Whether we like it or not, participation in social media is necessary when running a business these days.
If you run a small business and create your own web content and social media marketing, staying on top of all social media platforms and online marketing can be a huge challenge. As professional organizers, our goal is always to bring quality content in the form of tips, strategies and organizing advice to our clients and followers. But there can be challenges to that, even for super organized people!
By nature, social media is jam-packed with information – images, quotes, statistics and articles abound. Staying focused and organized while using social media to promote your business can be difficult, and inability to focus can turn an already time-consuming task into a never-ending marathon.
We’ve heard this complaint frequently in recent months, so we created the following list of easy organizing solutions that will help you stay on task while using and leveraging social media for your business. We hope it’s helpful!
These tips are focused on staying productive while posting to social media. Not an easy task, with so many cute puppies and kittens lying in wait to distract you!
Time Blocking. Time Blocking is a great way to get and stay focused, no matter what task you are trying to complete. To learn more about time blocking and how it can help you stay on task and stay organized, check out our newsletter article on the topic.
Turn off email notifications and silence your phone. Since posting to social media is distracting in itself, limit extra noise by turning off all rings, alarms, and sounds before you start. Visual notifications are distracting too, so be sure to turn off your desktop and phone alerts while you’re at it (or just put your phone away).
Close ALL windows except the one you’re working on – including email! It took me a while to figure out this simple rule. While it’s tempting to have all social media channels open at once, I find that it’s much easier to focus when you are not flipping back and forth between them. The only open window should be the one you are working on.
Time yourself to see how long you are spending on each channel. Try to beat your time each day! Budget the preferred length of time you’d like to spend on social media and then stick to the budget. I use a cube timer for this.
Repurpose old content with a new twist. Reviewing your old content and pulling out blog entries, photos and tidbits from the past is a fun way to reuse content and save you time. Keep the information fresh by framing these posts in a new light.
An additional challenge when posting to social media is staying organized. These tips help me to keep everything I need at my fingertips.
Create a list of keywords and hashtags to have near you. When creating web content, it’s important to remain searchable and visible. Keeping a list of hashtags and keywords which relate to your business that you can reuse over and over will speed up your posting creation time, and serve to inspire you when writing a new post. If you are posting to Instagram (mobile only), store hashtags on a notes app on your phone. You are allowed a total of 30 hashtags on Instagram, so leverage them!
Rule of Three: set a goal of two likes / comments / or shares + 1 personal post in one sitting (or whatever goal of interaction you deem appropriate for your business). Focus on ticking the boxes and then moving on to the next platform. Keeping to this goal helps you to stay on track and not get distracted, plus you are staying consistent with your posting frequency, which your audience will come to expect. I recommend having your formula written out and nearby so that you become really adept at crossing these off.
Delete people you follow who are not adding value to your feed and / or distracting you. This is especially true on Pinterest and Facebook. If following “Babies do the Cutest Things” is distracting you from your task, give them an unfollow (I promise they won’t be mad about it). This helps your organization too: by decluttering your feed, you are more likely to find on-brand posts to engage with.
Consider using a service like Hootsuite, Stacker or Sprout Social, which allow you to schedule posts over multiple channels at once. Facebook also has an native scheduler that lets you schedule posts and see analytics all at the same time.
Don’t be paralyzed by perfection. It’s easy to spend more time than necessary conjuring up the perfect post or searching for ideal content to engage with. But the people who follow you already know, like and trust you (or they wouldn’t have followed you in the first place!) Don’t be afraid to try something new or share something vulnerable or imperfect. Just make sure what you’re posting or engaging with represents your brand.
When choosing what platforms to use, stick to the ones that you find easy and fun to work in. This will increase the likelihood that you will keep posting and remain consistently in front of your followers. If you can’t stand Twitter – don’t do it! If Instagram is your jam, focus on that and excel at it.
Social media marketing is actually very much like any other project you might take on. The solution is to tackle it in with thoughtful organization! Then it will become manageable and maybe even fun. For more tips on creating flow in the office, check out our blog posts on Lean 5S for the office.