How I schedule social media content with Buffer [VIDEO]

No fewer than a half dozen people have asked me recently how I’m scheduling my social media content. Here’s a quick video that shows the entire process in just 11 minutes a day or so, depending on how fast you read.

Click here for the full size version on YouTube.

In this video, the following things are mentioned: for content curation
Flaticon for default art (paid)
Flickr for photo storage and sharing
Buffer, obviously
Buffer’s Pablo app
Tamsen Webster’s Buffer image tip
Moz FollowerWonk for Buffer timing
Buffer Optimal Timing Tool for Buffer timing

I do want to emphasize strongly that this process is my particular way of doing it. It is not “the right way”, nor is it appropriate for a company with an actual social media team that can devote lots of hours and effort to curating content that’s unique and tailored to each channel. This is a methodology more suited for a solo proprietor/individual practitioner who doesn’t have hours a day to devote to content scheduling.

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The 5 song playlist for tough times


We live in challenging times. There are so many opportunities for us to make ourselves sick with worry, so many ways to fill our days, nights, and Facebook feeds with anguish. Some of the worry is vicarious, and some of it is incredibly personal and firsthand. All that anxiety takes a tremendous toll on ourselves, our minds, our hearts, our ability to do what must be done in our own lives to keep advancing.

To mitigate the effects of some of this very real psychological warfare that we wage against ourselves, there’s an ancient meditation practice we can draw upon, a method of mental self-protection, which I first learned from Stephen K. Hayes. Using the most modern tools, we can freshen it up for today’s world.

What you’ll need: headphones, a device capable of playing your favorite music, and about 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted time depending on the songs you like. No sitting on top of mountains needed, just a room where you won’t be interrupted, by other people or by yourself.

Using the music and software of your choice, you’re going to pick 5 songs you know well and assemble them into a playlist. The platform doesn’t matter, use whatever you like best, from iTunes to Spotify to Pandora, etc.

First Song: Reboot

For the first song in your playlist, pick a song that reboots you. The song should cause you to forget whatever it is you were doing, to stop and just listen. The song should command 100% of your attention.

Second Song: Action

The second song in your playlist should inspire you to take correct actions, to move in the world in the most positive, most productive way. Maybe it’s a favorite workout song that gets you pumped up. Maybe it’s an inspiring song that makes you get up and want to join a cause.

Third Song: Word

The third song in your playlist should inspire you to choose correct words, words that heal and help, rather than harm. What songs inspire you to be more poetic, to speak better, to choose words? You could pick a love song, perhaps, or a song that has helped you say the right things during tough times and tough relationships.

Fourth Song: Thought

Your fourth song should inspire you to think more clearly. What music helps you to reflect, to reason, to take some time to have a conversation with yourself? What song makes you contemplate or dive deep inside to understand what you’re thinking? What song forces you to pause, close the door, and think?

Fifth Song: Armor

The final song in your playlist should be your armor. This is the song that makes you stand up tall, feel like you’re invincible, powered up, ready to take on the world. This is the song that, when you hear it, makes you feel like the arrows being fired at you simply bounce off, like a superhero. You brighten up, you almost literally shine.

You’ll note that I have assiduously avoided any mention of the songs on my personal playlists. These songs are deeply personal to you, and only to you. Take the time to root through your music catalog to find the perfect fits for yourself, rather than emulate what someone else uses. Like a favorite recipe, what you love most will work best for you and you alone. Change out songs as you need to, as you find better songs that fit each role more perfectly.

Use this to armor up, to protect yourself against an increasingly hostile, depleting world.

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Begin marketing plans at the STEM

Over the past few weeks, as 2015 ramps down, many marketers are deep into 2016 planning. I’ve had the chance to see many plans, large and small, from companies that are household names to companies you’ve never heard of. A fair number of those plans have the same flaws, the same lack of structure that could take a decent plan and make it great.

What structure could take a good plan and make it great? I use the acronym STEM (not to be confused with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the educational initiative). STEM in this context means Strategy, Tactics, Execution, and Measurement:


Strategy is the why. Why are you doing this at all? What’s the goal, what are the big picture methods? For example, if your plan is about lead generation, then the why could be because pipeline growth needs to be 3x next year without spending more hard dollars. There’s a goal and a general method.

Tactics are the what. What are you going to do? What are you not going to do? As I’ve said in the past, strategy is the menu and tactics are the cookbook, so what recipes are on or off the table for consideration? Recall that time and resources limit our strategy and inform the selection of tactics. In the lead generation plan example, the what could be organic search boosting and increased email marketing, since you can contain hard dollar costs on those channels more easily than on, say, display ads.

Execution is the how. How are you going to do the things you said you’d do? How will the “what” happen? This is where you determine budget breakdowns, personnel assignments, editorial calendars, orders of operations, and all the things that make a program work. Execution is when you set up objectives, milestones, scrums, etc. In the lead generation plan example, the how would be the editorial calendar of keyword-focused content and cadence of email marketing.

Measurement tells you what happened. A measurement plan ensures that you can showcase your successes and mitigate failures quickly. Measurement means setting your KPIs and diagnostic metrics and the cadence of your measurement cycles. In our lead generation plan example, KPIs would include increased inbound links and clickthrough rates in email, since both of those numbers going to zero means the plan fails immediately.

This structure, this framework, can be used for nearly anything in marketing and business. You can make it the skeleton of your strategic business plan. You can make it the foundation for your marketing plan at a big picture level or on a campaign basis. It’s well suited for sales proposals because it cleanly answers the major questions a prospective customer will have. Feel free to use it in any part of your business!

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