Let’s be honest, social media marketing can be an uphill task. It is not a quick process because it’s comprised of many time-consuming steps. Hours can fly by as you read Facebook posts and tweets.
In this article, you will find out the best productivity hacks for all aspects of a Social Media Manager’s daily activities.
A Social Media Manager’s daily tasks can be grouped into 3 main categories:
- Content: Curation, Creation, Posting and Scheduling
- Community Management: Responding, Listening, Engaging, Helping
- Growth: Measuring, Analyzing, Planning, Experimenting
Productivity Hacks For Your Content
Content curation – is actually the art of keeping up with the latest trends and using it to your advantage. The discovery of content from others means that you need to have an impressive list of sources to read at hand, not to mention the time you need to read them all.
Here’s a list of 17 little-known but amazing places where you can find quality content that your audience might not know about. And even more e-mail newsletters and content curation tools, but my favorite places to find new content to share with the community are these:
- BuzzSumo lets you find the most shared links on a particular topic. You can see the links that performed best on Google+, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and you can also filter the results by content type (articles, guest posts, videos, infographics and so on)
- Feedly – is one of the best tools to manage your RSS feeds from the sites you follow.
- Twitter Lists are an ideal way to focus on a small number of Twitter users. You can create lists around a specific topic (e.g., Strategy/Content) or a group of people (e.g., Social Media Examiner Speakers).
- Goodreads Quotes is your best choice if you want to share something different than your usual articles or tutorials. You can find the best snippets from books chosen by the community of Goodreads users.
- Inbound.org is one of the largest marketing community where you can connect, interact, comment and learn from fellow marketers. This is not only a platform where you can find trending new content but also a tool that can help you create new content based on the discussions among the Inbound members.
If you want to avoid flooding yourself with even more places to check and read, you better organize your curation sources based on content type. For example, when you want to share a meaningful quote, you know you need to check Goodreads and Pinterest, but if you wish to share the latest news on a particular topic, you’ll check Feedly or Flipboard.
Also, to save even more time, use listening tools to stay on top of the latest developments in your industry. You can use tools like Mention, Social Mention or Oscilloskope or even the good old Google Alerts, to set up alerts based on your keywords. This way you’ll always get the latest news right to your inbox.
But remember to always verify your sources. We live in a time when people don’t second guess the overabundance of news that appeals to emotional and personal beliefs. We’ve entered a “post-truth” world where instead of relying upon objective facts, people tend to believe stories and headlines that appeal to emotions, even if they are not true.
Content creation – sharing other people’s content, while efficient, it’s not enough to make you stand out, you need to craft your own content as well. You need to create the most enticing headline for your social posts using just the right words, to design engaging images, quotes and so on.
Creating content is never easy. Even the best of writers will find it difficult at times to produce quality content without asking for help. Like the help of cleverly selected tools:
Tools for creating headlines:
- ContentIdeator headline generator – This headline generator can be used to come up with unique headline ideas based on your keywords. Unlike other similar tools, this one gives you relevant results but try using them just as a starting point for your original headlines.
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer – This tool is mostly useful for blog posts because you can analyze a certain headline or blog title from a wide array of viewpoints. But you could also use it for social media content to help you optimize your message for better click-through rate. You will get an overall score for your headline and a breakdown of the words you used: how many powerful, emotional or common words you used.
Tools for becoming a better writer:
- Grammarly – can help you find grammar and spelling mistakes. It can be very useful if English is not your first language. With the free plan, you get a pretty basic spell check, but if you upgrade to a paid account, you’ll not only get to see advanced grammar mistakes but also vocabulary enhancement suggestions.
- Hemingway App – this is a tool (available for both Mac and Windows users) that highlights common problems in your writing. All the issues found are classified into categories, and you also get suggestions on how to fix them.
Tools for creating visual content:
- Canva – allows you to create different kinds of designs for presentations, documents, social media, Facebook covers and even photo collage. Even novice marketers will have no difficulty in using Canva.
- Piktochart or infogr.am to create infographics that attract thousands of shares and backlinks. You can use templates, where you can add your own text and images.
- Thinglink is a tool that allows you to create clickable images. You can add multiple links, images or messages on a picture.
- Quickmeme, Make a meme, Meme Generator or Imgflip help you create a rather informal visual presentation. Memes are very popular these days and can be a fun addition to your content strategy.
- Nimbus Screen Screenshot browser extension it’s your best bet if you want to make more than a simple screenshot of a visible area of your screen. You can capture the visible part of a web page, a selected region, a selected scroll, the entire page, or even the whole browser window with everything below the fold.
The next step would be the posting of your content. Lucky enough, there is a handful of tools and ways to automate the posting of your social updates.
