Let’s face it. When you’re running a small business, there is always too much to get done when it comes to social media.
Posting updates and keeping up with conversations on one network is more than enough to keep you busy. But on top of that, there’s always more to learn and new networks to check out. Not to mention the constant distraction of checking your personal news feed.
Staying focused on what works and forcing yourself to follow through on your strategy can be as difficult as losing weight. You know you should do it and that it would be great for you and your business. But when it comes to actually doing the work, you skive off.
If social media is taking over your life, don’t beat yourself up. You’re not the only one. It’s time to take back control.
I’m going to show you a simple system to make social media fun again. This is easier than you think.
Step 1: Schedule Your Updates
Yes, it’s nice to be online in person when you post your updates. But you’re a busy person with many demands on your time. Scheduling your updates instead of taking time out of your day every couple of hours will save you a ton of time and will stop social media from becoming a constant distraction.
If you learn nothing else from this article, start scheduling your updates. As well as saving you time, scheduling has numerous benefits:
- You can update multiple networks at once.
- Because you’re scheduling from a console rather than within the social network, you avoid getting distracted by your friends
- Scheduled updates mean you can post regularly, even when you’re not at your desk. You’re constantly in the newsfeed of your fans and followers, so you’re more likely to get their attention.
Step 2: Set Aside Curation Time
There are a ton of different updates you can use to get attention, but if you plan to schedule regular updates and keep your time spent on social media to a minimum, then the backbone of your social media strategy will be curated content.
Curation is the easy way to constantly share updates without constantly being on social media. I like to set aside a couple of hours each week to read through my favorite blogs and online magazines and share any content I like on Buffer App. Then, if I don’t want to do anything else on social media for the rest of the week, I don’t have to.
Step 3: Stop Checking for Updates Every Five Minutes
Now that you’ve set up scheduling and you’re curating content a week in advance, your social media accounts are running on autopilot.
Of course, you should check in from time to time (more on that in the next step), but you’ve now got no excuse for obsessing over the latest updates.
If you’re worried about missing out, STOP IT!. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be missing out on something that’s going on in the world. There are seven billion people in this world, and no matter how much you want it, you can’t be part of all of their stories, all of the time.
Step 4: See What You Can Do in 15 Minutes Per Day
I recommend checking in with each network you use once per day. In this time, you can respond to comments from your fans, welcome new followers, and send out an update or two that’s related to your work for the day. If this is taking you more than fifteen minutes per network, per day, then you either need to streamline the way you interact with your fans and followers, or you need to hire some help.
By limiting yourself to checking your networks once per day, you’ll find time you didn’t even know you had. You can use this time to get productive and to focus on growing your business.
Step 5: Limit Your Metric Checks
Keeping tabs on your social media metrics is vital if you plan to have any success with social media. But obsessing over your metrics is the route to failure (I know, I’ve done it). Social media isn’t a popularity contest.
I recommend checking your stats monthly. That’s enough for you to spot patterns, but it stops you getting sucked into the rabbit hole of stats addiction.
Step 6: Learn from Your Metrics Checks
There’s a reason you should check your metrics. It’s so you can see what works and do more of it.
In particular, it’s worth tracking the level of sales you’re getting because of social media. Google Analytics gives you the tools you need to set this up.
Step 7: Cut Back on the Networks that Offer the Least Returns
You don’t need to be everywhere online. In fact, it’s impossible to be everywhere all the time.
When you’re deciding on where to focus your social marketing efforts, bear in mind the Pareto Principle. This is the principle that 80% of results come from 20% of inputs. Look for the 20% of what you do on social media that delivers the most results.
As you discover what works and what doesn’t, you’ll find that some networks offer a far better return than others for your time investment. It’s worth cutting back on the networks that aren’t working for you. You can keep your profile, but you don’t have to post regular updates, or constantly engage with fans. That frees up time to look for more effective networks for your brand, including the niche networks that only a few people have heard of.
Over to You
Have you cut the fat from your social media strategy? What have you found to be most effective for saving time on social media? Share your stories and tips in the comments.
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