social-media-schedulingAs people are spending a lot of time on different social media websites, businesses - both big and small, are trying to leverage these platforms to attract attention and get leads that they can convert into sales. But many often make the mistake of spending hours on these platforms without any planning or preparation, which makes their effort and time bring nothing in return. If you too are thinking about using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram to create a buzz for your offerings, drive more traffic to your website and get leads which can be converted into sales, you need to work smarter, not harder.

You can use social media for a lot of things such as:

  • Discovering potential business associates
  • Educating and enticing existing as well as potential customers
  • Posting real time updates abut product launches or new offerings
  • Reposting press releases
  • Blogging about the business

If you are ready to do all these and more, here are some tactical methods that have been proven to produce twice the amount of social media benefits with only half of the effort:

Creating a schedule
With a well-planned social media calendar at hand, you can immediately cut down the extent of consistent effort that you need to put in throughout the day. Remember - the inherent advantage of social media is also its disadvantage. It’s true that social media can keep your brand message accessible to everyone, 24x7, but this requires consistent output and daily effort on your part. Therefore, you should set aside time for your social media campaigns, preferably an hour or two, to deal exclusively with various features, starting from finding interesting news and images, sharing interesting happenings of your business/niche, to  connecting with fans and followers. Using tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts can reduce your effort as you won’t need to manually publish them. This way, you can produce two or three times as many posts as you would have otherwise done.

Collection of quality content
Finding quality content that’s unique and interesting at the same time to keep your readers hooked is a key challenge of social media campaigns. This job is usually very time-consuming too, which makes it all the more difficult for busy business owners. However, you can use some tools and techniques to reduce the amount of time and effort that’s put into finding and posting interesting articles, blogs, snippets, infographics and images. For example, you can bookmark interesting content while you are browsing or save them using the Evernote button in your browser, in case you use it.

It pays to allocate a fixed time to find content on various platforms. You may schedule 5 minutes each to find articles or copying information relevant to your niche while browsing Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Again, you can set 10 minutes aside to browse Google and find news related to your services or products that are interesting things to share.

Setting about 10-15 minutes aside to visit top 5 or 10 blogs and websites in your niche to copy quotes, links to content etc can also help you collect good information.

You may even consider hiring a virtual assistant or ask an employee to do these tasks and respond to the queries, feedback and peeves of your fans and followers.

Sharing it frequently
This is the ultimate hack for less-effort/more-content. You should ideally share the content across different social media platforms more than once a week, preferably at different times of the day. There’s a logic to this simple technique. Different people will see different social media posts, depending on what time they are being posted. Sharing the same content more than once will give you three to four times more mileage than what you will get from a single post, which you share only once.

To work smarter and get more done in less time, you can use a tool like Hootsuite that allows you to post to multiple accounts with a single push of the button. For automatic posting and scheduling of content, another efficient tool to use is Buffer. Yet another smart way is to use the scheduling tools offered by Socialoomph. It has a decent monitoring platform too, which you can leverage to track keywords.

Conclusion
With these tips, tricks and hacks, you can get more done on social media with half the effort. In fact, increasing output on social media while reducing effort is simply a matter of being smart and productive. Social media can be a great way to save time and bring business your way, rather than being just another way to spend endless unproductive hours. By harnessing the reach of social media and working smartly, you can attract new customers, get quick and insightful feedback, improve customer service and even find more free time for the things that are most important in life and business.
Now that you know it all, are you ready to work smarter, not harder?