Social Media can be challenging for small businesses and business owners who are already stretched for time, so adding it to your heavy workload can be overwhelming (I understand the juggle!) But nurturing social media communities takes time and unfortunately there are no honest shortcuts. With that said, here are some tips to help you maximize time and efficiency while on social media.
Know Your Goals And Have A Plan
It doesn’t sound like a shortcut, but it is. It’s so important to have a plan in place so that you know where to spend your time and why! If you keep track of what you’re doing, you’ll be able to make better decisions.
When you’re in startup mode without clients, it feels like you have all the time in the world to build up awareness about your company (maybe you don’t necessarily even keep track of how much time you’re spending on social media sites engaging and conversing!) You likely hadn’t even considered how you would keep this momentum up when you’re running around taking care of clients and customers. But here’s the truth: as soon as you get busy, social media will fall through the cracks. This is less than ideal for a couple of reasons: (1) you must keep your activity up to build on awareness and (2) you must maintain consistency (keep giving your audience what they want!) This is why I like using scheduling tools for my clients. It’s a situation of “set it and forget it” we just want to make sure that there is quality control on the content we share, as well as the engagement that ensues. Plus, I always tell clients to keep push notifications on their phone (yes, they’re annoying but such is life!) That way, when your people engage with your stuff, you can react in a timely manner rather than just wasting your time farting around on social media!
If you’re creating custom content, it may be hard for you to sit down and put your thoughts to paper or a word document. Consider using apps within iPhone or Android for dictation. Have you noticed that little microphone in your keyboard? That’s the one we’re talking about. I use this all the time when I’m writing blogs. It saves me so much time because otherwise I’d be sitting in front of my desktop with writers block. By dictating my blogs all I have to do is edit and format.
Reminders + Timers
In my opinion reminders and timers are the most under-appreciated tools that typically live right in your phone! Look, we all know that social media can be a time suck, that’s why you should consider scheduling blocks of time to jump online. The key here is to stick with it. Do not go over and do not go under. So if you only want to spend 5, 10, 15 minutes a day – set the timer. When the timers is done, so are you. If you haven’t gotten through everything you want to see, bookmark or save links.
Repurpose Good Content
We spend a lot of time thinking and talking about content (blogs, vlogs, video, images, infographics etc.) But it is important to think about the lifespan of your content: how many purposes can it serve? theme? call-to-action? I just started tinkering around with a video platform called Lumen5. It’s pretty neat and saves a lot of time in creating video recaps! You input a URL, then they pull all the content from that page. You edit with images and music and share out to appropriate networks.
Use Big Data and Small Data
This is when anecdotal data and insights meet. Watch what your audience responds to both in numbers (likes, shares, reach) and comments. If you’re spending all kinds of time developing blog posts, but they’re not responding, think about why – is the format? the topic? Are they even seeing it?
Having process documents in place can really help you to stay on track, stay focused and mind the time. For example, I have a step-by-step guide process document for writing blogs, editing and executing. It sounds silly, but it helps me stay on track and I don’t have to reinvent the wheel each week. Think about capturing your processes and what you do each week so that you can just follow along mechanically.
Highly Targeted Ads
A shortcut to getting in front of your ideal audience can be through targeted ads. But here’s the catch: it’s an ad, which means that you need to make sure that whatever you’re putting in front of this cold audience is of value to them. Otherwise you waste time and money.
The key here in maximizing time and efficiency on social media is to make sure you’re spending your effort on things that you both enjoy and positively impact your business. If you’re twenty images in on your ex-girlfriends-mothers-friends-bosses vacation pictures, you need to rethink your plan. And if you need some help, give me a buzz!