Social media plays a big role in our lives. It creates a safe place to bond with our tribe and create meaningful relationships. If we are smart about it, these relationships grow into massive opportunities.
Avoiding social media would be the same as living under a rock. If you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, or a business owner you know that there is no choice but to participate.
Keeping up with social media productivity is costly, time-wise.
We find ourselves cornered, trying to decide what is more important: To kill time on social media, or actually work on our business? We all have only 24 hours a day, so we need to choose wisely.
Here are the top 5 tips that will help you succeed on social media, without wasting all your time:
1. Choose your platforms
Instead of trying to keep up with 6 different platforms, choose the 2 that will make an actual difference for your business. The biggest mistake we make is trying to cover all bases, reaching out to different types of audiences all at once.
Priority is key here – define who are the people you want to connect with. Potential clients? Future fans? Or maybe market leaders?
Whoever they are, they have a preference when it comes to social media. Much like yourself, they don’t have time to be everywhere all at once. The sooner you find out where they are, the easier it’ll be to zero in on the right platforms and start seeing results.
2. Create valuable content
You now know who you’re targeting and the platform you’ll be using. The next thing on your list is to decide what type of content you’ll be sharing.
Content creation is the hardest part in social media success. We’re so accustomed to using social media as our personal billboard, that we forget to provide value to our audience.
Imagine what your feed would look like, if people on it provided real value. No more notifying you of every blog post they published and every podcast episode they released. Instead, what if they shared content that actually solved your problems? Served your needs? Fulfilled your goals? What if you were their main focus?
Sounds like fiction, right?
Truth is, this is what great social media is all about: providing value time after time after time.
You want to build yourself as the person who always has something helpful to share. Your profile needs to be worthy of following. Your content needs to hit the sweet spot for that to happen.
Your sweet spot is found between what your audience needs, what you stand for, and what the platform you’re using allows.
Simply put, you need to fulfill a need your audience has, by delivering content from your area of expertise, in a format natural to the platform you’re using.
Finding the natural format for each platform is a bit out of the scope for this post. If you’re interested in learning more about it, I strongly recommend reading Gary Vaynerchu’s “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World”.
3. Set time for content creation
Content creation is the biggest bane of all. Much like dirty dishes, no matter how often you do it, it keeps piling up. If you’re not yet ready to buy a dishwasher (aka outsource parts of your content creation), the best thing you can do is streamline the process.
Schedule appointments with yourself to create content. Be it once a week, twice a month or even daily – an appointment on your calendar makes it harder to procrastinate.
Having a pre-set schedule for content creation will allow you to have an editorial calendar, which will bring your consistency to a whole new level. After all, when it comes to social media consistency is the magic word.
Make sure to schedule these sessions on the same days and time every week. This will create a routine and allow you to shorten the time it takes your brain to get into full-on working mode.
4. Task batching
Aside from content creation, if you truly want to kill it on social media, you need to be doing a few more things: Content curation, scheduling posts, engaging with audience to name a few.
Batching tasks together means taking all your content creation and doing it in one sitting, preferably a week or two ahead. Then, repeat it for content curation. Then scheduling, and so on for each type of task you have in your social-media to do list.
Batching tasks together for each type of task helps you stay on top of your game and ahead of schedule, not to mention saves heaps of time. By batching tasks you allow yourself to work on similar tasks without losing focus. This minimizes the effort and time you waste on switching gears between different types of tasks.
5. Sprinkle your day with social media
You found your audience. You did the hard work of creating valuable content for them and scheduled it to make sure you’re visible in their feed.
Now it’s time to reap the fruits of your labor and build those meaningful relationships you’ve been after all along.
Let’s talk a bit about engagement.
Engagement is a bottomless pit, and it will suck all your time, if you allow it to. Replying, re-tweeting, re-sharing, liking, following and so on until it’s way too late to get some real work done.
Don’t worry – you can easily outsmart it.
Instead of setting aside time for engagement, use fragments of time that are currently wasted:
Reply to tweets while listening to a podcast.
Check your Instagram feed while walking the dog.
Reply to direct messages while doing the dishes.