If you're like me, then you value your time. Time, after all, is the only asset we can never recover. It is here today and gone tomorrow (literally!). So it surprises me when people don't value their time and guard it closely like I do. Since we live in "the social media age" it's far too easy to let pings, buzzes, and notifications interrupt and distract you throughout your day. And yet, being connected and involved with social media is also an asset to your long-term success. Like anything else you do in your business, this social media stuff needs its own special "time management" strategy. So let's get down to business!
1. Calculate Your ROI
Whatever you're working on in your business, there had better be some ROI at the end of that rainbow. Social media marketing time management is about recognizing that your time has massive value and every activity you're engaged with should be contributing to the short-term or long-term growth of your business.
This is an important first step because you need to determine exactly how engaged YOU will personally be. If you're a published author, speaker, guru-type, then you'll probably want to be very engaged and doing much of the social post writing and networking yourself. But if you're running a retail store, e-commerce site, or any other type of business that's not directly tied up with your personality, then you'll want to outsource the work to an agency or hire someone in-house to manage it for you.
Aside from the type of business you're running, you'll also want to consider your skills and your abilities. If you just don't have a social bone in your body, please please please do pass this work off to someone else. Your business will greatly benefit from that decision. 🙂
2. Automate Your Posts (Not Your Presence)
I'm a huge fan of Buffer and HootSuite because these tools make it dead simple for me to keep my most cherished social media accounts active and vibrant. One of my preferred time management strategies is task batching, so I prefer to spend several hours at one time planning out my social posts for weeks at a time rather than get bogged down with it every single day.
That being said, don't make the mistake of trying to automate your presence. When people tweet at you or engage your brand on any other social network, you need to show up to the virtual party and make conversation. You need to be engaged. You absolutely cannot fake this part of the process. You can, however, send someone else there to engage on your behalf -- your Social Management agency or your in-house social media team, for example.
3. Focus Your Attention
While there are literally thousands of social networks buzzing around out there, there are really only 5 that matter for most businesses -- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus. This is where you're most likely to find every cross-section of prospect/customer/client life teeming around. You definitely want to have at least a basic presence on all 5 of these networks.
But the chances that you need to be super engaged on ALL of these networks is really slim. Only social media superstars, large brands, and companies trying to become household names should take that approach. Instead, try to narrow this list of 5 down to 2-3 that are most relevant to your business. The easy way to figure that out is to think in terms of the very prospects you're targeting. Where are THEY most likely to spend their social media time?
Finally, make time to disconnect. Whether it's turning your phone off at night, setting your iPhone to "Do Not Disturb" for a scheduled period, or just chucking your laptop into the Pacific Ocean (not recommended for most people), just be sure you have UN-social scheduled time.
Enjoy dinner with friends and family, but leave your devices at home. The disconnected time is just as important as the connected time.
I hope this post gave you some good ideas for improving your social media marketing time management for better results!