The Importance of Social Media Planning
Everyone will tell you that you must do social media. And they are right, you must. [Read this post I did explaining a few of the reasons why]. But for me, even more important than just ‘doing social media’ is doing proper social media planning, too.
Facebook, whilst being one of the most awesome inventions of the twenty-first century is also probably the single biggest time drain in all of history. Recent figures estimate the average Facebook user spends 21 minutes per day on the website. And I’m willing to bet every handbag I own that there are plenty of people reading this and thinking “21 minutes; is that all?!”
Yes, social media is important but if you’re not careful you’ll spend all day immersed in it – and without necessarily anything to show for it.
And of course, it’s not just Facebook. There’s Twitter, Pinterest, Intragram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Flickr and many, many, many more. There are probably a few new ones which have popped up in the time it’s taken me to write this blog.
That’s why it is crucial that you plan out your social media in advance and – take note because this is the important bit – stick to it! It’s so easy to get distracted on social media, but you must fight those urges and stay strong!
So here are a few pointers to make sure you get the most from your time invested in social media, and to try and ensure you don’t get sucked in to one of those ‘where have the last four hours of my day gone’ scenarios.
How To Make Life Easier For Yourself
- Plan in advance. As far in advance as possible. If you make a strategy and plan of what you’re going to say, when you’re going to say it and on what platform then everything becomes much easier.
- Work out in advance what it is you’re trying to achieve. If you don’t know what end result you’re aiming for is, then how are you ever going to get there?
- Use some handy time saving tools to help you along the way. Try out Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com), Buffer (www.bufferapp.com), SocialOomph (www.socialoomph.com) or one of the many other time saving applications. These will mean that you can control all your social media from one program instead of having to log in multiple times. They also allow you to post in advance meaning you can still target your audience exactly when you want to without being permanently online. The various applications also lots of other cool stuff, depending on your membership level. Have a look and see which you like. Most offer free trials.
- Build up a content database. I like to collect things I think my audience will like as and when I see it, I don’t want to have to go looking for it when it’s time to post something as this will almost always result in below par material. Whenever I see something I think is going to be of interest then I either favourite on Twitter, save the link in my reading panel or add to my saved links on Facebook.
It’s all too easy to spend all day on Facebook or Twitter whilst actually achieving very little. Don’t fall into that trap and ensure you’re well prepared in advance.
And if you’re unsure how much time you spend on Facebook then there is an app which will record your usage and report back to you. You might be shocked by the results!
What time hacks do you find useful to ensure you don’t get completely swamped? I’d love to hear about your ideas or the programs you use.