We get it. You're a small business owner. You are your own book keeper and your own sales person. You create and execute your own marketing strategies, manage your own clients, and somewhere amongst it all you find time to continually perfect your craft and service. You're at networking events and Twitter Chats during the week, and you somehow find time to squeeze a workshop into your already cramped Saturday. You're a wearer of many hats and balancing them all is critical in keeping your business afloat. Then comes the added responsibility of social media. You understand maintaining active, relevant platforms are essential to reaching new audiences and engaging your community. You've seen your peers and other companies reap the benefits of creating and sharing valuable content, but you're struggling to find time and processes to automate your social media channels in a way that's authentic, yet efficient. Here are three tips to help manage your social media workflow to make time for what you love!
There's definitely a wrong way to schedule posts and here's our rule of thumb: Don't automate interactions. Engaging should feel real. What's a "Thanks for connecting with us!" when your timeline is drowned in the same message to 13 different followers? Scheduling may be frowned upon as lacking authenticity. But there's definitely an effective, right way to schedule posts.
CLICK TO TWEET: Don't automate interactions. Engaging should feel real via @8Twelv #socialmedia #smallbiz
Do schedule curated content. Remember you saved (and read) that interesting article to *Get Pocket this past weekend? If you found it helpful or interesting, so will your audience. Schedule posts to share your own core content as well: your blog posts, your promotions, your free downloads, your good stuff. Inspirational quotes seem to garner engagement across most industries, schedule those, too!
Set aside time to schedule your posts for the week. Use *egg.timer (or *Tamato.es) to designate time blocks specifically for filling your queue (and not surfing Pinterest or checking emails!) Automate, but don't have a set it and forget it mentality. You'll want to pop in throughout the day to respond to inquiries, engage and contribute to the conversation.
Where should I spend my time?
Where your customers are, not where you prefer to be. You've probably read similar tips before, "choose 2 to 3 platforms and cultivate those communities." It's often repeated because it's wise advice. There's at least a dozen social media platforms (*think Ello, Tzu, Periscope, SnapChat, etc.) with new channels gaining traction everyday. You can't be everywhere effectively, put your eggs in a few baskets and take care of them.
CLICK TO TWEET: You can't be everywhere effectively. Put your eggs in a few baskets and tend to them via @8Twelv #socialmedia #business
This is where strategy wins. House your post ideas in *Trello, and then schedule and optimize them in your management tool of your choice. What we love about Trello is, it's more than web based storage for running-lists. You can add links, screenshots, and hashtags (because you researched relevant hashtags on *Hashtagify and you're testing how well your audience responds to them, of course!) While an option like *Edgar is a great social media management tool, you can create a free DIY version by housing your core (fully optimized) posts in Trello to copy & paste later.
TIP: Fully optimized posts are ready to send with shortened URL's, appropriate image sizes, researched hashtags and appropriate character count.
Time management, consistency and balance are the trio of streamlined social media management. Have fun testing new platforms, but don't neglect your core channels. They already have a proven track record and ideally your potential clients are already there. Be consistent.
CLICK TO TWEET: Test new platforms, but don't neglect your core channels via @8Twelv #socialmedia #smallbiz
Get Pocket TIP: Resources are ineffectual if you can't find them when you need them. Be sure to tag articles and resources to easily locate later!
Eg.gtimer (tomato.es for 25 min time blocks)
HootSuite, Buffer, Edgar (See how Edgar stacks up against competition).
Periscope, Tzu, Ello (email us if you'd like an Ello invite!)
Latergram + Publish for scheduling IG and Twitter posts
ViralWoot for Pinterest scheduling and analytics
What social media hacks have you discovered that helps you save time?