What did Paul Cockburn from Strawberry Social have to say about ContentCal? Let’s find out…
A couple of days back, stressed for time, I made a mistake. I tried to post an image directly into the Twitter tool. I know, I know, it was a rank amateur mistake, and in my defence this was only a cartoon uploading to my personal account, but still. I should have, and do, know better.
So, once I was on the train and realised that it hadn’t uploaded, I did the job again, checked it, and moved myself back up the ranks to semi-semi-pro.
I don’t consider myself all that savvy when it comes to the technical side of Twitter, or the toaster, if I’m honest, but I’ve been in the game long enough to know that when I’m working on a social media post for a client, I need an enormous amount of help a tool. Go back a few years, and a big media company client of mine used to do all their Facebook posting natively, and every now and then – oh, the hilarity! – the wheels would come off. So, along with my employer, I became very interested in social media tools, and what they offered.
Now, over the years, I have to admit I have been serially monogamous to various tools, and plenty of them have had their problems. Usually this comes down to issues with Facebook’s (or Twitter’s, or…) API, especially whenever said API would change and the tool would no longer work. Well, we all need these little adrenaline fixes now and then, right? But a fix would be made, or new tools would roll around, and things would be groovy once more.
To me, the most important thing about any content tool is that it should make for easy collaboration. Take this blog for example; I woke up this morning at 4am due to a small error with the alarm clock (see my earlier note about technical prowess), drafted it while inhaling coffee, sent if off to the grown-ups at Strawberry, who snorted their coffee out of their noses, made 712 invisible corrections, researched some images and Shazam!
Now, that’s an incredibly simple process, even allowing for the fact that I’m 12 hours, a season, and an alternate reality away from the Strawberry HQ, Bar & Grill. Remembering back to that media client, there was me, my team, my boss, my opposite number client-side, their team, their bosses and their bosses’ bosses. Along the way, every one of them wanted to point out that a particular joke wasn’t funny enough or that the capital of Papua New Guinea isn’t Lisbon. The tools at the time (this was back in the age of steam, in internet years), which they weren’t even using you’ll remember, weren’t great at organising stakeholder sign-off or creating any kind of audit trail. So, whoever was in charge of organising the thing would be deluged with emails, phone calls and semaphore messages warning them that house style demanded Oxford commas, and they’d have to organise all that input on post-its until the deadline was missed. Good times.
All this, by the way, is to introduce the thrilling information that Strawberry are starting a partnership arrangement with a new tool provider by the name of ContentCal. The goal, as always at Strawberry, is to make things better and easy for our clients, so that we can work collaboratively to get the perfect messaging out there every time. The big plus as we see it with ContentCal is that it makes forward planning and sign-off easy, allowing the bare bones of a social media campaign to be worked out, added to, developed and delivered seamlessly. I’ve barely begun fiddling around with it, and I’m a convert.
Naturally, it has all the metrics and analytics our industry loves, but as a content creator it’s that ability to float an idea, kick it around, work on it and refine it, all within the tool that will eventually publish it to various platforms that I like. No system is entirely fool-proof, but so long as it is decently Paul-proof I feel happier.
So far, we have been using ContentCal on our own social media and also, introducing clients to it. We’re especially keen on its clean layout and the flexibility of the channel option, which allows you to use the calendar to bring all your marketing avenues (including SEO) into one place via designated channels. And, the tool is always improving. The good folks at ContentCal are always keen to hear ideas and feedback – if they are not yet blocking my calls, I’d suggest that they need built in moderation tools, but this always seems to be the last thing bolted on with social media tools.
ContentCal is free to get started with one user, and then very competitively priced… give it a play around, and see what you think.