We read and hear so much about the benefits of using social media for your business, but how do we make the most of this fantastic online networking opportunity without spending all day, every day on it?
Thankfully there are some fantastic tools, websites and apps that help us create and share content quickly and easily. In this blog post, we’ll look at five time-saving suggestions you can all implement, whether you’re socially shy or savvy.
Social Media Apps
This might sound obvious, but if you use any social media platforms, download their apps to your smartphone and tablet, if you have one. These apps will keep you up to date with interactions on your accounts wherever you are, so you can take any necessary action on the go, rather than waiting to respond to them when you’re back in the office.
Be aware that some platforms will have more than one app associated with it, like Facebook. You’ll want to download the Facebook Page Manager app and Messenger, as well as the main Facebook mobile app.
There are hundreds of apps connected to social media platforms these days, so browse through them and download any you think will help you. There are plenty of image, meme, gif and video creator apps available to download too, which will help you bring your post to life. Personally, I like to use the Adobe Spark range, which includes Post, Page and Video. There are also scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to consider too.
Social Media Scheduling Tools
I’ve just touched on this above by mentioning Buffer and Hootsuite. This is a Marmite subject; some people love scheduling their posts and others hate it, preferring to share in the moment. It’ll come as no surprise that I am pro scheduling posts as I’m talking about time-saving tools here, however, it does come with a caveat.
Although most of your content can be scheduled in advance, you should definitely share updates on the spur of the moment too. Sharing a photo of an event when you’re there or straight afterwards shows you’re active and ready to communicate, as does relaying conversations from meetings and tagging people into the post.
The main problem with only scheduling posts is that people can normally tell they’ve been scheduled, which leads to a lack of interaction and engagement. The trick is to be a bit cunning. If you’re meeting someone, prep a thank you post before the meeting in your scheduler, then amend it after the meeting, before it’s scheduled to go out. Although you have to put a bit of effort into it, prepping these kinds of posts in advance can be a real time-saver.
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard the term “RSS feeds” before; you’re not alone. In my opinion, these feeds are drastically underused by small businesses, even though there’s so much benefit to setting them up.
These feeds dramatically reduce the time you need to spend online searching for other people’s content to share. While not all websites have RSS feeds, many do, especially if they’re news or blog sites. By subscribing to these feeds, any new content published on the sites automatically gets sent to your feed directory, ready for you to read and share.
I link my RSS feed directory to a website called Pocket. Whenever I open my Pocket account, there’s always lots of new articles and blog posts relating to my industry waiting for me. I then decide if I want to share them, and if so, when. Most of the time I choose to schedule sharing posts I find in Pocket, which I do straight from my pocket account.
Repurposing Social Content
Sometimes, a little extra work setting something up means it saves you time in the future; that’s the case with repurposing your content. Repurposing your content simply means to use one piece of content in a slightly different way, many times.
To give you an example, imagine you’ve written a blog post that’ll still be relevant in months to come. I think it’s fair to say that most people would share that blog post to their social platforms with a brief description about the blog and (hopefully!) a photo. That doesn’t have to be the end of it, though. What you now want to do is reach new audiences with that same piece of content.
You could share it in the same way again, but ask a different question and use a different photo to attract the attention of your other avatars. You could also film yourself talking about the post and share the video with a link to your blog, just like we do with our posts for Your Business Matters. If you like the idea of using video but can’t bear to be in front of the camera, you could take snippets from your post and create images from them, then compile them into a collage video.
I appreciate we’re talking about time-saving tools here, but in case you find yourself with a bit of time on your hands, you could go even further to repurpose your content. Create infographics around the information, discuss the topic with guests on a podcast or turn your post into a webinar; there’s so much you can do to reach new audiences.
Social Workflow Tools
Had you noticed that until recently, you couldn’t share content to your Instagram and Pinterest accounts from scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite? That’s because the apps couldn’t talk to each other. Thankfully, there are some amazing workflow tools that enable apps to talk to each other to make things happen. IFTTT (If This, Then That) and Zapier are two examples of workflow tools that can do all sorts of things for you, without you having to do anything other than setting it up.
Would you like the photos you share on your Facebook business page to automatically be added to one of your Pinterest boards? Done; IFTTT has got that covered. How about automatically creating a Dropbox folder whenever you add a new deal to Pipedrive? Zapier can do it for you. It’s well worth spending some time looking through these two websites to see what you can set up to help you save time on social media and across your business.
As you can see, there are plenty of tools and apps we can all use to help reduce the amount of time we spend on social media for our businesses. A huge added benefit is that these tools can also help you get more interactions and engagement from your audience; it really is a win-win situation.
If this post has inspired you to find out more about making the most of social media for your business, then do speak to Barbara. She’ll be able to talk you through the social media workshops we run and see which will suit you. I run a practical workshop specifically focussed on Improving Social Media Engagement – so please do have a look at that one. Please also feel free to leave your comments below and share the post with anyone you think might benefit from reading it.