Did you know it’s possible to run your business’ social media presence effectively in as little as 1 hour a week? (Or 4 hours a month??)
It’s true. I do it! (As a former social media manager, I used to be on social networks basically 24/7–yes, even while I wasn't at work–but now as business owner, my time is limited and learning to make the most of it on social is a hard lesson for me, but this really does work!)
Deliberate planning, scheduling and some amazing (free!) social media management tools make it possible. So if you’ve been avoiding using social media for your business because you’re afraid it’ll be a distraction or will take too much time to do properly, say goodbye to those excuses and hello to your new, expert social media system.
Social media in only an hour a week: the secret
You’re busy. You don’t have a dedicated social media person. This system will not only save you time and needless stress but, if you follow it consistently, it will also grow your social media following.
The secret to streamlining your social media is batch writing and scheduling your content. You can do this once a week or once a month (or some combination that works for you) but you need to set aside this block of time regularly (put it in your calendar!) to write & schedule the bulk of your tweets/posts. This habit will keep your social media time to a minimum while maintaining a consistent, effective presence.
- Weekly schedule: 25 min once a week + 5 min/day = 60 min/week
- Monthly schedule: 100 min once a month + 5 min/day = 250 min/month (~4 hours/month)
Once that’s done, all you have to do is spend about five minutes a day checking in with your social media profiles (and, as a bonus, saving any relevant content you come across–I’ll get into that more in Step #4 below.) So let’s dive into the nitty-gritty to get your system running.
Step-by-step plan to get your expert social media system up & running
Step #1: Write your posts or tweets
If you’re on the weekly schedule, block out about a half an hour each week (I enjoy doing this on Friday mornings but some people like doing it at the beginning of the week) to write a week’s worth of tweets and Facebook posts.
If you’re on the monthly schedule give yourself about an hour and half once a month to write a month’s worth of social content.
Some types of content to consider when writing social updates:
- Your offerings and services
- Other people’s work or blog posts
- Your blog posts (new & old)
- Industry-related news and information
- Free stuff you offer
- General life details
- Inspirational quotes
- Useful infographics
There are no hard and fast rules for ‘what' to post and how much of each type–it’s very individual. But remember it’s about relationships first. So experiment and see what feels best for you (and what generates the best response from your audience).
TIP: You can rephrase & reuse! Especially if you plan on posting the same content to both Twitter and Facebook for example, challenge yourself to write two slightly different posts. Also, save your social posts about your offerings and free stuff, for example. If you know you’ll want to use the posts again in the future you can easily rephrase them once they are written–and after a few months even reuse them word-for-word–saving you lots of time in the long run.
Step #2: Schedule them to magically appear over the next week or month
Once you’ve got your content ready to go, schedule a week’s (or month’s) worth of Tweets and Facebook posts using a social media management tool like Hootsuite. (If you are not familiar with Hootsuite, don’t worry! Next week I’ll be sharing a step-by-step tech tutorial to help you setup and use Hootsuite like a social media pro. Join my list to be notified as soon as it’s published. **Edited to add: Here's the Hootsuite tutorial!**)
Social media management tools let you schedule a bunch of updates to go out whenever you like in the future, saving you time and making your life easier because you don’t have to remember each day to post to your social networks. Batch writing and scheduling also makes it easier to be conscious of adding variety to your social content and to reach people in different time zones (if that’s applicable to your business).
Just like determining ‘what’ to post, deciding ‘when’ and ‘how often’ to post to the different networks is very individual but if you need a guideline to start with try scheduling at least 1 post per day on Twitter and 1-2 posts per week on Facebook. Experiment and see what works best for you and your audience.
Step #3: Engage in the conversation every day
Since social media is simply real relationships in an online venue, it is important to spend at least 5-10 minutes a day replying to comments and engaging with your followers, as well as reaching out to new people you are interested in connecting with.
This is the really fun part of the social media so if you are enjoying it, go ahead and spend more than 5 minutes! Although it is helpful to go into the social media “vortex” with time limit, so whether you know you only have 5 minutes or 30 minutes, set a timer!
Step #4: Build up a bank of shareable content
Make your life even easier by saving any relevant articles or industry-related news and information in a special bookmarks folder or Evernote notebook as you come across it. This way you’ll have an arsenal of resources to share the next time you are batch writing your social posts.
(If the content is more time-sensitive, add it to your Buffer! Buffer is a super handy social tool that automatically queues up posts as you add them, and then sends them out throughout the day, ensuring they are well spaced-out. It’s a great complement to something like Hootsuite and it’s quickly become one of my favourite social media tools. Stay tuned for a step-by-step tech tutorial on using Buffer in the next few weeks.**Edited to add: Here's the Buffer tutorial!**)
Take action now
- Block out time this week to batch write & schedule your posts. (Go put in your calendar right now!)
If you’re not already using a social media management tool like Hootsuite, go create an account and start experimenting with it. (Stay tuned next week for a tech tutorial on how to set it up and use it like a pro.)
BONUS: Schedule your social media content batch writing & scheduling time for the next two months.
I’d love to hear from you
What strategies and tools do you use to manage your social media? How much time per week do you spend on social networks for your business?
Share your tools and current social media routine (or lack thereof) in the comments below! (I read & respond to every single one.)
If you found this system useful, please share it with a fellow small business owner or solopreneur! And share it on Facebook and Twitter using the buttons right below : )