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How I Use Edgar to Increase The Effectiveness of My Social Media Strategy

Posted By Darren Rowse 1st of December 2015 Featured Posts, Social Media 28

Do you ever feel that all the work that you put into maintaining an interesting and useful social media stream is not getting the results it deserves?

I do!

I spend hours every week working on our social accounts. Finding great links to share, thinking about the wording of the updates, selecting or creating great images to go with them and then scheduling them.

The problem is that minutes after the tweet go out or an hour or so after the Facebook update goes out they cease to be useful and all that work stops paying off.

Today I want to show you a tool that I’ve been using this year that extends the pay off and makes the work you put into your social media much more worthwhile!

Meet my friend…. Edgar

This time last year after creating a video on how I approached social media I had a number of ProBlogger readers suggest that I check out Edgar – a tool that is great for managing social media updates.

The fact that I heard the recommendation several times within a couple of days made me curious, so early this year I decided to sign up and give it a go.

I was immediately struck by how powerful the tool was.

How Edgar Works

I’ve created a video below that walks you through exactly how I use Edgar – here it is.

For those of you who prefer to read…. in short here’s how Edgar works:

Note: you can currently get a month free trial of Edgar as a ProBlogger reader.

You set up two things before Edgar goes to work (and starts saving you a lot of time!):

Firstly – Edgar allows you to create a library of social media updates for Twitter, Facebook (pages, profiles and groups) and LinkedIn.

You save each update as a certain ‘category’ of content.

For example you might have categories for ‘evergreen blog posts’, ‘quotes’, ‘promotions’ etc. This takes no longer than scheduling a normal social media update.

Here’s a screenshot of some of the newly added updates that I’ve put into the ‘ProBlogger Evergreen Blog Posts’ category for my ProBlogger Twitter Account.

Edgar library

Secondly – You then set up a schedule for when you want updates to go out from each category and choose which social accounts they should go out to.

For example you might choose to have your ‘evergreen blog posts’ to go out on your Twitter account at 9am and 9pm every day and for them to go on your Facebook page at noon every weekday. Then your ‘quotes’ might go out on Twitter at 3pm and 3am and your ‘promotions’ might go on Twitter every Wednesday at 7pm.

Here’s a screenshot of part of the schedule of tweets for the ProBlogger twitter account:

Edgar schedule

You can set up as few or as many slots in your schedule as you like.

Then… Edgar goes to work and uses the updates you have put into your library to create a queue of updates that he’ll then start posting at the times and on the accounts you’ve set up in your schedule. The queue never runs out – it keeps repeating for as long as you leave it set up.

Here’s the next few updates that are scheduled in the queue for the ProBlogger Twitter account.

Edgar queue

Once updates go out, Edgar gives you analytics on how they perform in terms of how many likes, comments and shares they got – so you can see what updates work and what you might want to improve or remove from your library.

How I Use Edgar

Edgar works on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

I’ve chosen to use it mostly on my Twitter accounts at ProBlogger and Digital Photography School and it has completely changed the way that those accounts operate and the results have been fantastic.

Before Edgar both of those Twitter accounts were pretty embarrassing.

NewImage

I used them largely to:

  • have automated tweets go out every time a blog post or a job on the Job Board went live (the tweets had no images and were simply a blog title and a link)
  • the occasional personal tweet (when I remembered to put one out)
  • promotional tweets every time we launched anything

Both tweet streams had very little in the way of visual content and didn’t have much personality to them. I knew I could so much better and that the result was that we were not getting the traffic or engagement with readers on those accounts that we could potentially have received.

When I came across Edgar I decided that Twitter would be my first testing ground for the tool and began to create my library of tweets an to construct my schedule.

At first I only had a schedule with a handful of slots in it and my library only had 20 or so updates in it (mainly evergreen blog posts). I didn’t want my followers seeing the same tweets all day every day so I started slow.

Gradually over the last 10 months I’ve added more and more content to my library which has enabled me to add more slots to the schedule.

Today I have over 2400 updates in my library and Edgar posts hundreds of updates to different social media accounts for me each week.

