How to Get the Most Out of Your Time on Social Media
Time is something we all humans want more of. It is something we value tremendously.
But at the same time, as social media managers and marketers, we don’t want to spend less time with our job, because that would mean generating worse results.
Or would it?
Ideally, we’d love to save time using social media, but also generate better results.
What if I told you that is possible?
Social media is a real time-thief. You go to social media to share a post, and before you know it, you’ve spent 20 minutes scrolling your feed.
Daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day, up from 126 daily minutes in the previous year.
That’s quite a lot. But if you’re someone who virtually works on social media chances are, that number is even higher.
By tweaking your strategy, and becoming more effective in what it is you do on social media, you can actually drive better results for less time.
Want to learn how?
Let’s dig right in!
Answer these two questions before we start
Before we start, you need to answer these two questions:
Before you do anything else, clarify these two things:
- How much time do you want to spend on social media every day?
- What are your goals with social?
Chances are, you’re not counting social media in the number of hours you’ve spent on it. Instead, you look at the results that have been generated from it.
In other words, if you can drive great results but with less time, who wouldn’t want that?
The truth is that you can spend an endless amount of time on social media – as much as you want. But just because you spend more time doesn’t mean you’ll drive better results.
Therefore, when using social media, you need to look at what you’re actually doing.
More than likely, you are able to drive the results you are driving now – but with considerably less time, by optimising the way you spend it on social.
What’s more, there’s a difference between having goals and actively working towards them. If the actions you take on social media doesn’t take you closer to your goal with social, in one way, that means wasting your time.
Sure, you might still generate results on metrics that aren’t part of your goals, and that’s good. However, this also means that you’re taking effort and time away from working on your real goals.
How can you save time and still be able to generate better results on social media?
Choose social media platforms
The foundation for saving more time, and ultimately generating better results is by spending your time better.
An important part of this is the social platforms you’re using. Obviously, you only want to be using social media platforms where your target audience is to be found and where they are spending their time.
If you’re spending a lot of time on Pinterest, for instance, but your target audience consists of men, you’re wasting a lot of time, and you’re definitely not generating the best possible results.
Because 81% of Pinterest users are actually Females.
This means that the vast majority of people you reach will be female, in other words, people who aren’t within your target audience, and who most likely won’t be interested in your brand nor your products.
This is why it’s important to choose social media platforms carefully. You only want to use social platforms where your target audience is to be found because ultimately, this will allow you to get the best results form your efforts.
This is also the reason why advertising like TV ads, billboard ads, radio ads etc are so ineffective.
When you’re running a TV ad, essentially you have zero clues on who actually sees it. But one thing you can know, however, is that the vast majority of people you’ll reach won’t have an interest in your product or brand.
Let’s say you are promoting a new body lotion for women on television. First off, around 50% of the viewers will be male, so the advertising won’t be interesting to them. then, you’ll have the people in the target audience, the people who might potentially, sometime consider buying your product.
And remember that the price you pay for the ad is based on views – no matter who those people are.
You only want to spend time on the things that allow you to reach people who are within your target audience, or more so, use a social platform where 100% of the user base consists of people from your target audience. Obviously, this is not possible, except for if you’re running targeted ads, but the more carefully you pick your social platforms, the more people from your target audience you’ll have a shot at reaching, and the better results you’ll generate from the same efforts.
A common misconception is that the more platforms you’re active on, the better results you’ll generate, and in theory, it’s easy to see why this misconception has been born. The more platforms you’re using, the more people you can reach, and the better results you’ll be able to generate.
The only problem?
It’s not true.
The truth is that you’ll be far better off having a strong presence on a few platforms rather than generating average results on many.
Measure your efforts
This is an important part of making your social media work more efficient. Because the thing is unless you don’t know what results your social media efforts are generating, there’s a risk that you’ll continue doing them, no matter if they’re harming or helping you, or generate ”eh” results.
If you want to save time, you need to be only focusing on the things that drive the best results.
