You know content can drive your business forward.
It can build your audience, educate your potential customers, engage your followers and delight your customers.
In short: content is fantastic.
But you know what else content is? TIME-CONSUMING.
No matter what industry you are in, it takes time, energy and brain power to create great content. And it’s really difficult to have all three of those factors for long periods of time.
We frequently hear from our users that they have no problem coming up with social media content but finding the time to actually sit down and quickly create content is hard. Especially when you’re busy juggling five thousand five million other tasks in your business.
Team Edgar understands the struggle! We’re a small team too and even though Edgar has 8 tentacles, there’s only so much time and energy we can devote to creating content.
We’ve had to get super smart and find the right tools, tricks, and tips so we can quickly create content. (We’ve even given Edgar some handy features to make this easier too!) Now we want to share our secret time-saving tips that will make you a ninja at social media content creation!
Here are five of our favorite time-saving social media content creation tips:
1. Batch your social media content
Batching is our number one tip because even if it is the only one you use, you are bound to save yourself time with it.
Batching means doing similar tasks in the same block of time to improve productivity. There’s actually a science to batching. It has to do with neuroplasticity in the brain. We’re not going to get into it all the science-y details of it but it breaks down to the fact that our brains love repetition. The more we repeat a task, the more our brain understands it and therefore, speeds up the process of completing it.
So instead of creating your social media posts every day or even every week, you could create an entire month’s worth of content in one sitting. This might feel like we’re telling you to spend more time creating content but, in reality, batching your content takes less time.
Let’s think of it this way, let’s say you’re going to bake octopus-shaped sugar cookies for the week because you want to eat one cookie at lunch every day.
You could gather all your ingredients, preheat your oven, mix up your ingredients and bake a cookie to perfection… then repeat that seven days a week.
You could gather all your ingredients, preheat your oven, mix up your ingredients and bake a whole tray of cookies so you can enjoy them throughout the week.
Obviously, you’re going to want to just bake a week’s worth of cookies all at once to save yourself time.
We’re going to stop talking about cookies now but it’s making us hungry BUT the same thought process goes for social media content.
When you create social media content, you usually have to think of the right categories, get into a creative space, do research and create graphics. That requires a lot of mental power and it can take your brain a little bit of time to get to that content creation pattern that makes it a fast process.
When you batch your content, you cut out the time it takes to actually get your brain into that content creation mode. You end up speeding up the process because your brain catches on to the pattern you’re repeating and then speeds up the pattern. Test it out for yourself for a few days and see how productive you feel!
We batch our content monthly at MeetEdgar and we can usually create a month’s worth of content in one hour. It’s not just us, many of our users do the same! We have monthly content batching parties where we all schedule our content together.
2. Keep track of content ideas
Creativity doesn’t run on a set time schedule so even if you are trying to be as productive as possible, you may end up having a fantastic idea for a piece of content… when you’re in the middle of shampooing your hair.
To save yourself from writing content haphazardly and from feeling totally blank when you sit down to write, try keeping track of your different content ideas. We love using the Evernote app for quick notes or if you are browsing online and see a great idea for a post, you can use a tool like Pocket to save the article for you to return to later.
That way, when it is time to sit down and write, you already have all the ideas you need to get started creating content.
3. Create variations
One very quick way to create tons of content is to create variations. Creating variations means taking a piece of content and changing it slightly by either rewording it or using different graphics. The idea is the overall message is the same but the delivery is a little different.
This is extremely useful for social media content because the half-life on a piece of social media content is unbelievably short. The half-life of a social media post is the length of time it takes for content to reach 50% of its total lifetime engagement. The length of a half-life varies from platform to platform but half-lives have been decreasing over the last several years due to crowded newsfeeds and changing algorithms.
The half-life of a tweet is about 18 minutes and the half-life of an Instagram post is 19 hours! This is why using variation is a smart strategy. Variations give you an opportunity to reach more of your audience with your message without being repetitive.
If you want to quickly create more content, try creating variations for some of the bigger announcements or updates you have. For example, if you are selling a social media course, you can create several different variations promoting that course. Here’s an inside look at the different variations we used to promote our Content Creator Day bundle.
4. Test out different ways to maximize your productivity while batching
Guess what? You’re not alone in your struggles with productivity. There have been thousands of articles written about the best ways to maximize productivity so you can create more content in less time. You can test different methods and strategies to figure out what works best for you.
Here are a couple of our favorite techniques:
- Use timers
- Sure, it might sound like the simplest way to be efficient but sometimes the simplest method is the most effective method. Setting a timer can be the best way to train your brain to focus. It gives you a single task to focus on, which is proven to boost productivity. As an added bonus, you’ll quickly learn how long certain tasks take you so you can set your schedule accordingly.
- Turn off notifications
- We live in a world where everything wants our attention. Emails are pinging every 2 seconds. Instagram likes keep popping up and we’re in a constant stream of Slack conversations and group texts. When your attention is pulled in multiple directions, your productivity takes a nosedive. Luckily, you can cut out those notifications very easily! Switch your phone on silent, turn off notifications on your desktop or on your social media pages and put yourself to “Away” — even if it’s just for 20 minutes!
- Block certain websites
- Self-discipline is hard and when you’re staring at a blank screen waiting for creativity to hit you, it can be very easy to say “I’m just going to pop on over to Twitter to see what’s going on” and before you know it, you’re 30 tweets deep in a thread about the latest Game of Thrones episode. It can be very easy to distract yourself with social media under the guise of “looking for ideas.” There are certain Chrome extensions and website blocking tools like StayFocused and the Freedom app that allow you to block websites for a certain period of time so you can get your work done.
5. Remember content is non-negotiable
Sometimes, finding the time means being clear on your priorities. If you run an online business, content matters. Make creating your content non-negotiable in your schedule. Block out the time for it or organize your day so that you’re creating your content when you’re most energized. Don’t hesitate to make content creation a priority, even if that means saying no to other projects at that moment. Your business will be better for it.