Social media is a fantastic platform to connect, share and be inspired. It is especially useful for artists, creatives and small businesses looking to raise their profile and even sell their product or service to a potential global audience.
However, managing your social media effectively can be difficult especially when you have many other commitments to attend to during the working week.
Here are 4 time management tips to ensure you are making the most of social media so you can spend the rest of your valuable time creating new work or managing your day-to-day business operations.
1. Use the right social media platform for you
You don’t need to post on every single platform that is available online. If you are posting on 3 or 4 platforms without really engaging on any of them this won’t boost your online presence effectively. Your followers can tell if you are just posting for posting sake, and won’t feel inspired to like or comment on your content. It will also waste your time with not much return.
Take a step back and consider what your business offers, who your target audience is, and which this the right platform for you. For example, some designers, shops or artists might only use Instagram, because its layout and functionality lends itself perfectly to image led content. Likewise, if you are a writer, Twitter might be more useful because the platform can encourage more dialogues with other users.
2. Be consistent with how often you post
Yes, having a regular social media presence is vital, especially when starting out in business. You and your brand should be seen often so you can build an engaged following.
But that doesn’t mean you have to post exciting content every single hour, every day.
Choose a particular day or time that suits your schedule. It doesn’t matter if you can only post once a week during busy periods, but do make sure you are consistent in that pattern. Once a week throughout the year is better than a flurry of activity in March and then again October. Your followers will want to hear from you often, but they will quickly become less engaged if your posts aren’t regular.
If you do only use social media once a week, you might wish to engage with a weekly Twitter hour that is relevant to you and your practice so you can reach a concentrated audience at once. Here are two that you might wish to try:
#DorsetHour happens between 7:30-8:30pm every Monday night, where everyone who is based in Dorset can connect and introduce who they are and what they do.
#HandmadeHour is on Wednesdays at 7:30pm & Sundays at 8pm on Twitter, which is about bringing handmade, craft and customers together.
3. Schedule your social media posts
There are a number of different tools online to help you schedule your content so they are posted at particular times on your behalf, so you can carry on with your day-to-day activity safe in knowledge that your business is being seen online.
Here are some free platforms that are easy to use:
Hootsuite.com is a free social media management tool (up to 3 accounts) where you can monitor keywords, manage multiple platforms, schedule messages, and measure your success.
later.com is a free and very simple tool for scheduling and publishing posts on your social networks. It allows you to post up to 30 posts a month across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Postcron.com is a free and very simple tool for scheduling and publishing posts on your social networks. Free up to 6 accounts and 10 pending posts. It also allows you to add watermarks to images.
You can also schedule posts directly in Facebook.com – just choose the ‘Schedule’ option in the dropdown list where you post and you can choose any day or time that suits you and your target audience.
4. Take time to be social on social media
Don’t forget that the main purpose of social media is to be sociable!
It is important to remember there are people behind your followers, so they will always appreciate when you reply to their comments or messages in good time; it builds trust and a long-lasting connection with your brand.
Much like when you schedule in your posts about your great artwork, business or creative enterprise, make sure you assign some time to reply to messages and comments you receive.
Quality engagement over the quantity of followers always wins, so it is well worth investing a bit of time each week to ‘socialise’ with your followers.
Have we forgotten any? Add other online scheduling or time management suggestions in the comments below.
Illustration by Bridie Cheeseman