Social media marketing is one of the most difficult aspects of business to master. Nevertheless, planning an effective social media calendar is possible when you use the right tools.

In this post, we bring you a tutorial on how to plan social media posts with a WordPress plugin called Revive Old Posts. It automates social media marketing by sharing your blog posts, pages, products and other custom post types, old and new alike, to social media in a never-ending queue.

We've published a full review of this plugin if you'd like to learn more about what it offers and how much it costs. It has a free version, but we'll be using the premium version for the purpose of this tutorial.

This tutorial features the Business and Marketer versions to be exact as the Personal version does not include custom scheduling or queue management.

Installation and Setup

The premium version of Revive Old Posts requires the free version to be installed and activated. You can do this from the Add New Plugin page as it's available in the official plugin directory.

Install Revive Old Posts

After you purchase a premium license for the plugin, you'll be able to download a copy of the premium version's ZIP folder. This works as an add-on to the first version, so all you need to do is upload it to WordPress as you would with any other premium plugin. Be sure to activate it afterwards, and input your license key to ensure you receive updates.

You can connect your accounts once everything is activated. Head to Revive Old Posts → Dashboard to get started. The simplest way to connect your social media accounts to the plugin is to use the Add button, select a platform, sign in and authorize the plugin's access to your account, but you can also create your own keys.

Revive Old Posts Dashboard

Pinterest users must create app ID's and secret keys. If you use Buffer, you can connect most of your social media accounts in one fell swoop by signing into Buffer through Revive Old Posts.

You'll be able to enable and disable each individual account once everything is connected.

Configuring the Plugin's Primary Settings

Revive Old Posts' General Settings tab primarily features settings that control which posts get shared to social media as well as how they're shared. There are three settings that control which posts get shared:

  • Minimum Age (in days)
  • Maximum Age (in days)
  • Post Types

The plugin is set to share posts that are at least 30 days old by default, hence the name “Revive Old Posts.” It's best to leave these two values alone as there are separate settings we'll configure in a moment that allow you share posts as soon as they're published and/or updated.

Use the Post Types setting to input the types of posts you'd like to share, such as pages, products and custom post types. Blog posts are shared by default.

Revive Old Posts Settings

Next, let's go over the settings you can configure to control the way the plugin shares your content to social media. Start with the Number of Posts setting, which controls how many posts are shared to social media at a time. It's best to leave this value at 1 to avoid bombarding your audience's timelines.

Moving onto more important matters, make sure the Share More Than Once setting is enabled. This ensures the plugin never runs out of posts to share as it'll simply start over once every post has been shared.

The next four settings affect how the plugin handles new and updated posts. Here's a brief explanation of each one:

  • Enable Instant Sharing – Enable to add posts to the top of the queue when they're published and updated.
  • Use True Instant Share – This option shares posts to social media as soon as they're published. It doesn't wait for it's turn in the queue.
  • Enable Instant Sharing by Default – You can enable and disable instant sharing on a per-post basis. This option ensures this features is always enabled.
  • Share Scheduled Posts to Social Media on Publish – This option enables future sharing for posts you've scheduled but have not yet published.

We'll talk about variations in a bit. For now, let's cover how to format the social media posts the plugin will be publishing for you. Save the settings you configured in the General Settings tab before continuing.

Configuring Post Formats for Different Social Media Platforms

If you click over to the Post Format tab, you'll see separate tabs for each account you've connected to Revive Old Posts. The settings are more or less the same for each platform, so we'll run through them once, but keep in mind you'll need to configure them for each platform individually. You'll also need to save each platform's settings to apply your changes.

Revive Old Posts - Post Format

You have four options when it comes to which content gets shared in the social media post the plugin generates for you:

  • Post Title
  • Post Content
  • Post Title & Content
  • Custom Field

To use the Custom Field option, enable the Custom Fields screen option on an individual WordPress post, and apply one or more custom fields to it.

It's best to use the Post Title option or custom fields that output short pieces of data. This gives you more room for other things, such as hashtags and additional text.

Next, set the maximum number of characters each post should contain. This option will likely be different for each platform as Twitter limits the number of characters you can use to 280 while Facebook allows you to use over 60,000.

Set Twitter's maximum to 280, and change Facebook's to 1,000 or less for better engagement.

The Additional Text field is where things get interesting. You can add bits of text at the beginning or end of every social media post and have its content change every time. This is done through the use of “magic tags.”

Click the Learn More link Revive Social inserts near the Additional Text option. This leads to an article in the plugin's documentation that contains a list of the tags you can add here.

For example, if you want to credit the authors who write the posts you're sharing, you can add text at the end of every post that says “| Written by {author}”. The plugin will grab the display name of the WordPress user the post was assigned to and fill in the data.

Just add the text you want to generate to the Additional Text field, ensuring your magic tags are enclosed in {} brackets, and specify whether the text should appear before your message or after it.

Lastly, use the Taxonomies field to include or exclude posts assigned to specific categories and/or tags in the queue. The default option is include. You'll need to tick the box labelled “Exclude” to enable this option.

