In this day and age social media marketing is a massive part of getting your business noticed. With over 2 billion active Facebook users and about 1 billion Instagram users, these platforms in particular are a great way to get your product or service in front of the masses and to grow your business. These days mediocre pictures and posts just don’t cut it. Your customers expect to see good quality images and great content, or they just won’t stick around on your page long enough to make a purchase. You’ve heard that old saying that when you meet someone their impressions of you are made in the first seven seconds right? Well, the same is true for your social media accounts. If your potential customers don’t get what they want within a few seconds of seeing your page then you lose their interest, and they’ll click off onto the next thing. As you can imagine, there is a lot of content on social media and it is easy for your content to get missed if your posts are not regular. It also messes with the algorithms if you only post on an irregular basis (don’t ask me to go into this in detail – I’m just not that techy). I have also been advised that you shouldn’t post too often either. We all know those pages that are just constantly in your news feed, and a lot of the time it just comes across as spammy. o make social media work for you, you need good content and you need to get it to your audience on a regular basis
The advice that I have received from several social media experts is that you need to be posting on your Facebook and Instagram accounts 1-3 per day to make sure your potential customers see your stuff. Consistency is key! But, when you want to make a really good effort of your social media accounts it can sometimes feel like creating all those beautiful posts is taking over your life. So, what can you do to manage this process and free up your time? Here are 5 of the top things I have learned to make the most of the time I have to manage my social media accounts.
1. Set aside a good chunk of time for taking photographs and get as many shots as you can!
Getting great social media shots can be hard work, and very time consuming. Each time you pull out all your gear, set it up and then later edit your photos takes up time. If you can allow yourself a good block of time (I’m talking around 3-4 hours) where you can take a whole load of photos and then another good chunk of time (the same again) to edit all those photos, this will ultimately save you a lot of time preparing yourself for photoshoots and also getting yourself into the process. I quite like to take enough pictures for a month worth of posts and have them sitting there all edited and ready to go. You might end of taking more spontaneous shots throughout the month to keep your news feed interesting, but at least having a good amount of photographs ready to go means that you don’t have to stress about running low on content and having to compromise your feed with some less then desirable pictures on a not so sunny day!
2. Create a block of time in your schedule for writing content and posts
Writing posts is also quite time consuming. Social media is about being social so the better the captions on your posts are the better change you have of people engaging with your content, liking your pages, and getting to know you well enough that they might eventually want to buy your product or service. You’re even more likely to engage with them if you have other great content (I’m talking e-books, blog posts, videos etc) that they can consume. I find it can take a little while for you to get into your flow when you sit down to write this stuff, so I also like to allow a good amount of time for doing this. I try and allow myself a solid ½ to full day once or twice a week to sit down and prepare this. It is really labour intensive to start with, but once you have a bunch of posts prepared, some of that content can be repurposed time and time again to create new posts.
3. Repurpose your content
Is there anything that you do that can be used again and again so you don’t have to constantly keep creating new material? I’m thinking things that you do in your business on a regular basis that you could create posts for and just reuse them each week or month…it might be that you do a Free Question Friday, or a Wacky Wednesday, maybe you do a Free Shipping day once a month, or you’re a regular attendee at the local markets. Create yourself a pretty social media post in an app like Canva, and use that same image each time you post so you don’t have to think of a new picture to post every time. You can even reuse the post text for things like this, and maybe just tweak them a little bit each time so they feel new and fresh. Another alternative would be to take a blog post like this one and break it down into smaller chunks you could use on your accounts and to post them with a new image. This makes the content feel fresh and new, but enables you to use your content again in an efficient way.
4. Make the most of free stock photos
I used to wonder how on earth other bloggers created such beautiful images for their social media pages without spending all their time behind their camera, or all their money on photographers. Then I found Unsplash. Oh wow! This was something of a game changer for my social media accounts, as it meant that I was able to obtain beautiful stock photographs that were on point for my topics and I didn’t need to spend hours trying to set up my own little photoshoots. If you haven’t heard of this site head along to unsplash.com and have a look.
5. Schedule, schedule, schedule
This is probably the biggest time saver of them all! I used to create all of my social media posts manually, and this really did make me feel like social media was taking over my life. Hopping on Facebook and Instagram every couple of hours and creating new posts is also incredibly disruptive to your day! Enter Later and Planoly. These two apps are available for free and will save you a huge amount of time by allowing you to schedule posts. Both apps allow you to post up to 30 free posts per month on your Instagram, and Later enables you to also do this for Pinterest and Facebook. Both apps can be used on your smart phone or desktop, but I find them to be more user friendly when on the desktop version. I’ll create a little video for you on how each of the apps works, but for the time being I’ll just give you a little breakdown of the process…
1. Upload the content
2. Create your posts within the app and schedule the times you want them to post (try and choose the times that your audience is most active online)
3. Preview your feed and then rearrange then posts (you can drag and drop) to make your feed look super pretty Make sure you set up the auto post function for each app too. This will mean that your posts will go live at the scheduled time without the need for you to manually post.
It’s also a great idea to set yourself up some saved hashtags and then you can just quickly add these onto your posts with one click each time you create a post (another huge time saver).
The limitation on the free accounts is that you can only do 30 posts per month, but if you use these two apps in combination and then schedule some additional posts within your Facebook account, this can easily give you your 2-3 daily posts and keep your social media pages rocking even when you are pressed for time.
If you had to ask me which app is my favourite, I’d go with Later. I love the fact that you can use the desktop version to create your posts for Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest simultaneously…that’s right, you create one single post and then it formats it for you into posts for your three different accounts!