The biggest complaint most people have after they’ve set up their social media is how time consuming it is to maintain. Recently I crowdsourced social media marketing specialists and small business owners and asked them for advice on how people can save time doing their social media and to provide examples if applicable. I received over 50+ responses and I was surprised at how many mentioned HootSuite. (you know it’s my fave – I even use it to live tweet).
Here are 19 different social media time saver tips from some noteworthy people. Some common threads: plan, calendar, HootSuite/Buffer/TweetDeck, focus, content gathering. Also some new tools you may not heard of like hastracking, timely, northsocial.
- @jesskupferman – It’s true that setting up and maintaining social media can be time consuming. While it’s best to carve out SOME time to interact with fans and followers, not everything has to be done live. There are some great apps out there that are free that help business owners get the word out and post to multiple channels at once, saving time and energy. They can also plan ahead and schedule ahead – if they know what goals they’re trying to achieve, they can automate some of the content, or pay someone to push the messages, once they’ve been strategically thought out and constructed.
- @lokitis – create a list of evergreen content that is relevant to your industry and schedule these posts for sharing. Archived blog posts or stories that are still relevant can be scheduled for sharing using tools, like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite.
- Boxiecat – the first subscription cat litter home delivery service in the US. We save time by:
1. Gather lots of posting ideas at once.
2. Always bookmark anything that may be of posting interest in the future.
3. Subscribe to news feeds that may be of interest to your readers.
4. Outline a loose plan a week ahead of time.
- @sixfigurestart – I’ve had a good experience using the Buffer app to schedule Tweets. I still use HootSuite to monitor Tweets and schedule in a more customized fashion. But I had Tweets written for my 2 books, and I use Buffer to schedule these Tweets out on a regular basis. It ensures I have something going out on Twitter on a regular basis.
- My name is Ian Aronovich, CEO of GovernmentAuctions.org, a site that compiles and provides information about government auctions of seized and surplus merchandise from all over the country. To manage my company’s productivity on my business’s social media outlets, we use a program called Time Doctor. This program tracks activity so we can see how much time our business is spending on a given task. Time Doctor helps to keep my workers focused on business social media, instead of distractions like viewing friend’s profiles, watching videos, or reading non-related content. When using social media, some folks get tempted to use the personal aspects of it as a distraction. Time Doctor will consistently remind them to keep their eyes on the ball.
- @starkandstark – The most important tip I follow when it comes to social media marketing, also saves me the most amount of time: have a plan. The amount of information being distributed between the hundreds of social media outlets can be extremely overwhelming. You could spend hours upon hours sifting through the amount of information distributed on one social media site. Not having a clear plan in place which outlines what you want to achieve will only result in wasted time and frustration.
- Crystal Kendrick from The Voice of Your Customer – The most difficult task in managing social media is drafting content. Draft a list of the
types of content that we would like at the beginning of each week.If a business owner waits until they are at the computer to determine what they want to post, they will likely become frustrated with writers block. Making a list in advance will save time and frustration for the business owner and likely create more interesting content for the followers.
- @SMMSEO22 (Tasha Mayberry )- Post Value (we post our blogs, giveaway/contest announcements, relevant news in our industry) – then others join in on the conversation, commenting, retweeting, liking …so a little work on our part results in word of mouth marketing from others. Use Google Alerts to get news and updates on industry keywords to help you post interesting articles and give value.
- @fandommarketing (Melonie Gallagos) – If you have a blog, gain efficiency by syndicating your RSS feed to the
appropriate audiences on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more using a distribution tool like dlvr.it
- @applevisualnyc (Jillian Rowen) – The absolute best thing I have ever done is sign up for the Buffer extension to Twitter for Google Chrome (it is available for other web-browsing platforms such as internet explorer, firefox, safari, etc). This app allows me to schedule my tweets so I can sit down and figure out all of my tweets for the next two days and have them sent out at regular intervals so I don’t have to be on top of my twitter all day long. This also allows me to tweet over the weekends which is a great help. Buffer also has an analytics tab so you can see how many people have clicked on your tweets. This can help you figure out what time of day is best for your audience and what kinds of tweets they respond to. This also helps make your tweeting more effective and streamlined. More info at Apple Visual Graphics.
- @camcontacts (David Witcomb) – The best way we – CamContacts (http://www.camcontacts.com) – found to maintain our Social Media platforms was to invest in half a day, or a day’s research in the sector you work in to find the important websites, blogs and related SM platforms. Then start to drill down into the less well-known blogs to find some up and coming opinion formers or thought leaders in their
own niche fields. Once you’ve gathered this information together, the easiest way to monitor, maintain and select content and tips is to use an online reader – such as Google Reader (http://www.google.com/reader) – to receive all the updates from all the sites in one place. You can also categorize the updates and put them into categories. This helps us to save hours on gathering content, and is available at a glance and in one place.
- @Castle_Ink (Bill Elward) – It became overwhelming for us to maintain an updated and engaging experience on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. We found the only way to keep moving forward without spending all of our time updating these social sites was to create a social media calendar. We mapped out what we want to say each day for the next six months on each social venue. By following the calendar we’ve managed to make an overwhelming task part of our daily routine.
- Kari DePhillips – Hashtracking.com – Before sending out a hashtag, make sure it’ll get traction by Hashtracking it. Do a quick search for a few different hashtags, and tweet the one that’s the most popular for maximum visibility with minimum effort.
- Kari DePhillips – For Facebook try using NorthSocial <http://northsocial.com/> has a ton of great FB apps that you can use to run contests, name a follower of the week and a bunch of other cool things. This will save a TON of time over the long run, because doing it by hand can take for-ev-er.
- @LloydFFMedia (Lloyd Jay Fass) – it is critical to define your target audience appropriately. Think carefully of the demographics you are trying to reach: age, sex, education, interests. Social Media Networks are inherently designed to assist like-minded people to connect with each other. By carefully defining your target audience you will limit the amount of time wasted on people not interest/appropriate for your product/service while seeing much higher returns on the time devote to these efforts.
- @LivBowen (Olivia Bowen) – The single biggest time-saving tool I’ve found and implemented in my business is time.ly. Lots of other platforms allow you to schedule tweets and Facebook posts, but time.ly takes care of the scheduling for you, which adds up to a big time savings overall. Once you create your account, you can start queuing posts whenever you think of something meaningful you want to relay, and time.ly makes sure they go out according to your preferences. (You can determine how many posts you’d like to schedule each day, and whether or not you’d like to post on weekends.)
- @simonthetam (Simon Tam) Treat every position in the company as a “marketing” position. Teach employees that each of them have the chance to be a point of contact for customers, that they are an integral part of the culture, and how what they do can affect marketing. Allow each of them “buy in” into the social media project by giving them access as well. Allow employees to take ownership of social media to help contribute to blogs, posting ideas, responding to comments, etc.
- @sue_koch (Sue Koch) One tip that is always a winner, and still seems not to be used enough even for the power Twitter user, is the creation of lists. I advise all my clients to create Twitter lists for each category of their relevant audience identified in their strategy, and then along they way as they grow influence.
- @WAMGolfs (Mike Wolfe) – Schedule Retweets: If you’re only signing in to Twitter once or twice a day you don’t want to send 10 RT’s at once. Schedule them so you have a steady stream of interaction.
Do you have any other tips that save you TIME on social media? If so, please share them below.