As a business owner, you would be remiss to deny the power of social media as a marketing channel. Having a presence on social media not only gives your business the appearance of greater legitimacy, but it allows for open communication to happen between your brand and its customers. In other words? Social media isn’t just a customer acquisition channel. It’s also a customer service channel.
But let’s be honest: social media can be a total time-suck. You jump on Facebook to post an update about your company, and in the blink of an eye you realize that you just spent 2 hours looking at former friends’ vacation pictures and arguing with your Aunt Sally instead of working on your business. Even if you’re able to stay on task, the work of running a social media channel can take longer than you intend — maybe you get bogged down in liking and commenting to your followers on Instagram, for example, or replying to customer support DMs. And there goes time you could have spent working on other business operations.
Luckily for you, there are some tried-and-true ways that you can automate your social media processes and get some of your time back. As they say, work smarter… not longer.
1. Batch Your Social Media Posts
If you find yourself scrambling each day to come up with valuable, witty content to share on each of your social media channels, you might be suffering from a lack of planning. A little organization can go a long way when it comes to creating an interesting, vibrant social media feed! In order to save yourself the daily headache of coming up with fresh content, we recommend that you batch-craft your posts each month (or, if you prefer, once a week).
At the beginning of each month/week, block out a Sunday afternoon and create all of the social updates for all of your accounts across each platform. You can use a free online tool like Google Docs to create your list of status updates (along with any imagery you want to use) for the entire month. Planning this content in advance frees up time in your regular workday to concentrate on the business aspect of things.
2. Use a Social Media Scheduler
Now that you’ve written all your social media content for the entire month, it’s time to use a scheduler to automatically post all of those updates on your accounts. Yes! It’s true, there are services out there that allow you to upload and schedule content for days, weeks and months in advance!
Both services allow you to add your social media profiles and set up a content calendar for each account. Buffer will allow you to manage 3 social accounts on its free plan and up to 8 profiles on the Pro plan, which costs $15/mo. To use Later, you’d have to pay a little more ($19/mo.), but their Premium plan allows up to 2 profiles per social channel.
Both channels offer analytics about your social posts, but Later’s analysis is somewhat limited; it’s not available for your Facebook Page. But in addition to on-site analytics, you’ll get a “weekly report” of Instagram analysis sent straight to your email inbox. Buffer’s analytics (above) includes the number of likes, comments, clicks, share & reach each of your posts gets.
This information is very valuable when determining which type of content resonates most with your audience. We’d recommend taking a look at these analytics each month before batching your content for the following month.
3. Outsource Your Social Media
At some point in your subscription box business growth, you may feel the need to outsource your social media posting to someone else altogether. This is a great problem to have! Your business is taking off and your time is better spent working on the business instead of ‘gramming about your business. If that’s the case, a company like Main Street Hub can be helpful.
Main Street Hub is like having an entire social media team at your service. They will optimize your social media profiles, have their team of professional writers craft your social media posts and even provide you with analytics & reporting. Main Street Hub will take a look at your business practices and goals and devise a customized social media, email marketing & reputation management strategy for your business. It’s an all-in-one solution for the busy entrepreneur!
What type of social media time-saving hacks are you using? Leave us a comment below & let us know!