I’ve worked in social media marketing for over 10 years now, so I’ve had my fair share of being overwhelmed by digital media, simply because there is so much content out there.
I always wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing out on an event shared, or a funny meme. Most of us know that jumping on Facebook for a quick minute can quickly turn into 10 — or 60. In fact, right now the average time spent on popular social media platforms is almost an hour per day — 53 minutes for Instagram, and 58 minutes for Facebook —according to online measurement company SimilarWeb.
Don’t get caught up on having to read through all of your feeds and feeling like you have to be everywhere, because you will wear yourself out. Having your brand present on social media has become a necessity in today’s digital era, but it’s not necessary to use it at the cost of your sanity.
Here are some tips that can help you avoid social media taking over your life as a marketer:
1. Plan ahead
By spending a little bit of time upfront and getting organized, you can save so much time in the long run. Lack of planning is one of the biggest sources of stress for many marketers. Start small by creating a one-page document, writing down what your goals are for social media. Grab a desk calendar (or create a spreadsheet) and write down content that you want to create throughout the month, adding in specialized times for promotions or national days like National Wine Day.
2. Batch your work
Group similar projects together to save even more time. Plan for one big photo shoot and/or brainstorm for captions each month. This helps ensure that you’re not stuck at the last minute trying to figure out something to post because it’s been a week since your followers last heard from you.
This also helps decrease the time you spend each day on social media. By batch working your content creation, you only have to spend 15-30 minutes a day sharing new content and engaging with your community.
3. Less is more
Remember, you don’t have to be on every social network that’s out there. Pick one or two that your target audience is on or that you feel the most comfortable with and focus on those.
If you focus on a local audience and you don’t like Twitter...guess what!?! You don’t have to tweet! Just set your pinned post to say “find me on XXXX” so people know you are not using that particular social network.
4. Automation is your friend
Check-out apps like Zapier and IFTTT (if this, then that) to have your Instagram content go directly to Twitter or your Facebook page as native images. Social media schedulers like Buffer, Hootsuite or Sprout Social also help by sharing the same content across all of the platforms you use. (You can even change up the content just a bit to match the network — i.e., using hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, but not worrying about it on Facebook).
If you’re going to be on social media, keep it up and do it right, don’t do it at all, or hire someone to do it for you. When I first started as a social media manager back in 2009, there wasn’t anyone else really doing it. Now you have a lot of options.
Shana Bull is a Santa Rosa-based marketing educator and digital storyteller, working with wine, food, hospitality businesses, teaching classes on marketing, and freelance writing. Reach her with your questions about digital marketing at email@example.com, @sharayray on Instagram or at shanabull.com.
Read past Digital Marketing columns here.