It’s tempting to “just get going” with your social media efforts – to operate without a real strategy or even a loose plan.
We’ve all done it.
A random post here, a minor profile tweak there. Before you know it, you’re aimlessly meandering through your social channels like a kitten on roller skates.
It’s not pretty and, well, it’s not very productive.
(Not to mention dangerous!)
Reel it in for a moment and get back on steady ground. We’re here to share our secret sauce to social media productivity.
First things first…
You do? Great, crack that baby open and don’t be afraid to tweak it. Remember, this is a living and breathing document.
You don’t? No problem, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. (Although building a social media strategy takes a little bit of time on the front end.)
It’s worth it, though – and you’ll easily make up that time (and then some) down the road.
A sound strategy has two major parts – goals and a plan.
First, let’s talk goals.
Your social media marketing goals should solve a business challenge. Consider the pain points across your entire organization, whether customer service, HR, marketing, PR, or sales.
You can’t solve everything, so identify the top challenges you can address through your social media efforts.
If the bulk of your sales come from the web, for example, but your website traffic has taken a turn for the worse, you may want to focus your goals on driving qualified traffic to your site.
It’s easy to get distracted by fluffy success metrics, but keep your eye on the prize and optimize with your goals in mind – not someone else’s!
Goals don’t achieve themselves, though – so get crackin’ on a hardworking plan that will help you achieve them.
A well-documented plan should incorporate a variety of components, such as:
Establishing and documenting your social media marketing strategy will help you focus and prioritize your efforts without the wasted efforts.
Social media calendars allow you to plan out your publishing schedule and initiatives for each social media channel.
Getting all this nonsense in one place keeps you sane, gives stakeholders a single location for info, and helps you manage the flow of content to your social channels.
Here’s how we do it ourselves.
Rather than plotting out individual posts, we plan our posting schedules by category (or content pillar).
Let’s say you’re a wild elephant trainer. (Because hey, one can dream.)
Your categories might include things like animal news, elephant showcases, tips and tricks, holidays, animal jokes, and peanut-heavy recipes. Essentially, your categories are groupings for all the types of content you post on social media.
With Edgar, you make a social media calendar that automatically posts certain types of content at certain times. Tell your tool to post updates in your “Tips and tricks” category every Friday at noon, for example, and boom – you’re good to go.
(Leaning in? Great, we talk more about our unique approach to calendar planning here: Our Social Media Planning Routine.)
Like we said, rather than spreading yourself thin between 50 different social media channels, be strategic about where you spend your time based on the network that drives the biggest return on investment (ROI).
And remember: investment comes not just in the form of money, but in the form of TIME.
(Hey, you ain’t workin’ for free, right?)
Be cutthroat about which platforms work and which efforts on those platforms are helping you meet your short and long-term goals.
Dig into those analytics. Having a firm grasp on performance and costs across all your social media channels will save you boatloads of time in the long run, because you’ll have focus!
Gather up the team for a good ol’ productivity think-fest. Take that elevator up to the hundredth floor and get a top-down look at everything you are doing on social media.
(Metaphorically, at least. Your computer would be hard to see from the hundredth floor.)
Ask yourself these questions:
Next, start brainstorming possible solutions. Not necessarily guaranteed solutions – just stuff you can try.
We know you have ideas! Get those solutions down. Don’t hold back. No idea is too ridiculous.
(Unless, of course, your solution to filling the gaps in your party playlist is to fly in Britney Spears for a live show. We told you, Reginald, it’ll never work!)
After you get a look at all your possibilities, trim down your list to the most likely solutions – then test, adjust, rinse, and repeat!
Be agile. Ditch what doesn’t work and move forward with what does.
Which leads us to…
According to a study, finding and posting social media content is the number one most time-consuming social media task for small businesses.
There are loads of ways to “find” content, but here are a few avenues to explore:
Now on to that pesky posting part. . .
The antidote to the painful and time-consuming process of posting and reposting your social media content is automation.
Whether you use MeetEdgar or not (we hope you do, though!), do yourself a favor and get this step automated.
The benefits of automation are more plentiful than an all-you-can-eat buffet in Vegas:
Got a trick or two you use to stay productive?
Something that makes long-term planning more strategic – or your day-to-day less stressful?
Share your social media marketing productivity tips in the comments below!