Social media has become a crucial part of any online business. Social media provides a number of benefits, including additional exposure for your content. This can lead to increased brand awareness, and potentially position you as a thought leader if you are putting out great and useful content.
But social media isn’t only about brand engagement, it can also be an additional avenue for customer service. Customers these days assume a social channel is an opportunity to reach out, interact, and get help. Having an active social media presence can help you get closer to your customers, and potentially serve them better.
All the benefits aside, it does take a lot of time to manage social media networks. Here are nine ways to make sure managing your social media doesn’t turn into a full time task.
# 1 – Understand how each social network works
Before you start creating profiles everywhere, spend some time learning about each social media network. Find out which kind of content they are more likely to host, how the conversations happen there, and which formats are the most popular.
Want to dig deeper into understanding how each social network works? OMI suggests 5 Fundamentals of Integrating Social Media Into All Digital Efforts, check it out here.
# 2 – Understand your target audience
You need to know where your target audience hangs out, which social networks they prefer, and what they chat about. It's important to try to find a trend in the kind of content they share most often. Use these findings to guide your post creation.
# 3 – Learn your competitors
Find out which social media networks your competitors have joined, and what kind of content they provide.
To ensure that you won’t be following the wrong role model, read the comments shared on your competitor's content to learn how your audience reacts to them, and how often their posts get shared. Use these findings to guide your post creation.
# 4 – Read and watch what experts are saying
Read and watch what other digital marketing experts are saying about social media and it’s use and evolution. They are highly specialized professionals. Follow their social channels so you can stay up to date and adapt quickly.
# 5 – Ask for help
If you can’t do it all, ask for help. Help may come in the form of another person to support you or you can enlist some of the best tools or apps, such as:
- Hootsuite: Hootsuite will let you create, schedule, and publish your social media posts much faster and more efficiently. Hootsuite will also provide you with analytics reports and courses to improve your social media skills.
- Buffer: Another content automation tool. Try both, and see which you prefer.
- Smart Papers Help: An online writing service specialized in writing any kind of text. Their team of professional writers can also help you to edit and proofread your content.
- Sprout Social: If you have a social media team in place, get them organized with several collaboration and sharing features that will allow them to work as a group in a much more efficient fashion.
Want to learn more time saving tips for executing high performance social media marketing programs? OMI suggest Social Media Marketing Best Practices for SMB's, check it out here.
# 6 – Create a content vault
You probably spend a lot of time looking for images, resources, videos, and other materials to round out your content.
To avoid burnout, create a content vault, a kind of library where you will keep all materials that you will need to create your posts so you can easily access them and don’t waste time browsing around.
# 7 – Brush up your skills
Pay attention to each part of the creation process, and check if anything needs improvement. It might be your writing, it might be the way you do research online, it might be how you choose and prepare the visual resources.
As soon as you identify what is slowing you down, either find a way to outsource that part, or find the time to practice.
# 8 - Plan your posts in advance
Create a month by month spreadsheet, and list every post you will create, the topic to be covered, where it will be published, the visual resources that will go with it, when you will publish, and which goal you are trying to achieve.
This upfront work will make the process much faster down the road.
# 9 – Use monitoring tools
Last but not least, you should consider adopting tools and services so you have a better view of how your content is performing. Some good options are Google Alerts to get daily or weekly updates of your chosen keywords. Or you can use Topsy or Social Mention to provide you with real-time information about your social media accounts.
The bottom line
There are a number of ways to save time on your social media efforts. Some of them will cost you some money, but most of them won’t be noticed by your budget.
Interested in getting certified in Social Media? Check out OMI's certification in Social Media Marketing, here.
Want to learn more about any of the topics discussed in this article? Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here.
About the author:
Rick Riddle is a marketing consultant and an up-and-coming blogger whose articles aim to help people with digital marketing, blogging, entrepreneurship, and career. Feel free to follow Rick on twitter and LinkedIn.