If you work in social media marketing, you know just how hard it is to feel productive.
On top of all your regular tasks, you're getting a constant barrage of social media notifications. If you fall prey to the notifications, you may spend eight hours in front of a computer screen and not get anything meaningful done.
At JSL Marketing & Web Design, we work with small businesses that struggle with this exact problem. It makes sense: social media is foreign to some and complex to all. But that's exactly why we love helping folks decipher their online presence and streamline their social media strategies.
If you're managing social media profiles, don't merely spin the wheels. Find the right activities, the ones that will help you hit your goals, and pursue them. Creating forgettable content, posting irrelevant information, and liking or retweeting everything you see in your feed is time-consuming. Building a savvy, self-sustaining, and effective social media strategy requires skill, but it will pay off for your brand in the long run.
Common social media mistakes and time wasters
The most common social media time waster we see from clients is acting without a purpose.
Whether it's buying likes or followers in another country, liking every single post or Tweet in your feed, or commenting randomly, don't be active just to be active. No user is impressed by a social media account that has tens of thousands of followers from a different continent with very little engagement.
A recent study by We Are Social and Hootsuite found that only 5.2% of a branded Facebook page's followers ever see branded organic posts. Why? Because Facebook's algorithms know how to tune out irrelevant and uninteresting content. The best way to counter those algorithms and get your posts seen is to be sure your followers are a qualified audience and that your content is interesting and relevant.
Some social media teams miss the mark by going too far in the opposite direction. Focusing on a "brand-only" strategy is just as bad as having no strategy at all.
Yes, you still need to emphasize your brand and its benefits. But don't fall into the trap of posting about sales, discounts, and products 24/7. That's wasted time, as savvy social media users will most likely ignore your posts if you only promote yourself. A study by GoodFirms found that too much advertising and posting too often were top reasons brands lost followers on social media.
How to increase your social media effectiveness
Consider the following social media time-savers—the best ways to be efficient and effective when managing your brand's social channels.
Define your social media goals
Invest the time upfront to match your overarching business goals to your social media strategy. For example, if your business goal is to increase repeat checkouts from an eCommerce store, getting one or two viral posts isn't moving the needle.
Social media can get sticky if you try to use it for everything from brand awareness to revenue generation. The best way to keep your team focused is to pick one goal—based on your current business goals—and commit to it. The other wins will naturally follow.
Analyze your competitors—and yourself
One of the best ways to maximize your social media marketing efforts is to analyze your competition. What are their value propositions? What are they doing on social? What are they missing that you can do?
Of course, in order to know what gaps you can fill, you need to be clear on your own value propositions. What type of content has resonated with your audience in the past? What performs better for your KPIs? What do you need to offer to be competitive in your area and industry? What specific strategies have worked in your industry?
There's no one solution since your business needs are unique. For example, if we have a client that's looking for form submissions on their website, then written content, optimized for social media, is the best way to drive conversions. But if we have a client that uses social media for brand awareness, then branded graphics and product videography are the best solutions.
Automate little things for big results
At the end of the day, your team isn't on social media to like, comment, and share. You're on social media to help you hit your mark. One solution: use automation to cross the small, tedious things off your lengthy to-do list.
Use chatbots to reach your users. Your social media team can't possibly be in contact with everyone who lands on your Facebook page, nor should they be. Use a chatbot system to welcome users to your page and see if they have any questions.
Automate answers to common questions. If you have a brick-and-mortar location and you're constantly getting Instagram DMs about your hours, make sure your hours are clearly posted, and then take the time to set up an automatic reply.
Promote social on your other channels. With low-touch automation, you can grow your social following, whether it's a pop-up on your website's homepage, a link in your email marketing campaigns, or a specific paid social ad set.
Automate your paid social media efforts. While it does require some setup and monitoring, social media advertising lets you reach a larger audience with a lot less work. To really put some more punch to this, consider adding automated rules into your Facebook ad sets. For example, you can make sure your ad set automatically pauses with sudden drops in performance, failure to hit return-on-ad-spend benchmarks, or a lack of sales.
Create personalized automations to take care of tedious tasks. With Zapier, which we often recommend to our clients, you can send information from one app to another without lifting a finger. Whether it's tweeting new blog posts, receiving Slack notifications for new Facebook reviews, or saving every new Instagram mention to a Google Sheet, the automations will free up time for you to focus on the more creative and strategic aspects of social media. Here are 4 workflows to better manage your brand's social media for inspiration.
Shift from social media busyness to social media effectiveness with proper planning and automation. Then you can get back to building a social brand that has a real impact on your business.