The only way you can save time and still generate amazing results, really, is to spend your time more wisely, and this means removing the things you’re doing that aren’t generating any results, and doing more of the things that are generating incredible results.
The foundation for being able to do just that is obviously measuring your efforts, and the results you’re generating. Only then will you be able to see what drives what.
On social media, there are tons of measuring tool – both built-in on the respective social platforms, but also third-party.
If you don’t measure your results, you’re essentially operating in the blind, and in doing so, you can be 100% certain that you’re not spending your time in the best possible way, and you’re definitely not generating the best results possible from your efforts.
The metrics you want to look at in first hand are the metrics you’ve set as goals.
After all, there’s a reason you set goals.
Hint: it’s not because you don’t want to achieve them, right?
Tweak and improve
The key to generating better results on social media is being hungry and always looking to improve. By constantly tweaking your strategy and improving, you can be sure that you’re getting the most out of your efforts – at least based on the preconditions that you have.
The biggest trap and mistake you can do is settle once you’ve got your strategy in place. Always, always, always streamline your strategy.
The truth is, you are able to do a ton of things that you don’t know. All it takes is a little practice.
For example, you might not be able to write 1000 word blog post in an hour today, but with practice, of course!
The same goes for your social media efforts.
It’s not only the things you do that can be streamlined but how you do them.
For example, how long does it take for you to respond to mentions? If it takes 2 minutes now, you can practice yourself to be able to respond to them in 1!
That way, you’ll be able to respond to more in a shorter period of time, and that’s what time-efficiency is all about, right? Not getting more time, but more so, doing more with the time you have.
Set specific time periods for your task
This is not only effective for social media, but it is tremendously effective in becoming more efficient in life.
If you don’t have a time limit and a deadline where something needs to be done, there’s a risk that you’ll procrastinate and push the task in front of you. But that won’t make you more efficient or help you generate better results, will it?
Procrastination is the thief of time.
It really is! And by giving yourself deadlines, you make yourself more efficient in the things you do.
The big problem with social media is that you can be using it and then find yourself having spent a lot of time on doing things that didn’t help you one bit in reaching success or generating better results.
When you have a deadline, you get discipline, because you know what needs to get done, so you do it.
The more organized you are in your tasks, by scheduling specific tasks during dedicated time periods of the workday, you’ll be able to get more done in a shorter period of time.
Having a calendar where you write down everything that needs to get down and when, and how much time you’re going to allocate for that task allows you to be more efficient and get your tasks done quicker.
Consistency really is the key to success.
It doesn’t matter what you do.
When you are consistent, you’re creating a habit of doing something.
And the thing is, success isn’t reached by doing something one, two, or three times.
Just listen to Andy Frisella:
Success with whatever you do is putting one foot in front of the other and constantly progressing.
When you establish a daily routine and build the mindset that you’re striving for perfection in your daily tasks, and as a result, you’ll improve your performance.
It’s not about making huge tasks in one go. As long as you put one foot in front of the other, you’re progressing, and that’s what matters.
In terms of time, consistency can help you save a ton of it.
When you have a habit of doing something, the work you do will come more naturally, and as a result of the habit you’ve created, you’ll be able to do it quicker, and more effectively.
You won’t generate any results after one day on social media. Anything worth having demands consistent action and execution, and if you don’t have that discipline, you’ll struggle, and you’ll end up procrastinating things. In order to generate better results while saving time on social media, you need to be aware of the fact that great things do take time, but that you’ll eventually get there by consistently swinging the axe.
Use your time wisely with mobile
Every now and then, I hear people complaining about how they don’t have enough time, and honestly, that’s what most of us say.
But the catch is that these people are social media managers or marketers that do a lot of work on their smartphones, but when I ask them about what they’re doing during their downtime, for example when waiting in line, commuting, or in any other way have time where they re just waiting, many of them say that they don’t do much, or just scroll their social media feed.
In other words, nothing productive.
