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How to Automatically Recycle Your Best Social Media Posts
Have you ever heard of the Rule of 7? It's a marketing adage that states that your audience needs to see your message at least 7 times before they will take an action to connect, engage, or buy from you. So then why would you only ever post about something once on social media?
It's OK to Repeat Yourself
Even if you had the budget, time, and resources to create a 100% brand new unique piece of social media content every day, it doesn't mean that you have to. And let's face it, most of us are doing our own social media, which means that we need to budget our time very carefully and maximize efficiencies when we can. And that is why you need evergreen content.
Just like it's namesake tree, evergreen content is that stuff that is relevant to your business and your audience no matter what time of year it is - it's content that doesn't expire, isn't specific to a holiday or season, or pertaining to a time-limited campaign.
I think that it's OK to repeat yourself verbatim occasionally. For example, if you were asking people to join your mailing list and you had a big push which required you to post every day for a week, then you'll want to make sure each of those posts are slightly different to prevent annoying people with repeat content. However, if you are just promoting your mailing list in general (say, 1 post a month) then post the exact same thing* - chances are that a different group of people are going to see it.
*Note: if your post gets very little engagement or engagement declines over time, then you should definitely switch it up!
What Can You Post That's Evergreen?
Here are some of the things that might be evergreen in your business:
basic information about a product or service
tips for using your product or service
the benefits of working with you
related (but non-competitive) information that would be helpful to your audience
contact info or hours of operation
email list opt-ins or newsletter subscriptions
quotes relevant to your business
How Can You Recycle Your Posts?
Way back when, Hootsuite attempted to solve this issue by introducing bulk uploading. You could (and still can!) create a spreadsheet that contains all of your evergreen posts and upload it every few months for never-ending content. Then came Meet Edgar. It was (to my understanding) the first scheduling service that let you create a database of content that repeated itself on a schedule that you set - eliminating the need to manually upload whenever your posts ran out.
The catch? Meet Edgar was a little pricey for your average solopreneur. But it was inevitable that the more in demand this service became, the more developers would take a stab at it. And so I'd like to introduce you to RecurPost.
Yes, this is an affiliate link. I use this product and I think it deserves more love. I see a lot of people talking about Meet Edgar and SmarterQueue, but nobody seems to be talking about RecurPost, which has a free plan, making it accessible to so many more people, especially those just starting out on social media!
For the purposes of this article, I'll primarily be talking about the features available in the free plan.
Here are the networks that are currently available:
Facebook Profile, Page, or Group*
Linkedin Profile or Company
*Note: when you use a 3rd party tool to post to a Facebook group the post shows that it came from that other software and is visible to all group members (unlike on Facebook pages, where it shows on the post but can only be seen by post admins). If this is something that is really going to bother you then you'll have to keep manually posting to your group.
The free plan limits you to 3 connections out of the possible 6 that are available. If you are a die-hard Instagram or Pinterest user then you'll want to check out Tailwind, Later, or Planoly.
With your free account you also get the following:
100 recurring posts (even if the posts aren't 'active' they count towards this limit)
10 daily posts
2 RSS feeds
autoscheduling to detect the best time to post for engagement
Once you have your accounts set up, the next step is to create a content library to store your posts. I would recommend storing them by theme & network. For example, I have a library that is just for my blog posts, two for motivational quotes (one for Twitter that has hashtags and a short character count, and one for Facebook with no hashtags and longer content), and one for Linkedin tips. Setting your libraries up this way makes it easier to customize your posting schedule and easier to manage your posts going forward. This is especially true if you have regular themed content i.e. #MotivationalMonday, #TipTuesday, #ThrowbackThursday, etc.
You can add posts one at a time, but if you're just starting out you'll probably want to bulk upload. You can paste in your text posts, or if you have a lot of image posts, bulk upload the photos first and then add the text. If you have text that needs to go on every post, such as a specific link or set of hashtags, there is even a place to 'add all'.
And at any point, if you want to stop posting you can pause your libraries.
The scheduling function is extremely customizable. You can post daily, weekly on certain days of the week, or monthly on specified days. For example, I can set up one of my content libraries to post every Monday and Wednesday and on the 1st and 25th of each month. I can set up unique schedules like this for different networks and/or for different content libraries.
RecurPost has a couple of additional features that are really great:
there is a chrome plugin that allows you to add webpages to your content libraries right from your browser (super helpful for adding information directly from your website!)
integrates with Bit.ly and Google to shorten your links
Can it replace Hootsuite?
Maybe. At the moment I have waaaaay too much evergreen content to be able to use it all with a free RecurPost account, so a lot of my posts still get bulk uploaded into Hootsuite. The cost to upgrade RecurPost is about twice as much as what I'm paying now for Hootsuite, however that would eliminate the periodic manual upload that I need to do (or the cost of paying my VA to do it for me!) so in the end it might be worth it to upgrade RecurPost and just use the free version of Hootsuite for social monitoring/listening.