With an increasing number of brands and businesses now heading into the world of social media every single day, social media marketing is becoming a very recognisable and valuable method for raising brand awareness, gaining loyal customers, and contributing to overall company success. Statistics from 2017 even indicate that brands were shown to be spending more money on social media than TV advertising for the first time ever.
However, social media marketing is not something to be taken lightly. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn becoming more saturated with brands and competition, an easy-going attitude is unlikely to make a big difference for your company in the long run.
If you’re hoping to write the occasional tweet here and there, or a Facebook post every week, then it’s unlikely you’ll make much of a splash online. On the other hand, if you’re willing to put in the effort then social media can be an extremely powerful form of marketing. It is, however, also incredibly time consuming, and this is why we need to be tactful in the time spent planning and crafting our social media strategy, while making use of the right social media tools.
The conundrum that many businesses face becomes one of time versus effort.
So, without further ado, here are 11 ways to minimise your time spent on social media marketing without sacrificing quality.
Use social media tools
There are certain areas of social media marketing that can literally be taken out of your hands. With technology becoming increasingly clever, social media tools are often able to make many aspects of content planning almost entirely automated.
While it’s not wise to use social media tools for absolutely everything, smaller admin tasks can be taken out of your hands thanks to community management tools, content scheduling tools, and analytics tools that make processes more streamlined and manageable.
Spreadsheet users in particular, will know just how time-consuming content planning can become, especially when it comes to rearranging your content, seeking approval, or collaborating with others. Fortunately, many social media tools can tackle these common marketing pain points in a more efficient, organised, and automated fashion. Some great tools for those looking to save time and get organised are ContentCal, TweetDeck, ManageFlitter, Trello, and Mention.
Re-use your content
Who said that all of your content had to be 100 per cent original? If you posted a tweet that received 20 likes and four retweets, then it’s a great idea to share this post again to gain more attention and engagement over time. If you’re making use of an analytics tool, or just manually keeping an eye on key metrics, you’ll be able to identify which content is going the extra mile and might be worth posting again.
Furthermore, when it comes to more evergreen content, it makes complete sense to re-use and re-share. For example, if you’ve just finished a blog post and want to share it with your audience over social, you shouldn’t stop at just the once. Sharing your content multiple times across different days at different times will allow your content to be seen by as many eyes as possible, giving everyone a chance to notice and appreciate your post.
One of the best bits about social media is its immediacy. You should be constantly looking for opportunities to get involved with trending hashtags and popular topics to get your brand involved with key conversations.
While this can be very time consuming, there are ways to be smart in predicting upcoming trends and prepare for them in advance. Keep an eye on key dates and events around the world, and to make educated predictions about future trends.
As far as we’re concerned, failing to plan is planning to fail. If you’re looking to create a content strategy with variety, interest, and effectiveness, then planning is pure necessity. We recommend creating a content calendar and crafting your content in bulk. Whether you choose to create a month, fortnight, or just a week at a time is up to you, but the act of preparing any content in advance will save you brainpower, stress, and time.
Planning in general, is also a massive time-saver just in terms of reducing the pressure for your content writer and making the task of social media content creation less overwhelming and easier to tackle. As a result, your content will not only take less time to prepare but will also be better in quality thanks to a calmer and more thoughtful approach.
Do the prep
If you’re carrying out research around your target market, ideal customer persona, and your competition, you will instantly have a much better idea of the kind of content you should be creating to showcase your brand. You’ll also be able to predict what types of content will be most popular and successful amongst your following.
Research will not only get you inspired and in the right mindset to begin your social media marketing, but you’ll also be much more clued up on what’s appropriate for your industry. The enthusiasm of those who leap straight into content creation is great, but the learning curve will be steeper (and more time consuming) for those who skip the researching step.
Organisation is key to saving time on social media marketing. If you’re keeping all assets and notes within one centralised location, ready for whenever you need them, you’ll save hours of time searching through the depths of your computer.
Also, in regards to your content themes, it’s a great idea to separate your content, allowing you to ensure that your social media content has variety, and is therefore more interesting to your audience. Nobody enjoys repetitive promotional content.
Share content from others
One great time-saving tactic is to use what’s already available to you, aka, the content of others. As long as you tag your original source, feel free to share the blog posts, videos, etc. of others, as long as the content is relevant to your industry and appropriate for your brand.
You can also retweet those in your network (just as long as they’re not competitors). In doing so, you can stand to grow your following and raise your brand awareness with minimal effort.
Break it down
It’s easy to get sucked into the content creating bubble. When you’re flicking through images, videos, and gifs it’s so painfully easy to get distracted. As a way to keep your brain focused, it’s best to break up the content creation process into small and bite-sized chunks. This will stop you from becoming overwhelmed, but it will also ensure completing each individual task is a speedy process (goodbye procrastination).
For example, most marketers will want to begin by mapping out their content themes across the coming week or month. From here, they might then start to think about images only, or just the copy, and then so forth as the content begins to take shape.
Quality not quantity
Don’t get me wrong, quantity is great. But quality is always the priority. While posting frequently and consistently are important when it comes to steady follower growth, if your content is poor in standard and completely disinteresting to your audience, then you can say goodbye to any growth in general. Don’t waste your time creating content that’s unlikely to resonate with your target market and use the time you have to think, brainstorm, and carefully craft your content. Over time, as you learn from your results and carry out more research around your competitors, you’ll learn what it takes to create the perfect content. Only once you have nailed the content for your perfect customer persona should you then think about increasing the quantity.
If you’re looking to include any news or industry updates in your social media content, it’s a great idea to set up email alerts that will notify you when something big (or small and interesting) is happening. By being notified whenever a relevant article is posted online, you’ll never miss a beat and always have fresh ideas for social.
Furthermore, staying ahead of the curve on relevant industry updates, and posting about such news before your competition has the chance to make a huge difference for raising the status of your brand as industry experts. Over time, your social channels could gain a reputation for being current and up-to-date with incoming news resulting in a surge in follower growth and a rise in brand awareness.
And finally, once all is said and done, you need to look back and reflect on your content performance. By taking note of relevant metrics such as likes, comments, shares and more, you can discover which content is resonating with your audience the most and gain a comprehensive understanding on how to improve your content for the future.
Taking note of other key information such as how your content performs when posted at different times of day can also teach you when your audience is online, indicating the best times for posting and starting conversations.
As long as you have the sense and flexibility to address what’s not working, and make changes based on your findings, you will be able to create a social presence with the power necessary to make a real difference to your business as a whole.
About the author
Alex Packham started his first social media business at university. He then went on to lead social media at ODEON Cinemas and Sky in the UK, and is now the founder and CEO of ContentCal.io, a social media platform that powers thousands of companies’ social strategy and delivery.