One of the things that I hear people talking about all the time is that they don’t have as much free time as they would like. I hear it even more often when Facebook or Google Plus announce changes. It seems that the learning curve of new changes on top of an already full plate of social media activity is just overwhelming.
But then you come across others who will roll their eyes just like everyone else when Facebook changes yet again – but then they roll up their sleeves and find a way to deal with those changes without losing a ton of productivity in the meantime.
What’s their secret? Are they just smarter than everyone else? What separates the social media powerhouses from people who struggle to just keep up? Systems.
In most cases, people who leverage social media most effectively use systems well to streamline their online presence. And you can learn how to harness this powerful tool as well. In fact, with a small investment of time up front, you can create systems that that work specifically for you and make this part of marketing your business well much more efficient and fun.
How to Develop Social Media Systems that Work For You
Determine Which Social Media Platforms You Really Need to Be On
In so many articles about social media systems, people want to jump to a list of automation or curation tools before anything else.
I think they’re missing a step.
Discovering which social media tools will work for your marketing needs starts with understanding your needs first!
While there are a ton of articles out there on “Why You Need Twitter” (or Google Plus or Pinterest or whatever the flavor of the month is), it’s critical that you understand which platforms make the most sense for your brand. It’s equally important that you know what you can do well and don’t add too many social media platforms to your plate before you’re ready to have a strong presence there.
Repeat after me: It’s better to do 1 or 2 social platforms superbly than 4 or 5 poorly.
Different social media management tools and apps have differing strengths for each platform. So it’s critical that you understand where it makes the most sense for you to spend your time before you choose your management tools. Don’t try to make your marketing fit a particular platform or social media management app because the guru of the week said you should use it.
Evaluate the Kind and Frequency of Content Your Audience Responds to Most
Different social media management dashboards and posting tools have different strengths. Does your audience prefer fewer great posts on Facebook over Tweets throughout the day? Maybe the Facebook scheduler is all you need.
Or maybe you have an audience that really appreciates curation of quality content so they don’t have to go multiple places to stay current in their industry. In that case, tools such as Feedly, PostPlanner, or Buffer might make sense for you to use in your social media systems.
Whatever your business and audience preferences are, you’ll get the most bang for your buck when choosing management tools to fit your needs rather than making your needs fit your management tool.
Create a Routine For Your Social Media Activity
Here’s where all of your planning can make your life much, much easier. With all of this information, it’s time to create a routine.
A social media routine is nothing more than the set of steps you will perform each day (or at several times during the day).
And most importantly – you need to determine what will mean that you are “done” with your social media for that part of the day.
Will you scan your social media dashboard for @mentions for 15 minutes, 3 times a day? Will you make a fresh post and engage people on Facebook every afternoon at 2PM local?
Whatever makes sense for you and your brand – write it down and follow it. This is what separates your “fun” time on Facebook from your “business” time. Your business time needs to have purpose and a plan, otherwise you’ll never get anything else done. You also won’t get the results you want.
Are you ready to reevaluate and streamline your social media activities? I can’t wait to hear your results – leave me a comment below!