Social media has become a great tool for connecting with clients, customers, and colleagues, but when used incorrectly, it can become a giant time sink that saps away productivity. Luckily, it only takes a little planning to make sure that you’re utilizing your social media time in the best way possible. Below, you’ll find five great tips for maximizing your benefits when it comes to social media.
…this doesn’t mean your social media is on autopilot…
1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts
While they may take a little while to learn, keyboard shortcuts are a great way to save time when you’re navigating through multiple social media sites. This primer on social media shortcuts can help you save some extra time.
2. Create a Content Calendar
The value of a content calendar cannot be overstated. At the very least, you should be planning a week in advance, but having an outline of the next month or even two months is a great way to save yourself time when trying to come up with social media posts. You can also use content calendars to pick a theme for the month and ensure that all of your content, social media or otherwise, is conforming to that theme and working together.
3. Schedule in Bulk
Once you have your content calendar written out, sit down and schedule all the posts you can in advance. Do you know that you’re having a sale in two weeks? Go ahead and schedule some posts to announce your sale, to display your product, and to remind people before the sale ends. Schedule a reminder for your weekly special for the next month or two. D
o you like to post a funny picture every few days? Find a dozen funny pictures and schedule all of them at the same time. Remember, though, that this doesn’t mean your social media is on autopilot. Engagement is still key, especially if customers voice questions or complaints on your social media pages. The bulk scheduling you’re doing is just freeing you up to spend your time making more organic connections.
4. Give yourself a goal and a time limit
Blindly heading to social media sites is a sure way to ruin the rest of your day. When you sit down to do the “work” side of your social media interaction, one of the best things you can do is give yourself both a goal and a time limit. Start the process with something like this: “I’m going to spend the next half an hour posting one new thing to each of X sites, and replying to anyone who has mentioned me.” That way, when you go to click that link to “the cutest kitten you’ve ever seen,” you can remind yourself that you’re on a deadline and move on instead.
5. Don’t try to be everywhere
If we’re being honest, every one of us could probably spend our entire day on various social sites and still never scratch the surface.When it comes to your business, you need to identify which sites are best for you and cut the rest out of your schedule. You’ll probably want to start with Facebook and Twitter, then add in sites like Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest if it makes sense for your business. Finally, if you serve a niche market, try to find a site that caters to that niche, and spend some time there as well.