Did you know that an average user spends around 3.5 hours every day on social networking websites? People younger than 35 years of age spend even more time using social media (4.6 hours to be precise).
That’s a lot of time considering you only have 8-10 working hours in a day.
Social media is addictive, and it can easily suck hours of your time every day and hurt your productivity.
Note: Check this cool infographic on how social media addiction affects us.
Even many social media marketers, who’re supposed to use social media excessively, don’t make optimal use of it and end up wasting dozens of hours every week on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks without drawing any significant business value.
Social media is important, but so are other things in your business, and life in general.
That is why you need to develop working habits that optimize the time that you spend on social media and help you become more productive.
Thankfully, it’s not as difficult as it seems.
Here are five small changes that can help you to become a productive social media marketer.
5 Tips to Help You Become a Productive Social Media Marketer
1. Curate Content Intelligently
One of your primary jobs as a social media marketer is to share high quality and relevant content with your followers. I’m not talking about your own content.
To increase your authority and give more value to your followers, you need to share content that other influential and knowledgeable people are creating. You need to be an efficient content curator.
But it can be really hard to keep track of all the great content that keeps popping up on the internet. And trying to identify it manually can be really time consuming.
Luckily, you can now automate this whole process using a combination of smart sharing tools. Here’s how you can do it.
- Create a Feedly account and add the top blogs from your niche to it. Keep adding new blogs to Feedly whenever you find them.
- Create an account on Pocket, and integrate it with Feedly so that you can add articles to your list with one click.
- Create a Buffer account and configure your social media posting calendar.
- Use IFTTT and integrate it with Buffer, so that whenever you “Favorite” an article in Pocket, it’s automatically added to your Buffer queue and shared with your followers according to your schedule.
- Whenever you find a good story, just add it to your list and send it to Buffer.
This will take you just a few minutes to configure. But once you have all these tools integrated, and content flowing into Feedly, curating great content will become a breeze.
2. Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Your Advantage
Sometimes small things can make a big difference. Using social media keyboard shortcuts is certainly one of them.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube, all of them, have some really cool keyboard shortcuts that’ll get things done for you in seconds.
Using these shortcuts might not appear to be a big time saver, but once you develop a habit of using them in your day to day social media activities, you’ll end up saving tons of time in the long run.
For example, here’s a list of keyboard shortcuts you can use on Twitter. You can also find keyboard shortcuts for Facebook, Google+ and YouTube, in this detailed infographic.
3. Maximize Engagement by Sharing the Right Content
When you share content on social media, you want your followers to engage with it (Share, Comment, Like etc.)
For this to happen, you need to create content that people actually like sharing. Not every type of content gets shared on social media. In fact, people have different preferences for different social networks.
There has been a lot of research done on this. So you need to make sure that the content you’re sharing actually appeals to your followers.
For example, studies show that adding images to your Tweets or Facebook updates significantly increases the engagement rates. Similarly, list posts and how-to tutorials attract a lot more social media engagement, than other content types.
Note: I wrote a detailed post on this blog, a few weeks back, on how hashtags can improve the effectiveness of your social media posts – do check it out.
4. Share Content at the Right Times
Thanks to social media, people from all over the world, living in different time zones, can follow you. To make sure that all of them get to see your social media updates, you need to share stuff with them in their relevant time zones.
For this, you can simply use tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule automatic social media updates.
But that’s not all.
You also need to make sure that you publish your social updates in the optimum engagement hours. For example, some studies suggest that Tweets between 3PM – 5PM on weekdays attract more ReTweets.
Similarly, there’s a difference between engagement hours of B2B and B2C users.
So you need to make sure you time your posts perfectly to attract the highest engagement.
Note: Here’s a really useful infographic on the best times to post on social media.
5. Have a Fixed Schedule for Social Interactions
Social networks are designed for interactions, and all professional social media marketers put a lot of emphasis on interacting with their followers.
However, it’s not necessary to respond immediately to every message that you receive. In fact, if you start responding immediately, you might not find the time to do anything else.
That is why you need to have fixed hours in which you respond to the comments and messages of your social media followers.
To ensure that there’s not a lot of gap between your responses, you can divide your total interaction time into 3 or 4 small time slots.
For example, instead of dedicating one straight hour to social media interaction, you can have 4 slots of 15 minutes each spread across your working day.
Social media management doesn’t necessarily have to eat up all your productive time. If you get a little organized and start using some of the tools and techniques I’ve shared in this post, you can easily manage all your social media marketing activities in a very short time.
What productivity challenges do you face when using social media? How do you ensure that you make the best use of your time while online?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.