Efficiency and social media: the perfect partners
So, you want to work smarter with social media. Is it because you find that it sucks up your time which means you get behind in your work tasks or projects? Are you feeling compelled to monitor and respond immediately to every tweet, Facebook post or LinkedIn invite? Let’s face it, having a presence on social media is now a must have if you have a business. Whether or not it provides a ROI (this could be its own blog) is a completely different matter. When you are first starting out, like we found out, you are truly investing your time to get things going.
The bigger issue is that social media, as great as it is regarding meeting new people, developing relationships and getting the most current news, is a time sucker. In my world of efficiency this would be labelled as a big waste, the time sucking part that is, and as a process would be identified for elimination. Not that this will ever happen. Social media’s value is in the reach it provides and the engagement one gets with audiences. This is important for business.
So in the spirit of trying to make the process of social media more efficient, my team and I have come up with ways that help us stay on top of our social media. What can you do to start working smarter and not harder with social media?
Top 3 ways to save time and manage your social media by working smarter
Tip 1: Use a blog template. We all know how important blogs are in bringing Google traffic to your site and that fresh blog content ensures that your site is being crawled by Google which in turn will ideally list your site at the top of any search list. But it’s not just the blog but all the supporting stuff like, your catchy title, keywords, meta description and tweets that need to go out and support the new content. Using a blog template will ensure that you don’t forget anything and ensures consistency with blog content/set up, especially if you have more than one person who writes blogs. As well, the person who edits and/or posts it will be grateful because it gives them all the critical information needed to properly post the blog and spread word in the social media community.
At CornerStone Dynamics we created such a template and it’s free on our site. Check it out and use it. It’s an amazing tool that saves us all lots of time.
Tip 2: Use Hootsuite (or similar program) to manage your social media postings and replies. There are some social media purists who feel that social media should happen authentically, in the moment. I would challenge this statement and say that if your goal is to be a thought leader, an expert in your field providing advice, that tweeting steadily throughout the day is critical to ensuring you reach a broad audience. This is where Hootsuite comes in handy. As a business leader I’m in meetings all day or working on project for clients. I don’t have the ability to be tweeting throughout the day (some days are better than others). This is why Hootsuite is great because I can pre-populate my content rich tweets (tweets that give advice or tips) and schedule it in at specific intervals. This then allows me the flexibility to reply to my tweets based on my availability on any given day.
Tip 3: Time your social media interactions – when and for how long. Take out a timer (your iPhone will have one) and set it for a length of time. When it rings, you stop. If you don’t do this you will be amazed at how quickly time flies. Be disciplined and consistent with this. Just like Twitter has taught us how to get the point in our tweet with the use of ONLY a 140 characters, the same can be said here. Practice on getting good at replying to tweets and thanking people for RTs. Experiment with this a certain times of the day. Are you better at social media in the morning, afternoon or evening? When you find what works with your schedule plan in this task daily.
Social media has broadened my social and business networking circle. I have met some amazing people that I would not have met if I wasn’t on these social network channels. I have also been presented with business opportunities because of our social media interactions. The bottom line is as great as social media has been it is still my client projects and our product offerings that bring in the money to sustain my company. Social media has been a wonderful experience for me. I have made the decision to stay with it because I get great enjoyment from meeting so many amazing people. So if you are at a cross roads with social media, don’t give up on it. Make a promise to not get sucked into the traps of social media and instead create a win-win relationship with it by managing it with these top 3 tips.
What do you do to save time with social media? Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!