Blogging and social media go hand in hand, but how do you limit the time you spend while making it really work for you?
Most people will spend time on their favourite social media for fun, but when it comes to using it for blogging and showcasing your brand it makes sense to be savvy. You don’t need to be on every social media and you don’t have to to spend hours every day to get results.
What’s your strategy?
Before deciding which platforms you are going to use and what to post think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to get more people to your blog? Are you trying to build up a following on YouTube? Do you want to build your social media followers or is it about engagement? Would you like to get more paid social media work? Do you just want to communicate with friends? Every strategy requires a different approach.
What type of content do you like producing?
Different content works well on different platforms: photographs are perfect for Instagram, funny posts and memes can work well on Facebook and if you prefer just words then Twitter might be best suited to you. Video on the other hand can work well across all platforms, but if you like short, raw clips then Stories (on Instagram or Facebook) is the way forward.
Define your audience
The type of audience you want to reach will affect the platform you use and when the best time to post is. If you are targeting young professionals 9 to 5 or Saturday nights might not be the best time, parents are often awake early, but have much of their free time in the evening when children will be asleep.
Build up a queue of content
You don’t need to have a months worth of posts ready to go at anyone time, but having some in reserve will help you post regularly. It’s also helpful to plan what new content you want to produce and what you need for it (props, clothes, locations etc). If you use multiple platforms then reusing the same content with a different twist allows you to be more efficient e.g reuse photographs from blog posts or record a short video at the same time as taking photographs.
On Facebook and Twitter it’s good to share other people’s content alongside your own, but make sure they are relevant to your audience or you risk losing followers.
Create a weekly plan
Once you have decided what you want to target and when create a schedule to keep you on track. This can be as simple as saying what you will do daily and what less often.
A key to growth is engaging with others so decide, and schedule, how much time you will allow yourself to scroll through your feed, engage with others and look for new content.
If you have social media apps on your phone you can choose to be notified of various activity. Whether you want these on or not will depend on how you prefer to work. If you can go on, reply to a comment then put your phone straight down, great. If each time you go on you spend half an hour lost in the app, you probably need to turn notifications off and check activity at set times each day.
Schedule your posts
An effective way to use your time is to spend an hour scheduling some or all of your content for the week across your social media platforms. There are lots of apps which allow you to do this and many are free for the basic package. Even with scheduling you will need to log on daily to respond to comments and interact with others though.
Review your progress
Each month check your stats (followers, engagement etc) and adjust your weekly plan. Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights (accessed via your page) and Instagram Insights (if you have a business account) are all helpful for analysing your progess, but there are other programmes too.
So in summary
No one has time to do everything so do what you are comfortable with. Some people find it second nature to chat to a camera updating Stories all day, for others it feels pretty weird to walk down the road with a phone held out in front of them. Some people want their Instagram grid full of beautiful planned photographs, while others find it too much pressure. Share that quick snap if you want to, it’s your social media and it should be what you want, but a bit of planning and limiting the time you spend on social media will ensure your efforts give you more better results.
Do you find you are spending too much time on social media? What works well for you?