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5 Ways Social Marketers Can Get Time Back

As social marketers, sometimes we just want the clock to stop. There are so many things on our to-do lists, not to mention endless meetings with stakeholders vying for attention and content requests thrown at us on an ad-hoc basis: “Could you post this on social today?”

2018 Social Media Marketing Planning Guide

The irony is, the checklists and the fast pace don’t leave time for you to go after what you actually want—or to even get clear on what that is. Lost in the day-to-day, you may be struggling to strategize, set concrete goals for set time periods, choose KPIs, check in with these goals and KPIs regularly, and achieve results. When you don’t make time for these foundational marketing pillars on a regular basis, you’re much less likely to get where you want to go because you forget where you want to go, and, by the time you’ve checked in with your progress, it’s too late.

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stress you out even more. I’m here to help. When time and resources are limited, turn to these tried-and-true strategies to find peace (and success) in the noise. 

1. Plan Better

Take a good day or two to plan out a strong editorial calendar, goal and measurement framework, and events schedule through the end of the year. Simply Measured alum Kevin Shively has a great LinkedIn post about just this:

Measure twice, cut once. Take the time to plan carefully now, save time later. Think through as many details as you can, and put strong measurement schedules in place so that as little as possible blindsides you, and you spend less time scrambling to get things done at the last minute. This includes everything from scheduling meetings with key stakeholders, to content request dates for your graphic design team.

Then you can put your plans into motion, knowing that you’re simply building your house off the blueprint that you’ve created. This doesn’t mean you won’t run into a leaky pipe or two, but it does mean you’ll be better equipped when a leaky pipe comes along—and the house will get built the way you want it to.

2. But First Prioritize

What are the big rocks you need to move this year, from the top down? What is your leadership and marketing team hyper-focused on right now? Bucket your social media tactics into strategic categories, then rank each category in order of importance—based on what your organization has ranked as its main priorities for the year. For instance:

Social Media Strategy Organizational Priority
1. Awareness and consideration activities around product A, incl. partnerships, Instagram Stories ads, and employee advocacy 1. Drive more sales of product A
2. Learning about and entering conversation in product B market, incl. investing in listening solution, and awareness activities. 2. Prime the pump for sales of product B
3. Start long-term competitive campaign and tracking, incl. social competitive analysis and research. 3. Gain X% market share by EOY

 

This will help you get focused, and likely force you to end or de-prioritize social activities that aren’t mapping to the priorities of your organization—which is a good thing, since it also forces you to spend more time on activities which are moving the needle for your brand.

3. Put Together a Request Form

Are you facing a ton of ad-hoc requests from different departments on a daily or weekly basis? Does it impact your clarity and confidence…and distract you from your main priorities?

A request form can help. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Build it in Google Forms. Present it to the rest of your marketing organization, and ask everyone to fill this form out if they have content they’d like to promote on social.

All this will help people get used to planning ahead to get their content prioritized, and understand that social is an intention-based marketing channel just like any other marketing channel. As your coworkers get used to this system, be gentle—and guide them back to your form again and again. This will take more time at first, but give you more time back in the long run.

4. Scheduling for the Win

Schedule everything. This is the easiest and maybe most time-saving hack in this blog post. Schedule your social media reporting, which you can do with Simply Measured Social Analytics. 

Simply Measured Social Analytics: Dashboard Scheduler

Schedule your social media posts, which you can do with Sprout Social, which organizes and delivers all of your social content to one place to save time and drive engagement.

With Sprout Social, you can easily publish content and manage assets across all your active social networks.

Schedule everything you can.

5. Turn to the Community

A huge barrier for many social marketers, and all human beings, is sustained motivation. If you have sustained motivation, you overcome fears and doubts by continuing to try new things, optimizing your current strategy, and dumping what’s not working without getting bogged down in regret. You have an optimization mindset. You use what has failed to do better next time, not as a self-flagellation mechanism.

You lose motivation because you’ve lost energy. So how do you re-energize? By turning to your like-minded community for advice and expertise, and making time to learn. It may seem like you’re just adding something new to your to-do list, but I promise you that the energy you gain from turning to your community and educating yourself will save you countless hours of staring at your screen like a zombie around 3 PM, when you know you should keep working down that task list but just can’t right now.

  • Join LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups so that you don’t have to search for the latest industry or social network updates, and so you can get the broader perspective on how to best leverage these updates.
  • Get on the Right Email Lists…and actually read those emails.
  • Go to Events, Like Data & Drinks. Mingle with others in your industry and re-up on best practices.
  • Treat It Like a Real Meeting. Book time to energize on your calendar. As much as possible, don’t let people schedule over it.

Want more help saving time? The easiest way is with social analytics and scheduling software you can easily digest and rely on. Request a demo below.

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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