A CUNNING PLAN: How to Save Time and Stay on Message with your Social Media Planning
43% of small business owners spend 6 or more hours a week managing social media.
What could you do with an extra 6 hours a week? Focus on revenue generating aspects of your business? Spend time with your family? Watch 12 episodes of Friends re-runs on Comedy Central?
So why do business owners feel they need to spend so much time on social media? Social media marketing can contribute positively to your business in a number of ways. By providing a platform to easily communicate with your customers, improving brand recognition, loyalty and directing traffic back to your website.
But it’s a fast changing world and it’s easy to feel out of control when managing social media. Trying to understand and manage new platforms whilst still looking professional can be overwhelming. Often, small business owners know they need to have an active social media presence but are too busy running their business to find time to dedicate to social media marketing. We’ve put together these 7 tips to help you save time and keep focused on your message on social media.
1. Set Goals
Create a plan for your social media. Develop a series of SMART goals you want to achieve through social media and which you can use to stay focused. Make time in your diary to review your performance against these goals on a regular basis – usually weekly or monthly, depending on your business.
2. Use Time-Saving Social Media Management tools
Management tools such as HootSuite, Buffer, SocialOomph and Mention improve efficiency by saving you time. You can oversee all your social media platforms in one place, so now you don’t have to spend time logging in and out of your different sites. The tools allow you to schedule posts and respond to commenters for your different accounts. These tools are also available as apps which allow you to manage your social media from your mobile wherever your business takes you.
3. Schedule Posts
Ahead of time, plan content on a calendar and schedule their post days and time. This is particularly useful when posts involve time sensitive information such as seasonal holidays, events, competitions. Scheduling posts a day, week or month in advance can help you save time and ensures you can post at a time that suits your followers even if your working day doesn’t allow you to be online at that time.
4. Know your Target Audience
Understand who your target audience is, create buyer personas for potential social media followers. Collect information on what they use social media for? When and how often do they use social media? What platforms do they use most? What do they want to see/hear about? This information allows you to tailor your social media marketing strategy and provide your followers with content most suited to them. Check your buyer personas before writing any blog posts, to help stay focused and on message.
5. Choose your Platforms (wisely)
From your buyer personas you can identify which platforms are most popular with your target audience, choose one or two of these to be your key channels. If you’re struggling to manage multiple platforms cut back, it’s better to have one good quality platform than trying to juggle lots.
6. Review Regularly
Analyse your content on a regular basis, benchmarking against your competitors. Use Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to identify the best day of the week and times of day to post content, as well as the type of content your followers respond best to. This information allows you to regularly adapt your postings to provide the best content to your customers.
7. Don’t be perfect – Just be great!
There’s never enough time to dedicate to your social media marketing, there may never be the perfect picture or quote to post. Instead of spending hours trying to achieve perfection, just create something great and post it. It’s more important to post your “Motivation Monday” content on Monday than spend all day trying to find the right filter for it!
So, spend your time wisely. Produce a plan with realistic goals you want to achieve through social media and use the tools available to you to improve efficiency. Make social media management easier by cutting down on how many sites you’re active on and don’t worry about trying to be perfect.
Your time is precious. Be smart with your social media and claim some of it back!