#1. You can automate your Facebook and Twitter updates using the social platforms themselves
#2. You can use cross-platforms automation tools. Here are a few suggestions:
- Buffer – enables you to schedule and automatically post your content, while also getting relevant engagement reports.
- SocialOomph – helps you plan, monitor and automatically share your social updates.
- MassPlanner – social media scheduling, with a wide array of automation tools and content discovery.
- Hootsuite – one of the most well-known social media tools, that provides you comprehensive analytics and scheduling capabilities.
But, don’t waste too much time when deciding which social automation tool to use. Each one of them will save you a lot of time, just pick the one you’re most comfortable with.
#3. Or you can use platform-specific automation tools like Schedugramme or Latergramme for Instagram or TweetDeck for Twitter. But it’s obviously more time consuming if you plan to include more social platforms in your strategy.
Having a social media calendar can help you maintain focus and consistency throughout social platforms. You can set aside time at the beginning of the week to carefully plan your content to be posted on specific times and days, according to your overall marketing strategy. Using social management tools to automate and schedule your updates, can give you visibility over all your actions and also, can help you monitor their efficiency.
Productivity Hacks for Community Management
When all is said and done, you must remember that you are on social media. While it’s important to use automation tools, you must not automate everything. Remember the likes and followers are real people, people who are deserving of a relationship. Spare some time each day to interact with your audience.
But remember to resist the urge to stay on top of comments 24/7. It’s best to set aside specific times every day for engaging with your fans. Choose the time when they are most active.
There are rare occasions of such high importance that you need to respond immediately. Most of the time it is enough to use certain tools to follow influencers, groups or communities of engaged customers and fans or online mentions of your company.
Using social listening, for example, can do the trick. Just set up a monitoring tool of your choice to get daily e-mails with all the mentions related to your company or specific keywords. This way you’ll not miss those mentions when people forget to add a twitter handle.
Set aside an hour each day to
- handle comments to your updates
- respond to direct mentions,
- answer questions about your product
- respond to questions about your industry
- engage with influencers.
Productivity Hacks for Managing Growth
Once your updates are live, you need to track your metrics and see what content performs best. What are the engagement rates or click rates compared to your goals? But you can’t track all possible metrics, you need to identify the most crucial ones for your business.
With this in mind, start collecting data:
- either using the social platforms themselves: Twitter Analytics or Facebook Insights
- or using social management tools like Buffer or Hootsuite
- or even Google Analytics by adding UTM codes to your shared links and track them down into your Analytics dashboard.
Once you know which content performs best, you can recognize patterns for success:
- are your best performing updates shared at the same particular times?
- notice similarities in the wording, formatting or the voice used for your top posts
- What types of content are most engaging? Images, videos, links, questions, tests, etc.
Notice the common factors in your top performing posts and integrate them in your future updates. Then repeat the whole process.
Productivity Hacks For The Really Busy Ones
But what if you’re super busy? You’re not only the social media manager but also the content marketer, designer, CEO and whatever else needs to be done to your product. Giving up on social media as a marketing channel would be a big mistake, especially if you’re just starting out with your business.
You just need to find a way to maximize your time on social media, at least until your company will grow enough to have a dedicated team for this.
Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1. Identify the most important social networks for your business. You can’t focus on all of them: start small with Facebook and Twitter, for example, and you’ll add other platforms later on. This, of course, depends on the type of business or product that you want to promote. If your business can be better represented with visuals, then Instagram is a good channel to start with.
Step 2. Choose a social automation tool that can help you manage your accounts in one place and schedule your content in advance. Add the RSS feed of your blog to these tools, to make sure your content is automatically shared.
Step 3. Use Feedly to manage content curation. Add your most trusted content sources to Feedly, where you can choose the most popular ones to share them with your audience. As stated above, don’t forget to thoroughly verify your sources to avoid spreading fake news or opinions you don’t agree with.
Step 4. Once a week add your curated content to the social automation tool you trust and schedule your posts to be shared at specific times throughout the week. To choose the optimal times for your posts you must first study your audience.
Step 5. Respond to the comments and engage with your readers directly in the social channels. This is a step that should not be automated and the reason I believe it’s pretty obvious. Your followers and fans will know if you are present or you just use predefined responses. You can’t fake the human touch.
A strong social media presence is a great asset for any business. But as with any other aspect of your business, social media should deliver a good ROI for your resources and time. If you waste many hours each day on social networks, you won’t be efficient. Streamline your social media activities and start seeing better results.
Over to You
What do you think about these productivity hacks? Have you tried some of these tools? Do you have any tips to add? Please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below!