to share at different times. These can be posts from your own blog, other blogs, specific promotions or sales, inspirational quotes, etc. You can create various categories that are applicable to your business and share posts at different intervals.

All of these schedulers also feature a calendar view of your posts which is always nice. It makes it easy to visualize your content as well as edit and move things around.

 

DIFFERENCES

Curating content is one of the important parts of scheduling social media but Edgar doesn’t really have a built-in tool to help you discover and share content. With Viraltag, you can connect your Pinterest, Instagram, or Flickr feed and share directly from there – so it makes is really easy to share visual content in particular. SmarterQueue is the best of best at curating content from anywhere in any feed whether it’s your Facebook feed, Pinterest feed, Twitter feed, or content from specific users or RSS feeds. Anything searchable can be created and saved in a feed and if you use Feedly to bookmark sites, you could even import your bookmarks.

When it comes to importing content, Edgar and Viraltag don’t have the ability to bulk upload content. So if you have a spreadsheet where you keep track of social content, you won’t be able to bulk upload. But luckily you can in SmarterQueue – and this will definitely save you time if you’re moving from one social media scheduler to another.

In analyzing posts, Edgar and Viraltag both have basic analytics showing the number of times the post was shared and re-shared as well as your best times to post – but these analytics don’t really compare to SmarterQueue‘s analytics. With this scheduler, you can see all the same stats on how many people clicked on your link or shared your post, but you can also see specific analytics around how much MORE engagement you received by recycling your evergreen posts. SmarterQueue integrates with bit.ly so you can see all of the stats on the links you’ve shared over time which can be more helpful that seeing stats on individual posts.
THE WINNER – SMARTERQUEUE

Of these three social media schedulers that I’ve used, SmarterQueue comes out on top. I don’t think that Edgar is worth the price for what you get. Viraltag is great if you’re looking for a tool to schedule visual content, but it feels like it’s geared more toward Instagram and Pinterest users rather than other social media platforms. In my opinion, SmarterQueue is the best all around tool for scheduling evergreen content across all platforms AND it’s more affordable!

Want to give it a try? Normally you get a 14 day free trial, but if you CLICK THIS LINK you’ll get 30 days free to try out my favorite social media scheduler for yourself!

Easy Ways to Customize Stock Photos for Your Brand

How to customize styled stock photos for your brand - tips for customizing stock photos so they are more unique to your brand and stand out from the crowd. Try these 4 easy ways to customize your stock photos!

You probably already know that stock photos can make your life much easier by saving time and $$$, BUT it’s kind of annoying to know that you’re using the same photos as a bunch of other people, right? Luckily there are a few easy ways to “customize” your stock photos to make them look more unique to your brand!

OVERLAY TEXT

You’re probably using stock photos for your blog or social media and adding a text overlay is an easy way to make them look more intentional. You can overlay text for blog post titles, quotes, testimonials or any other promotional messaging for your brand.  Use your brand fonts and colors so that your images are easily recognizable – even if you are just using stock photos. For example, I use my own stock photos for most of the graphics you see on this blog, but since I’m using consistent fonts / styles for the text all of my blog post graphics have a similar look.

OVERLAY COLOR

Many styled stock photos have excess whitespace where text can easily be added, otherwise you can always add a colored overlay over all or part of the image so that your text stands out. Adding a colored overlay over a whole (or most of an) image is an easy way to make stock photos that aren’t entirely in your brand’s color palette work for you. Since the overlay “hides” most of the colors in the image, you can be a bit more flexible with the stock images you use in this way.

You can also add a colored overlay over only a small portion of an image where you want to add text or other branded elements. If you’re using neutral stock photos this is an easy way to infuse a bit of your brand’s personality into your graphics without distracting too much from the style of the images.

In the examples below you can see a few different ways I’ve customized styled stock photos for my brand – in the top left image I’ve added “hello” text on the gold clipboard using my brand font / color, in the top right I’ve overlaid a screenshot from my website on the laptop screen, in the bottom left image I’ve added a large color overlay at 50% opacity with text on top, and in the bottom right image I’ve added a smaller color overlay at 100% opacity with text on top. These are just a few ways you can add text or other brand elements to your stock photos to make them more unique to your business.

How to customize styled stock photos for your brand - easy tips for making the most out of your styled stock photos if you are a blogger or small business owner using stock photos for your website, blog or social media graphics!

OVERLAY YOUR PRODUCT IMAGES

If you sell physical or digital products, use your stock photos to showcase whatever you are selling. You can overlay product images on stock photos with excess white space or mockup style images with frames or tech elements where you can insert your work. I love the way The Spotted Olive used one of our stock photos to showcase these festive holiday gift tags on Instagram!

