Sure, Facebook and Twitter are free to use. But if they’re sucking up your time, they can cut into the bottom line. Well, burn up half a day trying to figure out how to promote your new Facebook page and you might start to realize it’s not that free after all. Buffer offers four big ways to save time on social media—up to several hours each week.
1. Use a social media management system for posting.
The first and most important technique is to automate your social media posting.
Think about it. There are so many different social media platforms. You can and should post the same content on each platform, but it takes a long time! Plus, the content needs to be customized for each platform.
You have to go to each site, one-by-one and post the stuff. Besides this waste of time, you have to unplug from what you may be currently doing — another huge time-wasting distraction — to go post on social media to begin with. Double time wasted!
You can save a lot of time if you automate this entire process. Automated systems will keep you on a regular social media schedule, while also helping streamline your social media efforts across all channels.
Estimated time saved weekly: 3 hours
2. Budget a half hour each day for social media scoping.
Even though social media tools do the posting for you, they don’t find the content to post. This is your job.
There’s a big danger in searching for content to post. Link leads to link, and article to article, and hashtag to hashtag. This is where we lurch into a wasted hour, ending up with nothing productive to show.
The best way to stop the insidious power of time creep is to set limits. If you budget 30 minutes daily to find content to post, here’s what will happen:
- You will save time.
- You will work faster.
- You will find great content.
- Simply forcing yourself to do something, then setting a time limit makes you more productive.
What you’ll do in this half hour is look for stuff to post later on. Look for articles, quotes, infographics, news stories, press releases, great tweets, helpful images — anything that is social media worthy.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open up your social media management tool or an empty document (Google Drive, Evernote, whatever you like).
- Spend five minutes on Twitter, opening up articles or copying information that corresponds to your niche. Copy links and/or quotes into your document.
- Spend five minutes on Facebook, opening up articles or copying information that corresponds to your niche. Copy links and/or quotes into your document.
- Spend five minutes on LinkedIn, opening up articles or copying information that corresponds to your niche. Copy links and/or quotes into your document.
- Spend five minutes Googling for news (click the “News” tab) in your niche. Copy links and/or quotes into your document.
- Spend 10 minutes exploring top niche blogs and websites, copying links and quotes into your document. You should have a go-to list of ten or fifteen websites that consistently have good information. The website you’re reading now and others like it should provide you with fodder for links and information.
- By the end of a half hour, you should have a document full of material to post for several days, maybe longer.
Estimated time saved weekly: 2 hours
3. Assign a customer service team member to respond to questions and inquiries.
If your business has a help desk department or customer service team, assign them to respond to inquiries that come through social media.
For many businesses, social media sites are the de facto customer service lines. If a customer has a question, problem, or issue, they will find the social media site to ask their question.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but it can take away from the time you spend on other social media tasks, not to mention your typical workload.
Assign this role to someone whose primary responsibility is responding to customer questions. If this is your responsibility, then budget time to do it each day so it doesn’t end up swallowing up chunks of time here and there.
Estimated time saved weekly: 1 hour
4. Use a social media reporting system for analyzing metrics and measuring ROI.
You will absolutely waste time if you “measure social media ROI” by seeing how many people liked or retweeted a post. That’s not measuring ROI. That’s wasting your time.
Social media reporting platforms provide a far more effective way to gauge the success of your social media efforts.
If you use a social media management platform, these reporting features are probably built in. If not, you can purchase a reporting service elsewhere.
Reporting in and of itself can take time, even if you’re not individually analyzing every single retweet and +1. Limit yourself to weekly or every other day reporting analysis. Reports are intended to advise you on future action. The bigger the picture, the better the action points.
Use reports to really find out what’s giving you the best ROI. This alone could be the most time saving technique of all. Once you find out what’s getting you the most money and what’s netting you the least, you know exactly how to configure your social media strategy to best achieve your goals.
Estimated time saved weekly: 30 minutes
Social media is obviously part of where you must be spending your time as a digital marketer. Learn how to best spend your time to grow your business. To learn more ways to save time and be more productive on social media, check out all the tips from Buffer here.