Social media channels are great for promoting your business, but Twitter, Facebook and Google+ can also be a huge drain on your time. It is easy to feel overloaded by the sheer number of social networks, especially with new ones popping up all the time.
You can avoid social media burnout by making your campaigns more economic. Efficient campaigns have clear aims and a sharp focus. Here are six ways to make your social networking more manageable, with tools and strategies to save you time and stress.
It is tempting to join every single social network in order to draw attention to your business. But some social media channels simply won’t be appropriate for your purposes.
For example, when Pinterest first appeared, it drew massive amounts of traffic — and everyone wanted to jump on the bandwagon. But many businesses found they could not leverage their Pinterest profiles in a meaningful way. Consider whether a social network will be relevant to your company before investing a lot of time in it — no matter how popular the platform is.
The only social network which is arguably essential is Google+. If you don’t have a profile on Google+, that can really hurt your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs.) Once you’ve signed up to Google+, select the channels which seem most intuitive. If you really hate a certain social media channel, don’t use it, as that will just make you feel resentful and stressed out.
Know Your Goals
Have a clear idea of what you can use each social media channel for and why. Some social media channels will be better for networking, while others will allow you to make direct sales.
It may be valuable to talk directly to other people on some social networks, while other channels will only be useful for broadcasting your message. Remember that even if you aren’t making much effort to chat to other people on certain channels, they are social networks, so make your posts appear friendly and accessible.
When you have decided for which purposes you can use each network, set yourself some outcomes. Do you want to get more backlinks, hits or sign-ups on your website, new fans or joint venture partners? Focus your social media campaigns on achieving those specific goals.
‘Talk to’ each channel often enough, and with relevant content, to help you meet your aims. You will want to make the most of anything you do post by getting it shared. Target people who support your business and ask them politely to share or like your content.
Use Management Tools
Use social media management tools, such as Hootsuite, to put all your social media channels in one place. Hootsuite allows you to view, and post to, several social media profiles at once, making it a great timesaver. It also allows you to schedule your posts. Create a spreadsheet of pre-scheduled posts that you want to make, which you can then adjust for use again in the future.
Install a toolbar, such as AddThis, which allows you to share web pages on multiple social sharing sites, without having to log in separately to each. AddThis lets you post to social media streams — and also to digital curation sites such as Reddit and Digg.
Adjust social media settings to ensure that each channel only emails you notifications which are relevant. It isn’t necessary to receive updates from channels where you are only broadcasting, for example. Organize your circles on Google+ so that you can choose whose posts to monitor and tailor your content delivery within focused groups.
Time It Right
Timing your posts effectively can save you effort and get people more engaged. You can find the most effective time to post content by using special tools.
Tweriod will tell you which days and times people most engage with your tweets, while Timing+ reveals the most effective times for you to post on Google+.
As a general rule, people are most active on Facebook in the daytime, especially on Thursday and Friday, while Pinterest sees more traffic on evenings and weekends. To get the most engagement, use Google+ in the mornings, Twitter around lunchtime, and LinkedIn just before and after normal working hours.
To save yourself becoming totally burnt out by social media, you should limit your use of it to a certain number of hours per week. Set yourself some reasonable limits, and switch off your social media streams when you’re not supposed to be using them.
Remember why you’re using social media, and stop reading pointless posts. While some content on social media may help you learn more, or make new contacts, many of the things that people post on social media will be a waste of your time.
While it may be tempting to read some of the attention-grabbing headlines, remember that most of them will have been written to cleverly provoke you into clicking. Often the content will be pointless and unproductive. Think twice before clicking on content just to find you have wasted your time reading something which will not further your business goals.
Measure Your ROI
There is no point in spending a lot of time and energy on a network which doesn’t give you any benefits. Use tools to find out what is popular on certain social media channels and not on others, so that you don’t waste time posting irrelevant content.
Many social media channels have their own measurement tools, like Facebook Insights. Klout is a tool that will tell you, for free, what your most popular posts are across several social media channels.
Check Google Analytics to see how many social referrals you get to your website, how long these visitors stay, and what material they engage with. You can change the settings to measure when visitors click on certain links or sign up to a list.
Once you know this valuable information, you can use it to dictate where you dedicate most of your social media time — and what sort of posts work well for you. Invest your time and energy in whatever gets you the results you desire.