CROP / ROTATE / FLIP THEM

Last but not least, instead of sharing stock photos “as is” – most high quality images can be cropped, rotated, and/or flipped for a more unique effect. This is also an easy way to get more bang for your buck since you can crop stock photos in multiple ways and use them multiple times!

In the example below, you’ll see one of the images from the Styled Stock Society (center image) and how it could be cropped / rotated to create 4 completely different images. In addition to these examples, it’s also the image I used for the main title graphic for this blog post!

How to crop styled stock photos to maximize versatility - get more use out of styled stock photos by cropping them into multiple images!

TIPS FOR CUSTOMIZING STOCK PHOTOS FOR YOUR BRAND

If you’re customizing stock photos for your brand using any of these methods, it can be helpful to use certain tools to make the process as simple as possible! Personally I use Adobe Photoshop for most of my customizations but you can use free tools like Canva to add text or other branded elements as well.

  • Create templates – regardless of what tools you are using to customize your stock photos, setting up templates can save you a ton of time. Setting up templates makes it easy to just switch up your stock image and text instead of starting from scratch every time you want to customize something.
  • Be consistent – if you’re adding graphic elements, colored overlays, or filters to your stock photos, you should be consistent with the styles and colors. You want your images to be easily recognizable, so don’t change things up too often!

CUSTOM PHOTOS FOR YOUR BRAND

So those are a few ways to “customize” your stock photos so they are a better reflection of your brand. Stock photos are an affordable option for incorporating high quality visuals into your marketing (and I recommend them, especially if you have a limited marketing budget), but if you’re ready to elevate your brand with styled images that are completely unique to your business, I recommend investing in custom brand photography ;)

Prefer to DIY your own brand images?

Check out this post for the best resources for Instagram props and don’t miss the Shopbop Spring sale (ends April 14th at 11:59pm PT) to save up to 20% on orders under $500 or 25% on orders over $500 – just use code EVENT17 at checkout! (full details here)  I’ll be stocking up on home decor items and some pretty stationery!

How are you customizing stock photos for your brand?

GET FREE STOCK PHOTOS EVERY MONTH

6 Ways to Develop Share-Worthy Content Ideas For Your Blog

6 ways to develop share-worthy content ideas for your blog - know exactly what to write about so your audience loves your blog content and shares your blog posts to increase your exposure and grow your blog reach.

One question I see all the time is “how do I get more blog readers?” and while that could have MANY possible answers, one of them is simply: write better blog posts. When I say better, I mean blog posts that posts that are actually HELPUL to people – not just, here’s what I did this weekend or here are some things I like. Even if people are interested in YOU, your blog posts should really help you relate to THEM. The more you create helpful, relatable content >> the more likely people will share it >> the more likely your blog posts will be discovered by new people >> the more your readership can grow.

Six ways to develop share-worthy content ideas

So what makes blog posts “share-worthy” anyway? Obviously the content has to be relevant to your audience (because if you’re audience is interested in organic beauty and you blog about pizza, that’s just confusing) but more than that, you want people to be able to walk away having learned something from your post. So rather than sharing just for the sake of sharing, share something because you want to teach a lesson / inspire action / build a connection / or provide REAL value to your audience in some way.

Expand on popular post topics

The first place I start when it comes to content planning is my existing content. Know what topics and types of posts your audience is responding to – and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t – I’ve probably typed those exact words 100+ times on my blog, because it’s something I really believe in. When I do my quarterly content planning, I look back at my blog analytics (I use google analytics but I know WordPress / Squarespace also have built in analytics with stats on your top posts) to determine which topics have been most popular. From there, I think about how I can expand on those popular posts to give more audience even more information about the given topics.

For example, this post on 10 ways to grow your Instagram (how I grew from 0 – 15,000 followers without spending any money) was my most popular post in 2015, so I wrote a follow up post on how to double your Instagram following (how I grew from 15,000 to 30,000 followers in 2 months).

Take action: Think about how you can expand on a particular topic by giving an update, teaching the next step, or sharing even more knowledge about whatever it is your audience is interested in!

Create a tutorial

Some of the best blog posts are blog posts that actually teach you how to do something! Think about how many times you’ve googled “how to ______” when you didn’t know how to do something. I do it all the time. Everything from “how to customize ConvertKit emails” to “how to fishtail braid” to “how to teach your dog to rollover” – I’ve got the emails and braids figured out, but we’re still working on rollover…

The more specific and actionable your tutorial is – the more helpful it will be – so take things step by step and share images / screenshots / videos whenever they are helpful!

