Whether you’re a small business owner, online merchant, or blogger, social media is a valuable tool to grow your audience. It gives you the opportunity to connect with people where they already spend their time and enables fans and customers to share your content with their own friends, family, and followers.
But you probably don’t have hours of extra time to spend on social media, and hiring a professional may not be in your budget yet. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to maximize your efforts without taking up your entire day.
1. Batch your posts
Variety is the spice of life, and that’s never more true than on social media! Mix your latest posts and product announcements with testimonials, fun pictures or videos, and related content. In general, only a few out of every ten posts should directly promote your business or products.
Instead of logging in every day and trying to come up with something to post, plan in advance to make the most of your time. Choose one day a week to create and schedule all of your social posts for the next seven days. This gives you the opportunity to mix and match different types of posts to keep things interesting for your followers.
When should you schedule posts? Some platforms, like Facebook, provide data to help identify when your audience is online and which of your posts are most successful, but you should also experiment with days and times to find what works best for you.
You can also make decisions based on what you know about your audience and your website. A post encouraging people to call your office might not make sense to share on Saturday if you’re not open. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post anything. If you run a destination business that’s only open on Friday and Saturday nights, you can still post on a Monday. While people are bored at work, remind them to start planning their next weekend adventure!
With Jetpack’s free social sharing features, you can automatically publish your latest blog posts to your social media accounts as soon as they go live. And, with a paid upgrade, you can schedule future posts.
2. Share content from related brands
Just as you appreciate the funny or interesting things your friends share, your followers like to see these same kinds of updates from you. But it can be exhausting to constantly come up with fresh, unique ideas. If you work with partners like equipment or material suppliers, share some of their posts and ask them to do the same for you. It helps you stay top-of-mind, but takes a little of the burden off of you.
You can share anyone’s post as long as it’s related to what you do. If you sell pet toys, sharing a funny animal video makes sense because your followers probably appreciate that kind of content. Posting a car racing video doesn’t (unless a dog’s driving, of course.)
Here are a few ways you can find content for social media:
- Pinterest groups. If you use Pinterest, try joining group boards or Tailwind tribes, which are made up of members that focus on the same topic — fashion, cooking, design, etc. These groups provide nearly unlimited, curated content that your followers will love!
- Google Alerts. Create alerts based on specific keywords — like your industry or brand name — and get emails with new articles and posts you can share.
- Feed readers. Choose the topics and websites you want to follow and get updates every time they publish new content. Feedly is one great option.
3. Recycle evergreen content
Only a fraction of your social media followers see your post organically (without advertising) and since social media moves so quickly, many of them won’t remember it anyway. That’s exactly why it’s okay, and even advantageous, to share a post more than once — you’ll get it in front of more people!
But you don’t necessarily have to repost the exact same thing. That great blog post you spent so much time writing? Increase the chances that your followers read it by quoting new lines or sharing fresh images.
Just make sure you leave enough time between them — at least a few weeks — and post on a different day of the week than the original so you increase your chances of reaching new people.
With Jetpack’s premium social media sharing tools, you can quickly re-share existing blog posts directly from your WordPress dashboard.
4. Gather content from followers
People are quick to recognize advertisements and shy away from things they think are fake, but more than 90% of people trust recommendations from friends and family. This makes existing fans your best secret sauce! They aren’t paid actors; they’re genuinely interested in what you have to offer and are often eager to help.
Try creating a giveaway to gather images of customers using your products or written testimonials of why they love your brand. Or, if you’re a blogger, ask your fans to share their favorite books, dog toys, or recipes.
This is a great way to gather additional content that’s also completely authentic. Of course, make sure to get permission to share your followers’ images, names, and information.
5. Encourage followers to share your posts
Here’s another reason your fans are your secret sauce: each one of them has a circle of friends and family members who don’t know about your brand yet. Many of them would love to share your content with their friends — they might just need a little nudge.
Jetpack’s free sharing tools add buttons to the bottom of your blog posts that make it easy for readers to share them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
People like to share the things they love with friends and family — make it easy for them.
6. Make lists of reusable hashtags
Hashtags get your social media posts in front of people that are interested in similar topics. Though you can use them for commentary — #LovingThisNewQuiltingStyle — they’re mainly an organizational tool. So, someone passionate about quilting might search #quilting to see all kinds of interesting posts. If you sell quilting supplies, use that hashtag to get some exposure.
For hashtags to be effective, though, they have to be phrases that people actually search. The long hashtag example used above is not something that many people will look for. It might be a fun thing to include, but won’t get you more views.
Take the time upfront to research the most effective hashtags for your brand. When you type in a hashtag on Instagram, for example, related topics and search volumes will appear. Or, use quality research tools to find even more ideas and information.
Then, create groups of related hashtags that you can quickly copy and paste each time you post on social media. For example, if you’re a lifestyle blogger, you might create a set for travel and another for outfit ideas. This makes it easy to grab and go when you’re batch scheduling posts.
7. Focus on a couple of platforms
There are dozens of social media platforms and you don’t need to have a presence on every single one. In fact, if you spread your efforts too thin, you may not be effective on any of them!
Instead, focus on a few that are most impactful for your business and spend time creating engaged, active communities.
Not sure which ones to pursue? Find out where your audience spends their time and compare social media platforms here.
8. Automate what you can
Which social media management tasks do you find yourself doing over and over again? See if there’s a way to automate them. The first place to start is with the Jetpack social media tools we’ve already mentioned.
But you can take it even a step further. IFTTT is a free tool that connects apps and devices for seamless automation. With IFTTT you can automatically do things like:
- Share content from your RSS feed to Facebook or Twitter.
- Post new YouTube videos to Facebook.
- Change your Twitter profile photo if you update your Facebook profile photo.
But the options are endless. What tasks can you automate?
9. Set time limits
Set specific time windows to respond to comments and engage with social media followers. Instead of randomly checking in, set a timer for, say, 15 minutes at the beginning and end of your work day. When the timer goes off, move on to another task. This keeps you focused on what you’re doing and prevents you from spending too much time on social media.
But, depending on your priorities, this might not be possible for everyone. If your brand needs to constantly monitor social posts, consider hiring someone who can provide simple interactions and answer basic questions.
Make the most of your time
Remember to keep things fun, be authentic, and get your fans involved! Jetpack’s social sharing tools and the strategies above can save you hours of time while still making the most of social media. Get started with Jetpack today.