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Social Media is a great way for your business or organisation to build an audience around your brand. When it’s working well social media amplifies what you are doing, keeps your followers updated and engaged, builds up your reputation through endorsements and reviews, and gets people excited about your industry and offering. It’s also a brilliant way of broadening your reach through creating content your followers will want to share.

So, even though you know social media is an essential tool, it can also be time consuming. To help you spend less time on social media and more doing the things you want to be doing, we’ve come up with a few tips:

Plan your content!

You’re going to save yourself masses of time if you plan what content you’re going to be putting out there. Get a feel for what your audience want and plan your mix of posts and topics each month, otherwise it’s all to easy to stare blankly at the computer screen unable to think about anything to say! People don’t want to hear non-stop sales posts, so make sure you mix it up in the newsfeed with a variety of content so people don’t lose interest.

Use a Scheduling Tool

Although Facebook has the capacity to schedule content, if you want to really save time, and see at a glance whether your monthly mix of posts reads well, use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite. It’s free to use for up to three accounts, after that you’ll need to pay. We also like Gain (for its visual content calendars) and Sprout Social (for its monitoring, CRM and reporting). Scheduling your content means you can spend a focussed amount of time once a month on your accounts – once you’re in the zone it’s easy to create some great content.

Be Smart with Monitoring

Monitoring and engaging is one of the biggest time saps, especially if you have multiple platforms that you need to log in and out of. Online tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are useful for having all of your accounts in one place so you can have an overview of everything that’s going on and interact where you need to. To stop yourself being distracted by notifications on your work phone/computer every 5 minutes, use a designated iPad or smart phone which is logged into all of your business accounts. Depending on your business and the frequency of audience engagement, you could then check in at a set time(s) each day to respond to messages.

Be Organised with Visuals

Social Media is meant to be visual, so encourage your staff to take photos of day to day activities, or get some professional photographs taken which can be used across your social media channels. Having a go-to folder of interesting shots will save you time when it comes to planning your content.

Analyse what’s Working Well

There’s no point spending all this time on social media if it isn’t bringing about results. Hopefully you have a social media strategy to work towards, but unless you analyse what you are doing you won’t know what is working well. If your engagements rates suggest people are interested in some posts more than others, this will help inform your plan for the following month. If your Instagram account is getting lots of likes and engagement, but your Twitter account is quiet, it might be worth switching focus. Analysing your stats will stop you putting your energies into things which may not be working and will help you to continually re-evaluate what you do.

The key to everything is planning and organisation, so with a bit of luck, you’ll soon find there’s a bit of extra time for that long weekend break in the sun you’ve been dreaming about!

We hope you found these tips useful. For help with creating a social media strategy for your business, or to get up to speed with some training, get in touch.