Do you own a small business, or work in a marketing role for a large organisation? Are you keen to manage your own social media but you can’t seem to find the time, or it all sounds like too much work? These are the things I hear from a lot of my clients, which is why I am working for them! However, if you really would like to do it yourself, here are my top tips for managing your time to create meaningful social media content.

Create a content calendar

Planning will get you a long way. Rather than jumping onto your Facebook page and posting random cat videos or things you’ve seen that you think people might be interested in on an ad hoc basis, it makes much more sense (and saves a LOT of time) to plan out your content strategy. There are loads of content calendar templates out there, or you could simply use a blank calendar template in Excel. Decide how often you want to post – once a day, three times a week, etc. – and then find content that you know will interest your audience and add it to your schedule. This means that you can go in and copy and paste the post content from your content calendar and then schedule it for whenever you want it to go live. Or use a scheduling tool (see below).

Look at the analytics

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, you can access free or paid-for analytics that will tell you which types of posts are most popular with your fans, and give you an idea of what you should be posting in the future. You can even tell what days of the week and what times of day you should be posting. It’s worthwhile grabbing all this data periodically, so you know when, where and what to post to get the most from your time in creating the content.

Don’t try to be on every platform

No one has unlimited time to spend on social media platforms, so it’s best to pick a couple that speak to your audience and focus on those. For example, if you’re a real estate agent you should be on Facebook and Instagram, but you definitely don’t need to be on Twitter. Concentrate your energies on the platforms that you get the most engagement from, and forget about the rest.

Use a scheduling tool

You can schedule posts directly on your Facebook page, listing what date and time you want them to go live. You can also use tools like Buffer, Hootsuite or Sked Social for scheduling on other social media platforms. These tools often have free options to begin with, so you don’t have to outlay any cash upfront, and after you get used to using them you won’t want to be without them so the small monthly cost is worth it. In my opinion anyway!

Set aside dedicated time

Don’t do social media while simultaneously replying to an email, listening to a podcast and buying your groceries online. It really won’t work, and you’ll end up making mistakes. You might work best by taking 30 mins every morning or afternoon to schedule and interact on social media, or you may prefer to do content scheduling once a week for several hours. However you choose to work, take the time to focus on the task at hand and get into the mind of your target audience.

Good time management is hard to get right, but by breaking your day or your week down into tasks, including social media, it becomes much more manageable.

And if you need help with your social media, feel free to get in touch.