Building a community on social media isn’t difficult, but it can be time consuming because it requires consistency and engagement. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to managing your social media, but if you use the following tips you’ll be able to manage your time and not feel like you’re spending your entire day dealing with social media.
4 Steps to Managing Your Time on Social Media
- Develop a “No-Stress” System
- Plan Ahead
- Use Tools to Schedule Posts
- Allocate Time for Interaction
#1 Develop a “No-Stress” System
Rumor has it that Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs wore the same black turtleneck and jeans every day because he was of the belief that “less time spent on making decisions meant more brain power and time for everything else.” I encourage you to have a similar mentality when it comes to developing your social media content.
Since we are in an industry that is centered around holidays and special celebrations, it is pretty easy to come up with a system of what to post and when. For example, you can use popular hashtags such as #MotivationalMonday and #TipTuesday to serve as inspiration for the content you post on those days.
Holidays come around the same time every year. Therefore, you can easily plan promotions and posts around those days. Also, I’m sure you take pictures of your work before a customer picks up the order, right? So, designate a day that shows customer orders for the week.
I recommend that you identify a basic category or category options for each day on which you want to share content on social media and use those days to help you more easily nail down what content you will share on that day. This will help you not have to think so hard about what you will post on those days.
#2 Plan Ahead
Once you’ve created your content categories and matched them with a particular day of the week, I want you to identify images, flyers or videos that can match with those days in the upcoming week or weeks ahead.
It is ideal to hold this planning session monthly. However, if time doesn’t permit you to plan that much content in advance, you should at least try to go week by week. Also, it might be helpful to write notes in your phone’s notepad for easy copy/paste access and even save the images/videos in a separate folder on your phone to save you time.
#3 Use Tools to Schedule Posts
Most social media platforms will allow you to schedule a post or create a draft before posting. If you’re trying to manage your time, I highly recommend that you use these functions. Since you can create Facebook & Instagram posts from the Facebook Business Suite, I would definitely encourage you to use this platform to plan and schedule your posts. There are also apps like HootSuite and Later than can help with scheduling posts as well.
If you end up setting aside time to plan out posts as I mentioned in point 2, I recommend that you use these features to plan your posts as far in advance as you like and save them as drafts. Then, schedule the posts on a weekly basis. As we all know, the news and social media can change on a moment's notice, and the last thing you want is for a well meaning, pre-scheduled post to land on your business page that might also be taken as insensitive given a shift in the online climate. Therefore, make sure to be careful when pre-scheduling posts too far in advance.
#4 Allocate Time for Interaction
Don’t forget the “social” part of social media. When it comes to the Instagram algorithm, social media experts have pointed out that the first hour of a post is the most important. When it comes to increasing the chances of your post being discovered on the app, you want to focus on getting comments and responding to comments within that first hour.
The trick is to first prep your account. For about 20 or so minutes before your post hits your social media feed, you should engage with your followers within the app. This will show that you’re not a selfish user who is just on the app to get likes and not reciprocate.
To engage with your followers, you should go to their account and like or comment on their posts. You can also go into their stories or direct messages and engage with them there. Then, post your content and wait for comments. I’m not saying that you have to sit there and literally wait for comments, but I am saying that you should have your notifications turned on and be ready to respond to comments within that first hour of your post.
This magic hour is important because it is a signal to Instagram that you have content that is worth sending out to your distribution. In fact, Instagram only shares your content out to a sample amount of your followers in that first hour to test the waters. If you “pass the test” and the content is getting engagement, then it will serve the content out to a larger group. So, if nothing else, make sure that you save some time to engage with users on the app before and after you post.
These four tips have been super helpful to me when it comes to managing my time on social media. I don’t post every day. So, if I make it a point to plan ahead, then I can easily only spend an average of an hour a day on the apps for work purposes. Then, when I integrate that time spent on social media into my everyday activities like when I’m waiting on lunch or during commercial breaks in the evening, it barely feels like I’m working on social media at all.
In conclusion, if you set up a “No-Stress” (no thinking) system for identifying content and batch organize the imagery and text, you can easily integrate social media into your everyday life without it completely consuming your workday.
This post was sponsored by the Retail Bakers of America, a national association for retail bakers and industry professionals. They truly are a baker’s business partner providing education, certification, and networking that will help you build profitable businesses. Together with their members, they create industry-specific training programs that will not only help you develop as a business owner, but also as a skilled baker, decorator, and pastry professional. Visit https://retailbakersofamerica.org/ to learn more.