How To Schedule Repeating Social Media Posts For Free

How To Schedule Repeating Social Media Posts For Free

 

Social media is hands down one of the best tools you have in your online business.

Being able to reach millions of people simply by sharing your offers or blog posts on popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter is a priceless opportunity to grow your audience, and boost your website traffic.

However, if we all spent as much time as we need to actually on these social networks each day to reach our audience consistently, there would be  no time for creating the amazing content you're sharing in the first place!

Bottom line...

'Aint nobody got time for that $#!@!

Social media schedulers are a saving grace in this respect, but many of them still require you to continually add posts to your "queue", awaiting their chance to be featured in your feed.

This is one of the main reasons I've loved on MeetEdgar for so long, because you can set repeating posts on a schedule, and never have to worry about your queue drying up!

And while this system is perfect for people with Facebook groups that have certain theme days to post each week, or for recycling posts at different times in case someone missed it on Twitter, the cost isn't always in the budget for those who are just getting started.

I'm still 1000% in love with Boardbooster for Pinterest scheduling and "looping" (OHMYGAWD the looping!), but am trading in my little octopus friend Edgar for a free option that will do the same thing!

How To Schedule Repeating Social Media Posts For Free!

Step 1: Sign Up For Free Account With...

To put this gorgeous hack into action on Facebook pages, Facebook groups (that you are an admin), and Twitter, you'll need to sign up for free accounts with the following:

Google (you can use your current email address when you sign up, but must be signed in to access Google Apps)

Buffer (you will only need this if you are wanting to post to a Facebook group you admin) 

IFTTT (you're gonna fall in love with this one!)

Step 2: Connect Your Accounts

Next you'll want to connect your new accounts with your social media accounts. 

If you're only using it with a Facebook page and Twitter, then you only need to connect them directly to IFTTT.

You can do this in your IFTTT account by selecting "Channels" from the top menu, and then searching for Facebook Pages, Google Calendar, and Twitter.

When each comes up from your search, you'll have the option to connect them to your profile. Click the connection option, and authorize them to communicate with your social accounts when prompted.

How To Schedule Repeating Social Media Posts For Free

(If you aren't using this hack to post to a Facebook Group you admin, skip ahead to step 3)

To connect a Facebook Group, you'll need to complete 2 steps. First, repeat the process above, but by searching for "Buffer" and connect your account.

Then, you'll want to connect your Facebook Group to Buffer by clicking on the "+" sign next to "Accounts", and selecting "Facebook Group" from the options on your Dashboard.

Step 3: Creating a Recipe

IFTTT works on "recipes" you create, telling it that "IF this happens...THEN that should happen". So in this step we'll be telling it to start posting to your social media profiles.

Start by heading to "My Recipes" in the menu at the top, and select "Create Recipe". You'll then need to select your "THIS" factor, which is going to be Google Calendar. Once prompted to choose the "trigger", select the option in the middle titled "Event From Search Starts".

How To Schedule Repeating Social Media Posts For Free

In the trigger field, create a hashtag that you will associate with the posts you are trying to schedule. For example, for my Facebook Page posts I use #fbpage, #fbgroup for my group, and just #twitter for Twitter.

Next you'll need to define your "THAT" factor, which will depend on what you're scheduling. If it's Twitter or Facebook Page posts, select whichever one of those channels matches the hashtag you chose. If you're wanting to create a recipe for a Facebook Group, then your "THAT" factor will be Buffer.

If You've Selected Facebook Pages...

You'll need to decide if this recipe will be for status updates, link posts, or image posts. I personally only use this scheduling hack for image posts because I post status updates live. But if you'd like to use each of these options, just use separate hashtags for each so you can create 3 different "recipes", such as #fbstatus, #fblink, and #fbpic.

If You've Selected Twitter...

You'll need to decide if you want to post a Tweet, or post a Tweet with an image. As above, if you want the functionality of both, you'll need to create 2 separate recipes, and defining hashtags such as #tweet and #twitterpic, so you can tell them apart!

If You've Selected Buffer (for Facebook Groups)...

