One of the biggest complaints I hear from business owners is that they struggle with social media time management. Managing your social media marketing looks overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Use these tips to keep your time spent on social media under control.
1. Before you launch any kind of marketing campaign, figure out your goal for it. Do you want to increase your visibility? Have people contact you for a consultation? Position yourself as an expert? Decide what you want out of the campaign then tailor your actions to achieve that goal.
2. Know where your people are. Spend your time on the networking sites that your audience is using. It’s tempting to assume that they are on Facebook because everyone is on Facebook, but that may not be the case for your ideal clients. Some business owners find Twitter to be a better fit for their audiences. Your audience may be on LinkedIn. It may take some time up front to find out where your clients are, but it’s worth the effort.
3. Don’t try to be on every network out there. Pick social media networks to fit your goal. Quora, for example, will showcase expertise while LinkedIn presents you as a buttoned-up professional. Pinterest is a good choice if there is a visual component to your work. Focus your time on one or two networks. Remember that you can’t be everywhere at once.
4. Schedule updates in advance whenever possible. Use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your Tweets or status updates. Facebook also allows you to schedule updates in advance. You can post multiple times a day, but you only have to login once a day to look for replies or comments.
5. Create an editorial calendar. Invest the time once a quarter to plan your social media activities. Choose a topic for the month or week and base your activities around that topic. Planning ahead will ensure that your social media time is focused strategically on meeting your goals. This is especially important if you are using content marketing (which you should be doing as an important part of your online marketing strategy and SEO). It will also help you to avoid having to figure out each day what you will post on your Facebook page or what you will tweet about.
6. Set a time limit. It’s amazing how time can disappear when you’re on social media… you may log into your Facebook account with the intent of updating your business Facebook page only to find, 20 minutes later, that you still haven’t done so. If you find yourself getting sucked into social media, reading every tweet and following every link, you may find it helpful to set a limit on your social media time. Decide how much time you have and focus on activities that bring you closer to your goal. Just because you are logged in to a networking site, it doesn’t mean you are doing things to bring you closer to your goals.
7. Use alerts, lists and other tools to stay in the loop. Set up a Google alert so you know when someone talks about you, your business, or a topic of interest to you. (Google alerts is a service that allows you to identify a search query and then receive an email that notifies you when new content is published online about that term.) Use the interests option on Facebook to watch people and pages that are important to you.
Social media doesn’t have to be draining. Set a goal for your marketing efforts and make sure your activities are targeted toward that goal. Use the tools available to you to optimize the time you spend, and limit your time when necessary.
Does this address your concerns about social media time management? If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.