A solid online presence is a necessary part of marketing these days. And that is usually not limited to just the one simple social media profile. You usually have to juggle several different ones!
I currently have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+. Whew! That sounds a lot, but each profile needs a different approach and helps to broaden your reach.
It is time-consuming and it can be hard to keep up with it all. I totally get that, which is why I am writing this post.
Social media has been a struggle for me. I have always prioritised client work (as any good business person does) and as a result my own business blog and social media have suffered. This was simply a case of trying to juggle to many eggs at once. I have recently made changes to the way I structure my week to better manage my time, and I have found some very positive results! Yes, I am once again talking about BATCHING! It has totally changed my work and life routine for the better.
Schedule a “planning day”.
One big change I have made is to put aside a day a month. One whole day. No distractions. No interruptions. My husband is on kid duty and I take myself to the library or somewhere I can focus on work. This is my “planning day”. I lay out a content calendar for the month ahead as well as a social media content calendar. The content I plan is not limited to just my website blogs and social media. I also include weekly newsletters, marketing campaigns and set monthly goals and how to achieve them. Everything I need to organise for the month or so ahead.
Then as I outline each blog I pull out posts for social media from the content and create a whole month of social media posts. I also tend to have a theme for the month. This July has been “organization” (if you hadn’t already guessed by all the organization posts!) Yes, again, I plan a whole month! I put this into a spreadsheet that I adapted from a free sample on Hootsuite.
Once I have created the posts I need to promote my blog post, I fill in the gaps with curated content, personal stories, anecdotes and fun posts. I also leave spaces in the scheduling for real-time sharing. This is super important. I mean, you don’t want to have your social media presence fully automated all the time as this doesn’t help to build a rapport with your audience. They want to know you are a real person. Real time sharing helps with this.
Use social media schedulers.
On Sundays I upload a week worth of social media content from the spreadsheet to my social media schedulers – Tailwind for Pinterest, HootSuite for Google +, Twitter and LinkedIn.
I schedule posts to Facebook directly as they have this function and supposedly the Facebook algorithm prefers direct posting for visibility as opposed to using a third-party.
Instagram I have struggled with as they have never allowed scheduling from external sources (until now) and also don’t have the capability in their app to schedule. As I don’t post very often I edit a photo right up to just before you press post, and then save it as a draft. I set a reminder on my phone for when I want that Instagram post to go live. Then when I am ready to publish it I simply go back into Instagram and post it. It sounds fiddly, and it can be. But keep in mind I have only started getting on top of my social media sharing recently, so it is still a work in progress!
What sharing platforms are out there?
There are many sharing platforms that help you automate your social media. They all have their pros and cons, as anything does. They have different costs and different packages you can purchase. I am currently using the free version of Hootsuite as I only use it to schedule 3 profiles – any more profiles and you have to pay. Tailwind is fantastic! I can schedule Pins for weeks and they trickle out to all my personal boards and group boards. I have saved so much time with Tailwind it is amazing!
* Please note I am not an affiliate of these platforms, they are just the ones I personally use. There are so many others out there. A few of the more common ones I have come across:
- Buffer – works with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram. From all I have read it seems it is very easy to use.
- Agorapulse – works with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Youtube.
- CoSchedule – works with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ , tumblr. Is apparently an overall great option, especially when working in a team.
- MeetEdgar – works with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
As I said above, they all have their pros and cons, and different pricing packages. Be sure to do your research to pick the tool that best helps YOU, your content strategy and your budget.
Don’t forget real-time posting!
Keep in mind that your audience want live updates and stories too.
To cultivate a relationship with your audience you need to be personable, relatable and engaging. You cannot do this by a constant stream of pre-scheduled posts.
You need to leave time and space to also do real-time status updates and sharing. I add this into my month social media planner as well. Days that I know I will have time to snap a quick photo, film a story or share an article or photo I find interesting and that I believe will appeal to my readers. Or I simply see something I like and share it!
Just as important as creating posts and updating your social media is interacting with your audience. You cannot just post and walk away from your computer. You need to respond to comments and questions.
I try schedule in at least 15 minutes at the start of the day, and 30 minutes at the end of my day where I focus solely on my social media accounts and responding to my readers. I also find random times during the day to jump on my social media accounts….morning tea break at work, breastfeeding, waiting for the kettle to boil, there are many instances I can eke out a few minutes to check in on my accounts. Whenever you can fit in some time, then make sure you do so. Your readers want to know that you check and respond to their comments.
I know, you are all throwing your hands up and wondering how on earth you can fit all this in too. On top of writing for clients, blogging, running a household and being a mum. But trust me, it is a matter of managing your time effectively and prioritising your work.
Sign up below and grab a free sample of the batching schedule I use to organise and plan my weeks.
I have set myself monthly goals that I wish to reach with each social media platform. Such as how many views, how many new followers etcetera. I will work hard on one platform first before moving onto the next to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Scheduling social media is certainly helping with this! By keeping a content planner for social media and scheduling it I make sure I am present online.
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