It’s easy to spend hours on end scrolling through your News Feed, reading lengthy statuses and “liking” photos of people you haven’t seen in years. When it comes to managing social media for your business, you can’t afford to waste time. Here’s how to reduce distractions while simplifying social media marketing efforts:
- Think ahead
You’d love to wish all of your followers a Happy Thanksgiving via social media, but you’re too busy celebrating with your family (as you should be!). The easiest way to accomplish this is to schedule your “Happy Thanksgiving” post ahead of time. Use a free scheduling tool such as Hootsuite, which manages multiple social media platforms at the same time. Or, if you just need to schedule a post on Facebook, rather than Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., you can just use Facebook’s scheduling tool.
One secret to simplifying social media is to plan out your posts a few days or weeks ahead of time and post them in advance. Keep in mind that there are certain times of the day that are better for posting on specific social media platforms. For example, Facebook posts are generally well-received between 1-4PM and Tweets see the most engagement Monday through Thursday around 1-3PM. Keep in mind that these “ideal” posting times will vary depending on your industry and the behavior of your followers.
Scheduling allows you to give yourself a bit of a break from social media for a few days. I use the term “break” very lightly, because you are never truly removed from the social media world. In addition to providing your audience with regular updates, you also need to quickly respond to customers and/or prospects on social media, which brings me to my next hack:
- Go mobile
With the many phone calls, text messages, and emails you receive on your phone today, you may not like the idea of receiving notifications from Facebook or Twitter, too. However, adding the Facebook and Twitter applications to your mobile phone is a great way to stay updated on current events, industry news, and most importantly, your customers’ conversations. What are your customers talking about? Are they talking to you? About your business? There are a few ways to find out, and mobile is the place to start.
- Get organized
One way to discover what your customers are talking about is to create a custom News Feed that contains only tweets from your customers. Peep this: Twitter allows you to create a curated collection of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. When you view a list timeline, you will only be able to see a stream of Tweets from the users on that list. For example, you may need to separate out lists of current clients, prospects, vendors, friends, etc. This will allow you to see what these different groups are talking about and how you can join the conversation. Creating and organizing lists can be tedious, but it will save you time in the long-run by preventing you from having to sift through so many tweets. Plus, it will help you in the future when increasing your Twitter followers.
- Make it easy
Simplifying social media sharing for your followers and readers can go a long way. Make it easy for other people to share your content by adding social sharing buttons to your website and blog posts. You can ask your web programmer to hardcode the buttons to your site or you can install a WordPress plugin, such as Share This, to add buttons that users can click to share your post with their friends on various social media platforms.
- Track, measure, analyze
Do you know what percentage of your Facebook fans are women? Do you know where they live? You may have made some good assumptions about your Facebook fans, but you could also be surprised by what you find once you dive into your Facebook Page Insights. Insights allow you to understand how people engage with your page by providing information on your posts’ performance, audience demographics, fan behaviors, etc. HootSuite and Google Analytics can also provide valuable analytics on your social media marketing efforts.
In addition to these five hacks for simplifying social media, always remember the key word in social media: SOCIAL. So have fun, be honest, and engage with your customers!
– Sarah Lane, Marketing Specialist