Creating and scheduling social media content can be draining! If you want to reduce the time you spend on social media for your business, you need a cohesive plan. If you don’t have a plan yet, you’re not alone; it took me a while to pull everything together too.
Once you have that plan in place, though, your life will get a whole lot easier. No more continually filling empty social media queues. You can stop scrambling to find new content every other second. Your system will be able to run itself smoothly with just a bit of input from you!
Here’s how my social media works together to create a time-saving system
There are a few critical components of a cohesive social media and content plan. You need to be selective, find overlaps between different networks, and then create a system to optimize your social media and content. Don’t worry: it’s not as hard as you may think!
Pick your main platforms
Let’s be honest here: I don’t know about you, but I am not a pro at every single social media outlet on the face of the planet. There, I said it. It’s okay, though. Focusing is not a bad thing.
The social media platforms that I chose to focus on in my system were Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. I’m working on supplementing them with Instagram and LinkedIn (because my target audience does use LI; not everyone’s will!). All three of these platforms make sense to me to at least some extent and are relatively easy to manage. LinkedIn isn’t the most intuitive platform to me and Instagram not only isn’t my best platform but is harder to manage because they won’t allow automated posting.
You shouldn’t just go with my picks, though! Evaluate your own business and audience. Figure out where your ideal client is hanging out and add that to your list. If that platform doesn’t instinctively make sense to you, don’t be afraid to learn about it so that you can better master it. For example, I know that some of my ideal clients are on Instagram, so I’m working on improving my Insta game. You never know – it could become your new favorite social media network!
Find the overlaps
Now you need to determine what content should go to each platform. Different social media networks’ audiences expect different types of content, after all! Let’s explore them a bit:
- Pinterest expects how-to’s and helpful articles that they can save for later when they need them
- Twitter wants to be able to scroll quickly to find tips, funny stories, and quotes
- Facebook looks for content that is relevant to their lives. Whether they’re in their feed or on Facebook pages or groups, they don’t mind reading a bit of a longer post than Twitter does. They do also enjoy pithy quote memes, tips, and funny anecdotes, though
- Instagram loves seeing pretty pictures that are accompanied by useful content. You can approach IG a lot like a mini-blog
- LinkedIn typically just wants to see actionable content that’s relevant to them. Don’t waste their time!
Yes, these are general observations and are not all-encompassing, but they at least give us a starting point. These platforms also have different image aspect ratios, so we need to take that into account too. Part of the reason I picked both Facebook and Twitter is that I can use the same sharing image on both platforms!
Because all three of my primary social media networks (Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter) like to see helpful how-to articles and tips, I can overlap the content that goes across that I post to these platforms. This will turn into a system that will help you automate your social media.
Create a system
Speaking of systems, that’s your next step! Utilize those network overlaps to make your life easier. For example, when I’m Pinning, I keep an eye out for valuable blog posts that would do well on Twitter and Facebook. I recently switched over to SmarterQueue for my social media scheduling, and it’s so easy to add posts to my queue!
Here’s how my Pinterest → Twitter/Facebook system works: I find a post through Pinterest that I know will be valuable for my audiences on Twitter and/or Facebook. I have the SmarterQueue bookmarklet in my Chrome bookmarks bar, so I just have to click on it and it pops up with this:
I select the category and accounts to post to and customize the text for each platform, as you can see below. Yep, that’s the best part! There’s only one step to take to schedule it to BOTH Twitter and Facebook (and any other social media accounts you have). Then I just make sure the post previews look good and th schedule the post. Super simple. This makes my content discovery method very easy and streamlined.
You can use similar methods even if you don’t have SmarterQueue. You could manually post the articles to other social media sites. If you use IFTTT, you could also set up a recipe to post saved articles from your Pocket to your social media. Other social media schedulers usually have a bookmarklet or other method that allows you to schedule posts on-page, too. Get a bit creative with your system and you’ll find yourself spending less time on your social media and more time doing things that are productive and enjoyable!
Work your system into other aspects
The final step isn’t technically integrating social media with other platforms. It is, however, incorporating other elements of your blog or business with your social media to save you time. After all, if you’ve already written a piece of content, why not recycle it?
One way to work this into your social media strategy is to recycle your blog posts into Instagram posts (this could also work for LinkedIn). You can find a relevant photo (if it’s not one you took, make sure you legally have the rights to it!) and then recycle a portion of your blog post. This gives you a reason to send people back to your blog (to read the rest of the article!) and reduces the amount of content you have to write.
Now, I don’t recommend just wholesale copy-pasting parts of your blog post. You’ll want to take an idea from the blog post and write a snippet about it or at least tweak whatever portion of the post you’re using so that it better fits the Instagram audience. I mean, you probably don’t use very many – if any – emojis in your blog posts, but you can go for it on Insta!
You can usually get a few Instagram posts out of one blog post, so don’t be afraid to promote the same post more than once, using different content from that single blog post. Pull out different ideas, expound on something that you glossed over a bit on the blog – just get creative!
Also, remember that this is just one way that you can create a system to streamline and integrate your social media. Think outside the box and experiment a bit to find what works best for YOU. Just because something works for me or John Smith or The Doctor (yes, that’s a joke for my Whovians) doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.
So if you’re ready to decrease the amount of time you have to spend on your business’s social media tasks, make sure to pick the right platforms for YOU and your business. Find the overlaps between them and use those overlaps to create a streamlined system. Don’t forget to expand that system to encompass other aspects of your business too! Every little bit of saved time helps.