How To Manage All Your Social Channels in 30 Minutes a Day

Is social media the biggest business opportunity of our generation – or a complex scheme devised to take up all your time?

I’ll admit it can feel like the latter, but productive, efficient social media activity is possible. It happens every day. You can cover all your bases on the major social networks in just minutes.

I’ll give you the play-by-play tips to manage social media in 30 minutes below. But to really make that plan rock, you’ll need to apply a few social media productivity strategies. These are critical sharing techniques that put your social media work into hyperdrive. Most of them are tricks to help you find sharable content faster.

1) Share content from other content creators.

Maybe a little obvious here, but I still see most small business social media accounts sharing nothing but their own stuff. It is not just okay to share other people’s content; it’s good. Third-party content is actually 4x to 7x more trusted than your own. This is why journalists and scholars cite other works.

You don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time you post. It is good – and helpful to your followers – to share content from other sources. Social media experts like Guy Kawasaki recommend 90% of what you share be third party content.

Remember – we’re supposed to be being social. We’re supposed to be enthusiastic about other people’s content, our “friends” content? So share some of their stuff. Not only will this take the burden off you to create more content, but you’ll also be promoting other people’s work. It’s a good way to make friends.

2) Reshare older, evergreen content.

It’s important to have new content in your stream, but that doesn’t mean every single piece of content has to be new. It’s perfectly okay for 20% of what you share to be a “greatest hit” from your own content vault or from another publisher or company. This principle is well established online. Twitter even has a day of the week dedicated to it: #ThrowBackThursday.

This is especially true if you’re posting evergreen content. “Evergreen content” is content that isn’t attached to news, isn’t seasonal, and never goes out of date (“never” being two years… this is social media).

There’s an added benefit to this. If you re-share your highest performing content, your engagement rates will nudge up a bit. We’ve actually seen evergreen content perform better after a few shares when we space them out by a few days. Using Scoop.it Content Director we usually schedule repeat shares on a weekly basis. This often gets us the same rates of engagement in week 2 or 3 as it did in week 1.

3) Share recent content multiple times.

“No – how gauche!” But wait. Don’t dismiss this outright. You know that, um, your followers aren’t watching your feed constantly, every 24 hours of every day, right? I mean, even if they love your stuff, they sleep now and then. They’re going to miss some of your updates. So it’s okay to retweet or repost some of your recent best-performing content now and then.

The operative phrase here is “now and then”. You probably don’t want much more than 10% of your content to be stuff you’ve posted before.

4) Prioritize sharing content from trusted sites.

Surely there’s at least two or three sources in your industry or niche who are just so darn awesome that you can trust them always come up with something good. For me, I’d trust Noah Kagan, Neil Patel, Heidi Cohen,Joanna Wiebe and a few other super-special folks.

These are people I’ve been following for years, who never publish a weak post. I want to read every single word they say, and I’m pretty sure my followers do, too. So I use Scoop.it suggestion engine’s advanced features to add their blogs as sources and capture everything they write. That way I can review their latest stuff and then publish to my feed it after a quick read.

Here’s how all these different kinds of updates might look like as a mix:

Method

% of total posts

Cumulative total posts

Prioritized content from trusted sites

20%

20%

Other people’s content

40%

60%

Posts I’ve shared before

10%

70%

Older, evergreen content (my own or others’)

20%

90%

My own new content

10%

100%

5) Use automated content curation tools to grab content related to your niche.

There is a dizzying array of tools available to find and share content with. As you know, we especially likeScoop.It and Scoop.it Content Director which were built specifically to give you world-class sharing and content curation tools. But other tools like Feedly for RSS feeds and Buffer, Hootsuite or Octopost can help you manage your content stream, too.

The key to this is to make it easy and fast. Like blazing fast and brain-dead easy. So install browser plugins like the Scoop.It bookmarklet, Buffer, the Chrome app for Google+ and the Pinterest plugin. Take an extra step and give yourself the ability to do some content curation on the go with the Scoop.It app for iPad,iPhone and Android.

You’ll need a little practice and testing to get your system to work. Ideally, you want to be able to queue up a piece of content to share within 15 seconds or less, max.

This can be done, really. I just timed myself on a Scoop.it Content Director share for an article I found while researching this piece. I queued it to all five major social networks in 13 seconds, including hashtag research.

How to schedule content blazzing fast with Scoop.it Content Director l

If you’re old-school, and all these plugins and whatnot sound like a computer crash, keep it simple. Just sign up for email newsletters, then set up a filter so all those newsletters automatically get put in a folder until you can sort through them. That’s a familiar way to effectively automate your content curation. It’s relatively low-tech, and it uses a tool I’m sure you’re all too familiar with.

6) Queue social updates throughout your day.

Everybody has certain publications they read for work. Maybe it’s a trade magazine, a supplier’s site, or a mainstream publication. If you find something that’s interesting while you’re browsing one of these sites, grab it for a social media update.

Because you’ve applied #5, and can now grab content to share in ten seconds or less, you’ll save a ton of time using this method. It’s more efficient than trying to remember things for later, and way more efficient than having to go back and find all those pieces of content again.

7) Don’t try to be everywhere on social media.

Several social media experts, like Jay Baer and Jeff Bullas, have said the worst piece of social media advice is to try to be on every social media platform. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Pick no more than five platforms at the most, based on which platforms deliver on your business goals. For more insights into how to create and apply a content marketing strategy to this level of a decision, see ROI or RIP: The Lean Content Marketing Handbook for SMBs.

If you’re in business, you already know all too well you cannot be all things to all people. That principle applies to social networks, too.

Your minute-by-minute social media battle plan

Here’s how to get it all done. I did each of these things and timed myself.

EVERY DAY

Eight minutes: Your primary social media channel: It’s probably Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter (depending on your business’s focus). Here’s your task list:

Check any comments on your posts. 1 minute
Respond to someone or say hi to someone. 2 minutes
Share some content that catches your eye. 2 minutes
Check new followers / invites or friends. Follow back or accept invites as you see fit. 3 minutes.
Got extra time? Comment on someone’s update, or find a few new people to follow, like or invite.

Four minutes: During the day as you research or browse the web, grab 3-6 pieces of content to share. Queue them up on the spot. Total time: 12 minutes.

Five minutes: Your second most important social channel. Use the task list above from your primary social media channel. Total time: 17 minutes.

Three minutes: Your third most important social channel. Use the standard task list. Total time: 20 minutes.

EVERY OTHER DAY

You’ve got ten minutes left to keep this to 30 minutes. These other tasks are important, but not so important they can’t be done every other day.

Two minutes: Check your social media management account to see which posts have been working best. Schedule them to be reposted later (one week to two months later, if that makes sense) if you see one that’s truly worth showing twice. Total time: 22 minutes.

Two minutes: Check your queued updates to make sure everything looks good for the next few days. Open up a hashtag tool like Hashtagify.me or RiteTag to make sure your hashtag use is optimal. If major news has hit, be extra careful not to post content that might be misconstrued. Total time: 24 minutes.

Three minutes: Your fourth most important social channel. Use the standard task list from above. Total time: 27 minutes.

Three minutes: Your fifth most important social channel. Total time: 30 minutes.

 

So that’s how you can keep up with social media – and even grow your presence on it – in 30 minutes or less per day. Do you have any social media productivity tips you’d like to share? Any ideas for how this plan could be even more efficient? Let us know about them in the comments.

Original ideas by Pam Neely.

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