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15 Ways to Save Time on Social Media Management

Blog Post Author – Kirsty
Kirsty4th March 2020

Social media seems so simple... A post only takes a few seconds, right? You snap a picture on your phone, apply a filter then share, done!

Now, we all know that’s not the case.

With a massive audience of potential customers, businesses need to plan, target and execute their social media plans with precision. This, like anything when done right, takes time.

All images need to be eye-catching, messages need to be engaging, the call to action needs to be thought-out, and you want to be original.

There’s a lot to consider. Hopefully these 15 tips will make things a little easier.

Steve Martin Thinking gif

1. Plan, plan and plan!

“Be Prepared”, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”, etc, etc.

We’ve heard these quotes so many times before, but it’s still so tempting to just dive straight into social media without a plan.

But a plan for social media content is so important for any social media manager that wants to manage their time effectively, stay ahead of trends and key dates, and get an overall view of how they expect to meet targets.

Plus, you’ll find it so much more efficient to write 30 posts in one go than posting once every day for a month.

Here’s how you can make your content plan go the distance.

Use a content calendar

Content Calendar

How do you plan your social content?

Some people use a spreadsheet. They’ll pop in the dates and social networks, and then they’ve got a DIY content calendar.

This works fine, until you start adding images and sharing it with your boss. Then all of a sudden you have a huge file that takes an age to load and that’s - let's face it - not very nice to look at.

Example of Content Calendar Spreadsheet

When you’re planning for social media, you’ll need a very visual medium to show how different posts will look. That was at the front of our mind when we built ContentCal. We want to replace spreadsheets wherever we can!

It’s not all about how things look. Functionality is key, however, when you are planning social media, a very visual medium surely you want to see what it will look like? By using a tool like ContentCal’s social media calendar you have a beautifully visual Content Hub.

The integration with Grammarly means that typos and grammatical errors are picked up and you can rest assured that your content is correct without having to check manually.

ContentCal Grammarly Integration

Approval Workflows are managed in the app, and you can set up workflows that will automatically notify the relevant people when their approval is required. This functionality makes it easier to encourage staff to share ideas and input into the social media plan.

Approvals flow ContentCal

2. Save time by sharing industry news and articles

Not everything in your plan needs to be written from scratch.

It’s helpful to share relevant news and interesting articles that relate to your organization. It’s all about tapping the common feeling among your potential and existing customers.

By giving your own commentary on existing news articles as part of your plan, you’ll save time writing your social media content. Plus, most articles come with pre-made images, so you don’t have to design custom ones.

Example of ContentCal Post

Although this part of social media planning is a massive time-saver, everyone’s doing it. That’s why we’d recommend doing something a bit different, like speaking about the week’s news as a video or written round-up.

That way the content you post will have your own brand and brand voice attached to it, rather than just parroting what already exists!

Ultimately, this will bring so much more engagement. If you’re not putting your brand voice into every post, sure, you’ll save time in the short term, but there’s very little point in participating on social media at all.

That’s easily the biggest mistake that most businesses make.

Using facebook on laptop and phone

3. Use key dates in your social media plan

Social media days are a social media manager’s dream.

Fill in your calendar with all of the relevant social media holidays and you will already have filled a sizable chunk of your content plan.

Each month there are several days, some fun, some serious, and all of them are designed to encourage engagement or awareness.

Take some time to pre-populate your social media plan with these dates and you will be surprised how much time you save when it comes to writing your posts. Once again, preparation for the win!

To help you, we’ve put together a calendar of key dates for 2020.

2020 Key Dates and Events

4. Save time by getting everyone to produce content

Although you’re marketing a business on social media you’ll benefit from showing the informal side of your company. Are you doing an away day? Do you have an office gerbil?

We all want to like the businesses we work with, and get a feeling that we like the people within them. When a company shows a little personality, it helps build an emotional connection with potential clients and customers, who recognize that they want to be like the company.

ContentCal Team

If one of your team did a charity bike ride, completed a marathon, performed in a show, or achieved an award, ask them to share with you a photo. Hey presto! You’ve got a new post!

These types of posts are so quick to put live, and because they’re coming from everyone in the office, there will be plenty to choose from.

Posts like this are also the most likely to get lots of engagement & higher reach, because people love to celebrate others’ achievements, and you can get everyone in the office to stick a well-deserved like on the post.

Additionally, you’re providing original content that sets your business apart from the hundreds of stock images that fill customers' feeds. It is a win, win, win situation.

5. Use Customers’ Posts and Images

Customer-generated content is fantastic.

First of all, it shows similar prospects that customers like them are already using your product or service. It’s easier for anyone that’s in a similar situation and considering the use of your services to imagine being a customer.

Secondly, these images are created by the user, not a marketing professional, so are considered more trustworthy. They also lend a lot of value to any written testimonials.