I’m still careful to keep adding fresh content into Edgar every week to mix things up and do add extra content in each week manually (more timely tweets, community questions, polls etc) to mix things up – but I’m happy to say that I’m now proud of my Twitter accounts and the resulting extra traffic and engagement that the accounts have had makes the effort of setting Edgar up worthwhile.

An Investment Worth Considering

As I speak about in the video above Edgar does have a monthly fee (starting at $49 a month). When I first saw this it did make me think carefully about if I should sign up for it. That kind of monthly fee is not to be taken lightly. However as I thought about the amount of time Edgar could potentially save me and the increased traffic and engagement that it could drive, I realised it was an investment I needed to make.

In many ways I see Edgar as doing the work that I could have otherwise outsourced to a virtual assistant. But at $49 a month I suspect that Edgar is achieving more each month than I could expect to get from a person that I paid that much.

Edgar will not suit every budget and is probably more suited to some types of blogs than others. My blogs are largely full of evergreen content and so my social media accounts can likewise focus upon sharing that kind of content. If your blog is more news focused or needs to mainly be sharing timely content then it may not be as effective for you.

It’s also worth noting that while Edgar will in the long run save you significant time if you use it to the extent that I have – it does take some work to set up.

I’ve taken the approach to add in a 4-8 updates every day of the year so far. That’s about 10-20 minutes work per day for me to set it up. This has enabled me to get almost all of my evergreen content from my archives into Edgar.

Once I’m finished putting in that archived content I will be able to reduce my daily work in Edgar to less than 5 minutes a day (just adding in new fresh content). So it takes some work to set up – but has some serious long term benefits of doing so.

I would highly recommend Edgar. It is something I’ve been paying for all year and a tool I’ll continue to use going forward as a key part of my social media strategy.

Get a Free Month Trial Of Edgar

If you’re curious as to whether Edgar is a fit for you and your business Edgar Currently Is Offering a Free Month Long Trial. This is how I started out to assess it for myself and it gave me a good chance to test the tool on one of my accounts.

Disclaimer: I am NOT an affiliate for Edgar or Social Brilliant but Edgar is a sponsor of the ProBlogger Podcast. I want to be perfectly clear that I do have a sponsorship arrangement with Edgar for transparency’s sake but also want it to be clear that I’m a paid up user of Edgar and have been using it (and will continue to use it) every day since January of 2015.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Interesting tool. I’ve been using Buffer to schedule my social updates so far and have seen some definite improvement in social traction.

    I like the concept of categories and being able to create a schedule to send certain categories of content at different times / frequencies.

    $49 / month is more than I’m willing to pay up front. It would be nice if there were a freemium level where I could experiment with it first – e.g. 2 accounts, 2 categories, 2 schedules.

    • The $49 price tag made me hesitate as well, but I’m SO glad I took the plunge.

      Edgar is amazing. I call it “autoresponders for social media.”

      I used to block off an hour ever Friday morning to queue up the next week’s content, but now I just toss a tweet into my Edgar library whenever I have a second. And since you’re building an “asset” (i.e. a library of reusable tweets) you can easily justify the time to do the extras, like looking up Twitter handles for the authors of the blog posts you’re tweeting.

      Edgar is pretty smart about how it schedules content, too:

      When you add new posts, they get priority over the older stuff. That way you can share fresh content, and you have all of the tweets in your library as a backup in case you get sick for a week and can’t post anything. :)

      I ended up canceling my Buffer account once I took Edgar for a test drive. Huge improvement.

      • Thanks for your feedback, Josh – that’s so great to hear! Sounds like you and Edgar are getting along really well!

  2. Never knew what “Edgar” was until this post came into existence. Sounds like a useful “social media management tool.”

  3. Hi Darren,
    As always another comprehensive content. You have invested a whole lot of time to come up with another masterpiece. The way you have demonstrated the whole mechanism or work functioning of Edgar with Snapshots deserves a salute. But as I’ve just started my blog and don’t have enough currency to invest so I can’t afford the cost of Edgar for now. But I will definitely consider using this gem of a tool.

