Top Tips to Stop Social Media Ruling Your Day
For small businesses, social media is often a smart task to outsource. It’s time-intensive, distracting, never-ending and entirely un-opt-out-able.
Outsourcing isn’t available to everyone, though. If you’re bootstrapping, paying and managing a freelancer at $700+ a month can feel impossible. Or, you might have a sparkling social media presence that helped you to build a brand and business and need to continue to be its face.
If you are going it alone for any reason, there are some quick ways you can minimize the amount of time you spend on social media while maximizing your impact.
- Have clear goals and drop activities that aren’t working.
There’s no way to avoid being on social media; people are already talking about your business online and it’s imperative that you’re part of the conversation. However, you should still be measuring the return you’re getting from the effort you’re expending, and setting your activity against specific business goals, like brand awareness, website traffic, sales, and lead generation. You might find that the four hours you spend recording and editing your 25-minute bi-weekly webinar could be better spent on testing segmentation with an engaging newsletter.
- Be selective with the social media platforms you’re on.
It might feel like everyone’s on TikTok now, but despite the omnipresence of online content, your target audience is likely to be using social media in a fairly specific way. Look at your direct competition and brands with lookalike audiences and see how people are sharing their content, and which platforms they spend the most time on. It’ll be more efficient for you to meet your audience in one space and concentrate your efforts there than to stretch your resources too thin. Set up profiles on the other sites to reserve your brand name and receive alerts if someone is talking about your business or product, but direct users to platforms where you’re the most active in the bio.
- Know that 90% and out the door is better than the 100% you’re still working on.
Creating breakthrough content is a battle won day to day, not month to month. As long as your content has a definite purpose (to entertain, inform, or delight), feels like you, and comes from a good place, you don’t need to spend painstaking hours deciding between em dashes and brackets, or editing out that little bit of background noise.
- Let yourself post content more than once.
Average engagement rates on social media are pretty low, particularly for organic content. If you’ve spent time creating a useful piece of content and you post it once, the likelihood is the vast majority of your audience won’t see it. Honor the work you put in by setting up a reposting schedule, creating ancillary pieces, and shamelessly rehashing your content for other platforms.
- Batch the time you spend creating content.
You need to be creative to make an impact on social media, but not many of us can tap into our most imaginative selves at the drop of a hat. You could try batching the task of creating content into one longer session per week or fortnight. Construct your best space for inspiration, whether that’s listening to 70s psychedelic rock, or directly following a brisk walk or conversation with a friend.
- Remember that curated content can supplement your original content.
Set up Google Alerts for keywords related to your industry, then if the New York Times, Buzzfeed, or Quartz does a piece that’s interesting about it, you can repost it with a short value-adding comment. Demonstrate your thought leadership without having to spend hours creating something from scratch.
- Use a social media tool to listen to what’s going on in your industry and schedule posts.
Social media tools like Sprout Social, HootSuite, or CoSchedule will help you follow targeted lists, track sentiment, and schedule posts across different platforms from one place.
- Schedule time to engage.
While scheduling content might be much more efficient, it won’t foster a genuine connection. To do that, you’ll have to put the time in to engage with other people’s content, and thoughtfully respond to comments and DMs. Use the Pomodoro Technique, and give yourself 25 minutes to dive into your feed and then have a hard stop. You could bundle this activity with a train journey you take every day, or in the cab ride to a meeting.
- Use Canva to create graphics.
Even if you have the software and design skills to create graphics from scratch, you can create an engaging Instagram ad or LinkedIn banner in under two minutes using a tool like Canva, Adobe Spark, or Desynger. The free templates and illustration graphics take time out of the process and means that your thrice-weekly content can be varied and unimpeded by the scope of your own templates or guidelines.
- Document the things you’re doing already.
You might already be doing lots of things that would be interesting to your customers: a factory-visit with your artisan producer who has a ton of knowledge, a particularly grubby harvesting day, or a presentation on the future of AI. Use these opportunities to make short, personal videos about what you’re doing and show your love and care for these sometimes hidden aspects of your business.
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