How would you describe social media marketing? Fun? A chore? An essential part of promoting your business? Something you do only because you feel you should? A complete time-suck?
Maybe all of the above?
Social media can be a really effective way to promote your business. And it can be a total time-suck too.
It’s all too easy to hop onto Facebook to update your status… Then you quickly check what your friends and family are up to… Then, before you know it, you’ve spent half the morning watching funny cat videos. Even if you’re not a cat-person. Oops!
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
With the right tools you can simplify and automate parts of your social media marketing. You can save time and still promote your business.
Here are my favourite time-saving tools for social media marketing:
Any links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links, which means if you buy through them I might get a small commission (that will probably be spent on pretty fonts). This is at no extra cost to you and I only share products and services that I use and love.
Hootsuite* is hands-down my favourite tool for managing social media.
You connect the app to your social media accounts, load up your queue with posts, then the app takes care of posting them for you. So you can get on with other work. Or even go on holiday and your profiles are still active while you’re gone.
With the free account you can connect up to 3 social media profiles, which should be plenty to get you started. And it connects with all sorts of social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
You can schedule your posts manually by choosing the date and time they’ll be sent out. Or you can let Hootsuite choose the best times for you by using the auto-schedule feature.
You might also like: Can’t keep up? 5 ways to simplify social media
Tailwind* is another app for scheduling posts; this time for Pinterest.
It’s good to post to Pinterest multiple times per day to have an active account. But to do that manually would take way too long. Which is where Tailwind comes in.
You set up a schedule for posting – and the app can suggest the best times for you. Then, just like with Hootsuite, you load up your queue and the app keeps your account nicely busy.
You can join Tailwind Tribes too. A tribe is a group of users who share each other’s content, usually just on one theme, like Blogging or Entrepreneurship. This, combines with Pinterest Group Board, can really help you reach more people with your content.
3. Social Jukebox
What these two apps both need from you is a steady stream of new content. Social Jukebox* on the other hand, can be used more in a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ way.
You create ‘jukeboxes’ of content – basically a collection of tweets – that are then posted out on a cycle. Which is great for promoting your evergreen content and products.
And used in conjunction with fresh content from your Hootsuite queue, this means your Twitter account will always be active, even on days you don’t have time to live tweet at all.
Social Jukebox connects with other accounts too, like Facebook, so you can use the same strategy to promote your content there.
Now, you know I love Photoshop and I can usually whip up some graphics pretty quickly. But sometimes the sheer number of tools and editing options on offer means I can get distracted playing about, trying things out, or just being indecisive.
Canva is the solution for that. With fewer editing tools, there’s less scope for getting distracted or for procrastination. You can create graphics in super-quick time.
Social media posts do tend to get more interaction and better results when they have an image. So I’ll often use Canva rather than Photoshop if I need a graphic for a post or tweet in a hurry.
Or I’ll use it if I’m creating social media graphics for a client, as I can share the file with them and they can use it as a template for more graphics later, without needing to buy Photoshop and spend ages learning to use it. ‘Cos let’s face it, very few of them would be tempted by that scenario!
Even if you’re not feeling very creative, you can still use Canva to save time in creating graphics. They have loads of templates you can adapt to whip up some quick images. Check out this post for a tutorial on using Canva.
Automate, but automate selectively
Most of these tools let you automate your marketing, and that’s one of the best and easiest ways to save time. But not all of your social media marketing should be automated.
Social media is meant to be social. If the whole thing is automated, the social aspect is gone. So it’s best to use automation selectively, like to make sure your posts go out at the right time/s of day, or to post when you’re too busy with other work.
I like to automate most of the self-promotional stuff. Then the times I’m on social media live can be spent on the social stuff, like replying to comments and interacting with other people.
A business-owner’s life is a busy one, jam-packed with sales, admin, actually serving clients, and loads more. But with these tools you can automate and save time on parts of your social media marketing, leaving you more time for other things.
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