ContentCal testimonial

Thirdly, this helps busy social media managers save time as they search for new and exciting posts. If the subject is clear and the post is well-written, you can simply retweet or share what they’ve put together.

Your customers will often express their gratitude on social media, so this is one of the best things you can do.

6. Read an interesting article? Clip it!

How much time do you spend browsing online?

Have you ever bumped into an article you like and thought “that would look good on my company’s social?”

That happens to us all the time, so we designed a tool called Web Clipper which allows you to clip any article and add it directly to your calendar from a simple browser extension.

You can find it on the Google Play Store. ****Web Clipper helps you feed your content plan by presenting a bank of interesting articles that you come across and that can be shared at a later date.

ContentCal Slack Integration

These are fantastic for when you find yourself struggling for content.

Alternatively, you can follow hashtags on LinkedIn, connect with industry professionals, subscribe to industry newsletters, and ask colleagues to send over anything they see to your Slack channel.

You’ll save so much time when you start channeling this type of news straight to your social calendar.

7. Use boilerplate posts that can be adapted

Many of our clients use a boilerplate that they adapt and post every time they want to get the message across.

Chances are, most of the services you promote get repetitive after a while.

That’s why you should never post the same thing twice. But, it is OK to post the same content twice, when it’s pitched in a different way.

You wouldn’t send the same email twice in a row. You need to find a new reason to get in touch.

By using a boilerplate, you can make quick changes that convey the central message in a different way each time so no one gets bored, and you can make sure that your most important content is being read in people’s busy feeds.

8. Save your hashtags

Saving hashtags is a great way to save time on social media.

We know the importance of using relevant hashtags on posts: you’ll find new audiences, become known in your niche, and interact with others on a single topic.

You’ve probably gone a step further and spent a great deal of time researching suitable hashtags for your company brand, message and persona.

Maybe you’ve coined some hashtags of your own?

ContentCal save hashtags

There will come a time when you wish that you’ve got a list of core hashtags, organized into groups, that you can use on different types of post.

You can save these as Snippets to ContentCal, and can add them to your posts as keyboard shortcuts.

If you don’t use ContentCal, you can save these in a spreadsheet or a Google Doc.

You’ll save a lot of time not having to type each hashtag out individually, and once your master list is correct, you’re guaranteed to avoid typos.

9. Save time on social media by timing yourself

Do you know how long it takes you to curate a social media post? We guarantee it takes longer than you think.

By blocking out time to do all of your social posts at the start of the week, or the end of the previous week, you’ll speed through all your social planning.

ContentCal Calendar

Once you know how long it takes, you’ll be able to spot where certain posts are taking longer than you think they should. If you’re spending more time than usual on a post, move on to the next one.

Spending too long on one post can distract you from your flow. Sometimes you just need a break to get your creative juices flowing.

It’s something we’ve been told so many times before, and it never seems like it would work at the time. But when you return to your desk, more often than not you’ll find your answer sitting there.

Sometimes we like to stop the clock and have a cup of tea.

Cup of tea Simon Pegg

10. Done well is better than perfect

We all want to create the perfect post, but that’s just not achievable.

The eye-catching photo, the catchy, stop-what-you're-doing-and-read-this headline, the ‘I just have to click now’ call to action, the perfect mix of humour, personality, knowledge, authority, and information.

Every once in a while the stars will align, and you’ll nail it.

However, more often than not, you’ll just need to post something simple and engaging. Bright imagery and some humour helps out there, but you shouldn’t be over-thinking every post you do.

By taking on the “done is better” approach, you’ll save yourself heaps of time.

Plus, by posting more you’ll build a more complete understanding of which posts work well and which posts do less well.

So feed your analytics with increasingly high quality - but not perfect - posts. Over time you’ll get closer to perfect, and you won’t get overwhelmed trying to reach for it.

ContentCal Analytics

11. Don't post unless you’ve got something to say

This will save you so much time, trust us.

We’ve all been there. You start writing the monthly plan and there's no stopping you. The words are flowing, your posts are getting great engagement, then you grind to a halt.

You try to find something great to say, but nothing comes to mind.

We think it’s important to post to social media every day, but it’s most important not to bore your audience.

Bored chandler gif

So if you suddenly find you’ve got less to say, lower your cadence of posts for a couple of weeks. Post every other day, rather than every day, until you’ve got more content.

This will help save you time, and keep you feeling sane during a particularly busy - or particularly quiet - patch.

In actual fact what you’re in danger of boring your audience. The unfollow button is never more than a click away.

If you find yourself scrabbling around for information to fill in gaps to get you to your target number of posts, you have probably run out of things to say. When the flow stops, stop. But only for a bit.

12. Schedule everything!

Scheduling your social media will save you a huge amount of time.

First of all, it helps you do your social media in batches, instead of wasting time doing it ad hoc. You’re also able to post to every channel you use at once, using tools like ContentCal, Hootsuite & Sprout Social.

