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productivity software scheduling software Software Work

Calendar.com Aims To Build The Modern Day Scheduling Tool For Teams

digital calendar

There are millions of apps available for iOS and thousands of new ones hitting the App Store daily. But rarely do I stumble across one that changes the way I live like Calendar — a smart time management app, has.

Over the years, I’ve tested out all the top calendar apps and scheduling tools. Unfortunately, none of them actually streamlined my schedule or helped me manage my time better. Most of them function like paper calendars with a few extra bells and whistles.

In that way, Calendar reminds me of Zoom or HubSpot. Sure, other conference calling apps existed before Zoom — but there’s a reason everyone made the switch immediately. Apps that actually make life easier get adopted.

Soon, everyone will expect Calendar’s features and perks from every scheduling app. I foresee it changing time management in five key ways:

1. Smart and easy scheduling will be a requirement.

According to one survey, managers and administrative professionals waste 4.8 hours per week scheduling meetings. The reason is, most people are still using old-school scheduling methods, like email and phone calls, to coordinate a time that works for everyone.

Calendar’s smart scheduling system comes at a crucial time. With many companies moving some or all employees to permanent remote work post-pandemic, the need for easy and efficient scheduling is only going to grow.

Being able to send someone a link with no back-and-forth is the easiest way to schedule meetings quickly and save everyone time. Calendar makes coordinating even small conversations a cinch.

2. Work and personal calendars will be totally integrated.

With so many of us working from home, the line between our personal and professional lives is getting blurrier. You might go offline at 3:30 p.m. to pick up your kids from school and then open up your laptop after dinner to answer work emails.

Blended calendars make it easier to collaborate, but you shouldn’t be forced to give up your privacy. Just because you don’t work a normal 9-to-5 schedule doesn’t mean you want your co-workers to see that you have a vet appointment on Tuesday and date night on Friday.

Calendar offers the best of both worlds. Its “Connected Calendar� feature ensures co-workers can’t see my personal appointments, but those time slots are still blocked off to avoid the dreaded double-booking. If only I’d had it last year when I accidentally booked a work event at the same time as my niece’s recital.

3. Team scheduling will be automated.

Tools like Doodle have been around for a while. Until Calendar came along, however, I couldn’t find anything that made it simple to schedule meetings with multiple people.

Most emails setting up a time to meet usually go like this:

Hey team,

I’d like to schedule a time to discuss X next week. What day works for everyone?

What follows is a messy group email chain. A dozen replies may be required to reach a solution, creating headaches for everyone.

Instead, Calendar can crawl my team’s calendars for available time slots. It automatically adjusts for time-zone differences, and it will even send follow-up RSVP reminders so that plans can be solidified quickly.

4. Time analytics will be the “next big thing� in productivity.

If old scheduling methods weren’t bad enough, meetings themselves are also a huge drain on our time. Upper management spends as much as 50 percent of their workday in meetings, and businesses waste an estimated $37 billion on unproductive meetings per year.

Especially when you’re living on Zoom, it’s easy to waste the workweek on activities that don’t move the needle. To be a truly effective leader, you need to be aware of how you’re actually spending your time.

Here, Calendar’s time analytics come into play. Just as Screen Time for iPhone allows you to see how much time you spend surfing the web or scrolling through Facebook, time analytics gives you a breakdown of how you spend your days.

Get as granular as you want: Calendar shows you how much time you’re spending in meetings or on certain types of tasks. Soon, it’ll even show you the people who you’re spending most of your time with. If you’re sick of wasting your week in meetings, Calendar might provide the push you need to revamp your schedule.

5. Calendars will begin catering to “power users.�

One of my biggest issues with calendar apps like iCal or Google Calendar is that they’re pretty basic. And to be fair, a free app that comes preinstalled on every iPhone or Android device probably should be geared toward the novice user (like my mother) who only needs a classic calendar.

Any time app developers create a new tool, they have to balance the needs of the majority against the needs of so-called “power users� — a small percentage of people who account for an outsized share of an app’s usage. Calendar is clearly targeting users in this category.

What’s impressed me about Calendar is how it’s evolved over the last six months. Calendar is even working on a feature that will show you where your meetings are on a map and automatically suggest meeting locations. That’ll come in handy when you’re trying to squeeze in a weekday lunch downtown with an old friend.

We’re living in an era of self-driving cars, augmented reality, and AI software that can write like a person. And yet, most of us are still using an online calendar app that’s just a slight step up from the paper version that hangs on the fridge. The way we work is changing faster than ever, and we need a calendar that can keep pace with the times.

You can sign up for a free 30 day paid trial here.

The post Calendar.com Aims To Build The Modern Day Scheduling Tool For Teams appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories
covid-19 Marketing scheduling software Social Social Media Marketing

How to Get Maximum Social Media Exposure by Scheduling Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

social media marketing

Do you know the best times to post in social media marketing? Has COVID-19 caused a drop in your engagement rate or the number of followers? It’s essential to be scheduling your posts and doing your social media marketing — especially during the coronavirus outbreak.

Digital marketing on social media.

Traditional methods of advertising and reaching out to potential customers have changed by the internet.

Digital marketing has opened a new window for businesses by which they can easily target their audiences. Now, social media is king in the world of digital marketing and is the best way of building brand awareness.

Of course, being successful in social media marketing is not easy. Getting organic followers, increasing the engagement rate, generating leads, and boosting sales need time, effort, expertise, and even money.

Countless marketers across the world are promoting their brands on all social media platforms. There is a hot competition in getting the attention of social users. So you need to perform efficiently to get ahead of the competition.

