It doesn't matter how you slice it, social media is an awesome marketing tool. Who would pass up the chance to have an on-going conversation with your customers?
With all of the immeasurable benefits of social media, there are some major downfalls. For one, social media takes time. A lot of time. Some marketing insiders call it "a time suck." Social media needs care and eminence, even more than your other marketing strategies.
But, we're here to help. Here are some effective social media time management strategies that will not only free up your schedule but also save a bit of your insanity (no promises!).
1. Plan Ahead
Have you ever noticed that when you make a list of what you need to do, how much easier it is to get things done?
Planning is a precursor to success with social media. As an online marketer, you don't have the kind of time an average Twitter user has to sit around and compose witty Tweets.
Take the time to plot out your social media moves for the next three months including what sort of promotions you're going to run (check your online metrics and sales team for pointers) and what sort of content you're going to highlight. Sure, you can't predict the unpredictable – an unexpected sale or a hot news topic – but you can plan for the rest.
2. Use Apps… but in Moderation
If you have a problem, don't worry, there's an app for that!
Every social media platform has its own slew of applications that help you manage your time, and there are some exceptional apps that actually work together (Tweets posting to Facebook, for example).
You'll be able to put your planning and schedule in place. You'll be able to stay relevant.
However, don't overly rely on applications to do your job for you. The whole point of social media is to connect in real-time with your customers, and sometimes, apps can't replicate you sitting at your desk and responding.
Use apps sparingly!
3. Be Realistic with Your Time
Social media is a time-suck. It lures you in and keeps you there until you realize that you've wasted nearly 8 hours Tweeting, posting and liking your time away.
So, here's a thought: unplug. Sign-off. Ignore your email notifications alerting you to comments and ReTweets. We promise you, nothing bad is going to happen whilst you're away. Simply getting away from social media is an incredible time-saver. If you ever feel overwhelmed, under pressure or even addicted to social media, do the hard thing.
4. Outsource, if you must
There are degrees strictly in social media. Whole consultant groups eager and waiting to Tweet on your behalf.
Sometimes its good to get someone who's entirely devoted to you social media presence to do your job for you (under strict guidance, of course!). If your budget allows and if you're social media empire is exploding in popularity, then it may be time to start interviewing for an outsider.
Just like any other contractor, it is important that you interview them and look to their social media success with other companies.
What are your social media time-savers? Share with us how you juggle the demands of social media!
Want to learn more about Twitter marketing and how to go about it? Check out our Twitter marketing blog for more.