If you start seeing your downtime as an opportunity for you to progress, rather than the time where you can entertain yourself, or time that you just need to wait to pass, you’ll become more effective during the day, because you’re taking the time where you didn’t do anything either way.
It’s not about the fact that you are spending less time on social media, but it’s about using time during the day when you’re not doing anything better anyway and using that time to progress. Because when you do, you can spend your other time on things that are more important.
Back in the days, the only way to work was to stand in the factory and do physically hard work. But now, a lot has changed, and the fact that we can do work on the little rectangular thing called the phone is just incredible.
It allows you to do something productive even though you aren’t at your desk or in the office. Therefore, use it!
Focus on quality content
I really cannot express how important content is on social media.
It is the foundation to any success on social, it is your value proposition, and it is with your value proposition that going to reach new people and impact them.
If you don’t have content, you have nothing.
Or more correctly, if you don’t have high-quality, appealing, and unique content, you have nothing.
If there’s one thing you’re going to focus on social media that will have a huge impact on your results and presence, it is the content you create and distribute.
But how can this help you generate better results while also saving time?
Through a common misconception that can be solved.
The misconception is this:
What does this mean?
Well, if you look at infographics and articles about how many posts you should share on each social media platform, they’ll say, for example, this:
Now, if you’re going to follow the recommendations of these, it’s important to take the numbers with a pinch of salt, because what has the biggest effect on how many posts you ”should” share your audience.
Now here’s where it gets interesting:
The thing is, as you saw in the quote above, the number of posts you share is binary. What truly matters is the quality of the content you share.
In the graph, you can see that the recommended number of posts is 15 on Twitter, for a day. For the sake of easy math, let’s say you are awake 15 hours of the day. That would mean that you are going to post once every hour. This also means that you need to be working like crazy to come up with, and create the content you’re going to share.
This goes for all social media platforms, but of course, the post count differs.
But when you’re stress-creating content, chances are, you’ll sacrifice quantity for quality, while, the reality is that quality is what truly matters.
Looking at the ”recommended” number of posts on each respective platform can quickly turn us into madmen because it’s just not possible if you’re going to manage all parts alone:
From ideas to content creation, to posting. There just isn’t enough time in the day.
But the good news is that you can save time by posting less! While, of course, generating better results.
In the saturated landscape of social media, cutting through the noise is difficult. It is not impossible, but it is more difficult than ever. This means that your mediocre posts that you’ve created in a rush simply won’t cut it.
Instead, focus on creating fewer posts, but let the ones you share be of the highest quality.
When you start thinking about social media content in terms of quality instead of quantity, that’s when you’ll start generating better results, but also get more time for other things, as you’re not working like crazy to bash out mediocre piece of content after mediocre piece of content.
Create a social media strategy
Having a social media strategy is extremely helpful in your social media work.
I often refer a social media strategy as a blueprint.
Without one, you are able to build a house, but it will take a lot longer time, and the outcome won’t be as great.
Your social media strategy is your map for where you are going, and which road you are going to take to get there.
obviously, it’s a lot easier getting somewhere you’ve never been with a map than without, right?
Having a social media strategy will save you a ton of time, and you’re really missing out if you don’t have one in place. Not only will it allow you to focus on getting closer to your objectives that are clearly defined in your strategy, but it will also allow you to look back and see if what you are doing is actually help you come closer to your goal, ensuring that you aren’t wasting your effort and time on something that doesn’t benefit you.
I spoke about how quality content is far more valuable and important than quantity content, but just because you’re creating and posting fewer pieces of content doesn’t mean that you won’t have to invest time in the creation.
In fact, creating high-quality content usually takes longer time and more planning. The only difference is that it will generate a lot better results.
The thing is, you’ve spent a lot of time and effort into creating your content, and then you share it, and then what?
You mean that that piece of content is finished? Has no marketing power left?
Content creation takes time, and you want to try and squeeze out every marketing drop that is left in the content you create because doing so will save you a lot of time, while at the same time, you’re generating great results.
