It’s been a while since I’ve done a review and even longer since I’ve written something so totally different from sexuality, but here we are! There have been a bunch of changes to my content and focus lately, some of which has led me to CoSchedule, thanks to Caz Killjoy‘s help while troubleshooting a former problem.
What is CoSchedule?
CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop marketing calendar that can be installed into your WordPress or used independently. When used with WordPress, it schedules and promotes your articles, tracks projects, schedules social media, and provides analytics.
One of my biggest frustrations with running multiple businesses on my own is that, well, I have to do all of it. Even the things I dislike, don’t have time for, or am not good at – namely social media. Things like optimizing my hashtags and posting schedules, using analytics apps and Buffer and tracking what type of content performs better where and when is not only time-consuming, but it’s aggravating and confusing to me.
I’ve tried a few different program, but none really worked for me and so I always assumed social media was a part of my job that would simply always suck.
And then came CoSchedule.
CoSchedule takes everything that I hated about social media and simplifies it, makes it easier and faster, and puts it all in one place. It lets me access that place from WordPress, from an app on my phone, or a desktop app.
It solves all of the problems that I’ve had for years, and then some. Before I get into the finer details of the program, let’s talk about what I was working with before signing up for my trial…
What was my Process Before?
Here’s a simplified version of the steps I’d take to publish and promote a new piece:
- Writing and photos in WordPress visual editor
- Viewing my post schedule in the WR Pagebuilder plugin
- Fighting with the Revive Old Posts plugin to get my old posts retweeted predictably in an aesthetically pleasing way
- Posts automatically publish to tumblr
- When the post went live, going in and manually sharing it to:
- Going into Facebook and sharing from my group to my personal page
- If I was really on the ball, I might remember to autoschedule these things, but let’s be honest now…..
- Sometimes adding things to Buffer, but usually not because there was too much to do already and not enough hours.
So each post was a 9 step process – plus the photos, editing, testing, researching, etc that goes with the writing itself.
And then go into twitter analytics and WordPress analytics and Buffer analytics and….
And I hated it, but didn’t know how to fix it without spending a bunch of money. I’ve debated Buffer Pro on and off, but $180 USD/year is too much money for something that only solves a few of my problems, so I dealt with it.
What was I Looking For?
- A visual calendar that put everything in one place – past and upcoming posts and social media across all platforms
- Something that automatically promotes new pieces across multiple platforms, and shares old pieces
- A way to schedule promotional tweets
- A thing I could access on a phone or a tablet
What did I Get?
I’m logged in to WordPress typing this. On my right there’s a checklist of items that I need to take care of for this post (synced to my calendar on the days that I need to have them done by). Underneath the post there’s the social media campaign (which has a saved template of where and when I promote my work so I don’t need to do it manually every time. Oh, and this all shows on my calendar, too). I open Google Calendar and oh, look! My CoSchedule calendar appears here, too!
And it does all of that in one place.
Is there something that you use over and over in your social media, even just for a short while? You can save that as a “social helper”, which lets you automatically add it to social media posts. This can be text, hashtags, a video, or a photo!
Have an Instagram business account? You can link that to your CoSchedule and publish directly instead of the two-step, push-notification method that you normally have to use.
Want to schedule a particular set of messages every Tuesday at 4 pm? Not a problem!
Save social media posts for for future use and duplicate them with one click for sharing at multiple times.
Do you like full URLs or bit.ly links? You can have either (automatically).
Love Buffer but want something more in addition? You can schedule posts from CoSchedule that sync to Buffer, even once you’re over Buffer’s 10 post limit. The posts are sent to Buffer at 12 am the day of, and as long as there’s room in your queue for that day’s posts, they’ll go through! Meaning you can plan a years’ worth of Buffer posts all at once.
Want to post at an optimal time per platform? Simply select the “best time” feature. Do you want to continuously tweet certain things or fill in the gaps in your social media for consistency? Head over to the “requeue” option. Want to drag-and-drop everything in your calendar? Hard same – we can! Analytics for everything? Check. Something that syncs with Google Docs, Trello, Mail Chimp, Slack, Asana, Feedly, and more? It does that, too.
It also groups things in a way that’s helpful to me – If I add a social media campaign to this piece and visit my calendar, all I need to do is mouse over one of the pieces and the rest jump off the page a bit so that I can instantly see when the other pieces go up. I can also colour-code things in order to track like-content easier.
CoSchedule works with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
What about working with sexuality sites? That’s not an issue. When I asked them if they accepted reviews from adult-oriented sites, they responded with “Of course! Feel free to publish away on your site! We’re happy to accept reviews from adult-themed websites as well”.
What Does it Lack?
- You currently cannot add alt text to twitter images, nor can you add threads. Make sure you add photo descriptions another way for accessibility!
- You can share your old blog posts through requeue, but you must input them each manually to begin with (once added, it takes care of the rest). They have no current plans to change this.
- While social helpers can be used in social media posts, they don’t work in blog posts (ie can’t use it to paste the intro text into my new Spotlight pieces).
The price is a bit steep. It’s over the max budget that I wanted to spend but on paper it sounded pretty ideal so I decided to take the free trial and now I love it.
If you review, you get 50% off your yearly subscription, bringing the cost down to $20 per month (USD). Every person you refer gets you 10% off, and if you happen to make it to 0, you earn commission with each referral!
By comparison; Buffer is $15/month and Hootsuite is $29/month – all three figures based on yearly billing.
You can get a free 14 day trial of any of the packages, or a free 30 day trial if you sign up to review. Note: the 50% off for reviewers option is only for the Essential plan.
Putting everything in one spot helps me track what still needs to be done and saves me a chunk of time as I don’t need to sign in to several different sites every time I publish an article or I want to schedule some social media promotion. Curious how much time you’d save? They have a handy little calculator for that (scroll down slightly)!
There’s a bit of a learning curve, but they also have robust help and academy (tips on best marketing practices and working as a team – CoSchedule works both for individuals or groups) sections for troubleshooting. Some of the academy guides are paid members only, though a large chunk are for free. They also have video tutorials, and live demo videos, if that’s more your speed!
After a month of testing it, I still don’t use all the options CoSchedule gives – there’s so much to learn. Start slowly with just a couple goals instead of trying to conquer it all at once; you’ll figure it out as you go.
Sign up for your own account using my referral link, maybe start your own trial and/or write your own review!
I received a free trial for this program and a discount for my future subscription in exchange for my honest review.