You’re busy. I’m busy. Everyone’s busy. If you have your own business, that busy jumps to a whole new level, doesn’t it? No, this isn’t a post to see how many times I can use different forms of the word busy. If you’re an entrepreneur in today’s technical world, you understand the importance of an online presence. You have a website, you blog, you have social media accounts. When you don’t have help managing social media, it seems a daunting task. You need to spend time doing what you do best and making a profit! These tips should help you get social media management down to a science!
Managing Social Media in Less Time
What’s the biggest step you can take to make managing social media take less time? Automation. I outlined a couple of available services in a recent post on Productivity Tools, but they definitely bear mentioning again. If you could sit down and do all your social media management in 15 minutes a day, would the task seem less daunting? Definitely. Automating tasks is the key to managing social media in less time. Basically, it’s like the crock pot of marketing. Just set it and forget it. You do the work once, and automation takes care of the rest.
Tools for Automating Social Media
If you want to sit down and knock out a whole bunch of social media at once, Buffer is an amazing tool. Most small businesses will do fine with the free account. You connect all your social media accounts to it, and use that to post on your behalf. Decide how frequently you want to post to each platform (up to 4 times a day with the free account). Then you set the times you want the posts to appear, and you’re good to go. You can manually add posts and choose which audience will see them, and they get sent to that account’s queue, or Buffer.
Additionally, the Chrome extension makes things even easier. When I’m online and see an article or blog post that I think would benefit followers, I click the icon, edit the message, choose the social media accounts, and it magically gets added to the list. I don’t even have to go to the Buffer website to do that. Another useful feature is that Buffer sends you an email when the list for one of your accounts is empty. It’s a nice little heads up that you need to add something or your social media audience won’t get any love.
If you’re a blogger or content marketer, CoSchedule is a tool you should definitely consider. I started using it about a year ago, and it made managing social media so much easier for me. Seriously…it was a game changer. You use the calendar to plan your blog posts in advance. This alone helps keep you accountable for blogging. Once you’ve written the post, the social media part gets involved. You connect your accounts in the settings, then you schedule when your posts will be shared.
Want to share a post right when you publish? Fortunately, CoSchedule has a place right in the post’s editor to make that happen. You can schedule it for next week, next month, even next year. Another awesome feature that helps with managing social media is viewing the posts in your calendar. How many times a day are you sharing your content? The icing on the cake for me? You can have CoSchedule send the posts to your Buffer. Don’t you love it when all your tools play nicely together? CoSchedule is not free, but it’s very reasonable. They also offer a Chrome extension that allows you to add links to CoSchedule, much like Buffer does.
When you have a new follower on Twitter, Facebook, etc., you want to thank them! I recently started using Zapier to automate that stuff on social media. I want them to know I appreciate them, but I don’t always have time to write a message to each individual new follower. Now when someone follows me, it triggers a “zap” that tweets a thank you and mentions the new follower by username. This is not even the beginning of what Zapier can do, and not just with social media. It’s just an example of an automated task that can save you a ton of time managing social media.
Putting it all Together
Now that you have some of the basic stuff automated, you’re free to interact with your audience a bit better. You can map out a few minutes each day to respond to people, add to your Buffer, and keep things flowing. I can usually get it all done in about 15-20 minutes a day, and my Twitter following has been growing by an average of 10 new folks a day. I’d say that’s worth it! So work on managing social media in less time, and keep swimming along!