I love social media, but sometimes it can be an overwhelming time suck!

You’ve got to create a ton of unique content for it, which can be time-consuming, and then once you actually go onto Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social platform to share your content, you get distracted… the next thing you know 4 hours have gone by, and the only thing you have done is scrolled through a bunch of pictures that you don’t really care about.

Has this ever happened to you?

Of course it has. It happens to all of us.

This is one thing my consulting clients always ask: 

How do I avoid getting overwhelmed by the time-stealing distraction that content creation for social media can quickly become?

Well, here is the answer...

In order to prevent this from happening, you need to systematize your social media marketing. Creating a system makes it so that it’s not overwhelming, you don’t get distracted, and it’s a huge success!

Let me share my 5-step process for systematizing your social media marketing so you can manage it more effectively.

1.) Pick 1 or 2 Platforms

Repeat after me... I DO NOT NEED TO BE EVERYWHERE.

Being on numerous social media platforms is a recipe for disaster, as you cannot effectively keep up with all of them, and more importantly, your target audience is not on all of them.

If you really know whom you’re serving and where they’re hanging out online, you don’t actually need to be everywhere.

Choose one or two platforms and commit to interacting on them regularly.

2.) Establish Your Social Media Business Goals

Do you know what you are trying to accomplish with your social media marketing?

Are you on social media to increase your revenue?

Do you use it to meet specific types of people (potential partners, connectors, the media)?

Is your main goal to increase your brand's visibility or build your list?

Getting real clarity about your goals creates a strong focus by determining what actions you need to take first and what types of content you need to share on your social media platforms.

For instance, if one of your goals is to establish relationships with specific influencers in your industry, create a list with their names on it. Then, when you’re making your social media content and engaging with others, be sure to check up on them, respond to them, and share their content.

Sharing people’s content and participating in conversations they start is an incredibly powerful icebreaker.

3.) Create Value

Social media is a channel for building relationships and trust.

The truth that many businesses find hard to understand is that social media is where sales happen, but more importantly, it’s crucial for cultivating the connections and relationships that prepare potential customers to become paying clients when the time comes.

Before you can ask people to buy from you or do business with you, you need to show your personality, give amazing value, and demonstrate your character through your non-promotional interactions, conversations, and messages.

Sharing interesting and insightful information makes you look generous, informed, and helpful.

I use a tool called Feedly to find new posts and stay up-to-date on valuable information. I devote some time every other day to go through new posts on the sites I follow.

From there, I share some of the articles right away and schedule the rest in my Buffer account. Buffer and Feedly work beautifully with one another!

Overall, it takes me just 15 minutes a day to look through the new posts and share (or schedule) the good ones.

4.) Strike Your Strategic Balance

Keep your plan of action effective and manageable by dividing your efforts into two categories: scheduled and live.

Combining scheduled content with spontaneous engagement is vital in order to have success with social media marketing. We all know that you cannot be online 24/7 adding value in real time, but with the right tools like Buffer and Feedly, you don’t need to be. You can share something valuable with your audience using scheduled content.

One word of caution though: Don’t overdo it.

You’re not a robot, and you don’t want to look like one.

Then you can also engage live. Once your content is scheduled, you can comment on people’s updates, reply to those who’ve mentioned you, reach out, check in, and share on your own time. And it’s vital that you do because all these things cultivate authentic, meaningful relationships and connections… the kind of connections you need in order to succeed.

With the right balance between scheduled content and live engagement, the good news is that you only need to set aside 10-15 minutes a day to maintain this very important element of social media interaction.

5.) Automate It!

Your scheduled content can and SHOULD be automated.

Come up with a list of updates and conversation starters and pop them into a spreadsheet. In fact, grab the planning spreadsheet we created just for this purpose.

Once you have your updates all planned out, you can schedule them in bulk using Hootsuite or Buffer and reuse them every 2-3 months.

But remember, when you are planning, variety is important to keep your audience captivated and engaged.

One way to organize your preplanned content is to create a schedule. It might look something like this:

: : Monday : :

An interesting article that would be helpful to your audience

: : Tuesday : :

Your blog post

: : Wednesday : :

Random question or quote that would inspire your followers

: : Thursday : :

Inspirational quote/joke

: : Friday : :

Brilliant tip

Of course, for visual platforms like Pinterest (and even Facebook,) you’ll make different choices, but you get the idea.

Yes, this will require some prep work, but once you’ve established your strategy, all you need to do is spend 1-2 hours every month to update your social media spreadsheet, plus 30-45 minutes to schedule your updates. (You can even delegate this to your assistant if you have one!)

Approaching social media in a proactive, intentional way is what makes it successful and less overwhelming.

You’ll still get drawn into the social element, but this system allows you to manage your time on social media platforms more effectively. And just think... the time you save can be spent on what you love most and do best—making your clients happy—or even taking a well-deserved break!

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Kristi Brown

Creativity Consultant, Sales & Marketing Strategist
/krēāˈtivədē/ /kuh n-suhl-tnt/
Noun: An energetic native Floridian with a passion for smart, authentic, imaginative, effective marketing strategies and original ideas.
Synonyms: Netflix Junkie, Cockapoo mom, crazy aunt, world traveler, foodie.
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