Sure, most entrepreneurs want a lively social media presence. But unless you’re working with a dedicated social media manager or you’ve assigned stewardship to an employee, who has time to keep those social media accounts looking fresh, like someone’s always “home”?
I get it. Building a business is demanding enough, and not everyone is able to outsource social media. But you might have more time for social than you think.
Yesssss! You know what you’re going to share on Facebook this week: a quick snippet of solid advice that you’re sure your customers will appreciate.
You draft the text in a Word document first. You massage it a little bit, get the wording just right. Not too long, not too short. Upbeat but still professional, reflecting the voice of your brand. Perfect.
You read somewhere that social media posts get more engagement when they incorporate imagery, so you look for a stock photo that relates to the topic. You find one, save it, and resize it to display optimally on Facebook.
You’ve also heard that weekday afternoons are the best time to post on Facebook, so you wait until 2:00 p.m. on Monday, then paste your text into Facebook, add your accompanying photo, and publish.
You’d like to post at least one new item on Facebook every week, so you’ll probably wander back to Facebook again next Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday. Maybe Thursday. Hopefully. If you find time. And if you can think of something new to say by then.
No wonder you feel like do-it-yourself social media is impossible.
It sounds like no one has introduced you to these simple tricks for squeezing more social media out of what little time you have:
Why do other businesses appear to be so on-top-of their social media? They’re probably maintaining a social media calendar.
Rather than waiting for inspiration to strike and then posting, keep your social media accounts consistently snappy by planning ahead. Come up with all of your content ideas at once for a future period of time (maybe plan two weeks to a month ahead).
- Take advantage of the momentum you build when brainstorming. Get on a roll and capture those ideas while you have them. (Trying to come up with one idea at a time always takes more)
- Gain a “bird’s-eye” view of your social media so you can inject variety into your posts. For example, if you’ve shared a blog post this week, try sharing a humorous meme the following week, and maybe a quick tip the week after that. Shake things up.
- Plan to publish seasonal, deadline-related, and special events content at the right time. Use these occasions to inspire content. For instance, if you know the Oscars are coming up, what could you post that would draw a parallel between your business and Hollywood? How might seasonal weather inform what you post? Are there due dates your customers should know about?
Get more done in less time by batching similar tasks.
This technique goes hand-in-hand with using a social media calendar. Set aside an hour to craft just the text portions of your upcoming posts. Focus on locating visual components for calendared posts all at one time. Spend thirty minutes strictly choosing days and times to publish.
This approach always saves time. Not only do you benefit from momentum, but you won’t waste time clicking back and forth between different pages, different tools, etc.
You can share content at strategic times without having to be anchored to your device. Instead, there are highly affordable social media tools that allow you to schedule your content in advance. You can upload all of your content well ahead of time, then tell the tool exactly when and on which platforms to publish. Examples of such tools include Hootsuite and SproutSocial.
Train yourself to look for opportunities to repurpose your content for social media. For example, you might only write a new blog post a few times a year, but each of those posts can be wrung out to create all sorts of social shareables.
- Extract inspiring quotes
- Break down the main points of your post into quick bits of advice that can be shared separately
- Pose a related discussion question to your followers and encourage commentary
- Share a news story related to your blog post and draw a parallel or point out differences of opinion
- Create a related visual meme
- Combine advice from different posts into one longer piece and offer it as a downloadable PDF (a guide, special report, ebook, etc.)
- Schedule and promote a Facebook Live post wherein you discuss the topic in real time and take questions from viewers
- Record a two-minute video restating a tip from the post
- Record and share an audio interview between yourself and another party discussing the issue
- Adapt the information into a flowchart or checklist
- Create an infographic presenting the same or similar information
By building a new social media routine with a calendar, batch-tasking and a scheduling tool, you can keep your presence hip and happening with a fairly small investment of time. Developing an eye for how to recycle your content will give you even more of an edge. In short order, you’ll become the “marvel” entrepreneur you used to look at and think, How do they do it all?