How to Manage Your Time on Social Media
Time Management is one of the biggest concerns for businesses using social media; we hear it time and again. It’s understandable if your job role isn’t solely about social media marketing or even marketing, but includes all sorts of different tasks to keep the business going. This is especially true of the businesses we encounter here in the Highlands of Scotland.
We’re at a point now where the opportunities of being digital and social far outweigh the opportunities of not being online. As consumer behaviour is changing against the backdrop of a digitally connected world, business behaviour has to change to meet their customer’s needs, or they might become irrelevant.
Here at Tuminds, we want businesses to be successful, we want them to thrive, and we know that social media marketing is important now, and will be even more so, to the economic sustainability of businesses, not just here in the Highlands but around the globe.
And while businesses can see that there are benefits from being online and how social media plays an essential role in driving ecommerce, there is still that underlying niggle of not wanting to spend a lot of time on social media marketing.
Tuminds spends time with their clients to find appropriate time-management solutions for their social media strategy and implementation. Each business will be different, some might only need to spend 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon, others might spend upwards of 5 hours a day on social media marketing.
One of the realities of social media marketing is that the more effective time you put into this marketing tool, the more impact this will have on your business. However, this all depends on how strategic you are being with your marketing; you could spend 5 hours a day sharing posts about piano playing cats from your business page, but that’s obviously not going to create custom. It’ll certainly engage people, but not in the right way, which is why we encourage all businesses to first think about what they want to get out of social media marketing for their business.
So, back to the question at hand, how can you better manage your time on social media?
The first tip I’d offer is to get your social media plan out of your head and onto paper. But here are a couple of other tips for improving the time you spend on social media.
- Set yourself a daily checklist of what you will do on your social media platforms and times of the day you’ll do this. Include which order you’ll check each, what you will do on each (i.e. listen, curate, share, comment, post), how often you’ll do this and what you will monitor. A daily check list not only focuses the mind on what you should be doing, but it’s another great internal resource. For instance if your social media person goes on holiday, or is off ill, or leaves the business, they don’t keep all the businesses social media knowledge in their heads. A checklist can be passed onto another member of staff or given to your new recruit. I’d advise you to time yourself one day against your check list to see how long it actually takes to complete all your tasks and then ask yourself, based on the results you see from your social media marketing, is that too much time or not enough time.
- Take advantage of the free tools made available to you, especially social media management tools. There are a lot of services out there that can assist you in managing your time on social media, and one of the best tools out there is Hootsuite – a management tool that lets you pull in all your social media platforms in one place, where you can manage content, create posts, monitor conversations for all your channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress and more. Visiting each of your social media sites individually can take up a lot more time than you’d think. Having a management tool like Hootsuite, not only allows you to see all your platforms in one place, but it can also stop you from getting distracted by irrelevant content. For employers or business owners, it can be a relief for them to know that a social media management tool like Hootsuite can prevent time-wastage by employees, as they won’t be tempted to check personal profiles or follow conversations that are not relevant to the business.
- Monitor and analyse your progress and outcomes on social media. Again, this comes back to my original point about knowing what you want to use social media for and what you want it to achieve for your business. If you know that you want your social media marketing to drive ecommerce sales for instance, then you should monitor the effectiveness of your social media marketing against your ecommerce sales. If you are using Google Analytics, another free tool, to monitor your web traffic, make sure you set up a goal to monitor the conversion from social media visitors to your ecommerce platform. Having the data and intelligence to assess your social media marketing will also inform you as to whether or not you are spending too much or too little time on your social media platforms.
Really, the single best way to organise your time (or your employees’ time) and know if it is time well spent, is with a good social media strategy. Unless you know where you are going, how you are going to get there and knowing when you actually reach your destination, then it won’t really matter how much or how little time you spend on social media marketing. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, we at Tuminds quite enjoy developing social media strategies for all types of businesses.