    Do you have any idea about any free social media managing tool. It would be very handy for me.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Seems like a powerful tool. I do use free services like Ifttt, and tweet deck as well. Edgar does so much more as you demonstrate. That price though, certainly for the well established bloggers in my opinion. I wish they had a lite or free version to try out like other have said.

  5. Interesting tool, have to try it .
    thanks for sharing .

  6. I’m definitely on the lookout for a tool that manages and makes more of my social media presence. Thought this sounded just the ticket until I saw the monthly fee. Way out of my price bracket. Think I’ll stick with my trial of CoSchedule. Not sure how the two compare, but $19 is more my scene.

    • I was in the same headspace a year ago Martin. I love coschedule, but without the ability to build up a library, I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time in the past 12 months. I’ll be going back this week and pulling out my historical posts (for evergreen content) and adding them to my new Edgar account.

      I do hear that they’re creating a similar feature due out sometime in 2016, but part of their higher tiered plans – really excited to see what it’s like, when they release it.

      • Useful insight, Loralee. Thanks. I had another look at Edgar’s features and in particular the way it compares with other calendars – http://help.meetedgar.com/article/78-edgar-vs-the-other-guys – and I must say the library concept sounds fantastic.

        I’m at the early stages of developing a new blog, and have decided to put $49 a month into Jon Morrow’s training at SeriousBloggersOnly. Right now, this is a better use of my budget. But once I get up to speed, I’m pretty sure I’ll be giving Edgar another look. If CoSchedule offers a similar feature by then, who knows, we may see a more competitive price level too.

  7. Looks like a useful tool. I just hope that users do not get carried away in posting too many links.

  8. It certainly sounds like a good idea, but I’ll have to add my disdain at the price.

    If you’re an established business, maybe $50/month isn’t a big deal. But I don’t even pay that much for hosting my blog; there’s no way I could possibly shell out that kind of money.

    I wish businesses like Edgar would realize that not all of us are able to pay that kind of price. A $10/month, more basic option might help them bring in more revenue AND help smaller blogs build up enough success that an eventual upgrade to a more costly level of service wouldn’t be an issue.

    Until that kind of mentality kicks in, unfortunately, I’ll have no choice but to let Edgar pass on by.

  9. Edgar seems like a great tool to use. But I would add that due to the high cost/reliance on archives that only a blog a year or older would use it-otherwise you might not have enough value for it.

    Definitely something to consider when you’re a more experienced blogger and will be keeping an eye on it as social media goes forward and continues to evolve. Seems like a very useful tool to use!

  10. Edgar is the best and Laura Roeder rocks the house. I recommend Edgar to every person I know that needs a social media marketing tool. Edgar has saved me hundreds of hours of time with social media updates for me and my social media marketing clients. Not only that, but I hire someone through Upwork to upload the photos and create the text posts for me and then set it and forget it with Edgar. No need to think about social media again once everything is on auto-pilot and generating traffic and leads for your website. I highly recommend buying the twofer deal Laura and her team is offering so you can first understand why the Edgar framework is the way it is and all the essentials of social media marketing and blogging (and how they’re intertwined), since this will help you achieve higher levels of engagement from your social media posts. CoSchedule is a nice to have but Edgar is the 2015/16 must-have. Anyone who runs a blog, online or local business should try Edgar now. I’m not affiliated with the Roeder Studios, Inc. or Edgar.

  11. Man I need this feature. I use Buffer ($8.50/month) and, while it’s alright, it lacks this kind of repeatability. I have a spreadsheet containing all my evergreen content (tips, quotes, articles, blog posts, etc), and about once a week I have to spend 20-30 minutes queueing-up all my scheduled posts for the week. EVERY WEEK. I shouldn’t have to be doing this every week.

    Edgar looks to be a solution to that problem, but unfortunately it’s just more than I can pay in these early stages of blogging/business. Maybe some day down the road.

