How to Use Your Time Efficiently on Social Media

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Time is our most precious resource, but it always feels like it’s slipping through our fingers. But the average person spends up to 2 hours on social media every day (and that’s not even if they’re business owners trying to develop a following)!
Social media is actually designed to be addictive with things like infinite scrolls and pop-up notifications. So, how do you continue to build your business with social media without spending all of your time there?

Narrow your social media channels

If you really want to use your time wisely when it comes to social media, you won’t be on every platform. Identify where your target customers are hanging out and where you have the highest potential for engagement.
The more platforms you're on, the more time that you'll need to spend curating content, creating content, and engaging with audiences so that you can continue to grow your business.
If you've decided to take a break from a channel, you can write a simple post that shares where you *are* posting, so it doesn't look like you've closed up shop or abandoned ship.

Identify how your channels can work together.

Chances are, the same people don't follow you on EVERY platform. And even if they do, they probably don't see every one of your posts. This gives you the chance to repurpose content across multiple social media channels. For example, you may share a quick title or insight on Twitter with a link to read more from a curated article, while on Facebook you share a longer, more in-depth write-up. You may even choose to do a live video where you dive into the subject even more.
Some platforms and scheduling tools also let you cross-post automatically. For example, you can connect Twitter to Facebook and send out a tweet for every new post on your page. It's not an ideal way to share content (creating semi-custom content for each platform is ideal) but its better than not sharing at all when you're trying to maximize your impact and minimize your time investment.

Create a schedule for posting content

Once a week, I schedule my social media. I can always add more or change things up if the mood strikes me, but I get the minimum out of the way. That way I’m not stuck in the infinite scroll, wondering what to post about.

Your content mix should include links to your own website, stand-alone statuses, calls to action/sales posts, and curated content that will be of interest to your readers. The curated content that you share doesn't have to have direct correlation to your business either – as long as you can create a compelling reason why it applies to your readers. I recently shared a post about the last Blockbuster in America. It had nothing to do with marketing – or really even business. But we've almost all heard the story of how Netflix changed the game on Blockbuster – even though Blockbuster had many opportunities to pivot and stay the leader in the game. I used that article – about the last Blockbuster out there in Portland – to challenge my followers to think about the new competition in their market that they're wanting to turn a blind eye to.

Book Time Each Day for Engagement

Each weekday, I give myself three Pomodoro blocks for engagement. (If you’re not familiar with the Pomodoro time management technique, you work in focused 25-minute chunks, with 5 minute breaks in between.) I schedule mine for early in the morning, mid-day, and evening.
I know most time management gurus tell you *not* to check your email or social media first thing in the morning, but I am involved in several communities with European roots, so a lot can happen overnight! Plus, I know I won't be able to focus on my work if I'm struggling with FOMO on what's been posted that I'm missing out on.
You need to recognize your own needs and tendencies. Then, put those windows on your calendar so you remember when it’s time to hop in and do your engagement.
If you’re engaging in other people’s Facebook groups or communities, create bookmarks to hop straight to those communities (rather than scrolling through all the posts in your feeds from all the groups). This helps you save time and be focused on where you want to post when!

Use scheduling tools

Find a social media scheduling tool or use native scheduling to keep your content distribution on track. If you’re looking for a tool, here are a few criteria to evaluate:

  1. Does it schedule to all of the biggest platforms that you want to use? For example, there are only a few that can actually post TO Instagram for you (Hootsuite, Buffer, Later). Many let you schedule posts on Facebook Pages, but fewer post to groups. I don’t know of any that will post to groups that you don’t manage.
  2. How far in advance does it let you schedule on the plan that fits in your budget? Some scheduling tools limit how many posts you can schedule in advance based on the tier of service. For example, on the Hootsuite free plan you can schedule up to 30 posts across three platforms, including Instagram. If you want to attach more platforms or schedule more, then you need to upgrade to a higher-level plan.
  3. Does it have other features that help you manage your content? For example, with Hootsuite you can create streams that help you monitor or “listen to” the conversation around keywords and hashtags that impact your business. PostPlanner helps you curate content by providing suggested articles and even statuses.

Turn off notifications

Turn off notifications on your devices when it’s not social media time. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, social apps are designed to encourage addiction. They scroll infinitely. They use push notifications to get you back into them as often as they can. So, when you’re NOT in a social media window, turn off your notifications. Or turn them off and leave them off. Trust me, your customers don’t need you to respond to their comments within 5 minutes. Within a couple of hours will often serve just fine.

Plus, this is an important place to create boundaries within your business. If you start out by being extra-responsive and then slow down (because you’re busier with your business), then it’s going to leave a negative impression. And if you don’t want to be a “pop-up business owner”, then you can’t be one on social media either.

So – those are my top tips on saving time on social media. Let me know yours in the comments!

PS: I've added a copy of my Facebook Group Tracking Spreadsheet in the Resource Library. You can get access FREE by signing up below!

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How to use your time efficiently on social media