Some readers may already know this, but being a social media marketer stirs up some fairly passionate cocktail conversation. When mutterings about the weather naturally turn to the obligatory, “So what do you do?” question, the response I receive is almost always met with the dropping of a veil.
It’s as if the words “social media” give rise to this fire in people’s bellies, and that fire usually lies on two very opposite ends of the spectrum. Of course, some people still wonder what in the world a marketer might do to promote a brand online, but for those that know (or think they know), there’s either deep appreciation or extreme apprehension.
On occasion those that think they know (and believe that social media is a horrible waste of time), are willing to listen to my case long enough for me to explain that tools like Twitter aren’t predominately filled with listings of people’s breakfast cereals. Those that begin to understand social media’s utilities though, are often still apprehensive about the social media time suck.
“But how would I have any time to work?” they almost always ask. And so instead of spending time listing alternatives, I plan to direct up and coming social media marketers to this post. Here I bring you 7 ways to save time in social media marketing.
Seven Ways to Save Time While Marketing with Social Media
1. Create a timetable
Some people use a buzzer, others simply have a rule. Regardless of your time tracking tool of choice, employ it here, as many marketers say you’ll start to see the benefits of social media marketing if you invest just fifteen minutes per day.
2. Use applications and bookmarking services to save content for later
Instapaper, Readability and ReadItLater are probably the industry leaders when it comes to bookmarking content for offline reading on any device when the reading is convenient. Pick one of these offline reading services and install the app and bookmarks across all your devices. Bookmark intriguing content when you run across it, but do the heavy reading in your free time so you can stick to the task at hand.
3. Schedule your tweets, but don’t schedule everything
Scheduling tweets on Twitter allows you the ability to spread out your content while making it feel like you’re everywhere at once. Tools like Buffer, SocialOomph, and a collection of others were designed specifically for the task, but be careful when it comes to scheduling across social channels, as third part scheduling tools for Facebook have shown up to an 80 percent reduction in engagement with fans.
4. Found the bulk of your strategy on repeatability
I recently read a review of a book called Repeatability by Chris Zook and James Allen. In it the authors argue that businesses founded on repeatable ideas (as opposed to far reaching innovations) are five times more likely to succeed. I believe the same rule applies to social media, not only because simplicity rules, but also because repeatability saves time and gives your audience time to scale. Some good examples of repeatability include “Mobile Mondays” or “Small Business Saturdays,” both of which were started by one business but hijacked by other users. In the beginning you’ll have to work, but before long the routine becomes automatic and your audience begins to do the work.
5. Calibrate notifications with care
When it comes to “always on” social media channels, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of updates on everything from comments to additional followers. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that this kind of constant monitoring is work. At the same time, don’t feel like you have to turn everything off. After all, being on top of an important comment or update can make the difference between viral and low impact. Use something like Notification Control or an app like Echophon that gives you full control over how and when you see updates.
6. Consistency is more important than volume
Yes, it has been proven that posting every day on Facebook improves your EdgeRank and as a result, makes you more visible in your fan’s news feeds. It’s also true that people who tweet more often tend to have high Klout scores. But relationships and expectations trump volume and noise any day. If you’re too busy too check in daily that’s okay. Just provide value to your followers and that alone will pay dividends.
7. Take a hands off approach and hire someone to market across social channels for you
If you still want the search engine and lead generating benefits of social media but don’t have any interest in keeping up with the platform trends you can always hire someone to do the work for you. When hiring a social media marketer, keep in mind the importance of someone who can translate your brand voice across social properties and use metrics to optimize their efforts for maximum returns.
Lauren Proctor is a social media marketer and the founder of Proctor + Hall, a company that helps companies increase revenues and exposure through digital marketing. Sign up for her free 32-part social media strategy optimization course today.
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