Social media is a powerful, low-cost marketing strategy that allows you to engage with your customers and prospects, build business relationships, get feedback, generate more web traffic, make sales and a whole lot more.
But all of those benefits can come at a cost – primarily to your time. Here are five ways for keeping time spent on social media in check.
1. Allocate set social media times
Instead of having your social media pages open all day with the temptation to look at them constantly, allocate set times throughout the day to update and monitor the conversation.
Then, once or twice a week, allocate an additional half-hour or hour to network, converse and write on other pages to increase awareness for your page and brand. If you find you are struggling to stay within your time limit, try setting an alarm to keep you in check.
2. Write status updates in advance
A lot of time can be wasted in researching, brainstorming and writing status updates on a daily basis. While some days you might know exactly what to write on your social media pages, other days you might hit a creative block and struggle to come up with something informative or entertaining to share.
To maintain your productivity and prevent wasting time, create a month’s worth of status updates at once so you can draw on them in times you are stuck for something to say.
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3. Schedule updates
If you find you get distracted and spend a lot of time scanning other pages and profiles when you update your page, you may want to schedule your posts so they go up automatically without you having to log in.
There are many scheduling programs you can use, from Facebook’s own scheduler to the many independent software programs (see below) that will update all your accounts simultaneously.
4. Streamline with social media software
There are quite a number of software programs that can reduce the time you spend in social media. Depending on your needs and budget, they can help you post on multiple platforms at once, schedule posts, share content easily, find key influencers, grow and qualify your following, set up auto responders and much more.
Some quality programs include HootSuite, SproutSocial, Wildfire, Followwonk, Buffer, TweetDeck, and Sendible. You might also want to do a quick Google search to find a program that meets your specific social media needs.
5. Build social media alliances
Building your fans and followers can take time, money and effort, so to leverage your resources look to build social media alliances with business, brands and bloggers that have influence.
Finding influencers who are happy to share your content and tag you in a shout out every now and again (with you reciprocating) can help you build your brand awareness, boost Likes and followers and increase your influence faster without any additional time spent.
How do you make sure your social media management is time-efficient?