One of the most important factors in improving the results of social media marketing is posting times.

Why scheduling?

A consistent and efficient social media presence is essential for all businesses and marketers. If you want to be remembered, you need to constantly show your message to the public.

Even social media influencers who want to be recognized by niche audiences try to be constantly active. But remember, it doesn’t mean that the more posts, the better!

If you post too often, not only will you not get acceptable results, but your audience might also be bothered, and stop following you.

In fact, you have to find the best times to post on social media so that you can get maximum exposure.

Different social networks have various peak usage times. Some platforms are used mostly during business work hours, but others are often popular outside working times. Peak times also change by location and the type of industry so it’s important for both global and local businesses to post timely.

Most social users won’t take the time to check all posts in their timeline. So, you need to post exactly when they’re online to put your content right in front of them. If you want to get as higher engagement rates as possible, you don’t have a choice but to post at peak times.

COVID-19 and social media marketing.

COVID-19 has led to the greatest financial crisis in recent years. Lockdowns and social distancing regulations have cut the income of the majority of businesses, especially those that need a physical presence in workplaces.

Even influencers in such niches have faced a significant drop in followers or engagement rates. Many of them have decided to trade their accounts or offer unprecedented discounted prices.

Since people #Stay_at_Home more than any time in the past, the usage of social media has increased. Experts claim that marketers should make the most out of this change to increase their social presence and build their brand identity.

Of course, sales for many products and services, especially unnecessary ones, have decreased. But social media marketing can reduce the financial losses of companies or at least help them maintain their identity in the digital world.

Different scheduling for posting is a must during such a crisis and this is exactly what I’m going to say in the following sentences.

The best times to post before and after the corona crisis.

As we said earlier, optimum scheduling depends on your industry, location, platform, etc. For example, Later.com has offered this general scheduling by analyzing more than 12 million Instagram posts.

Scheduling
Best posting times.

Of course, other platform’s results will lead to a different time table. Many references like Later, Sprout Social, and Crowdfire have suggested new sets of posting times with a very slight difference.

Here are the optimum posting times for different platforms before and after the outbreak of COVID-19:

Facebook

Before the corona crisis, the optimum time for posting on Facebook was at 10-11 a.m. and 12-13 on Wednesday. Wednesday was actually the best day of every week to post with peak visits.

That’s now changed to 9-10 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Generally, 10 a.m. on each day of every week is the peak time and is best for interaction.

Instagram

Analyzers have observed a similar trend on Instagram. Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday between 10-11 a.m. were the best times to post.

But during the COVID-19 pandemic, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 11 a.m. and also Tuesday at 2 p.m. are best to post on Instagram.

As you can see, Instagram users have also stretched out their usage and this is an opportunity for Instagram marketers.

Twitter

There has been less change in Twitter’s optimum posting times in surveys compared to Facebook and Instagram. The current peak time for posting on Twitter is Friday between 6-9 a.m. Before the pandemic, the optimum time was 9 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn might seem a bit different since it’s a professional social network used by employers, marketers, engineers, and managers. As a result, it’s mostly used in work hours.

The best time for posting on LinkedIn was between 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

But, the best times during the pandemic are Wednesday at 3 p.m., Thursday between 9–10 a.m., and also Friday from 11 a.m. till the night.

Best social media scheduling tools during the pandemic.

Thanks to smartphones, there is a tool for everything out there. Scheduling on social networking sites is no exception and there are a handful of tools for this purpose.

Here are 6 top social media scheduling tools:

AgoraPulse

You can easily schedule your posts, get results, and engage with your audiences with this simple tool. Agora Pulse is being used by more than 17,000 social media marketing managers each day.

Various scheduling options have made it a popular tool to schedule, repurpose, queue, or upload content.

AgoraPulse

Hootsuite

When you combine all your marketing campaigns on one single dashboard, everything will be possible for you.

Hootsuite allows you to schedule and posts your content to several channels simultaneously. You can also track the results in real-time and find your best-performing posts.

Hootsuite

Buffer

As they say on their website, they’re more than just a scheduling software.

They claim that Buffer can offer you useful features to beat the algorithm. You can devise a plan and schedule your Instagram Stories using both the website and the mobile application.

Hashtag Planner, Shop Grid, and Instagram Tagging are other features of Buffer.

Buffer

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is trusted by more than twenty thousand brands and organizations worldwide.

It’s a unique brand in customer service in the world so you can definitely build and maintain your relationships using it.

Planning, organizing, scheduling, and delivering content using cross-network publishing is a great feature Sprout Social offers you.

Sprout Social

Crowdfire

Crowdfire is another social media management tool covering top social platforms. It’s also the first social management tool that supports TikTok in its dashboard.

Crowdfire offers both manual and automated scheduling keeping a queue of posts to be shared at the optimal times.

Later

Although Later allows you to post to various social platforms, its main focus is on Instagram. You just need to upload an image to Later and then decide about the caption to be posted on Instagram.

You can easily plan your Instagram posts for the next week just within 20 Minutes. A visual content calendar is an easy-to-use feature on this app by which you can start scheduling Instagram posts in minutes.

Also, it shows you a preview of your feed before publishing.

Takeaway

Now that you know the changes in posting times, you can enhance your social presence accordingly. Remember that the engagement rate is much more important compared to the number of posts or even the number of followers. The best time for engagement is right after posting.

The post How to Get Maximum Social Media Exposure by Scheduling Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic appeared first on ReadWrite.