If you’re running a business or building a brand, you probably spend a lot of time on social media. Whether it’s building out content, sourcing visuals, picking hashtags, or engaging with followers and returning direct messages, there’s plenty of work to be done when you run a social media account. And this social media work is always an additional set of tasks on top of your day-to-day business efforts. So, while you may feel like you’re busy, that doesn’t always translate to new followers, potential clients, or sales. This means, you may be busy but are you really being productive on social media?
If you’re beginning to feel like you’re spinning your wheels or you’re not sure where to start when it comes to amping up your social media game, there’s one question you should ask yourself:
Are you getting the best return on your time investment when you spend time on your social media channels?
Chances are that no matter how much time you’re putting into your social content, you could be making a bigger impact in less time.
And today we’re going to share a set of key ways you can do just that and be more productive on social media.
Know Why You Use Social Media and Create Your Social Media Goals
The first key to being more productive on social media when it comes to your social media channels is to clarify why you’re on those channels in the first place.
- Are you on Instagram to raise brand awareness?
- Are you on Facebook to generate referrals or connections?
- Are you on Pinterest to share resources with your followers?
Each platform and set of goals will require a different approach and you may find out you need a mix of each to really reach your own idea of social media success.
If you’re on more than one channel you might be using them for different reasons but it’s essential to get crystal clear on what you want to get out of showing up on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
When you clarify your business goals you can break them down in so many different ways. But when it comes to social media we suggest thinking about:
- Choose An Overall Goal: What you want to accomplish on social media overall (Ex: Reach more ideal clients and make more sales)
- Decide How You’ll Measure That Goal: Explore how you’ll know if you reached your goal (Ex: Grow followers on this account by 10% in the next quarter or book 5 consultation calls per month from social media)
- Break Down Those Specific Goals Into Action Steps: What you need to do to make that happen and how you’re going to do those things (Ex: Post 3-5x a week, connect with prospects, pick topics clients and customers often ask about)
When you clarify your goals, be sure to make sure that your action steps align with the overall goal and that you know exactly what you’re hoping to accomplish along the way. Having time-sensitive goals also helps keep you on track and prevents you from being overwhelmed or discouraged if things don’t shift or go your way right away.
Getting specific about your goals will make the remaining steps far easier and will give you a reason to push through the action steps when you’re having a tougher day.
Set Aside Time To Check Your Metrics
Along with setting goals, it’s important to set aside time to check your progress and essential to decide exactly which social media metrics you’ll use to measure your success.
We suggest scheduling time on your calendar each week or every two weeks to review and record your key metrics (Ex: follower count, views, comments, likes, and shares).
When you’ve tracked your metrics regularly, you’ll begin to see patterns emerge and you’ll be able to better decide when to post, what to post, and how to engage with your followers. For example, if, after a month of posting at noon on Mondays and Wednesdays and posting again at 5 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you notice that your noon posts do best, you may consider trying more posts on different days at that same time.
And finding your best posting times and days is just one way to use your metrics. You can also use them to select and create new content so that what you post gets shared, liked, and engaged with more often.
Your metrics can also give you insight into how your visuals are doing. If you try a few different types of visuals (Ex: Infographics, stock photos, photos of people, etc.) you may begin to see sharing and engagement patterns based on the types of visuals you’re providing your followers.
Regardless of how you choose to use the metrics and the feedback you get from them, the simple act of tracking your progress will allow you to see growth in your channels over time.
Batch Your Content Creation and Create a Content Calendar
Once you’ve chosen your social media goals and selected the metrics you’ll use to measure your progress it’s time to get to work.
We suggest batching your content creation and creating a social media calendar. Batching content means breaking down the creation process into a set of smaller steps and working on one step of that process at a time. (Ex: Spending a block of time sourcing visuals for a set of posts, then spending a block of time writing content for those posts, then spending a block of time scheduling those posts, and so on…)
Creating a content calendar allows you to see the big picture and then work to create content that supports that big picture. Content calendars also allow you to lay out all of your content across the various channels and platforms. Your content calendar could include everything from your blog posts and emails to your social media posts, videos, and stories. Creating this calendar is also a great way to keep your team on the same page throughout the year and to plan ahead for things like holidays and sales.
Batching your work keeps your brand voice consistent, helps you to stay focused, and saves you time in the long run because you’re not switching back and forth between a myriad of different tasks each day.
If you want to learn more about how to get started with batching we’ve explored what it means to batch in our recent blog here.
Batch Your Social Media Engagement
Creating a social media calendar and batching your social media post creation will make you more productive and save you time. But you shouldn’t stop there.
When you create a post or set of posts and share it with your followers, one of the things you’ll hope for is some sort of engagement (Ex: Likes, comments, or even direct messages).
And it can feel overwhelming to answer these comments and messages as they come in. A one-at-a-time approach to this process can also be a huge time-monopolizing task.
To avoid wasting this valuable time, and to be sure you can spend that time on other tasks to move your business forward, we suggest batching your social media engagement in the same way you batched your content creation.
What would it look like to batch your social engagement?
It might mean setting aside a specific time each day to engage with your audience. We recommend setting a timer for yourself so you strengthen your commitment to really focus on engaging and not simply scrolling, and then working until that timer goes off. For example, you could spend 30 minutes a day engaging on social media. 10 of those could be leaving at least 10 comments on Instagram, 10 minutes could be spent commenting on at least 10 posts in 5 different groups and 10 minutes could be spent on returning any direct messages you may have received or in sending out direct messages of your own to those who engaged with you that day.
Scheduling and batching your time on social media to specifically engage makes you more productive because you’ve given yourself the space to interact and you’re creating an engagement routine that really works for you.
Save Time on Social Media By Scheduling Your Posts
The last suggestion we have for making yourself more productive when it comes to social media is to schedule your posts. Scheduling with Edgar eliminates that time you might be spending staring at a blank screen wondering what to write or dropping into each of your various social accounts each day to post one thing at a time.