If social media is something you do love, but you just are short on time, there are some ways you can save time and still have fun being in charge of your social media. I am not necessarily talking automation, although automation does play a role in saving time on your social media management tasks.
I am talking about setting up an easy-to-use social media workflow to save time and sanity.
Reinventing the social media wheel every month is not a strategy that is going to pay off. A solid social media marketing plan with goals, objectives, and tactics, on the other hand, will pay off big time.
Taking time to create a social media strategic plan will save you time in the long run because you can refer back to such a document. This document might be invaluable as you find yourself struggling to create content, or when you have missed the mark in the most recent advertising campaign or if you aren’t getting any traction or engagement on a specific platform. If laid out correctly, the strategy should help guide you – thus saving time every month – to what needs to be done: what goals should be accomplished and what tactics to be implemented.
If you’re familiar with SMART Goals, we created a SMART for Social Strategy guide for you to use month after month.
Try thinking about creating video and images in batches.
Here is my workflow for each of these types of content.
Creating a “series” of videos works great. You can create a whole series, or just record multiple videos in one sitting. Video content lends itself well to batching.
Here are the steps to take:
Create the script outline for each video (in the series), set up your studio, prepare yourself (clothing, make-up, hair), set up your equipment and then record all of the videos (the whole series) in one sitting. Be sure to change outfits (and jewelry) in between videos, where appropriate.
Time saved on: studio set up, hair and makeup, equipment set up.
An added benefit is that now that all your videos are done in one sitting, you can also batch the downloading, editing, and online distribution!
When I have an idea for a new social media graphic I want to create, I try to batch these images by either creating:
a) a similar graphic for a second client
b) a series of branded image quotes
c) other images along the same theme
d) the same images in several sizes specific to each platform.
Here are the steps to take:
Find several quotes you might want to share with your audience. Create one branded graphic.
Then copy the graphic, switch out the background image (if there is one), and add a different quote. Repeat with a third quote, a fourth quote etc.
Another idea would be to create all your ‘holiday images’ for the year in one sitting. This would include New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, the 4th of July etc. Save these images into files and have them ready when needed.
Time saved on: logging in and out of your tools, setting up brand assets (colors, logo).
An added benefit is that you could go ahead and schedule these images in your scheduling tool for the appropriate time, saving you time around the holidays, a busy marketing season.
Once you have created batches of content, whether it be batched video, articles or graphics, save even more time by using a scheduler to push out this content to different platforms. This includes scheduling content to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and YouTube!
Here is my workflow:
The last week of each month, I make a content plan for the coming month for each client. I try to stick with a theme (holidays, love, summer fun, travel, safety etc.) to make it a bit easier to be creative.
I break the content down to each platform and thus lay out a plan of what content I need – both content to be created by me, as well as content to be curated from the Internet.
Once I’ve created all content for the month in batches, I use Agorapulse to schedule out this content, as well as curated content, to each platform. I do this either per client, or per platform. I might load up all my Twitter accounts first, or I might go and schedule all posts for one client.
Scheduling content with a scheduler like Agorapulse saves time, as you only have to log into one dashboard to get access to all your social media accounts vs logging into multiple accounts. Secondly, doing it this way also allows for an easy way to keep track of time spent on each platform and/or client and this gives you an instant look at ‘gaps’ in content.
Social media can be a ‘time suck’ and we’ve all experienced going down the rabbit hole! So here is how you can save time. Set a predestined time for each platform check and set a timer for an allotted period of time. For example, go to Facebook and check all your page notifications, check up on your messages, and then leave!
Alternatively, use Agorapulse! It is one place, one dashboard; use this dashboard to see what’s happening and what people are talking about everywhere, on all your social media platforms.
The best part is that of course using Agorapulse for platform checks requires only one log in. You can reply to messages and comments directly from the dashboard, saving you even more time.
Much like the platform checks you do several times per day, you need to monitor all your accounts for incoming messages, comments, and inquiries throughout the day. You can do this by turning on all notifications to your phone or desktop, for each platform, but that is extremely distracting and will surely interrupt any workflow you have.
Wouldn’t it be nice if instead you could reach ‘inbox zero’ quickly? Then I suggest you turn off all phone notifications during the workday when you need to get things done and just have Agorapulse open and monitor all platforms from within Agorapulse. Then when you need to work, you can easily toggle to and from Agorapulse when need be.
The more ‘recurring’ tasks you can batch or automate, the more time you will save. One task that many people despise is creating monthly analytic reports.
Did you know that Agorapulse pulls these analytics reports together for you, thus saving you time every month? These reports are simple to access and can be exported to a PowerPoint and thus will make you look like a superstar!
Setting up your social media workflow to get maximum work done in the minimum amount of time can only be done if you understand and recognize what tasks you do every day, every week, every month and if you understand what your personal strengths and weaknesses are.
Use a running daily to-do list and use a timer to get a grip on your valuable time.
Let me know if you’ve found other ways to maximize your social media workflow!