7 Social Media Marketing Time-Saving Hacks

1
Don't Waste Time on Social Media Marketing

social media
Don't get overwhelmed by social media marketing. Credit: caracterdesign | Getty Images

Remember when social media involved only MySpace and Twitter? Then came Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Now there’s Instegram and Snapchat. Tomorrow there will be more. What makes social media marketing challenging isn’t just the number of platforms, but also, all the tasks that are required to get results. Each platform has its own way of communicating, different graphic requirements, and varying engagement methods.

Despite how overwhelming social media can be, it’s an effective way to increase awareness of your business, build trust and rapport, and network with influencers. Here are x hacks to save time on your social media marketing tasks.

2
Have a posting plan.

Plan Strategy
Research and plan your marketing strategy. Credit: andresr | Getty Images

Haphazard, inconsistent, and unfocused social media marketing is a waste of time. Instead, develop a social media marketing plan. I took the Elite Blogging Academy course, and Ruth, the creator, has a spreadsheet using a color-coded system for scheduling popular blog posts on Pinterest group boards. It’s elaborate and impressive, and it’s only Pinterest.

While you may not want to use a color-coded spread sheet, you should have some plan on what and how often content will be posted on your social networks. Each network has a threshold tolerance for posting, so while you might have 10 to 20 tweets or pins, you might only have three Facebook page posts and one LinkedIn post. What should you include in your plan?

  • When new content will posted (for each network).
  • When old content, especially popular content, will be reposted (for each network).

3
Have a goal result.

Target Social Media
Have a target outcome in social media. Jdillontoole | Getty Images

What do you want your social media post to do? Build traffic to your site? Grow your email list? Show off your expertise? Make people laugh? Increase social media following on an alternative network (i.e promote your Facebook page on Twitter). Every item you post on social media should have a purpose and goal result. Don’t post something just because you think you have to. Posting an item that’s ignored is a waste of your time. 

4
Repost old content.

Repost Recycle Content
Recycle old content. Credit: mariusFM77 | Getty Images

One of the benefits to social media is the ability to re-share great content that has gotten lost on your site. Especially for bloggers, in which old content is pushed aside by new content, social media is a great way to bring new traffic to the old stuff.  

If you’re stuck on what to post, go through your archive and repost something old. Even better, find content that went viral and/or produced results and schedule it for resharing several times over the year. 

5
Curate content.

Viral Marketing Tips
Share other people's content. TARIK KIZILKAYA | Getty Images

There’s no rule that says you can only post your content. In fact, sharing other people’s content is one of the best ways to show you’re an expert and up-to-date with current trends in your industry, and make connections that can lead to more followers. 

6
Set a time.

Clock
Set a time for social media tasks. Credit: Westend61 | Getty Images

Social media is one of those marketing tasks that can be fun, and as a result, you can waste time watching videos and reading content when you’re supposed to be doing your own marketing. There are several tasks that need to be accomplished when marketing on social media including posting and engaging with others. Set time for each. For example, you might set 30 minutes a day to schedule social media posts, and another 30 minutes to share, comment, and engage with others on social media. You can even set 30 minutes to play on social media. What you want to avoid is distraction from marketing tasks.

While you're at it, set a timer, to insure you don't go over your allotted time.

7
Use tools to automate when possible.

Automation
Use tools to automate social media. Credit: Ryan Etter | Getty Images

Probably the biggest time saver is using social media automation tools to help you post across networks and to schedule posts in the future. What you need to be careful of is losing the personal touch by relying heavily on social media tools. I use three tools for social media automation. One is CoSchedule, a WordPress plugin, which allows me to set up social media posting at the time I’m writing and publishing the post. Not only can I sent a post out to all my social media outlets at the time the post goes live, but I can schedule more posts down the road. Further, I can add a comment or question to make the post more appealing or engaging to my followers. 

I also use HootSuite to share other content I think my market would be interested in, as well as have one place to see what’s going on in my networks. During my scheduled “engagement” time, I can use Hootsuite to read, share, and comment to tweets, Facebook profile, pages and groups, LinkedIn posts and more.  There are other tools that do this as well, such as Buffer, TweetDeck and SocialOmph.

Revive Old Post is another WordPress plugin social media tool I use to re-tweet old posts automatically. 

8
Study your results.

Data Analytics
Analytics tells you what's working and what's not. Credit: teekid | Getty Images

What networks are bringing you results? What posts are the most popular? All this data and more is available through most social networks and through Google Analytics. While you don’t want to waste hours on analyzing your data, you do want to get a sense of what’s working and why. For example, I’d have never guessed that Pinterest would be a top traffic driver to my site, and yet my site analytics tell me it is. As a result, I want to make sure I maximize Pinterest. Your data might show you social networks that aren’t producing, in which case you can make tweaks to your posts, and if that doesn’t help, drop the network all together.