5 Entrepreneurs Share How They Take the Hassle out of Social Media

I’ll state right upfront that I’m not a fan of social media.

On a personal level, I don’t particularly enjoy it and only use it to a small degree because otherwise, I feel just a little bit out of touch with family and friends, and it’s ideal for when we’re traveling.

That said, I do highly value it from an online business perspective, and as a professional blogger these past 4-5 years, I’ve had to come up with strategies for including it in the overall plan for how I run and promote my blog.

Keeper of the Home focuses primarily on Facebook and Pinterest, since this is where our readers are really spending time, and though we have a Twitter following, it draws a very small percentage of our traffic. We own a Google+ account, but haven’t actively used it. We’re planning to start pushing each new post through it it, though that will be the extent of our involvement with it.

Since I don’t enjoy it and I don’t consider either a) that I’m good at it or b) that it’s a high priority task for me personally, I’ve been hiring it out to some degree for the past 3 years. I currently enjoy the fabulous Meg who spends about 5-6 hours weekly planning and implementing strategies we have come up with together. She stays current on trends and what’s changing, tweaking our strategy as needed, and consulting with me about it before making drastic changes.

For me, as a busy entrepreneur wearing many hats, this is the perfect balance. I’m in the know of what’s happening and I check in on my platforms from time to time, but I’m not uber-involved and am able to trust the running of these platforms to someone who is far more skilled than I am (and on a very positive note, she keeps our social media traffic coming in stronger than I ever do when I take over these tasks myself).

Lastly, I get that for many, social media is a highly personal thing, a place where they want to connect directly with their readers. As our site is an eZine style (ie. we have about 10 different writers – it’s not just me), it feels appropriate to have a general voice for the blog as a whole, rather than a very personal one for myself.

Since the blog isn’t just my personal brand, I feel OK about letting this work go to someone else and having less control over it (though I do certainly establish the guidelines for what is and isn’t allowed, what type of content I prefer, and I check in frequently to make sure that I’m happy with the direction it’s going and the voice that is being used). So for me personally, hiring it out works. I know it’s not for everybody, but it makes my work so much easier when this dreaded task is taken off my plate, and yet still allows my blog’s traffic and web presence to flourish.

5 (very different) perspectives and strategies for managing social media

But I was curious how other bloggers are tackling social media.

Since it’s such a struggle for me, in both skill and time, and also just lack of enjoyment, and I know that many others feel the same way, I wanted to hear how they kept up with it.

As well, I know many entrepreneurs that continue to do all of their social media themselves, and actually love using that as the place they connect with their tribe (a word I hate, but you know what I mean). There are so many ways to do it.

I put the word out there to some friends and mastermind groups to get some responses to the question of what weekly/daily schedule they maintain (if they have one), which platforms they’re on, any tools or software they use, and tips they’d like to share, so here goes:

Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home (hey, that’s me)

So first of all, here’s what my team is doing:

Currently, we’re sharing about 8-9 times per day on Facebook (usually every 2 hours, except in the middle of the night). We were doing direct posting, through Facebook, but are currently testing out Sendible. We share about 50-60% new content and archives from our own site, then another 40-50% relevant, useful content from other sites, images or quotes, questions, etc.

For Twitter, we basically adapt what we share on Facebook and make it fit in with the Twitter format (and we don’t engage much personally, as Twitter isn’t a strong platform for our audience and the ROI on our time spent there just isn’t worth it).

For Pinterest, we use Ahalogy at present (though we used to use CoSchedule before it stopped working with Pinterest’s API and then we just did it manually for a while). We pin about 30 times per day, 50% our content, 50% others, and have a strategy that includes both pinning of our best archives on a regular basis, as well as a schedule we run through (over the course of a week or two) about pinning each new post about 6-10 different times (in various places). We used to rely heavily on group boards, but less so now that they are not receiving as many views or re-pins and we’re back to focusing more on our own boards.

And now, on to the thoughts from a few other bloggers I highly respect…

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Wardeh @ Traditional Cooking School

At Traditional Cooking School by Gnowfglins, we use Buffer to post to all our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+). We also use ViralTag to schedule pins to Pinterest.

We do 10-15 posts per day throughout the day, following a schedule that my assistant drew up. In the schedule, we have spots each day for sharing: other bloggers’ content, our own new and archived content, affiliate promotions, and a question. We keep notes updated in Evernote with our archived blog content (so it’s easy for my assistant to pull some out and feed Buffer). We get new content from our own new blog posts as well as a few Facebook groups where colleagues share their new stuff.

