save-time-6-ways

Save Time! 6 Ways to Spend Less of It on Social Media

Using social media is an advantage but at the same time, it is a chore! Because, let’s face it, what kind of business owner wants to spend hours in front of a computer screen replying to tweets and Facebook posts? Is there even one? We know that you’d rather be spending that time working on your next product, right? Well, that may be the case, but the fact of the matter is that, using social media is just as important and requires just as much attention.

In today’s generation, everyone knows how great social is–global reach, personal branding, instant customer engagement, high return for low investment and all the rest of it. These terms have been thrown around for years now, and they’re true. Social is just fantastic so why are so many small businesses still not on the social bandwagon?

Time!

We’ve heard it time and time again, no pun intended, but social media can totally suck up time. Going social is, quite literally, a full-time job and for small businesses? Hiring a social media manager is often unfeasible especially when they are just building up rapport with the ins and outs of starting a business. Furthermore, social is a long-term strategy. It can often make you feel like social is a huge time-investment without giving significant substantially real results, and in the mile-a-minute world of business, that just isn’t practical.  Hence, social often finds itself displaced to the bottom of the pile.

Small business owners? No. More.

Here are 6 practical ways to spend less time on social media, and still get better results.

Don’t Try to Be All Things to All People

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, SnapChat, Pinterest, Foursquare, Google+, Whatsapp, Vine … and the list may go on.

All you need to do is to just choose one or two platforms that will deliver the most ROI. What is the best way to make that decision quickly? “Cheat!” Figure out what’s working for your main competitors and then copy it. It may not be the most finely honed strategy in the world, but rest assured that it is the quickest way to get going with social.

Listen

When talking about spending less time on social media, doing anything other than posting or engaging with people might seem contrary to what you expect. Listening is a critical part of social media time-management because it allows you to quickly hone your approach in line with what’s working for other people, driving increased engagement in a shorter period of time.

Set up ‘Google alerts’ for your name, your company name, competitors’ names, key industry terms, and so on–and use the ‘How Often’ tab to select frequency. Instant alerts can be a productivity killer–setting daily breakdowns means you can spend 5 minutes scanning the alerts each morning.

Schedule

It is a must that you are aware about each social media platform which has posting times that drive higher engagement. Post at the right times and you’ll get more engagement, more quickly, while at the same time increasing your social ROI with no extra effort.

You will be getting plenty of advice out there and you’ll start to be more aware and notice your own trends over time, but again, to begin with, you have to learn from what’s working for other people.

Curate

It is always a much preferred choice that we will write, original, creative and highly-engaging contents, right? Except, I know very few small business owners who have the time to do that. Additionally, a good content doesn’t even guarantee a good way to build social success–we all know plenty of professionals who know their stuff inside out but can’t even put pen to paper, and even more can write content but still wouldn’t know how the proper way to market their content and ensure it got read.

Instead, you can share relevant and useful content that other people have written. Build your reputation, gain exposure and build credibility; all for ten minutes effort a day.

Tip: You can use Scoop.it to find relevant content easily, then add your own unique mark to it. Once it is done, it is now ready for sharing across your social networks.

Automate

Social media automation lets you be flexible, save time and still get the benefit of posting on social media regularly even without actually posting on social media regularly.

Such automation tools schedule posts for you in the future, and help you invest a chunk of your time at the start of your week, for example, and still set posts to update every day without you needing to do it manually.

Little and Often

Social still needs a little but an often approach–consistency is a key to seeing ROI quickly. You could invest for, let’s say, a full day every Friday into social and not see anywhere near the same results as spending half an hour every morning on it.

However, for some, ‘little and often’ doesn’t come easily, but if you just make it into a habit, it’ll definitely get easier. You should be able to cover social media in no more than half an hour a day if you have a good focus on how you’re spending your time.

Everyone will eventually accumulate a routine that works best for them, but here’s an example that has been  successfully adopted across Facebook and Twitter.

Morning

3 minutes: Scan email alerts and Social Mention

5 minutes: Respond to any direct messages, tweets, etc

7 minutes: Go to Scoop.it and find 3 or more articles to share; queue them in Hootsuite

Midday

2 minutes: Respond to any direct messages, tweets, etc

5 minutes: Share, comment or retweet 1-2 posts

Evening

2 minutes: Respond to any direct messages, tweets, etc

5 minutes : Share, comment or retweet 1-2 posts

1 minute: Follow or connect to 1-2 new people

Now there you have it: your key to social media success. This is most especially very timely for time-strapped small business owners. Just make sure that you invest time in the right places, at the right times, and using the right tools to make it easy for yourself. And remember, when you have limited time to invest in social media, think on the good side that you could’ve been doing much worse than copying the people who spend all day, every day doing it.

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the Online Alliance

the Online Alliance is here to inspire growth and challenge the status quo by creating member resources, tools and training that is meaningful, evergreen, affordable and effective, that is designed to support Independent business owners to achieve their higher goals.

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