We’ve put together a list of 71 social media scheduling tools, so you can find out which is right for you.

social media scheduling tools for 2020

The second benefit - and this is a big one - is that you’re able to ensure posts are sent at the optimum times for gathering engagement.

We’d recommend scheduling social media and content weekly to avoid that “oh no, I was supposed to post today” realisation at the end of another busy day of meetings.

Here’s how ContentCal and some of our competitors manage engagement:

ContentCal

ContentCal has an easy-to-use interface that the less savvy members of your team will enjoy and understand. Scheduling within the content calendar it is as easy as clicking the networks that you wish to share with.

Compared to its competitors, ContentCal is set apart from its counterparts because it integrates a Calendar View and Approval Workflows in a really simple way.

VisualCalendar

While other scheduling tools focus on - well, scheduling - in the interest of saving time on social media, an easy-to-understand calendar view is the way to go (we think).

Read more about scheduling posts from ContentCal.

ContentCal’s features include:

  • Content Calendar
  • Content Hub to share and collaborate
  • Simple Approval Workflows
  • Analytics
  • Respond
  • Integration with other business tools
  • Scheduling

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most well-known social media scheduling tools offering users an all-in-one solution for scheduling, monitoring and analysing social media.

Hootsuite makes scheduling easy. A few clicks and your post is ready to go at the optimum time to your chosen networks. Hootsuite also allows you to schedule bulk posts using a csv file, up to 350 at a time!

Hootsuite Screenshot

Hootsuite also brings a lot of other great features to the table:

  • Scheduling
  • Content curation
  • Promotion of your best performing content
  • Analytics
  • Monitoring
  • Team management
  • Security
  • Apps and Integrations

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is another all-in-one solution designed to save you time and make social media more manageable. Sprout is a great tool for Enterprise-level companies, with excellent tools for engaging followers, such as social listening.

sprout social dashboard

Other Sprout Social features include:

  • Social data insights
  • Cross-network publishing to social channels
  • Streamline social management and responses with a unified inbox
  • Analytics

CoSchedule

CoSchedule is another social media scheduler that doubles up as a project management tool for marketers. They’ve got an interesting proposition, and offer the following:

  • Content organiser
  • Work organiser
  • Social organiser
  • Asset organiser

CoSchedule screenshot

13. Bundle your tasks

If you work in social media, you don't just work in social media. You're also a:

  • Copywriter
  • Designer
  • Brand advocate
  • Trend forecaster
  • Customer champion
  • Campaign manager

A combination of these skills make crafting an amazing post a daunting task. By breaking down what needs to be done into batches you will find that you can work more efficiently.

busy cat gif

Try breaking things up into these chunks:

  • Writing
  • Image Sourcing
  • Article research
  • Scheduling
  • Answering questions

Rather than flitting between different tasks, bundling them helps your brain focus. Let’s face it, social media is a sea of distraction, and we need as much help as we can get moving everything into chunks.

Take a look at this article to find out more about the benefits of batching.

14. Use Staff Connections

Social media managers never work alone.

Effective social media marketing is all about bringing people’s experiences, thoughts and feelings together as a strong brand identity.

All staff, at all levels, should be involved in social media for your campaigns to be super-effective.

Ensure that all staff are linked as employees on LinkedIn and request that they like and comment on whichever company posts apply most to them.

Andy on LinkedIn

Request that employees like and comment on Facebook posts, retweet on Twitter and engage on Instagram. It only takes seconds for them but for you, this will save you oodles of time.

Likewise, encourage staff to share any relevant or interesting news that they may come across in their area of the business. They can add this news directly to your social media calendar!

By introducing the points discussed in this article, you’ll quickly improve your productivity and help support your business’s goals.

15. Stick to a couple of channels

Many organizations don’t understand the difference between social media networks, they just know they need to have a presence they’re. At least they’re right about that.

Too often businesses take the approach that if you throw enough out there across as many channels as possible, something will stick.

That’s kind of a plan… but is not at all productive or efficient.

Before embarking on your company’s social media journey, take a step back and figure out which social networks are going to work best for you and your business.

social channels illustration

If you already have a presence on social media, it’s time to do a social media audit. Considering your product, sector, target market and what your goals are, is imperative to choosing the correct social networks.

You may be eager to get started and feel like you are wasting time but rest assured a bit of research will save time on social media in the long run.

When starting out choose one or two networks and do it right, a precise approach will help your business grow. A great place to start your research is with your competitors, what are they doing with their social media?

Facebook

Facebook stock image

Facebook is the biggest social media network worldwide with 2.45 billion monthly active users. It stands to reason that your target audience will be amongst these.

A survey conducted in 2018 found that 57% of consumers say that social media influences their shopping choices. Of that 44% said Facebook was the most influential.