You'll need to decide if you're adding a status/post with a link, or if you're adding an image post. If adding both, create 2 separate recipes and more specific hashtags like #groupstatus and #groupimage.

For the "Action Fields" sending out status updates or link posts, you'll want to replace that "Title" placeholder that is there with the following: {{Description}}

For the "Action Fields" sending out image posts, you'll want to have the Photo URL field say: {{Where}} and the Description Field say: {{Description}}

On the final screen select "Create Recipe" and you're all set!

Step 4: Creating Your Post Library

This is the last step in the sequence, where you'll start adding the posts you want published!

Head over to your Google Calendar by going to Google.com, and selecting Google Calendar from the Apps menu at the top of the screen.

How To Schedule Repeating Social Media Posts For Free

Once you've arrived in your calendar, simply click in the box that fits the time and day you'd like to schedule a post.

A small box will popup asking for What the event is, this will be the name of your event. The name of your event will not only allow you to easily see what the post is about, but will also be what tells IFTTT which recipe to kick into action! So make sure you can tell what it is at a glance, and don't forget to include your appropriate Hashtag you assigned this type of post in the recipes you just set up!

How To Schedule Repeating Social Media Posts For Free

Note: These titles are simply for your reference, and will NOT be displayed in your posts on Facebook and Twitter!

Once you've filled in your title (including hashtag!), select Edit Event. 

At the top you can set the time you would like this post to be published, and you'll see immediately below the time functions an option to "Repeat"! Here you can choose for this post to repeat weekly, monthly, or select Daily if you'd like to change up the day it posts. 

For example, I have theme days in my groups, so these posts are set to publish at the same time, on the same day, every week. But for blog posts that I want new people to see each time, I set them for a random number of days so that it will never fall on the same day when they post (for example every 16 days).

To Create Your Post...

Where will be the url of the picture you'd like to share when you're publishing a post with an image.

Description will be the status you'd like to send out, as well as any link you'd like to include. 

You also have the option to color code your "events" to easily scan through your calendar later on, and set notifications so you know when something has been published, and can check in for any questions your audience might have!

Once you have the content filled in (and image url if relevant), just hit SAVE at the top and you're all set!

How To Schedule Repeating Social Media Posts For Free

Step 5: For Facebook Groups Only!

When sending posts to Buffer, you'll still need to set up your schedule within Buffer to have them forwarded on to your Facebook Group. The IFTTT recipe is simply sending them to Buffer, but won't force it through to your social media accounts.

To set a schedule in Buffer, select the Facebook group you've connected it to from the accounts on the left, and then choose "Schedule". Here you can choose what times, and on what days, posts will be sent out to your group!

When they are being forwarded via your IFTTT recipe, I usually try and set my Buffer times about 10-15 minutes after my Google Calendar times, just in case there's any sort of delay.

Important Note: Make sure your time zones are set correctly in both Google Calendar and Buffer so there's no miscommunication!

Step 6: Repeat & Relax!

Once you've got your regular posts added, you can add new content as you create is, and always know that your social media networks are being updated regularly, without having to be glued to your laptop!

Have any questions about this hack? Drop into my Facebook group
and I'd be happy to help you out!

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33 thoughts on “How To Schedule Repeating Social Media Posts For Free

    1. Nothing that has the looping tool which has made Boardbooster so popular! But they do offer you your first 100 pins free, and after that it’s only a penny per pin! I’ve never gone passed $10 a month with them if that helps? 🙂

      1. You’re welcome. I hope it’s not totally creepy but I’ve been telling everyone about this post. And I don’t know if you saw my convo on Twitter about it, but I updated mine to post to Buffer instead of directly to Twitter. I find it adds more time variety instead of choosing an arbitrary posting time in Google Calendar. I set all the tweets to go to Buffer at 6am day of, and let Buffer handle the timing.

        1. LOL, not even on my creepy radar, so you’re good! 😉
          Thanks so much for sharing, I love hearing how people tweak my suggestions to make them their own!

  1. Wow this is great! So, does this allow you to tweet out the same exact tweet more than once? You aren’t usually allowed to do that with normal Twitter schedulers…but if you’re repeating this throughout multiple days/weeks, it would be the same exact text, correct?

