When you’re managing social media for a brand, you don’t just bang out tweets and Facebook posts with abandon – at least, we hope you don’t.
Instead, you might be spending 30 minutes putting together the perfect status update. Taking an hour or two to sift through the day’s industry news to find a few great news articles to share on your Twitter feed.
Crafting your brand’s social media voice is a full-time job (literally: it’s called being a Social Media Manager). And because the internet never sleeps, social media managers need all the time-saving techniques they can get.
Time-saver #1: Schedule your posts.
Have you ever found yourself checking the clock at 4 p.m. on a Friday and thinking “Oh no! I forgot to send out that tweet/post that update / share the link to that influencer’s site!”
Then you scramble to put something together that people will actually see before they leave the office for the weekend, and hit send at 4:58, the sweat running down your fevered brow?
That’s not exactly a fun place to be.
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That way, you can take a couple of hours each Monday to plan out your posts for the coming week. Schedule them to go out when you want, and you won’t have to worry about having anything to send out come Friday afternoon.
You’ll still be posting throughout the week, of course, as you find relevant and valuable information to send to your followers. But you’ll be able to rest assured that your baseline social media posts – the ones you need to keep your brand active and engaged – are already taken care of.
Time-saver #2: Set aside time to review and respond to comments.
Push notifications are great for staying abreast of all the comments, mentions, and direct messages that your brand receives, but they can also be a huge, monstrous time suck.
If you’ve become like Pavlov’s dogs, automatically picking up your phone or clicking on a link every time you hear that “ding!”, then you’re definitely not using your time efficiently. What you are doing is interrupting yourself between 5 and 50 times a day (depending, of course, on how much engagement your brand gets online).
Of course, you might be thinking: “But that’s my job! I’m supposed to stay on top of our social media activity!”
And that’s true – you are. However, you’re also supposed to be managing your overall social media presence in an effective and efficient way. Processing each and every comment as it comes in is the very opposite of efficient.
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Instead, try this time-saver and best practice. Set aside 10 minutes (or 20, or however is reasonable) every few hours to review your notifications and attend to any comments or messages that need it.
That doesn’t mean you need to ignore your notifications completely. You can still glance over now and then just to make sure that nothing needs immediate attention, like an offensive or inappropriate comment, for example.
Time-saver #3: Adapt your existing content for your various social media profiles.
If your brand is creating solid content on a regular basis – webinars, blog posts, e-books, infographics, etc. – then you’ve got a huge leg up when it comes to social media management.
Use that content across your social media profiles to really maximize its potential, and adapt the content as needed.
So, for example, if you have a blog post with an embedded infographic, post that infographic on Instagram and link to your post. For Facebook, you might excerpt a short paragraph and include your header image, rather than the infographic. And on Twitter, you could take out a few different “tweetable quotes” and use those to direct followers to your post.
Of course, if a particular piece of content is evergreen – in other words, it’s not tied to a specific event or time period – then you can reuse it after enough time has passed since you initially shared the content.
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That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be posting new, high-quality content as often as you can, but if you’ve got a webinar or infographic from years ago that is still consistently bringing in strong traffic, it might be time to highlight it again on social.
Time-saver #4: Crowdsource your social content from coworkers and colleagues.
Your coworkers and team members can be a great help when it comes to cultivating your social media engagement – not to mention, having that extra assistance brainstorming will take some of the pressure off of you.
While asking your coworkers to brainstorm a few good social media ideas with minimal direction can always work, you might find that it’s more effective to ask for something more specific.
One idea we love was shared by 9lenses’Swetha Venkataramani shared on the DrumUp blog. She suggests coming up with a topic or theme that your coworkers can share something about on their own social media channels. That could be something like #WorkLifeBalance, or #contentmarketing, or #NationalDogDay – whatever you’d like to emphasize on a given day or week.
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Then, your brand can retweet or quote your coworkers’ posts, resulting in more mentions and higher engagement.
Time-saver #5: Share curated content.
Want to know something truly awesome? You don’t have to rely on only your own, original content to up your social media engagement.
Curating content is an essential element of content marketing, and if you’re not doing it yet, it’s time to start. To get a better idea of how you should be balancing your original and curated content, read this post, “The Ultimate Content Marketing Battle: Creation vs. Curation.”
All curating content means is finding content by others that is relevant and valuable to your audience and sharing it with them (always giving proper credit).
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By curating great content and sharing it with your followers, you’ll end up saving yourself a huge amount of time. That’s because you can easily search for content ahead of time and schedule it out in advance, ready to go.
What’s more is that as you begin curating, it will become easier and easier. You’ll know what sites to check first, which influencers to partner with, and whose Twitter feeds to follow to find the best, most interesting content for your audiences.
Time-saver #6: Carry a notebook (or just use your phone) so you can write your good ideas down.
Sometimes the perfect tweet just comes to you. When that happens, make sure you capture it by writing it down or typing it into your phone.
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If you do this regularly, you’ll end up with a list of excellent social media ideas that you can pull out any time you’re feeling stumped. Then, instead of staring at that blinking cursor for 20 minutes, you’ll be able to refer to your list, type something out, and hit send – and then move right along to your next task.
Want to learn more about social media management? Read our post “12 Must-Have Social Media Skills for Every Digital Marketer.”