Want results on social WITHOUT spending 24/7 tied to your device?
Sure…you want to connect with your followers & you want real relationships, but you also need time to connect with the real people in your offline world.
You can’t live your whole life on social media, switching from channel to channel in an attempt to be all the places all the time. At the same time, you also need results. You need to see your audience grow in a meaningful way.
In this article, I’m sharing 3 easy ways you can save time on social media without sacrificing results. Some tips are instructive, so watch the video above to see how you can do them for yourself.
The Designer’s Hack for Fast Graphics
When it comes to rabbit holes, design work is probably the deepest and darkest. If you’re like me, you can lose hours searching Unsplash, Pexels and paid photography sites for pictures to go with your social media posts and blog articles.
The fastest way to minimize the time is to minimize the number of images you need to find. A tip I received ages ago from a photo stylist is to take an image that has the right colors, composition and mood, and create several crops calling attention to various parts of the image. This can turn one image into 10, each different enough while all still complementing one another. To create even more variety, you can use different filters or effects (taking a color photo to black-and-white, intensifying a certain color in the image.
Flat-lay images are my favorite to use for this tactic, but elements work too (Like an extreme close-up of a flower or color splash).
If you’re a Canva user, it’s easy to make several copies of an image to crop in a unique way. You can also add frames and elements to add quotes or branding as you desire. The image below shows an example of how a single image can be cropped to draw the eye to spec
How Social Media Pros Manage Online Relationships
As someone who started managing social media professionally in 2007, I have made ALL the mistakes.
I can remember sitting down at my computer and opening Facebook to check the comments on our posts and losing hours without much to show for it. And often, I’d spend so much time responding to comments that I wouldn’t have time to cultivate relationships with other brands, potential power partners or even to identify opportunities for growth.
In talking with peers at conferences, I learned I wasn’t alone AND there was a solution. The problem I was facing was that I was letting the events happening on social media in real time control my schedule and my habits. I needed to take the control back.
To do this, I leaned on my calendar. Rather than blocking out general pockets of time for “social media,” I assigned specific tasks to each time. An average day went from looking like this…
- 6 a.m. — Facebook and Instagram
- 10 a.m. — Instagram
- 7 p.m. — Facebook and Instagram
…to looking like this…
- 6 to 6:15 a.m. — Post to Facebook, respond to comments from prior day
- 6:15 to 6:30 a.m. — Check in on 3 Facebook groups, adding value where I can
- 6:30 to 6:45 a.m. — Post to IG stories and check updates under #communitymanagement and #facebooktips
- 10 to 10:15 a.m. — Post to IG feed; post to stories
- 7 to 7:15 p.m. — Respond to comments on Facebook (page and group)
- 7:15 to 7:30 p.m. — Visit the feeds of 5 power partners to comment on their posts
You might not want a schedule like this EVERY DAY, but assigning specific tasks to a specific time each day prevents you from falling down the social media rabbit hole. It also helps you get a better understanding of the return you’re getting on your investment of time on social media. Another tool I use to help me save time is the News Feed Eradicator, a free Chrome extension that wipes the timeline clean to minimize distraction.
How to Drive Engagement on Your Terms
Engagement is everything on social media. Engagement — reactions, comments and shares — is how you know whether your content is resonating with your audience and the impact you’re making on them in their daily lives. You want engagement.
At the same time, you can’t drop everything every time you get a notification that your post has been liked, shared or that someone has left you a comment. Being reactive like that won’t get you far and will likely make you feel like social media is ruling you when you should be ruling it.
You can upset the balance of power in your favor, though, by adding thoughtful calls to action with each post.
Ask folks to comment with a specific word or phrase, such as MORE INFO or DETAILS, so you can follow up with them. In doing this, you put yourself in the driver seat. You can check through your comments once or twice a day, prioritizing the folks who commented with your special phrase. These folks have raised their hand, so to speak, for contact from you and you can reach out knowing that they want to hear from you.
When I employ this tactic, I send the commenter a private message to start the conversation and I respond to their comment, telling them to check their messages. Over direct message, I send them the info links they’ve requested while answering any questions they might have. I enjoy the two-way interaction, and I have found that members of my audience appreciate my undivided attention — attention I can give to them because I have designated time to do so.
Saving time on social media without sacrificing results is possible, and the tips above are things you can do right now. If you’re ready to make a change, let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear about your results.