One of the biggest complaints about social media is that business owners struggle to find time to manage it all. Between Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, not to mention a company blog, managing your social media presence is a full time job in itself – and many small businesses just don’t have the time and resources to commit to this monumental task.
I’m not going to lie to you, social media does take time. There’s no way to get around that. However, there are some things you can do to make the most of your time. Use these 5 tips to better manage your social media accounts…without letting it consume all your time.
Set a timer.
It’s easy to get distracted when you sit down to post to Facebook or Twitter. You intend to scan the newsfeed for “just a minute” and the next thing you know, ten minutes has passed…if you’re lucky.
Carve out a specific amount of time every day for managing your social media accounts, set a timer and stick to it! Go into it with a plan for finding and creating new content and engaging your fans or followers. For me, I find that doing my social media scheduling first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee is the opportune time. Afterwards I turn off social media (and those pesky notifications) entirely and only check back every few hours to respond to comments as necessary. If you don’t keep your social media confined within a specific time window, it can very quickly consume large chunks of your day.
Produce content in bulk and schedule.
This is huge when it comes to time management, because it allows you to quickly post your content without having to come up with ideas for new content day after day. This will take some planning ahead, obviously. In your free time (yeah, I know, who has free time, right?) create a list of 100+ tips that are relevant to your niche that you can post to Twitter every day (keep them to 130 characters to leave people room to retweet you).
You can take those same tips and put them into images using PicMonkey or Canva and post them daily to your Facebook page. They could also make a great board in Pinterest. Make sure you put your logo onto the images to brand them for your business.
While all this content creation takes time, it will be a no-brainer when it’s time to schedule content. Simply go down the list and schedule posts hourly for Twitter using Hootsuite (unfortunately frequency is necessary here since the average Tweet has a lifespan of 30 seconds). You can follow the same approach with scheduling 4-6 Facebook posts on Facebook, 1-2 of which could be from that tip series.
Another way to save time with content creation is to multi-task when you’re doing more mindless tasks. If you’re sitting enjoying some down time in front of the TV, why not create some motivational quotes on PicMonkey or Canva?
It’s really tempting to want to jump in and start a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Google Plus business page, a YouTube Channel and an Instagram account all at once. However, if you do that without the time or the right strategies in place you’ll burn out very quickly.
You’ll also do a poor job of managing all of them.
You know the expression, “jack of all trades, master of nothing”? That will be you. It’s better to start small on the platforms you’re either most familiar with, or the ones on which you know you will be most successful.
For example, if you’re a chiropractor, you might find most of your success networking on Twitter and sharing tips, articles and inspiration on Facebook and Google Plus. But it also makes sense, if you don’t have the initial time, to refrain from setting up accounts on YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. Not to say that you can’t be successful on those platforms (you could eventually create videos where you demonstrate different procedures or show how different equipment in your office works), but you may want to start small and work your way up to that.
Sit down and brainstorm which platforms are best for you, and start where you will have the greatest impact.
Use your “dead” time.
I hate “dead” time. I can’t even drive without chatting on the phone (via Bluetooth of course) or listening to a podcast. So sitting at doctors’ appointments, cab rides, time at the airport, or other “dead” times is torture.
That’s not to say I don’t even my free time or that I have to work 24/7! But getting from point A to point B or waiting on someone with nothing to do is painful. Cell phones (or, more accurately, smart phones), the internet and social media have, for better or worse, left us in a position where we are used to being “plugged in” at all times.
However, you can take advantage of these moments of dead time to respond to comments, retweet people on Twitter, and even create new content…all from your phone while you wait! It’s a great way to get some simple but vital tasks accomplished. And hey, what else were you going to do?
Create a content schedule.
Have a plan in mind for the types of content you want to post each day. Do you want to post a tip daily? Do you want to post something motivational? What about a humorous post or a question to get some engagement? Think about what your content strategy looks like and have a plan for what TYPES of content you plan to post each day. This will help a ton, since you will spend less time brainstorming what you should post (when it could be anything and everything) and instead think, “okay, I know I want to share something inspirational, so what should I post?”