It was also reported that users visit Facebook on average 8 times per day. Social media clearly gives your company a huge chance of being seen, but Facebook’s organic post reach for company pages has been steadily declining for the past few months, so you shouldn’t just lean on Facebook.

Ads and boosted posts can save you time getting reach

To save time on social media, you should be thinking about which posts should have some spend behind them.

This is an especially time-effective way of attracting new audiences.

Nandos social media

You can promote posts directly from your Facebook Business page by boosting a post, promoting your website and driving traffic to your local business.

Boosting a post is a great place to start. These ads are relatively cheap and easy to create. You’ll more quickly get your ad in front of more prospects than if you relied on likes, comments and shares alone. You can learn more about this Facebook’s step-by-step guide.

For more comprehensive ads you can use Facebook Ads Manager. It’s worth noting that these ads take a bit more time to put together, but there is a bit of a learning curve to putting the right ad together.

Facebook Ads Manager

With ad manager you can:

  • Create ad campaigns: Using the step by step ad creation process you can choose your marketing objective, your target audience, where your ad will be shown and the format of the ad.
  • Manage multiple ads: You can edit settings like audience, budgets and placement across many ads saving time.
  • See how your ads are performing: View up to date data on how your ads are performing and create bespoke reports featuring the metrics that you are interested in.

So if you’re committed to putting some spend behind ads, and you’ve got some time to learn about how to create and manage killer ads, these tools will save you time in the long run.

You can find out more about Ads Manager here.

Gather recommendations quicker than ever

Facebook offers an easy way for customers to recommend and leave a review of the service or product they’ve received. That means you don’t have to run around chasing testimonials from clients. That saves you a bunch of time!

When you consider that they will probably be scrolling through Facebook anyway, the likelihood of a customer leaving a review is much higher than if they have to go onto a website to do it.

Twitter

Twitter has 145 million daily active users, and three-quarters of companies with an online presence use Twitter as part of their marketing strategy. But Twitter isn’t for every business.

With a younger demographic than other social networks Twitter’s audience is predominantly 18-29-year-olds. Is that an important demographic to you? If not, you might be better off on Facebook or Linkedin.

Netflix on Twitter

However, Twitter probably demands the least effort from businesses of all the social media networks.

240 characters means you can post short, sharp observations, without dedicating to a whole post. You can even split up blogs into a Twitter thread (several Tweets published as a chain) .

If you do choose to position yourself as a Twitter expert, ensure that you do it without being tone-deaf, dishonest or salesy. One poorly pitched Tweet is enough to damage your brand.

LinkedIn

Linkedin is no longer the job matching tool it once was. Now Linkedin is the single most effective tool for B2B businesses to drive sales and awareness.

Reach

With more than 575 million professionals on Linkedin, chances are your B2B customers will have a profile on the platform. So if you’re a B2B business, you’ll save the most time by focusing on Linkedin, and spending less time on Twitter and Facebook.

Linkedin users are far more receptive to thought leadership, motivational messages, and. A study shows that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, and 94% of B2B marketers use Linkedin as their chosen social network to distribute content.

Andy's Round-up on LinkedIn

Ads

LinkedIn’s ads are designed to increase exposure, such as sponsored posts and sidebar ads.

However, there are more intricate ways to reach your target audience. Sponsored InMail integrates LinkedIn’s internal messaging platform. This email-like messaging service prompts a higher than average click-through rate (CTR).

Sometimes, the quickest way to reach your B2B prospects, particularly if you don’t operate in a large market, is to message them directly.

LinkedIn advertising

Instagram:

Instagram is by far the most visual social network.

If you have a business that creates a beautiful product, you should be on Instagram. Figures show that Instagram has over 25 million business profiles, and more than 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily.

Intercom Instagram post

Adding a photo on Instagram is a quick and easy way to show people your product, or the type of lifestyle that your product promotes. That helps customers understand your brand, the people behind it, and what exactly they’ll get from your service.

If you don’t have the time, budget or resources to invest in high-quality photography and images then steer clear of Instagram.

By giving some thought to the best networks for your business and focusing your attention on one or two you will save time on social media and will achieve improved results.

Dropbox Instagram post

So, here are 15 ways you can save time doing social media

  1. Plan, plan, and plan!
  2. Save time by sharing industry news and articles
  3. Use key dates in your social media plan
  4. Save time by getting everyone producing content
  5. Use customer’s posts and images
  6. Read an interesting article? Clip it!
  7. Use boilerplate posts that can be adapted
  8. Save your hashtags
  9. Save time on social media by timing yourself
  10. Done well is better than perfect
  11. Don't post unless you’ve got something to say
  12. Schedule everything!
  13. Bundle your tasks
  14. Use Staff Connections
  15. Stick to one or two channels

Do you have any tips? Let us know your top advice via Twitter @ContentCal_io


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