One of the most common issues facing marketers—particularly at smaller organizations—is finding time to do everything that’s on their plate. This is particularly true of managing social media. Most organizations have at least a Facebook and Twitter account, which in and of themselves can be particularly time consuming.
Some clients come to Evolve Communications looking for a social media strategy. They want all the big ideas and all bells and whistles, and we’re happy to work with them to develop a solid action plan. Some want to execute the strategy themselves, but they often lack the resources to properly manage them. A common part of our planning now includes resource management.
Here are a few tips and tricks we have learned through the years that can help you be more efficient in your time.
Only do what you can
There’s no need to take on more than what you can handle. You don’t necessarily have to blog (we generally recommend blogs for organizations that want to document their progress). There’s also no need to have a presence on every single social network. There are just too many to keep up with!
Instead, choose the activities that will have the most impact. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised. Too often, organizations feel they need to be doing an activity just because their competitors are doing them. Evaluate each channel independently and determine if your audience is using those channels. For each channel, develop a rational and an independent objective (inform our audiences, engage new customers, etc.).
If you’re organization has a lot of people doing a wide variety of tasks, ask them on a regular basis to update you on what they’re working on and see if there’s anything that might be interesting. You might also take a moment to briefly highlight your coworkers on what’s been happening online. This might be on a weekly basis, or less frequent; experiment with what works and see if you can find a balance between helpful and annoying.
Once you do this, it’ll be much easier to see what’s worth your time and energy—and what isn’t.
Set up your sources
Social media is a long-term effort. Therefore, it’s essential to set up the sources for where you’ll get your content in advance. Do some Google news searches for relevant topics and set up Google alerts. Set up some preliminary Twitter lists and keyword searches and save them in your Twitter client of choice (ours is Hootsuite, by the way). Set up an RSS feed reader (Feedly is our weapon of choice here) and subscribe to the RSS feeds of all the relevant websites and blogs.
Carve out the time
There’s no way around this one. If you want to seriously use social media to advance your organization’s goals, then you need to carve out the time. Even when you have many, many other things on your to do list.
How much time? We often make the following recommendation for how to make sure you get what you need out of your time spent managing social media:
Monthly Social Media Management Implementation Schedule
|4x/week||15 minutes||Post timely content from current events/newsfeeds/saved keyword searches; Engage 2 people with replies or RTs; Follow 1 new person; respond to any replies or comments;|
|1x/week||30 minutes||Schedule weekly evergreen content; Engage 5 people; Follow 3 new people; send all-staff social media update|
|2x/month||45 minutes||Review and update Twitter lists; Engage 10 people; Follow 10 new people|
|1x/month||60 minutes||Review analytics; optimize content; source new content|
It’s easy to lose focus when you’re doing social media. You go onto Facebook to post an update and you think, “I’ll just take a quick peak at what my friends are doing.” Next thing you know, you’ve been sucked into a vortex of likes, comments on other people’s statuses. It happens to the best of us.
Our recommendation here is a little old fashioned: Get an egg timer. Hold yourself to getting as much done in the 15, 30, 45 or 60 minute increments we mention above. You’ll be amazed at how much you will get done in these short bursts.
Of course, there are plenty of other things you can do to ensure that you keep your social media content fresh and your presences lively. If you need help thinking of things, we love to brainstorm. Feel free to reach out on our Facebook page or connect with us in any way you’d like.