  12. I’ve been using Edgar for about 6 months. I really like how easy it is to set up different groups of posts and the scheduling is very straightforward. It’s a no-brainer way to keep evergreen posts in front of my audience. I also intersperse a handful of mentions of my infoproducts, to ensure those stay top of mind with my followers. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s well worth it, in my opinion!

  13. Thanks for this review Darren. After watching your it I promptly took advantage of the 6 month special offer.

    After using Edgar solidly for a week, I thought I’d mention the negative points of Edgar since you only touched on the positive.

    I feel that there are 3 major cons to Edgar, and think that your readers should know about them so they can make a balanced decision as to whether it’s right for them.

    1. No Export functionality

    It’s likely you’ll spend hours uploading content to Edgar. I’ve spent 7 so far. Naturally, you’d expect there to be an export content function to ensure that if you changed your mind about the service (or merely wanted an offline backup), it’d be easy to do.

    However there isn’t one, and my guess is that there never will be one. This is no doubt Edgar’s (the business I mean) retention plan, with users having to invest so much time in testing out the software, that no one ever quits.

    I find that a bit sneaky tbh.

    2. No Images via browser extension

    The browser extension seems like a great idea, but it has one major flaw – images aren’t imported automatically. How Buffer, CoSchedule and no doubt many others can do this and Edgar can’t (or refuses to) is a mystery to me.

    This makes the browser extension completely useless, since as you know, social media updates without images have very low CTR. There’s also no easy way to add them manually after the fact.

    3. No Ability to Randomize Posting

    This one is infuriating. Most users I assume will upload their content to Edgar in a logical way, ie a few of the same topic, then a few of the same of the next topic and so on. I spent 7 hours doing this, with about 10 of each topic, arranged logically in various categories.

    Then to my horror, Edgar posted them all in the same order they’d be uploaded, so my social media networks are filled with 10 posts on the exact same topic (albeit written in a different way – luckily I made sure I did this.)

    In the Facebook Edgar Group I’ve seen the above 3 quibbles mentioned numerous times. Staff are great at deflecting the comments with “this change isn’t currently on our roadmap”, so I’m assuming nothing will be done about it. Issue #1 I can understand as it’d be like shooting themselves in the foot, but Issues #2&3 I don’t.

    I don’t like posting negative comments on a service which is decent in essence, but as I said before, I think your readers need to have a balanced opinion on Edgar rather than just the pros that you covered.

    If you’d mentioned the above 3 things in your review, I wouldn’t have signed up to Edgar.

    Now I’ve invested so much time in it, I feel I need to stick with it despite my issues. This really sucks.

    Now I understand why their logo is an octopus – when it grabs a hold of you, it’s very hard for you to escape…

    • Thanks for the comment and all great points. It’s interesting how we each look for different things and use tools so differently.

      1. I’d not ever considered this but you’re right – that’d be a great feature and I hope they add it. Being able to import from a spreadsheet is great but being able to export both for getting it into other services but also for analysis would be handy too.

      2. Just installed the extension for the first time and you’re right. That is a no brainer for them to add and I hope they do. I don’t tend to tweet too many external links to other sites and largely use Edgar for my own archives so missed it but I could see that that would be annoying if you wanted to build a library of this kind of tweet.

      3. I’ve not run into this problem as I update in a pretty randomised way (adding posts from my archives from today, a year ago today, two years ago today, three years ago today etc). This gives me a really nice mix of updates.

      I a couple of times used the ‘skip update’ feature though when I knew I had added a couple of updates on the same kind of topic which seemed to mix up the queue.

      I’ll shoot your comments to Laura and the team – hope it helps make the product even more useful.

    • Hey Mark!

      First things first – thanks for this feedback. It probably sounds a bit like an insincere line when a business says that (like, “Thanks for noticing I gained weight, mom”), but we actually do take feedback like this very seriously, so we appreciate your candor. (Edgar’s changed quite a bit since we created him, and a LOT of those changes were inspired directly by what our users tell us, and how they use the app.)

