Social media marketing plans have become more common than water coolers in the modern workplace. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and similar channels offer such vast and obvious advantages that very few businesses have been willing to leave them alone.
Activity has long been seen as one of the primary metrics of social media success. For good reason, too – the more active you are over social media is, the more chances you have to interact and connect with your audience. Quality of those interactions is obviously key as well, but there’s no denying that an empty account is an unsuccessful account.
Thing is, that can take time. Continually posting and joining ongoing social discussions is a consuming task – after all, there are plenty of people who make a living out of doing nothing else. But not everyone can afford to bring a social media manager on board, and not everyone has the time to act as one themselves. Fortunately, there are some ways to make time for your social channels.
Create a Content Calendar
The first step to any sort of social success is having a plan in place for what you want to post. If you’re delving into content marketing, start every week – or even better, month – by deciding what blog posts, photos, or videos you’ll spend the next days creating and promoting.
Even accounts that don’t involve original content can benefit from a calendar. Institute recyclables – topic that you can consistently reuse. Tropes like marketing Mondays or quotes of the day might seem a little cheesy, but they’re highly shareable, and using them helps focus your day’s posting, cutting down on the amount of time you need to generate a tweet or Facebook share.
Of course, make sure that even recyclables stay true to your brand. I see way too many companies ignore that rule in favor of generic topics. Don’t give into the temptation to create these easy, mundane, empty posts.
Keep in mind that your social activity has a purpose – to attract and engage with potential clients. Even if people notice and like your irrelevant cat video, it does nothing to establish you as a potential partner. Post a cat video if you like, but only if it has something to contribute to your brand identity.
Use the Right Tools
Marketing software has been an area of explosive growth and innovation. You’d do well to leverage it. Find some social media tools that work for you, and they’ll go a long way toward streamlining your posting process.
Some of these are full-suite, very costly solutions, with Hubspot probably being the best-known example. They’re uniformly excellent, but I’d only recommend buying if you’re ready to invest heavily into social media, something that includes hiring a devoted manager – they’re simply too expensive for less intensive use.
For less involved marketers, there are plenty of cheaper, or even free tool that, if used together, can prove to be enormously powerful. I’m personally very fond of Buffer, a glorious time-saver that lets you queue up social posts for later publication.
Hootsuite and Tweetdeck have great, wide-spectrum dashboards to track a wide selection of feeds and metrics, and most managers would do well to use them or similar software. Niche tools also exist. SocialBro’s free option is highly limited, but can still give you valuable insight on when your social audience is most active. I’ll wrap up with a shout-out to BuzzSumo, a very handy weapon for any inbound marketers.
Find What Works
It’s general advice, but still deeply important. There are so many potential social channels that marketers can use, but by and large, only a few will be valuable to a given business. The rest? Time sucks with low ROI. Stick to the former, drop the latter, and you’ll wind up with a trimmer, meaner social marketing program that won’t drain your valuable time.