A clock on a pink and blue background to show how smes can save time on social media.

Leveraging the power of social media to meet your goals is an indispensable marketing activity for small businesses. But managing your social media needs to be focussed to avoid wasting valuable time that you could be investing in your business. With over a decade of social media management experience behind me, I’ve learned a few tricks to share with you in this quick-read post.

#1 Why social media?

Social only works the charm when you have a real business reason for using it. If you’re using an inappropriate channel or stretching your resources too thin, then you’re wasting your precious time – no matter how amazing your content. Understanding why you’re doing each marketing activity is vital to ensure you’re maximising your resources.

[Read my social media FOMO blog here to check you have a presence on the right social media channels.]

#2 Content calendar

A content or editorial calendar is a huge time-saver when it comes to social media. This could simply be an Excel spreadsheet, where you plot key activities and add any “days” (from pancake day to Pi day) which can offer useful hooks for your business.

This document will ensure that your content stays focussed and follows your strategy. “I don’t have time to create this,” I hear you say. But if you don’t, it will be easy to lose focus and then you will waste more time in the long run.

I suggest updating your calendar weekly to keep the content fresh and time-appropriate. If you’re posting evergreen content that will not lose impact over time, a monthly update may work for you.

I tend to create a Google Doc for clients with posts for the upcoming week, which can be signed off in advance. Work out whatever works for your business but do create a calendar.

#3 Scheduling is your best friend

A scheduling tool again is an absolute must for businesses. There are lots of them available at no cost. For my social media and that of my clients, I use Hootsuite, Buffer and Later for Instagram, which all have free versions. Try each out for size to assess which suits you best.

Set a time in your calendar each week (Friday afternoon could work well) and then you have the reassurance that you will have a solid, well-crafted series of messages for your audience. This avoids a Thursday afternoon panic when you haven’t shared anything with your community yet, and a rush to post without quality checks. When you use a scheduling tool, it frees you up to post content on the fly.

#4 Evergreen content

We all know producing great content takes time and effort, so let’s get as much value out of it as possible. That’s where evergreen content comes into its own. You may have general messages that you like to convey regularly (such as content featuring your selling points, interesting quotes, newsletter signups, testimonials, meet the teams) that can be repeated again on your feeds with a suitable gap.

#5 Bookmarking curated content

Social media shouldn’t be all about you, you, you. We know you’re brilliant but you need to think about your audience first. That’s where curated content can be useful to build your brand as helpful and interested in your community. It’s not enough just to share news articles and third-party content, add your own personal spin on it which relates to your brand.

On Twitter, lists are useful to keep track of relevant accounts for news and curated content sources. There are also lots of curated content tools out there, such as Feedly.

#6 Set a date in your diary

Social channels are about dialogue and not just broadcasting. However, community management and engaging with your audience can really take up your time.

The simple act of putting a reminder in your calendar to comment on others’ social posts, reply to your audience and look for content to share, helps to ensure your social feeds feel alive. It may only be 10 mins at lunchtime, but it will help to boost your follower and engagement rates.

Social listening is important here too. Look out for brand mentions and share positive testimonials from your community.

#7 Analyse to maximise your time

Getting down and dirty with the data can feel like too time-consuming a chore. But if you don’t track how your content is doing and continually improve, your social media strategy will fail to bring in results for your business. Take time each week or month to assess what’s working and what’s not. Then the time you spend managing your social media will bring rewards for your business.

Want to save more time?

If you’d like further advice or help with managing your social media marketing, give me a call on 07747 807735 or fill in the form here.