      Anyway, that in mind, I don’t want to not give a little insight into some of what you mentioned, just in case you or anyone else may be curious about our take:

      1. Exporting content isn’t something we’ve ruled out, but is one of those potential features that isn’t as high a priority as others. It’s something we get mixed feedback about – we’ve had a lot of users say they think of it as a non-essential feature. So while we totally understand the potential utility of it, there are also things that we think would better serve more of our users for us to prioritize. We get a TON of feedback and requests for certain features, and implementing all of them would turn Edgar into one of those Swiss army knives that has so many tools it’s no longer easy to use. (It would be very Machiavellian for us to intentionally avoid it solely for retention purposes, but alas, we’re just not the evil geniuses our parents hoped we’d be.)

      2. Refining the Chrome extension is honestly a matter of pragmatic prioritization, too. We’ve found that when it comes to adding content, our users have always preferred importing via CSV and RSS, so we’ve spent considerably more time making those features as intuitive and useful as possible. Doesn’t mean that we’re not interested in making improvements to the extension, too, but when push comes to shove, we defer to making the changes that will provide a bigger benefit to a larger group of users.

      3. Randomizing posting is actually a big priority for us, so I don’t want to give an even vaguely ambiguous answer about that one. It’s something we’re actively working on, and are honestly very excited about. The only drag is that it means making some complex changes to Edgar’s insides, and changing something in THAT part means having to change things in OTHER parts – and vice versa. (It’s kind of like upgrading parts in a car’s engine while that car is speeding down the Autobahn.)

      When it comes to making changes, it’s true that we don’t like to give hard and fast release dates in advance – mostly because there are always unpredictable factors that can come up while we’re making those changes, and can complicate/delay things. That’s why we’re always honest about whether something is, as you noted, on the roadmap – for as much feedback as we get, we have to put a lot of thought into which changes will 1) make Edgar a more powerful, more useful, more intuitive tool, and 2) benefit the most users.

      Anyway, that’s kind of where our heads are on some of these things – and we’d much rather nobody have to guess why we are or aren’t making certain specific changes a top priority! In the meantime, thanks again for your honest feedback. And if you or anyone else wants to reach out to us directly with this sort of thing, we want you to have that option – you can drop us a line with feature-specific comments/requests at http://meetedgar.com/featurerequests, which we monitor very diligently!

      Tom
      Team Edgar

  14. Hello Darren Rowse,
    I hope it will help me in keeping in touch with my clients. Whenever i post my status of my work, after sometime my client can’t get reach to my that post. I will try its free trial for a month, and if it will work i will continue.
    Thanks!!

  15. Hey Darren, Thanks for this great and informative article. Actually I am not so aware of Edgar. But this article really gives me detailed information about it. I will sure try this out.

  16. I actually have never used Edgar. We use SproutSocial which appears to offer alot of similar functions. It is $59 a month. We are able to connect LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. You can curate posts. Also, you can connect Feedly and personal RSS feeds to autopost.

  17. I have never used edgar either but i think now having read your article i will give it a try especially for the benefits of increasing my social media audience. Thanks!

  18. Great article, I’ll admit I work in this sector and have never heard of Edgar (always been a Hootsuite kind of person for social media management). I’ll definitely be giving it a trail though. Thanks!

  19. Big fan of Edgar though (when I tried it, over the summer last year) it did have a few limitations – perhaps they have upgraded or improved their system since.
    I also have to put in a plug for SocialOomph, which has a much less user-friendly interface (you listening out there, SocialOomph?) but does have the randomization feature and a few other cool tricks — and costs slightly less than Edgar. If you just want to use SocialOomph to drip-feed content to Twitter it’s $7 every two weeks; if you want to use it with Facebook as well it costs a little bit more (and in that case I might just go back to Edgar). But for Twitter power users you really can’t beat $20 a month.

    • Hey Rachel! Just wanted to mention, since you’d specifically noted the randomization feature – that’s something we’ve added since last summer! (Among lots of other features.) So in case you wanted to check it out, it’s there!

      Tom
      Team Edgar

  20. Hey,

    Thank you for this blog! Seriously useful info.

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