    1. You got it Miranda!
      It’s perfect for recirculating older posts, or even “theme days” like “thankful thursday” or “motivation monday” 🙂
      Hope that helps!

  2. I love this. Thanks to Holly Rollins above to sharing this in a FB group we’re a part of! So I’m wanting to set this up for my FB group’s daily themes, but I’m wondering if I need to be on Buffer’s Awesome plan for it to work? I’m currently only on their free plan.

    1. Nope, this is a totally free method!
      You just have the group as your “one profile” allowed on the free plan, and schedule any page posts via the Google Calendar/Facebook Pages IFTTT connection!
      Hope that helps Marianne 🙂

  3. Great post Jules. I’m not terribly in love with my edgar setup (granted, there’s probably a few things I just haven’t tried figuring out) I’ve been working on something similar, but for groups, using the unique email address of my FB groups. It means I don’t have to limit myself to one group via buffer either (which is kind of a perk if you want to stay in the free plan). Have you looked at bulk importing to your calendar? Documenting it for a blog post is next up on my list, if I can carve out a bit of time in my calendar this month!

    1. I love your approach via email, freaking GENIUS!
      I haven’t looked at bulk adding simply because I like to manually write each social post along with the link/image, but would be interested in hearing how it works out if you give it a go!
      Thanks Loralee 🙂

      1. I hear ya on wanting to write them as you go… In my case I have 400-ish biz tips & tricks (free tools & hacks) scattered in various places.. I thought I’d pull it all together using edgar, but it hasn’t quite happened yet (my Dad passed away at Christmas and life got complicated for a while)… but as I get closer to my 6 months prepaid, I’m feeling more motivated to get all of those tips into spreadsheet groups so I can easily import. It’s a lot easier to space out schedule/dates/times in a spreadsheet when your’e looking at several hundred.. The genius of the google calendar method though, is that you can drag and drop them if something comes up.. Or, if you need to stop everything, just going into iftt and turning them off for a few days works too…

        The whole thing is genius … I have no idea why more people aren’t talking about it…

        1. So sorry to hear about your Dad Loralee, that’s never easy 🙁
          I had that same issue with one of my previous sites (too many posts!), but even bulk loading them into Edgar I had to go through and edit and tweak each one, so it didn’t save me much time. The only thing you can really hang onto through the whole process is knowing that shit’s about to get a WHOLE LOT easier when it’s done!

  4. OMG this is awesome. Thank you so much! I love the looping feature of BB and have been trying to figure out how to loop on my other accounts. (I can’t justify the expense of Edgar yet. ) this is my next project. Thank you!!!

  5. Hey Jules, I actually did implement this the next day after reading this lovely article. However, for some reason it’s not working. IFTT just doesn’t post for me. I’m following your instructions to the letter and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. There are some articles online about IFTT not working sometimes. Do you have any ideas for how I can get it to work or what I might be doing wrong?

  6. Oh my goodness! I have to set this up (like yesterday…) I totally need help with all of this scheduling and I’m not making any money from blogging so using something like Meet Edgar would be very expensive for me. Thank you so much for the hack. Pinning and trying this weekend.

  7. Dear Jules, thank you so much for sharing this budget saving hack! Reeeally awesome.
    I am new in this whole queueing business, so please allow one question to see if I got it right.
    I would like to post 2 different queues of photo posts to a FB fanpage. I figured I can differentiate them by using different # for IFTTT to seperate them?
    Another thing I saw in Google calendar (never realized before) is that it caps the possible repetition by 30 weeks. So the big masterplan of having a queue lasting for one year and repeat after this is obviously not the way to go, right? What is your recommendation as to how often can we repeat say a photo quote thingy without annoying people but still reaching more? Again it is a FB page not a group and it’s unique content so to say.
    Thanks for your work and share.

    1. Yes, you can use as many hashtags as you need 🙂
      Repetition depends on how much you usually post, the size of your audience, etc. so it will be unique to your business! My concern wouldn’t necessarily the frequency by time, but how many DIFFERENT posts you have in between 😉

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