Time is what we want most, but what we spend worst — William Penn
Social media is one of the most effective ways to grow a business today. But it can also be one of the most time-consuming and resource-draining marketing strategies too. The good news is that there are many ways you can actually save time and become more productive in managing your time online. All it takes is some organisation, a few social media tools, and a dash of creativity.
1. Track Your Time
The first step is to figure out your daily time-sinks with the aim of improving your productivity. A time-tracking tool like RescueTime will help you spot inefficiencies in your day and become better at managing your time on social media.
2. Batch Your Social Media Tasks
When you batch content and social media posts, it’s much easier to manage your time productively. An example of batching might be scheduling your updates at the start of the day, then setting a specific time later in the day to check and respond to any comments.
Recommended Reading: The Science and Art of Batching to Increase Your Productivity
3. Minimise Distractions
Although it might not seem like it takes much time to jump onto Twitter to send a quick tweet, research tells us it can take up to 30 minutes to return your attention to whatever you were doing before an interruption.
4. Map Out Social Media In Advance
Make time for social media and organize activities into a social media calendar. Map out monthly themes which should include seasonal activity, industry events, holidays, etc. Each morning, you can simply grab a pre-written post from your calendar and plug it into a scheduling tool and you’re good to go.
Actionable Tip: Download CoSchedule’s Social Media Calendar Template
5. Set Up A Content Curation Hub
Creating your own content is an undeniably important way to establish online credibility, but it’s time consuming. Aim to create one in-depth piece of original content a month, and supplement this with daily content curation. Curation can deliver many benefits including establishing thought leadership, increasing visibility and driving social shares.
I use Scoop.it Feedly and FlipBoard to both find and curate content. Setting these tools up in advance takes very little time and once they are done you have a quick easy source of news to draw from every day.
6. Build A Tweet Bank
A Tweet Bank is simply a collection of boilerplate tweets that you can pull out and adapt when you need to. Of course it doesn’t have to be limited to Twitter — you can easily expand it to create sample posts for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
7. Create Twitter Lists
Twitter Lists are one of the most effective and simple ways to get a handle on your Twitter engagement. Each time you follow someone new on Twitter, get into the habit of adding them straight to one of your lists. If you haven’t already started with your lists, start building them today.
New to Lists? Follow my step-by-step guide to find out how to build your first Twitter list.
8. Automate Activity
Automation is the process of setting up systems to work whether you’re around or not. A simple example is to use a tool that automates following people back on Twitter when they follow you. Check out IFTTT (an acronym for If This, Then That, a tool which allows you to sync up multiple apps so that when a certain activity happens, it kicks off a separate activity in another app.
Here’s a good tip from business productivity expert, Nancy Gaines to help you decide whether you should automate a task.
9. Leverage Trending Hashtags
Use hashtags to quickly identify real-time opportunities for engagement in news and events, identify current trends and key influencers. You can find trending hashtags with tools like Twitonomy, Hashtagify.me and RiteTag.
10. Schedule Your Posts
Sign up for a tool which will allow you to schedule your social media posts days or even weeks in advance. HootSuite, Buffer and Tweetdeck are all good options.
11. Create Content With Repurposing In Mind
Repurposing content simply means taking one asset and reusing it somewhere else. Get into the habit of creating each new piece of content with repurposing in mind.
Recommended Reading:13 Creative Ways To Repurpose Your Digital Content
12. Organize Your Ideas with Evernote
When I find relevant content, I add it to my Evernote account where it’s stored and categorized for easy retrieval anytime I need it. You can do this manually, email it to Evernote or clip it using Evernote’s in-browser Web clipping tool.
13. Write Shorter Posts
While I ultimately believe long-form content is marketing gold, there’s still something to be said for writing shorter posts. Take a leaf from Seth Godin’s playbook. He is one of the most successful bloggers in the marketing world, and his blogs are super-focused. Writing short posts though is not an excuse to lower standards. Seth is a master at expressing ideas that are concise, but impactful, as the example below illustrates — this is the post in its entirety!
14. Create Quick Graphics
Canva, Adobe Spark, Pablo are my go-to tools to create quick graphic images for social sharing. These graphic creation tools are so quick and easy — you’ll be amazed at what you can do in a couple of minutes with them. To save more time, create pre-made branded templates in advance and then just drag and drop your images into these templates.
15. Communicate With Followers With Commun.it
It’s important to schedule time each day to grow and nurture your online community, by responding to comments, acknowledging new followers and thanking those who have shared your posts. A tool like Commun.it is super helpful to manage your online interactions in just a few minutes a day. You can keep track of your new followers, quickly identify your most engaged followers and respond to them directly from within the Commun.it platform.
A word of caution here. Please don’t be tempted to save time by automating your interactions. If you have an automated message set to deliver a canned direct message when someone new follows you, then unset it. If you want to reach out to a new follower, be sincere about it.
16. Connect Your Social Accounts To SumAll
An essential element of social media marketing is measuring progress. A tool like SumAll allows you to connect your social networks so it can quickly pull data and insights from those accounts. It will then send you a daily and/or weekly digest of your audience size, engagement, reach, and post activity. Best of all the tool is free to use.
17. Do Less
Don’t try to master every social network at once. Pick just one social network and get that platform up and running before you jump to the next. Drop any networks that are not producing results for you.
Recommended Reading: 5 Questions To Help You Choose The Right Social Media Platform
Business productivity expert, Nancy Gaines says “when you save an hour of work you not only save time for your business, but you also save time for things you want to do.” Follow these time-saving tips to create more time in your day not just for your marketing, but for the people and things you love!