7 Awesome Time Management Hacks For Social Media Marketers
- "When it comes to social media Alan is extremely knowledgeable, easy to get on with and it was a pleasure to work with him. He is one of life’s good guys. Nothing is too much trouble for him. He listens to your social media challenges and gives you strategies and tools that work."Maureen Sharphouse
Coach, Speaker, Mentor
- “Chat Marketing have helped steer us through the bewildering array of Social Networking opportunities and have shown us how to get the most out of this medium from a business point of view. Alan is easy to work with, a good listener who delivers excellent results.”David Adams
- “I've just attended Chat Marketing's "Twitter4Business" workshop this morning. What an excellent and informative event. I would highly recommend Alan and Chat Marketing to any business looking to get started in the bewildering world of social media. Many thanks Alan.”Andy Perkins
We are all busy people right?
There are only so many hours in the day and our time is constantly being demanded for this and that must-do marketing activity. Every week there seems to be a new social media platform that we are told that we need to be on, in order to get a foot-hold and take advantage of being an early adopter. Gary Vaynerchuk refers to this as “Land-grabbing”.
Then there is email marketing, content marketing, blogging and everything else that we get caught up in because it is the new ‘shiny thing’. And unless you run a marketing company, you will have your “day job” to take care of as well. You know, the one you went into business to do in the first place!
Social media is important to your long-term success, but you can’t let it take over your life. There I said it! A lot of my clients when they first start working with me think that I’m going to encourage them to spend all their waking hours on social media, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, there is definitely a time commitment needed, but there are tools available to help you leverage your time more effectively. I think being “good” at social media is about spending as little time on it as possible, while still leveraging the many benefits that it has to offer.
Before I go into what these tools are, please know that you don’t in fact need to be everywhere, just because the “experts” tell you that you MUST be on a particular platform because it happens to be en vogue at the moment. You don’t HAVE to be everywhere if it doesn’t make sense for your business. You can read more about this in ‘How To Choose The Best Social Social Media Platform‘.
Of course if you want to work 18 hour days like Gary Vee, then be my guest, but I am guessing that’s probably not you. Yes, you need to work hard and put in the effort but if you put in too many hours, it is really hard to remain productive and you are likely to burn yourself out.
I could have easily listed a dozen or more tools in this article, but as this about time management, I wanted to stick to the bare essentials that will give you maximum ‘bang for your buck’, in terms of return on time invested. I use these tools pretty much on a daily basis. Some of them do similar things to each other, and have different advantages and disadvantages, so there will be certain circumstances where you will choose one tool over another and some may not be right for your business at all.
Top Social Media Time Management Tools
BufferApp is a very simple social media scheduling tool that allows you to connect up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ accounts (you can also schedule Instagram to get reminders to post but you can’t actually post to Instagram from Buffer). There are lots of these scheduling tools available but what I love about Buffer is just how easy it is to use, making it fast to work on. I also love their integrations with other platforms such as Content Gems and Quuu (see below), which allows you to schedule content from these sources very easily. I also like their Optimal Timing tool to help you find the best time to post, according to how well your previous updates have performed in terms of engagement. Their analytics also shows you which content performed the best, and allow you to re-Buffer your best posts, and their web browser extension lets you easily schedule any articles you are reading at the time, rather than having to remember to come back to them later.
A basic account on Buffer is free, but for $102 a year or $10 per month, you can access their ‘Awesome Plan’ or one of their other paid plans. The basic account might be all that you need, but if you need to manage more than just one account per social media platform (say you manage 3 different Twitter accounts for your business), then this would be a good option for you that won’t break the bank. The Awesome Plan also lets you connect to Pinterest, which is not available through the free plan.
The main difference between Buffer and most of the other scheduling tools out there, is that Buffer works by scheduling recurring time slots against a calendar, which is called your Buffer. For example, if I want to tweet out a maximum of 5 times a day, I can set 5 time slots throughout the day when I want my content to go out, then it’s simply a matter of filling your Buffer with content to be posted. If you only have one tweet to go out on a particular day, and that’s all the content that you have in your Buffer, then that’s what will get tweeted. You don’t need to worry about finding another 4 pieces of content to keep up with your schedule.
How I use it:
I tend to use BufferApp for posting to Twitter, but I’ll also occasionally use it for LinkedIn too. I use Buffer in combination with Content Gems and Quuu to have a steady stream of content to post, without being too promotional.
The Facebook scheduler tool is available on your Facebook Business Page. When you are writing your posts, to the right of the ‘Publish’ button you will notice a down arrow. Click on that and one of the options there is ‘Schedule’. Select this option and you can choose a date and time up to about 9 months in the future. There’s also an option to select a date when the content is no longer relevant and should be removed. This option is handy where you have date specific content that you don’t want to keep on your newsfeed.