Take action: Think about all of the things you know how to do (in relation to your industry + target audience) – you may have learned things because of your education or your experience (or both!), but I guarantee there are things that you know how to do that other people want to learn! Even if there are other tutorials online, no one has your exact point of view – so don’t be afraid to share your knowledge!

I guarantee there are things you know how to do that other people want to learn!

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably get asked questions from your customers / clients / followers / subscribers / etc. – and how many times have you typed out the same responses? Blog posts can be an easy way to respond to frequently asked questions in a more in depth way. You might get questions in your comments, via emails, on social media, or in other forms of your community – this is an easy way to come up with content ideas that you KNOW your audience wants to know more about because they are already asking you for it!

For example, one of the questions I get most frequently regarding my stock photos is “how can I use these for my business / blog?” While I have a broad explanation on my FAQ page, I also link to a blog post on 10 ways to use styled stock photos that goes into more specific detail with a number of different examples.

Take action: If you’re not already keeping a running list of frequently asked questions, start now! And if no one is asking you any questions then either 1) you should probably be engaging more with your audience so they feel more comfortable interacting with you or 2) you need to increase your visibility + reach more people!

Survey your audience

Most people aren’t going to tell you what they want – until you ask them. That’s why periodically surveying your audience can be eye-opening in terms of learning more about what your audience actually wants learn more about. I recommend asking your audience a combination of multiple choice and open-ended questions – multiple choice makes it easy for them, and open-ended questions give them the opportunity to tell you in their own words exactly what they want / what they struggle with / what they have questions about / etc.

For example, last year I surveyed a particular segment of my email list who had indicated they were interested in learning more about Instagram but hadn’t enrolled in any of my Instagram courses. At the time, I thought most people were just interested in growing their following, but my survey results revealed that a large segment of that list was actually struggling with figuring out what to even post on Instagram! After learning this, I not only published a blog post on Instagram content planning, but also created a free 14 day Instagram content challenge! 

Most people aren’t going to tell you what they want until you ask them. So ask them.

Take action: You should be surveying your audience at least once a year to learn more about them + their needs. I use Typeform for my surveys but you could also use other free tools like Google forms or Survey Monkey.

Search Pinterest

Pinterest is my favorite search engine for developing new content ideas because you can not only find popular content and also easily see how often it’s being shared. On Pinterest you can search for key words related to your business and see what other people are searching for as well as pinning in relation to those key words. Not only can you find relevant pins, you’ll see how many times pins have been repinned as well as relevant board that may have other topics related to your key words.

For example, if you sell fashion jewelry, you might search “statement necklace” and you’ll see other people are searching for “statement necklace outfit” and “statement necklace how to wear” which tells you that people are looking for content to help them visualize how to wear statement necklaces. From there you might create a blog post on how to style statement necklaces for special occasions or how to wear statement necklaces at work (or wherever your target audience might wear statement necklaces).

Take action: Think about key words related to your business and search for a few different phrases on Pinterest to see what other people are searching for as well as what types of relevant content are being pinned. Take note of potential blog post ideas and when you write the posts, make sure you are sharing them on Pinterest!

Search Facebook groups

Another place to find blog post ideas is within relevant Facebook groups. This strategy can be extremely helpful if you run your own Facebook group, but even if you don’t have your own community, you can take advantage of other relevant groups to see what types of questions people are asking related to your business.

For example, if you are a graphic designer who specializes in the wedding industry you might search within Facebook groups for wedding industry professionals to see what types of questions people are having relating to design / branding / etc. Even if questions in the group aren’t directly related to certain “key words”, you may find that there are relevant questions or discussions that could be tied to your expertise. In this case, you may find wedding professionals asking for help in getting new clients so you might write a blog post on how intentional design can help wedding professionals attract new clients.

Take action: If you’re not already a member of relevant Facebook groups, find 2-3 groups filled with members who might be your ideal clients / customers and search for key words related to your business in the group discussions. If you’re not getting results that are helpful, try scrolling through the group for a bit to see the types of questions being asked and determine if they could relate to your business.

So those are six ways to develop share-worthy content ideas for your blog (or any other form of regular content you are creating). From my experience, even using 2-3 of these strategies can help me come up with enough content ideas for an entire quarter (or more!), so if you’re struggling to figure out what to share on your blog / vlog / or other content channels, give these a try and let me know what you think!

Need help planning your blog content? Download my free blog content planner below!

 

 

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