Guest Blog by Sarah Cornforth, The Productivity Princess
Do you find that the more you plan ahead the less personal your social media becomes? Things start to get a little ‘automated’ don’t they. Our words lose their passion and enthusiasm as we create content for weeks in advance compared to what we write when we’re in the moment.
Is it even possible to be both productive and engaging when it comes to your social media management?
Well, I believe that it is, but it does require a little bit of work and what it all comes down to is finding the right balance.
I’ve experimented with a lot of different ways of finding the balance. From creating and scheduling content two months in advance to only composing my posts the day before, and then everything in between.
I’ve currently settled at creating and scheduling content 1-2 weeks in advance for planned content with space for spontaneity. However, it’s taken me a while to work out what suits me and my business.
The big old social media time drain
Before we go any further I have a small confession to make.
Out of all of the regular tasks, I do in my business, social media management causes me the biggest headaches when it comes to my own productivity.
Trying to be ever present, always engaging as well as original and creative each and every day is hard work.
It’s so easy for your business social media to turn into a full-time job.
Creating content can be time-consuming, and then there’s the time it takes to schedule everything just right, engage with your crowd and the strategy changes you then need to make to get more for your efforts.
How can you be more productive when it comes to your business social media?
Here are my top tips.
If you’re currently sat there comparing yourself to others, then stop it right now. It may look on the outside that you’re surrounded by businesses who’ve got this nailed. But, I promise what you see is never a true reflection of what’s really going on.
That business who is always present with their constantly engaging and creative content may have a team helping them to achieve it. They may also have fewer life distractions or more relaxed work commitments.
Basically, comparisons are pointless and no one in the world has the exact same set of circumstances as you.
Have you heard the phrase – ‘You can do one thing well, or lots of things badly’?
Well, this applies to my next tip.
You need to remember that it’s impossible to be everywhere at once, so don’t even try. Be choosy about the number of social media platforms you use in your business and focus on the few rather than the many.
If you’re trying to refine your social media process or review your current strategy, then I highly recommend doing this one platform at a time.
I have a primary platform which is The Productivity Princess Facebook page, and as my primary, this is my priority. I create all of my content, posts and images with Facebook in mind, and then modify that same content for Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Schedule time to create content
Doing anything last minute doesn’t result in creating awesome stuff, and the same applies to social media. If you start creating content to fill radio silence you will probably find that it doesn’t get great engagement. It’s all about the energy we put behind it.
Look at it this way, if you’re super excited about something and really want to share your wisdom or knowledge, then this will show in what you do.
If it’s the end of a long day and you need to get a couple of posts scheduled for tomorrow before you crash for the night, then that tired negative energy will be in that content no matter how hard you try not to let it show.
This is why it’s important to write when you feel creative and energised enough to do so.
I realise that this isn’t always something you can plan, however having a routine helps.
I like to create my content on a Friday afternoon as I find this a nice way to end my working week. It’s a task which doesn’t drain me too much. I’ve been inspired all week by things around me, comments from my clients and club members, so I have a lot more ideas than at any other time of the week.
Working out when during the week is the best time for you to create your social media content as sticking to a routine will certainly boost your productivity.
Give it a try. Block off some time on your calendar and get ahead in your social media content creation.
Work in Batches
Working in batches is a super productive way of doing things but it comes with a risk that you need to be aware of.
Let me explain.
So basically batch working involves grouping together similar tasks and doing them at the same time. This allows you to get into the flow so tasks are easier to do and take less time.
However, as we have already mentioned before, social media is social, and creating content in advance can lose a bit of its charm and engagement-ability (yup that is now a real word!)
For this reason, I break down my social media content creation tasks into sections that can be done in batches and other sections which are done more ‘in the moment’.
If you take a look at this article – How I Batch Create My Social Media Memes to Save Time and Be More Productive.
I run through the full process I use to create my memes. You will notice that I collect my quotes and phrases as and when I’m inspired to do so instead of hunting them down and settling for something that’s not quite me. I then source my images and edit and brand them using Canva, I do this in batches and then drop them in a Trello board ready for my words to be created for each post nearer scheduling time. This allows me to be more spontaneous and relevant with my comments.
Templates are a productivity super tool, and they’re not just limited to social media. However, as we are talking time-saving social media here, let me explain how I use templates to save me time.
One of the best ways to use templates is for creating images. All of my social media images are made in Canva. If you’ve not checked out Canva yet then you really should as it’s such a fantastic tool.
To save time, I have a set of templates sat in Canva just ready and waiting for me to add my image and text.
Here’s a list of the templates I currently use.
- Productivity Tips
- Monday Motivation Posts
- General Engagement Images
Templates stop me from starting from scratch each time I want to post something. They also help me stick to my branding guidelines and remain consistent.
If you check out the blog I mentioned above, you will see an example of some of the templates I use for my memes.
I’ve got a couple of extra productivity tips for you…
I choose when to work on my social media based on my most productive time of the day
For example, if all I need to do is source images and add them to my templates in Canva, I will leave this until later in the day when I’m not as productive because it’s a simple task which doesn’t require much from me.
If I am writing my post text, I will do this in the morning when I’m wide awake and feeling at my best.
I make things a bit more exciting
If I’m working in batches, things can get a little boring as I am basically repeating the same thing over and over again. This is great for getting things done quickly but can mean I lose interest just as quick. To keep myself interested and focused on the task at hand I will create a more interesting environment to work in by listening to a podcast, webinar or some awesome tunes.
I write when the time is right
I only ever write my post text when I feel refreshed, creative and productive and the reason for this shows in my analytics. The more passion and enthusiasm I have about what I post the greater the engagement. Fact!Here’s a list of your key takeaways
- Decide what can be batched to save you time
- Work out what part of the task can be done on auto pilot and which bits need you to be alert and focused and split the task accordingly
- Create templates to make image creation easier
- Find one or two sources for your images and I would really recommend having at least one paid for image source as the time you will save is priceless.
- If it’s something you don’t enjoy doing, it will show to your audience, so change your environment and work when you feel creative and in the mood for the task.
- And don’t just post because you think you should. Filling radio silence is actually worse than not posting at all. If you have limited time and energy, work out a social media strategy you can stick to week after week without fail. It doesn’t matter if the business next to you posts 10 times more per day than you do as consistency is key no matter the frequency.
Come and find me
As we are talking social it seems only right to tell you where you can find me.
Come along and say hi at the following places:
The Productivity Princess
Sarah is the productivity princess, her zone of genius is keeping creative entrepreneurs more organised and therefore more productive & profitable.
Here’s another fabulous guest blog Sarah wrote for you >> How To Give Your Old Business Blogs A Facelift <<