Social media campaign scheduler for small business and organizations

Scheduling social media campaigns is important for businesses that don’t have a lot of free time to run to their computer every hour and post updates. Business owners need a quick and easy way to schedule social media updates for an extended period of time. This frees up time and makes it easy to focus on responding to followers and fans. Roost is a free solution that makes it quick and easy to schedule social media campaigns.

Once you sign up for Roost you can connect 3 social media acocunts. Right now you can use Twitter, Facebook profile, or Facebook page. I’ve been told more networks will be available in the future. The primary screen is the dashboard. The dashboard is a quick way to see what you’ve posted, what you have scheduled, and what social media site it got posted to.You can filter the timeline by sent/unsent, specific campaigns, and types of updates (links, questions, quotes, status updates). If you haven’t posted any updates with Roost you won’t see anything in your posts column.

social media scheduling dashboardQuickly scheduling social media campaigns is what Roost is all about. When you create a social media campaign  Roost walks  you through a 5 step process. First you simply choose which social media sites you would like the updates to be posted. Next your choose the time frame you want your campaign to run. You can set the number of days for the campaign to run, what date to begin, and the time of day range you want the updates to be posted in.

The third step of the social media campaign creator is choosing the content you want posted. Roost presents a wizard that makes it very easy to quickly create the content you want posted. There is a section for links, status updates, quotes, questions, and photos. There is also a “my circle” section that I’ll get into later. Roost recommends 9 updates consisting of: 2 links, 3 status updates, 1 quote, 2 questions, and 1 photo. In the future I believe the total recommended updates will be based on your time frame, but as of now it always recommends 9.

To add links you can use your own chosen links, or you can go through Roosts lists of RSS feeds and choose some links real quick. Under your settings you can add your own RSS feeds. You can add them to your own group or the existing groups. From there you can also turn off any of Roosts existing link groups.

social media scheduling wizardThe status updates section is pretty straight forward. You simply enter your updates and click add like you would with any social media dashboard. The add quotes section is similar to the status update sections. There is a link to a free site that’s easy to navigate and find a quote to copy and paste real quick. The question fields are once again just like the status update section. Splitting status updates like this is great because it prompts you for types of updates which makes it easy to set up a social media campaign really quick.

Photo updates are slightly different. You can upload a photo, choose a photo from Facebook, or copy and past the URL of a photo. Depending on which social media sites you choose to update your photos will be uploaded to twitpic and/or Facebook album. The copy URL option is a great easily share your own Flickr images or find free creative commons images to use.

“My Circle” is an interesting twist on the social media dashboard. You can connect with other people using roost. Both of you can add “share requests” to your inner circle. If someone in your inner circle has asked for a request you can add that post to your cue. I haven’t had the opportunity to test the inner circle yet. If you join please let me know as I would like to test this option and find out more about it.

After you add all the posts you want to your campaign it’s time to name it. If you are promoting an event, sale, or other specific thing you may want to name it accordingly. If you are just scheduling generic social media updates using the default date range is the quickest and easiest way to go.

roost facebook frameBefore you finalize your campaign there is a “Promotions” option. This helps Roost stand out from similar products because it allows you to sort of brand the links you send out. What it does is create an iframe for the links in your tweets. When someone clicks the link they will see a bar at the top of this screen. From here they can easily like your page or re-share it. This adds a layer of interaction that makes it easy for your community to quickly interact with you.

Scheduling social media updates can free up a lot of time, but be careful. You don’t want people thinking you’re a social media cyborg. Check all of your social media sites a least once a day if not more. Since you’re not focused on creating content you can find new prospects to engage with and reply to any responses to your updates.

I spoke to the product manager for Roost on the phone for a while. He is very vested in the project and has great things planned for it. I have been told the current services will remain free forever. They are planning deeper features to be added in the future as part of premium plans. I’m told these plans will still be very affordable. Some possible updates that were mentioned is keeping track of activity around updates on each social media site. This will make it easy to see what is gaining traction and what is wasting time. There are a lot of other updates but this is the one I think will really make Roost pop.