Pile of 3D Popular Social Media Logos

One of the biggest challenges with social media marketing is the amount of time that is required to be spent in order to maintain an authentic and engaging presence. However, whilst a substantial investment of time is needed, it is all too easy to end up wasting time on social media too, and getting pulled into a web of non-productive activity.

So how do you avoid that trap?

There are a few key ways you can ensure your social media is effective, whilst still using your time efficiently and ensuring you remain productive for the business:

1. Have a plan

Don’t just post social media content adhoc, at the end of the day or whenever you have the time or inclination. It needs to be approached professionally as a strategic marketing, customer service, recruitment, communication tool. A strategic content plan will ensure continuity and consistency of high quality content, that goes out on the right topics, using the right words, at the right times and in the right places.

Having a plan will also ensure that your posts are aligned with the rest of your marketing activities, and support your business goals. It will ensure you get maximum impact from news and events, and are able to repurpose existing content so that you are not reinventing the wheel with every post.

2. Schedule content

A lot of social media content is non time sensitive, particularly in terms of story-telling, profile raising and promotions. Obviously, for events, the content probably needs to be posted live, but you’ll probably find that a lot of your content could be planned and written a week, or even a month, in advance.

This is where the social media planner and content calendar is particularly useful. If you have already drafted the content, there are a number of free tools you can use to schedule the posts in advance. This will ensure that the content goes out at the right times, without disruptions when  people are ill, in meetings, or on holiday. It also means you can allocate a block of time every week/month for scheduling, rather than trying to do it every day and exposing yourself to more chance of distractions!

3. Use a dashboard/management platform to monitor and respond

Scheduling tools are also an enormous advantage when it comes to monitoring, responding and engaging with others online. If you are scheduling your content in advance, you will still need to visit each platform at least 1-3 times per day in order to monitor engagement, respond to comments, remove spam, and to proactively engage with others.

The beauty of using a management dashboard is that you can have all your profiles in one place, so you don’t need to keep logging in to each one separately (and getting distracted each time). You can create tabs/streams for mentions, comments, shares etc, plus you can also do the same for hashtags and lists, so that you can see who may be talking about key topics even if they are not having a conversation with you directly.

Checking a dashboard daily, where the content/engagement that you have selected is all collected in one place, for all of your social media networks, is one of the most effective ways to save time spent on social media.

4. Stay focussed 

It’s an obvious one, but you need to try and keep focussed on what you are doing, and why you are on the platform. Proactively manage your time. Set aside half an hour first thing in the morning, after lunch and before you leave work to do your monitoring/engaging and stick to it. Plan half a day every week/month to draft and update your content plan and do your scheduling – put it in your diary so that it becomes a priority.

We’ll be going through these recommendations and more at our upcoming social media workshop on 29th July, as well as setting up the social media management tools that will help make a difference. You can get more information here, and if you’d like to register or find out more, please email sam@footstepcommunications.com

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