Buffer is a huge time saver, as well as keeping the Evernote notes up to date with archived content. Then it’s just easy to pull old content into the schedule and breathe new life into it. When we share content, we try to keep the actual text simple and clean (so it’s not hard to read), relevant to the audience, and we always choose content with visually appealing photography. (We do mostly photo posts on FB and our audience is used to it.)

We started this strategy in late 2013 (and I honestly don’t remember the exact date), and since then our Facebook page has grown quite organically from 30k likes to 98.5k likes — with good and growing engagement all along. Perhaps we’ll have broken 100k on Facebook by the time you share this!

View More: http://kimdeloachphoto.pass.us/allume-headshots2014

Tiffany @ Don’t Waste the Crumbs

It’s easy to think that you have to be involved in every social media aspect out there, but since we want the best return on investment for our efforts, we focus on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Although the majority of our readers aren’t active on Twitter, we know that some of the business we work with are, so we have Facebook and Instagram set to automatically share to Twitter.

We schedule directly on Facebook at the beginning of each week, and share from related blogs, sharing groups and our own archives. New posts are scheduled to share as they go live throughout the week.

We use ViralTag to schedule on Pinterest, and schedule out anywhere from one week to one month. Instagram is taken live, although we’re looking into Latergram to help us share new content on the blog.

Working in batches is a tremendous help with keeping us focused at the task at hand, saving time and being more productive too, so we set aside time at the start of each week to do all the scheduling for the week instead of making it a daily task.

Prerna-New-Profile-Pic-300x298

Prerna @ Social Media Direct

Social media, for me, is all about being social. And since I am an introvert, I need to be intentional about my engaging on social media.

Both for my own business and for most of our clients, I plan content strategy almost a month in advance with the actual updates created every week.

My content, like that for my clients, includes a mix of engagement-centric questions, photo quotes, blog post links, tips and other people’s content.

Being a community manager means I “need” to spend a lot of time on Facebook and Pinterest, and that is why I rely on tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, for scheduling and sharing and Picmonkey and Canva for creating visual material. All 4 are free, easy-to-use and save me tons of time and stress.

My key time management tips include:

  1. Plan your strategy AND your content so you know what you have to share and why. You can have someone create your content or use a resource, {shameless plug} like Social Spread;)
  2. Have dedicated time slots for engaging and networking. I set a timer for Pinterest and when it goes off, regardless of how tempted I may be, I switch off, shut down the site. I do the same for curation and have 30 minute slots for scoping and researching as well as responding. Batching all of this together means I don’t go down the rabbit hole and can focus on others parts of my business.
  3. Use a social media tool for scheduling your updates and check your stats weekly and not every day;). BIG time-saver. “

Stephanie’s note: Since this is actually a main part of Prerna’s business, helping others with community management and engagement, she has a couple fantastic services you may find helpful:

Grab and Go: Gourmet Customized Social Media Updates gives you 60 custom-created, high impact social media updates and has received rave reviews while Affiliate Abundance was created to meet a growing demand for effective and engaging resources for affiliates.

Mandi-Ehman

Mandi @ Life Your Way

I actually think I’d argue against “when or how it should”. (Stephanie’s note: She said this in response to my own words, where I had said that I hire mine out because otherwise it wouldn’t get done “when or how it should” be done.)

I feel like it just doesn’t need to be done. I’m content with not hiring out and not worrying about it, either. Could my site grow if we focused on it more? Probably. But there are lots of things I *could* do or invest money in.

Using my personal Facebook page, Instagram and Goodreads to connect with readers without worrying about driving traffic just feels like a better, more authentic fit to me. (And I’m actually REALLY enjoying the Live course Facebook group.)

I occasionally pin and I push every post once to Twitter and Facebook, but that’s it. I’ve tried hiring out, and it just doesn’t seem to be worth the cost. It might be in the long run, I suppose, but I sure would waste a lot of money trying to get there (ha!).

(Stephanie’s note: I love this perspective and specifically asked her if I could share it because there is NOT a once-size-fits-all answer to social media. Mandi runs a very successful blog with this very simple approach to social media, and if it’s working for her, then why not?)

Now it’s your turn… what’s your perspective on social media? How do you manage your time and use it in a way that works for your business?

Top image by kropekk_pl

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