For some reason, the word “shortcut” gets a bad rap in business. It is depicted as cheap, easy, and sometimes, downright lazy.
But what about the shortcut that got you to a client dinner on time, helped make an impactful presentation, or gave you more time to focus on engaging?
These shortcuts are a way to use time efficiently, and can make a huge difference in online marketing.
Honestly, everyone enjoys a shrewd shortcut.
So before we proceed, let’s coin ‘social media shortcuts’ as an umbrella term. It covers a multitude of ways to save time during the process of social media marketing. These shortcuts can be tools, practices or wisdom gained through experience.
To get a better idea of what social media shortcuts are, I asked a few pros.
But stick around for the end – I want you to weigh in on anything I might have missed.
#1. Staying Up To Date With News
I use Feedly and FlipBoard to stay connected with important resources, without missing any trends, news and updates. For social media, I use Buffer to schedule my social media posts on 12 different profiles and use HootSuite, JustUnfollow and ManageFlitter for organizing, managing and monitoring.
#2. Using Lists And Groups To Save Time
To save time, I use Facebook and Twitter lists, and created a Google+ community to communicate with digital marketing professional all over the world. It has attracted over 3600 members. This save me a lot of time. But LinkedIn groups are my new favorite groups.
Aaron Lee Wei-Ren’s Shortcuts
Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner, a tool that makes it easy to increase Facebook engagement by sharing the hottest photos, links & status ideas in your industry. Connect with him on Twitter.
#3. Stealing Ideas From A Facebook Tool
At the moment, I have two platforms that I usually use to manage my social media channels. For Facebook, my go to app is PostPlanner (Disclosure: I work for them). It helps me to quickly schedule posts with the click of a button. PostPlanner also has the ability to find content for me to post. It can find the top photos, top trending topics and even find engaging content to post. The platform basically does all the work for me. It’s like my second assistant.
#4. Focusing On Interaction On Twitter
For Twitter, I love love love love love Social Engage. Sometimes my Twitter stream can get a little busy from the constant sharing of news that I do. What I like about Social Engage is that it allows me to only see replies from people on Twitter. That way I can respond to nearly everyone. I also schedule all my Twitter news from this platform.
#5. Eliminating Distractions
To save time, I try my best to avoid distractions. It’s easier said than done with the constant distractions, like Twitter/Facebook. But for Facebook, I found a solution. I use a Chrome app called News Feed Eradicator. It takes away my Facebook newsfeed. YES, it takes away all of it and only shows me a quote. This ensures that I only focus on what matters – managing my presence and responding to my followers. When I want to engage with my Facebook friends, I use my mobile app.
Blake Jamieson’s Shortcuts
Blake Jamieson started in content marketing at Zynga in 2009. Since then, he has consulted for businesses large and small, covering many industries. He currently works as Director of Content Marketing for PoolSupplyWorld. In his free time, he enjoys surfing and writing. His latest book ‘Social. Hustle. Surf.’ will be released very soon. Connect with him on Facebook.
#6. Scaling Team Management
I used to use a lot more tools than I do today. More recently, I’ve shifted to using tools that manage people, and our combined effort for social media. For example, using Basecamp to manage designers, copywriters, and community managers helps keep my team clear on objectives and deadlines. For a free option, I’ve also used Google Apps (Drive/Docs + Calendar) which can be equally effective.
#7. Scheduling And Measuring
For social media, I use Buffer for some Twitter scheduling, and also use Sprout Social for their easy-to-digest weekly reports. Also, I’m a fan of Statigram, which has some cool analytics about Instagram.
#8. Training Your Team Is Key
To save time, I suggest investing the time to train your team. This takes more time up front, but save TONS of time in the long run. If you see something you would have posted or responded to differently, do not update it yourself. Instead, use that as a teaching opportunity to improve your team’s cohesiveness.
#9. Outbound Engagement With Notifications
My biggest shortcut is setting up my push and email notifications properly for my response times. Instead of spending time looking to see IF people engaged with me on MY channels, I spend time on outbound engagement. But I still get a notification if I need to respond to anything on my own/client pages. Quick response time is very important to keep your fans coming back.
KP Kelly’s Shortcuts
KP Kelly is a Branding and Business Consultant based out of Columbus, Oh. He has started four businesses and has over 10 years of marketing and business consulting experience within the B2B, B2C and nonprofit industries. Connect with him on Facebook.
#10. Bulk Upload
Hootsuite has been my go-to tool for managing social media for a few years now. It helps me organize and view all my social networks in one easy-to-use place. The Bulk Message Uploader in Hootsuite is a short-cut I like to use. While I do post live tweets and schedule various tweets throughout the day, the bulk uploader allows me to pre-schedule content for the week. That way I know each account will have at least the minimum amount of updates.
#11. Sticking To A Schedule
But my most time saving technique is probably my organization and ability to stick to a schedule. I schedule time blocks into my day to spend on each social media account. For example, even if it is only 5 minutes per day, I stick to that schedule and it allows me to stay focused on one task when entering into the noisy world of social media.
Robert Caruso’s Shortcuts
#12. Using Hashtags For Better Searchability
As the founder of Bundle Post, I suggest it for shortcuts searching, finding, editing, scheduling and hashtagging posts for all networks in 80% less time, so I can focus on engagement, relationships and ROI.
Be sure you have consistent, relevant content in your streams first, then focus on relationships.
Ravi Shukle’s Shortcuts
Ravi Shukle is passionate about helping others with their social media efforts & keeping up-to-date with the latest changes & trends. He has over 5 years experience in social media marketing working with many multinational brands and now enjoys sharing this knowledge to help businesses grow and engage with their audience. Connect with him through his website.
#13. Monitoring Mentions
A great way to save time when engaging on social media is to set up tools to monitor when your brand is being mentioned. A great free tool is Mention that sends you an email and notifies you every time your brand is mentioned online. It allows up to 500 mentions free then has some paid options. But it also allows you to directly respond to your Mentions and is a great way to build those relationships with your ideal audience and potential customers.
#14. Keeping A Content Calendar
The number one piece of advice I have regarding shortcuts is that social media is a marathon not a sprint, so daily content and conversation is needed to see results in the long term. Having said that, a great way to save time and effort is to build a content calendar. It will display all the content you plan to post in the coming weeks and save your brand a lot of time in the long term. But be sure to leave space for real time events and time to engage with your fans questions and comments daily.
Albert Qian’s Shortcuts
Albert Qian is a social media professional living in Silicon Valley who has worked with companies like Cisco, Santa Clara University, and GolinHarris. His interests in the arena range widely from content marketing to analytics. Connect with him here or check out his book, Social Media Ecosystem.
#15. Automating Conversions
My most time saving technique for engaging has been using automated follower tools like a ManageFlitter to speak to folks and auto follow. I also use auto DM tools from time to time too so that the conversation can get started.
What social media shortcuts are up your sleeve? What makes your life easier?
Tell in the comments below.15 Pro Hacks: Social Media Success Without Sucking Away Your Time by Ahna Hendrix
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- 15 Pro Hacks: Social Media Success Without Sucking Away Your Time - March 20, 2014