Time Management Tips for Social Media
I know what it’s like, it’s just too easy to get sucked into the vortex that is social media. How many times have you said to yourself I’ll just quickly check LinkedIn and see what’s going on only to find half an hour has zoomed by and worst of all, you have not really done anything productive.
As a small business owner, your time is precious. You recognise the need to be on social media, but you don’t really have the time. So, what can you do?
Creating a structured, professional approach to your social media is the first step and this doesn’t include checking out the tennis scores on BBC news, I’m afraid. Instead, social media nirvana is understanding its importance in marketing your business and finding the time to do it well. When done correctly, social media is a great way to raise your profile, create awareness of your products or services and reach new markets.
I’ve assumed that you have already worked out which platforms are most suitable for your business and that you know what your goals and objectives for social media are. (If not, or even as a refresher, check out this blog)
Top Tip: Don’t spread yourself too thin, it’s better to be effective on one platform, than on four with little to zero interaction.
Using a Content Calendar When working with my clients I find one of the easiest methods is to plan our content in
advance. Creating a calendar means that we can add any key dates, events or offers first, then we can start to add our content in. It should be a variety of content suited to your audience and should follow the 80/20 rule; 80% of the content should inform, entertain and educate, the other 20% is about your business. Your audience doesn’t want to feel as if they are being sold to all of the time, so the blend of content is important.
Content calendars don’t need to be anything complicated, it can be a simple spreadsheet to start with. If you have Google Drive even better as you can share the document with the people you might work with so content ideas and changes can be made and shared with everyone involved.
For some clients it works really well to follow a pattern in terms of the type of content we post on which days, for example Tuesday might be a tip and Wednesday might be sharing third party content. Creating a routine provides focus and eliminates the overwhelm in terms of ‘what do I post now?’. It also makes it easier to source ideas and content when you know what you are looking for. This then leaves you free to interact, but I will cover this in more detail further down.
Feedly and Flipboard are great content curation tools available on both desktop and mobile platforms. When I find an interesting article, I send it straight to my email and then it gets filed in a content curation folder. Easy!
Frequency There are no rules about posting every day. In fact, over-posting can be a turn-off to your audience, it really does depend on the platform. Twitter has a high volume of traffic compare to Facebook and Instagram. Remember its quality over quantity. So, to start with, perhaps try scheduling in content for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or even just Monday and Friday.
Scheduling Once you have your calendar in place and populated with content it’s now time to schedule your content. This means you set aside some time at the beginning of each week or month to schedule using an app such as Hootsuite (free), Content Cal and Buffer. You add the content, then select the day and time and that’s it. Facebook business accounts have their own scheduling system which I would recommend using. For Instagram, please only use the authorised scheduling apps.
This is a personal preference but I loathe cross-posting. This is where you see posts on Facebook or Twitter that have come from Instagram or vice versa so you get all the hashtags and parts of the message missing. It looks messy, and feels a bit lazy.
Build Relationships This is the really important bit. Scheduling content should not be regarded as replacing the need to interact with your audience. You still need to pop onto your various accounts to like, share and comment on other people’s content, and of course respond to any comments on your content. This is so important as they are more likely to reciprocate.
What scheduling does do is take away the feeling of overwhelm at the beginning of the week or each day about the need to post. Having content scheduled for the week means you can relax knowing you have got it covered.
How do you ensure you make time to interact? Scheduling time in your diary each day or every other day ensures it becomes part of your routine.
1. Content Creation:
Content planning - what promotions or deals are you running
Are there any key social media dates that are relevant?
Source third party content using Feedly, Flipboard, Medium etc
2. Create your calendar:
Set aside time to create your calendar for either the following week or month
think about posting content on regular days of the week so Monday
motivational quotes, Tuesday tips etc
Use an app such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule content and don’t forget Facebook has its own system
4. Interact/Build relationships
This the most important bit; spending time commenting, liking and sharing content
Schedule time in your calendar
I know it might seem there is a lot more work to do but once you have got yourself into a routine of creating and scheduling content you should soon start to see how much more productive you can be.
And if you’re still finding it difficult to find time, there’s always outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant…