There’s always these two polar opposites when it comes to social media. People either love it or hate it and to be fair, I’ve been on both ends of that spectrum. But it was only a while ago that I realised an important fact. To be productive on social media is to use it like a prescription medicine, not like an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The key here? Moderation.
I also know that as a solo entrepreneur I get to decide how to use my time. I can choose to get overwhelmed by the number of tasks I have on hand. Or I can take a deep breath, draw up a plan for the day and the week ahead and figure out how my time on social media is only spent on that which will help me with my business.
1. Use the Pocket App to bookmark articles
If there is one app I would recommend over and over again to every person, whether or not they are bloggers, it’s the Pocket app. Pocket is perfect because of a number of reasons. You know when you’re scrolling through Twitter or Facebook and come across a fabulous article that will help you as a blogger? Well, this is the perfect time to bookmark it.
Pocket lets you add tags relevant to the article. So, I can source articles from anywhere, add them to the app and there are two fabulous benefits to this.
- I don’t need to read them right away. That way, I can focus on my task at hand.
- Pocket’s seamless interface and ‘send to Kindle’ option lets me read the article without the distraction of social media.
Don’t miss my review of the Pocket app in this list of 12 free apps for bloggers.
2. Schedule content using Buffer
Buffer is fantastic. It frees up your social media time while keeping you in touch with your audience at the most optimal times. Win-win, right?
All you need to do is set your schedule in the posting section of Buffer and then work out what content you’re going to share. I’m working on a month-long revised Twitter strategy so will let you know how that plays out next month.
This scheduling ensures that you are on social media only for limited pockets of time and connecting with your audience on the topics that matter.
3. Focus on organic engagement
This is something I learnt after devising my strategy. Numbers mean nothing, if they are not converting to one of three things: readers, subscribers or clients. In my case, all three are important metrics.
Which is why I don’t worry about page views each day. Rather, I focus on the quality of the engagement, both on my blog and on my social media channels.
For instance, the maximum engagement I get is from two places: my Facebook group and Instagram. And the fun thing? I have less than 200 people in my Facebook group and around 1200 followers on Instagram. When you think about it, that’s a really low number for a social media influencer.
But in my experience, the numbers don’t matter. The quality of engagement does. Think about it. Would you rather have 10 engaged subscribers or 100 followers, looking to boost their numbers? Right?
A post on my Blogging Calendar got 18 hits from Instagram today but the good news? Those are the ones with a really low bounce rate. So, yes, numbers matter, but it depends on what numbers you’re studying.
4. Set aside time for research and strategy
Social media can be fun and most often it is. But unless your time on social media is actually giving you returns in terms of your blog, then your time there is wasted.
Each day and week, I set aside time to study my strategy. I set goals at the start of the week on what I want to gain out of each social network. For instance, I could aim at improving engagement on my Facebook pages. For this, I would have to experiment on different types of content: images, videos, status updates, links, polls- and see where they lead me.
At the end of the week, I study insights on the chosen platform to see how well I have converted those goals. So the key here? Set a goal for each platform, each week. At the end of the week, check if you’ve hit those goals. If you haven’t, revise the strategy for the following week.
Here’s an example of my weekly social media schedule.
5. Cut back on scrolling
Do you realise that most of your time on social media feels ‘wasted’ because you spent time scrolling through the feed? And this is especially true of Facebook. But it’s also a fact that I get fantastic resources from the feed, so how do I combat this dilemma?
- I don’t scroll through the feed. I use different techniques to find the content I want. I’m a part of dedicated strategy groups on Facebook and that works great to help me make the most of my time on the network.
- I have a Chrome extension that eliminates the home feed completely. So, if I have to engage with someone either on their personal or business page, I have to intentionally go to their page to do so.
Why do this, you ask? Because, in the time you spend on Facebook, you could actually be doing other things such as creating fresh content, studying strategies and building a network of like-minded people. And you don’t need the News Feed for that. Really.
Now it’s your turn. If you want a completely free, printable 4-week social media calendar, similar to the one above, which you can fill with your own personal goals, I’ve made one JUST for you.
If you’ve already signed up for my newsletter, you can access this calendar in the ‘Files’ Section of my private Facebook group.
*Pin image courtesy floral Deco via Shutterstock