There are tons of ways you can repurpose content to get it to work for you a second or even third time, but when repurposing content, you need to be careful so it doesn’t come off as receptive and boring. Because if it does, there’s a risk that you’ll lose followers.
Don’t just post the same piece of content with the exact same caption, but instead, try to mix it up and blow new life in it, so in your audience’s eyes, it looks like a completely new piece of content.
To learn how you can repurpose your content and cram the last drops of marketing juice from them, read How To Effortlessly Repurpose Your Content on Social Media.
Planning is crucial for being more time efficient and getting more things done.
Have you noticed how you’ve become more productive when having a list of what needs to be done?
That’s because it becomes so much more concrete, instead of just trying to have the things that need to be done in your head, because chances are, you’ll forget things.
Just like being consistent prevents you from procrastinating, so does planning ahead. By creating a list of the things that need to be done short-term, as well as the things that need to be done long-term, you’ll get a better view of what you have on your plate, and you can start developing a strategy for how you’re going to tackle it.
To maximise productivity on social media, I strongly recommend listening to this podcast episode by Andy Frisella.
The things spoken about int he podcast can be applied to all things in life, but for social media as well.
What you do is write down 5 things a day that needs to get done on social media, and when you’ve done them, you cross the list. Doing so will allow you to become more disciplined, but also, as talked about earlier, be able to make it into a habit, as well as make the things that need to get down quicker and more effectively.
Get help from someone
This is probably the most obvious, yet possibly most effective solution for saving time and getting more things done.
By hiring someone, you get people do the things that need to get done, for you, so you’ll save time. At the same time, you can do other things that help you generate better results, so what happens is that two people work on the same goal at the same time, thus allowing you to progress twice as fast.
The biggest problem is if you’re trying to juggle social media when you are super busy and really don’t have time to manage it. What will happen then is that you’ll spend a little time there and a little time here, and you won’t be generating any results worth while.
if you don’t have the time to manage social media properly, you’re better off hiring someone who does, and then working with your social media when you have the time to do so. That way, you ensure a strong social media presence, as well as help, improve the results when you can.
What’s more, if you hire someone, chances are they’ll be experiencing in social media and know what they are doing.
The result? You’ll save time, and you’ll generate better results.
Take advantage of tools
There are tons and tons of tools out there that you can use to both save time and generate better results so use them!
There are literally tools for all aspects of the social media marketing journey. Just identify what you would need help with, and then google that plus the term ”tool” after.
Chances are, you’ll find a great tool that does what you are looking for.
For example, if you’re looking for a content scheduler, Google for ”content schedule tool”.
This is what you’ll find:
There’s a whole list, so just dig in!
Now, just choose the one you think is the best.
Schedule your content
Continuing on the post scheduler path, using a tool to schedule your content is something I highly recommend.
It is something I especially recommend if you’re managing several social media pages at once.
Obviously, trying to juggle multiple social media accounts on several different social media platforms can be stressful, and using a tool to schedule your content allows you to be more organized and keep better control over your posts.
If you’re a busy social media manager, you might easily have to post more than 20 posts across platforms, and as you can imagine, not the easiest task.
This is why schedule tools come in handy or even are crucial for a less stressful and more time-consuming content posting.
Many of the top social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have built-in content scheduling tools.
Instagram, however, only allows you to draft your images, which means you’ve prepared them in advance, and then when it’s time to post, you just click publish. While schedule tools make the job even easier, drafts remove all the hard work so you won’t have to stress at the very last minute.
If you want to use more advanced schedule tools, the two most popular are Buffer and Hootsuite.
These allow you to schedule posts on all your social media accounts and manage them in one place.
Social media is time consuming.
But spending less time with something doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you’ll do a worse job.
In fact, with the right strategies, you can streamline your efforts and the things you do on social media so you can ultimately generate better results on social media while spending less time with it
The best of both worlds, in other words.