How I use it:
When things are going according to plan, I like to set aside an hour a week to schedule in content for the rest of the week and for any important dates that are coming up. Batching your updates like this will prevent you from getting distracted on a daily basis, when you are trying to force yourself to find quality content to post.
Quuu is a service that hand picks quality content for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, from hundreds of different content categories that you can choose from, creates the updates for you and sends them to Buffer automatically. You simply connect your social media accounts and your Buffer account, select your categories and the number of times per day you would like content to be sent to your Buffer.
Quuu has a free plan that allows you to post a maximum of twice per day (unless you help spread the word by recommending Quuu to others, in which case you are rewarded with extra credits) or $10 per month for up to 10 posts per day and access to unlimited categories.
How I use it:
I don’t like the way it posts on Facebook and LinkedIn with hashtags etc and although you can edit your posts on Buffer before they are published, that just takes time and becomes a bit of a chore, so I only use it for Twitter, to supplement the content that I put out through Buffer and maintain a regular presence.
MeetEdgar is a great little tool. It’s built on the premise that a lot of your content, once published, tends to have a limited shelf life, and with not everyone seeing your tweets, posts etc, that’s a lot of effort for such a short space of time. So MeetEdgar allows you to create a Library of your best content, connect your various social media accounts, set a publishing schedule for each network and re-post your old content. It’s a great way to get your content in front of more people and send traffic to your site.
I also love the fact that it allows you to schedule content to Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Company Pages. Not many social media scheduling tools have this functionality, and with Groups being such a hot marketing tool at the moment, this is a great feature. MeetEdgar is not a free tool unfortunately and at $79 per month it’s not cheap either, but it could save you a lot of time and get your content in front of more people.
How I use it:
Having revamped the Chat Marketing website recently to focus more on content marketing, getting my blog articles read by more people is an important objective for me. I’ve connected MeetEdgar to my Twitter account, Facebook Page and LinkedIn Profile, and created a library of my recent blog posts, which I keep adding to with older content. I’ve also added the most popular curated content that I’ve shared on Twitter over the last month (data from BufferApp), to be re-published at regular intervals and spent a bit of time adding my past ‘Motivation Monday’ Dojo quotes into MeetEdgar. Since using MeetEdgar, I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of re-tweets I am getting of my content.
Pablo is owned by Buffer, so you know it’s going to be easy to use and ‘does what it says on the tin’. Pablo is a very basic image-editing tool. It provides access to over 600,000 royalty-free images, or you can upload your own.
Apart from the fact that it is simple to use and free, one of the things I love about Pablo is that it provides dozens of quotes that you can use, if you don’t have your own to hand or you are lacking in inspiration.
How I use it:
I use Pablo to quickly create my Motivation Monday quotes. I usually have a quote that I want to share already picked out, so on Pablo I simply search for a background image that in some way relates to the message I am trying to convey in the quote, write or paste in the text, re-position and re-size as necessary and then download the image, which I then post to the Facebook group.
BuzzSumo is an excellent tool for finding popular content to share, or for helping you to come up with engaging blog titles, based on what content is already resonating with other people, and for finding the top influencers in your niche. You can access BuzzSumo in a limited capacity for free, but even without paying you can see the top 10 results from any query. With the free plan you are limited to the number of searches you can perform per day.
How I use it:
I use BuzzSumo to identify the most popular content relating to specific keywords, such as “Content Marketing” or “Social Media”. I then visit the source, usually a blog article, which I then share on my social media channels. If it’s popular content being shared by others, there is a good chance that my audience will like it too! I also use BuzzSumo to brain storm headline ideas and also to connect with other users that are sharing content similar to my own.
Content Gems is an awesome free tool for finding content related to your niche. All you need to do is create your account and select the topics that you are interested in and you will receive a daily digest of relevant articles, straight to your Inbox. There are other tools that do this too but what I love about Content Gems is that it integrates with BufferApp, so when you see an interesting article from a content source that you trust, you can send that piece of content to your Buffer with just one click. It’s fast and it’s easy to source great content that you can then share on your social networks.
How I use it:
I use the Daily Summary emails to discover great content that I will find interesting to read for myself, and also to keep my Buffer full without me having to go hunting for content.
If you want social media to work for you, you are going to have to invest time in consistently publishing great content, but beyond that, listening and engaging with your community. Try as we might, we can’t be everywhere at once, so using these tools in your business will save you hours of your time sourcing and publishing your content, but you still need to schedule time to reply to comments and be human.
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