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Do you give a hoot? As in Hootsuite? I do. It’s a planning program that allows you to post on Twitter, Instagram, blogs, Facebook pages and groups by setting up a schedule ahead of time. You can also post to all the social media channels at once.

WARNING: Twitter posts are limited to a certain number of characters, so if you try to post something that is too long at the same time as you’re posting on FB, the program will cut your post off too soon even on Facebook, so schedule those separately.

Otherwise, once you figure out some of the nuances of the various social media platforms, it sure makes life easier.

Hootsuite has been on my mind lately because I’m gearing up to lead new coaches through a training bootcamp for a direct sales company. Because I’m a busy person, and there’s no way I could get these posts done in time, I have pre-scheduled all the content ahead of time. Every morning and evening, new coaches will get a notification that a training video has been posting into their bootcamp Facebook group. Sure, I’ll go in and encourage them to participate. That’s the best way to keep the activity level high, but none of the important information that they need will be missed. It’s all there.

Similar programs to Hootsuite are Buffer and Post Planner. I have used Buffer and I like it.  A lot of people recommend it. I don’t know much about Post Planner, but I have a friend that uses it, so if I need to find out more, let me know.

The advantage to Hootsuite is that it is free to start. It can be cumbersome while free because it’s so restrictive on the number of social media areas you can post. You are limited to 5 total. HOWEVER, you can change those 5 in and out, so you can keep it free a long time.

Hootsuite allows you to set up RRS feeds from other blogs and post them in your groups and pages. You must be an admin of the group or page you are posting to, which is a Facebook rule. How is this beneficial? I am in direct sales of fitness and nutrition products, and I have a group of existing customers who subscribe to a membership site with me as their representative. Blog posts from the main company’s site have great value. Blogs are set up as RRS feeds, and this allows me to share those posts without having to actually click on anything. It’s automated.

Another thing you could do is search for articles out there on the Internet on a certain subject and have those come into a feed that you can review and then decide if you want to re-post it. This can be great for research or supplementing info that you’ve already given out to people. Or if you’re a blogger, and you aren’t feeling terribly creative, start reading on subjects you’d like to learn about. Once you get the hang of doing this research, you’ll be overflowing with blog posts with your spin on things.

Take the time to investigate Hootsuite, Buffer or Post Planner. Know of any others? Comment and let me know. I’ll take a look at it.

In the meantime, watch my video by CLICKING THE OWL on how to do some of this pre-scheduled posting. It’s pretty cool.

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