Setting Up the Plugin's URL, Hashtag and Image Settings

First of all, ensure the Include Link option is enabled. Then, enable the URL shortener option, and choose a service. Most services require you to create an account and connect it to Revive Old Posts by inputting an API key.

Revive Old Posts - Post Format - Image Settings

However, you can avoid this clause by choosing the is.gd option, which forgoes an account while still allowing you to use its URL shortening service. The idea of a link shortener is to minimize the number of characters generated by the URL's you use to promote blog posts.

If you're worried social media users may not trust unbranded URL's, use Bitly or Rebrandly to create custom shortened URL's.

Switching over to hashtags, while not entirely necessary, they can help you increase your visibility among your niche's community on a specific platform. Unfortunately, you can only choose one option here, the recommended options being:

  • Common hashtags for all shares
  • Create hashtags from categories

The first option allows you to input individual hashtags to insert at the end of every post. Be sure to separate each one with a comma, meaning “blogging, SEO, marketing” to insert the hashtags #blogging, #SEO and #marketing into your posts.

The better option would be to create hashtags from categories. Thankfully, the plugin only creates hashtags out of the categories an individual post is assigned to. If you want to apply universal hashtags with this option, you'll need to create a category for it, and assign it to every post.

Finally, ensure the Share as Image Post option is enabled to include each WordPress post's featured image in every social media post.

Planning Social Media Content with Revive Old Posts

Now that everything is set up, you can actually get to work on planning social media posts with Revive Old Posts. Start by switching over to the Custom Schedule tab. You'll notice that, like the Post Format tab, this page also has inner tabs for each platform.

Revive Old Posts - Custom Schedule

Each one allows you to choose one of two schedule types: recurring or fixed. Recurring allows you to choose how many hours Revive Old Posts should wait between social media posts. With fixed scheduling, you can choose which days of the week to post on and at which time of day.

If you press the plus + button next to the time setting, you can add additional fixed time slots.

While the plugin makes establishing a schedule as simple as possible, it still doesn't solve the mystery of determining how often you should post to social media as a brand.

HubSpot conducted a Facebook study and found that brands with larger followings of 10,000 or more were the only accounts that received decent engagement when posting frequently. As for everyone else:

“Companies with less than 10,000 followers that post more than 60 times a month receive 60% fewer clicks per post than those companies that post 5 or fewer times a month.”

Does that mean you should only post to social media one to two times a week if you have fewer than 10,000 followers? Maybe. While the study provides a concise guideline with data to back it up, it isn't able to account for the simple fact that every audience is different.

Experiment with different post schedules, and see what works best for your audience. Also, be sure to save your settings before exiting this tab.

Managing Social Media Content for Individual Blog Posts

Next, go back to the General Settings tab, and ensure sure the Enable Share Content Variations setting is enabled.

Then, open the edit page for an individual blog post. You'll find two meta boxes for Revive Old Posts: one in the sidebar and one beneath the editor.

Revive Old Posts - Meta Boxes

The one in the sidebar allows you to override the custom schedule you configured by sharing the post to social media as soon as you publish it on WordPress.

Use the one beneath the editor to create multiple social media posts for the same blog post. You'll need to use magic tags here.

Here's the example Revive Old Posts has as placeholder text:

{title} written by {author} on {date}. Currently {comment_count}!

This message is designed to generate a social media post that features the post's title, assigned author and publish date as well as how many comments it received.

Add multiple messages per blog post. Revive Old Post will choose one when it's time to share the post to social media. You can add images as well.

Start Sharing

Sharing is not enabled by default. You'll need to go back into the settings, switch over to the Sharing Queue tab, and click the green Start Sharing button. Your first posts will publish immediately on social media.

Revive Old Posts - Start Sharing

These posts as well as all subsequent posts the plugin publishes for you will appear in the Sharing Logs tab.

You have three options for each individual social media post back in the Sharing Queue tab:

  • Skip – Reschedules the individual social media post. This does not skip the time slot the post is in. The next available post will fill it instead.
  • Block – Prevents the individual social media post from being published to social media altogether.
  • Edit – Change an individual social media post's text and image.

Excluding Posts

If there are individual blog posts you'd like to prevent the plugin from sharing to social media, you can add them in the Exclude Posts section.

Revive Old Posts - Exclude Posts

Find posts by searching for them manually or using the filter options on the right.

Final Thoughts

That's all you need to do set up an automated social media calendar; configure a few settings, and let Revive Old Posts take care of the rest. The hard part is determining how often to post and what time of day to post as well as how the plugin fits into your overall social media marketing strategy.

Follow the advice of other businesses and use what works for them, but it's best to keep a tally of your own numbers to ensure the initial post schedule works for you.

You can do this by simply writing down how many likes, retweets/shares, replies and follows you receive per post and account wide, then continue taking numbers as you transition into the new post schedule.

Unfortunately, Revive Old Posts does not allow you to draft and schedule social media posts in the same way tools like Buffer, MeetEdgar and Hootsuite do. That means you'll still need to rely on these tools to manage social media posts that are not designed to promote your content.

Check Out Revive Old Posts

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