We all know social media is the most effective and efficient way to communicate your message to your customers. But at the same time, we all know how it can be it can be a drain on our time.
I’m sure you don’t purposely waste time on social media, but if you’re attempting to communicate with your audience ineffectively, the chances are, you probably are wasting your time.
And let’s get this straight:
Time is money.
If you want to learn how to really kick-ass at all things social media, read on. Here are our top 5 social media productivity tips and the tools we use. Using these tools will allow you to scale your social media and become a lot more time-efficient.
Many of you may already use these tips and tools, but we hope you still find this valuable.
1. Create a social media strategy
What if I told you to meet me tomorrow, 12 pm in Edinburgh?
I’m guessing you’d:
1. Ask where we’re going (it would probably be some quirky tea place)
2. Look up the directions on Google maps
3. Figure out how to get there
Now, what does that have to do with social media?
Social media is the same. To be effective, you need to have a strategy. You need to know where you’re going and plan the most efficient route to get there. You need to figure our your social media goals and then the ways to get there.
Every action you take on social media should be a part of a larger social media marketing strategy. Every tweet, comment, like and share you do should all be guided by your plan.
It might sound complicated, but a well constructed social media strategy will save you time in the long run and will ensure the rest of your social media efforts flow naturally.
I’m not going to go over how to create a social media strategy today. I’ll save that for another article, but the main things you want to cover when creating one is:
- Set goals and objectives
- Review current social media accounts
- Improve accounts
- Get inspiration from competitors, influencers, industry leaders
- Create content plan
- Analyse and readjust
Until we’ve created our own strategy post, this one by Hootsuite will help.
Social media tool that can help:
Sorry to be boring, but in my opinion, the best tool for creating a strategy is simply a big bit of blank paper, a pen and that big brain of yours.
2. Stick to a social media schedule
Sticking to a plan or routine is one of the best ways to be more productive on social media.
We have a basic understanding of what sort of post we’re going to put out on a certain day.
I always hear people complaining that they simply don’t have the time to think about what content to post daily. By having a nice simple plan, it will really help you to become more productive. You don’t have to stick to it rigidly, but having the idea there will go a long way.
If you’re a social media addict and love to spend hours every day scrolling through the news feeds, it might be beneficial to set some boundaries.
Neal Schaffer sums up boundaries perfectly:
“Look, there are just so many hours in the day. Unless social media is your life, you also have other important things to do. So you can’t be spending ALL of your time on social media. Doesn’t it make sense, then, to start to build your own social media boundaries? It means limiting yourself to x hours or x minutes of the day to each site or performing each objective on each site. If you don’t have these boundaries established, more important things in your life could slip through the cracks. If you’re still not sold on the idea, do what I plan to do this week: time how long you spend each day on each social media site performing each activity. The results may be shocking.”
Social media tool that can help:
Again, I feel the best tool for this is just your willpower. However, Toggl is a cool tool that you can use to time how long you spend on certain activities.
3. Schedule your social posts
Some people love it. Some hate it.
If used correctly, they’re a great way to save a ton of time!
We always sit down on a Sunday evening and schedule posts to go out for the week ahead. We use our daily/weekly routine to determine what will be going out when.
But please, don’t make the mistake that so many people do. Don’t just automate your social media accounts and leave them. You still have to spend the time engaging with people and sharing relevant content on a day to day basis. In my opinion, having an account that is blatantly automated is just as bad as having no account.
Social media tool that can help:
There are some fantastic tools out there to help you schedule posts:
Buffer – Buffer is my favourite and it’s the one I use for our clients
Hootsuite – Personally I’m not the biggest fan of Hootsuite as I don’t like their UI, but many people do love it.
CoSchedule – Coschedule is a nice WordPress plugin that allows you to schedule posts from within your site.
4. Repurpose your content
Old content can be just as useful as new content. Just because you created an article 6 months ago doesn’t mean you can’t use it again. This is what we like to call evergreen content. Evergreen content is great because it doesn’t have an expiry date!
Repurposing your content is a great way to ensure your old content gets discovered regularly.
If you have a podcast, why not get the audio transcribed into a blog article? Or if you’ve created a nice blog post, why not turn it into an infographic? Or even pull together some of your best blog articles and turn them into an ebook? (Which you can then use to collect email addresses)
There are so many options when it comes to repurposing content.
Repurposing content doesn’t just mean editing old content. It can be done with your latest work too. For example, when I was tweeting about our 7-Day startup article, I used different text in my tweets such as:
- Check out our latest blog on how we launched in just 7 days
- Find out how to launch a business in just 7 day
The reason we chose different text like this is to try and target different audiences. Some people might not be interested in reading our blog about launching the business, but they might be interested in how they can launch a business in just 7 days. The tweets linked to the same article, but different people were drawn to different tweets.
5. Use analytics
My final point is about the use of analytics.
They might sound complicated and time consuming, however, they will save you time in the long-run.
I have found that there isn’t one specific tool that really helps me with analytics, but I love to use the native analytics tools on the social platforms that I’m using. (Facebook Insights etc.)
The amount of data you can collect from the likes of Facebook is unbelievably helpful for marketers. For example, below is an image of the results we got from a little ad we ran on Facebook targeting business owners. As you can see, the majority of clicks were from women, aged 45-44, using their mobile phones. I found this really interesting. Does this mean that women are more likely to engage with us? Potentially. But we’ll need to do some more testing.
The great thing about social media is that everything is measurable and the platforms happily give you the data for free, like above.
One of the most common ways to use the likes of Facebook is driving people to a landing page through a paid ad.
The process tends to be:
- Create Facebook ad offering something for free
- Send them to a landing page
- They sign up for the free offer by entering their email address
I love this model as every stage is measurable. Firstly, you can see if people are clicking on your ad or not. If they’re not, you know you need to change something in the ad. If they’re clicking on the ad but not entering the email, you know the offer or landing page isn’t irresistible enough.
So how does this save you time?
You are able to keep readjusting until you find something that works. Then it’s a case of rinse and repeat.
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to share this post if you liked it.