Social media management is an important aspect of running a blog as social media marketing is an important aspect of promoting one. Tools can help you manage your social media calendar more efficiently, but not all tools are created equal.
In this post, we take a look at one of our favorite social media management tools here at MH Themes. SocialBee fills your queue with your latest content automatically, organizes your posts by category, sets up a weekly schedule and more.
Let's go over why we love it so much.
SocialBee Review – Setup, Post Scheduling and More
Initial Setup is a Breeze
As soon as you create an account, which you can do without a credit card, and sign in, you're directed to run through SocialBee's onboarding steps. This is divided into five parts, starting with linking your social profiles to your account.
Currently, you can link Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest (via Hootsuite) and Google My Business. This step is easy, and if you've ever connected your social media accounts with other tools, you're already familiar with the process.
With SocialBee, you can link between five and 25 profiles with your account depending on the plan you choose.
The next step gives you a quick way to set up the category feature within SocialBee. The tool has its own preconfigured categories preselected. You can use this step to deselect the ones you don't need and add your own.
With the rest of the onboarding process, you can create a schedule, add your first post and set up a concierge meeting with the support team.
Organizing Posts with Categories
Categories are managed in the Content section of the dashboard. These are the categories SocialBee has configured by default:
- Our Blog Posts – used for social media posts that promote your content
- Promotional – designated for posts that promote your products and services
- Curated – for posts that promote other people's content
- Curated News – posts that promote other people's content and are time sensitive
- Blogs from RSS – set up to curate content automatically by pulling it from RSS feeds
- Quotes, Questions, and Fun – used for posts that allow you to engage with your audience
If you look at the screenshot of this page, you'll notice you have the ability to deactivate each individual category. This allows you to abstain from using them right away without outright deleting them.
You'll also notice two tags: evergreen and share once. They control the way SocialBee handles the posts you assign to each category. Posts assigned to a category with an evergreen tag will be added back to the queue where they will eventually be reshared. Likewise, posts assigned to a category with a share-once tag will only be shared one time.
Adding RSS Feeds
While you can add each social media post to your queue manually, you're better off using this tool to its fullest potential by utilizing its automation features. This primarily involves RSS feeds.
You start by heading to the RSS tab of the Content section and running through the steps to set up your first RSS feed. What's truly important during this process is the category selection step. When you add your own RSS feed, you can choose the Blogs from RSS category to share new blog posts to social media automatically. You can even create RSS feeds for different WordPress categories and use the Append Text feature to add content-specific hashtags and text to each social media post.
When you want to set up your Curated and Curated News categories, simply add the RSS feed of every blog and news site you want to promote and assign them to each category accordingly.
Lastly, there are a few settings you can configure to handle the way SocialBee creates the social media posts it generates for an entire RSS feed. They include choosing whether the blog post's title or description is used in the social media post, whether or not blog posts in the feed should expire after a specified number of shares, and adding images.
Scheduling a Post + Posting Features
Adding a new post to the queue is easy. You can choose which social media accounts to publish to as well as which category the post should be added to, two steps that are similar to the way categories are set up.
You can then write the post with a character countdown guiding you along the way. Twitter, of course, limits you to 280 characters, but if you only select Facebook, you can use up to 5,000. However, if you click the Customize Each Profile button, you can edit each one individually. You can also add emojis, images and videos.
You have four scheduling options to choose from for individual posts:
- Add to the top of the queue.
- Add to the bottom of the queue.
- Share now.
- Post at a specific time.
There are expiration settings as well.
One of the most useful features are the variations you can add for each post. It allows you to create two or more versions of the same post so that every time it reappears in the queue, a different version is used. This helps you share the same content and promotional messages without repeating yourself verbatim.
Hashtags are added in two ways for individual posts: adding them to the post text directly or by selecting them from hashtag collections. This is a tab within the Content section of SocialBee.
A hashtag collection is a category you can create for a set of hashtags that closely relate to one another. This is a useful feature that enables you to create hashtag collections for your most used hashtags, topic-centric hashtags, brand-related hashtags and whatever else you come up with.
The only downside to grouping hashtags in collections is the fact that every hashtag within a collection gets added to a post when you want to add hashtags this way.
You can build your social media schedule on a by-category basis in the Schedule Setup section of the dashboard. SocialBee will offer to generate a schedule for you based on best practices, but you can also start from scratch. Unfortunately, starting with the latter option will not actually give you a blank slate. You'll have a bit of a mess to clean up, especially if you don't intend on posting as often as the default schedule has you doing.
Fortunately, there's a Delete All Schedules button at the bottom of the page.
If, however, the default schedule is only slightly inaccurate, drag and drop whichever categories you want to reschedule by moving them to a different day/time slot, and delete any you don't need.
Click on a time slot to designate a schedule for a category manually.
This will allow you to set up a daily schedule for a particular category in one fell swoop.
Alternative Ways to Add Content to SocialBee
Adding posts to the queue manually and setting up RSS feeds are just two of the ways you can add content to SocialBee. The tool is not going to find older blog posts to add to your queue in the way Revive Old Posts does, but there are a few ways you can include them without needing to create separate posts for each one manually.
For instance, you can import links in bulk in two ways. The Import Links tab of the Content section allows you to add an unlimited number of links to the queue by simply adding them to a textbox one line at a time. You can select which category they should be assigned to, which profiles to promote them on and what text to append to the end of each post.
You can also upload a CSV file by downloading a sample file and recreating its columns and format with your own content. This file allows you to assign post text and URLs for images, GIFs and videos to each link.
There's also an import feature for images.
If you want to add articles to your queue on the fly, use SocialBee's browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari or their integrations for Pocket, Quuu and Zapier.
Let's briefly run through some of the other features SocialBee has to offer.
The Next Posts section of the dashboard allows you to see the next 100 posts you have in your queue. You view them by profile, and you can also switch on calendar view. Posts that failed to publish appear here as well.
In the Audience section, you can look for social accounts based on interest, location, job and more. You can also research your competitors' social media profiles and see who is following you back based on the people you follow.
SocialBee also has a built-in URL shortener, but you can also integrate your account with a number of different third-party services. They include Rebrandly and Bitly. You can even use UTM parameters if you want to track your links.
In the Analytics section, you'll find graphs detailing how many likes and other post engagements you've received. SocialBee also has collaboration features that give you access to user role accounts, different workspaces, a comment section on individual posts and an approval button.
As you can see, SocialBee is an invaluable tool that allows you to manage your social media calendar. As you use it more and more, you'll notice it saves you time by adding first and third-party content to your social media feeds automatically and re-adding old posts to your queue without need for input from you.
You can get started with SocialBee by signing up for a free, 14-day trial. Pricing starts at $19/month with the Bootstrap plan. This plan gives you access to one user account, one workspace and up to five social profiles.