Top 10 Social Media Time Savers for Entrepreneurs
We all know that social media take a huge toll on your free time, particularly when you’re trying to manage more than one account. I recently wrote a post of social media automation and how it can help save your precious time, but there is far more to social media than just scheduling.
Here I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite tools for saving time on social media – if you’re finding yourself bogged down by growing to-do lists and neglecting your social media as a result, I’d recommend trying these out.
Now you’re probably thinking Pinterest is a social media account within itself – how in the world is it going to help me? Well, yes, it is a social media account and many people use it for promoting their business. However, it can also be an awesome way to collate and save images, data and reference pages for future use.
Creating content for social media is one of the hardest and most time consuming tasks. Having a dedicated Pinterest board or even a separate account simply for storing ideas and resources is a great way to save time searching for inspiration, images or information.
It can also be a super handy feature if you’re collaborating with other people – as you can share boards and have multiple contributors, you can easily work together with other members of your team.
Pocket is an app available on the Google and Apple stores, and integrates seamlessly into your web browser or phone. It works very much like a standard bookmark system would, however presents and organises the information in a super clear and coherent manner.
Unlike normal bookmark systems, you can also use it to save particular images and tag certain things for future use. This is a great way to make sure you always have reference material or really handy websites (like ours!) at your disposal rather than wading through hundreds of bookmarks.
The fact that your account synchronises across multiple platforms also means that it’s great for storing things for later – if you see an image you’d love to use for your next infographic but you’re on your phone, you can simple put it in Pocket and have it available whenever you need it.
Buffer is one of those renowned social media automation programs that makes it super easy to schedule, analyse and post to multiple accounts from one dashboard. The best part about it is that it’s free, but you can’t connect an Instagram account – this might be a deal breaker for some.
It also comes with an extension for your web browser that allows you to easily schedule links and images to share straight from the page. All you need to do is click ‘Buffer this Page’ and the link will be added to your queue to be posted.
Buffer also comes with in-built analytic services that allow you to determine the best time of day to post to each of your accounts and can either do this automatically or manually. You can also adjust how often you post to each account very easily.
HootSuite is very similar to Buffer in its abilities and shortcomings. Like Buffer it allows you to determine the best times and how often to post to your connected accounts. However, HootSuite supports Instagram accounts both in publishing and in engaging.
It also comes with optional paid upgrades that can support up to 100 social media accounts (that’s crazy talk!) but allows basic use of services entirely for free. HootSuite is designed, though, to be used both by individuals and by teams, with sections dedicated to setting tasks and enrolling others in jobs.
The addition of many plugins directly from HootSuite also builds on its ability, with many apps designed to help with the entire social media process from creation to publishing. The ability to comment, message and engage directly from HootSuite makes it a great choice for people serious about their social media.
Zapier is a great time saving tool for people who like to have their accounts connected and in-synch. Rather than manually posting on each of your accounts every time you post a new YouTube video, for example, you can set up Zapier to automatically share the video on each or some of your accounts whenever it is posted.
There are hundreds of automatic processes you can set up, such as sharing Instagram posts automatically on Facebook or blog posts to your Pinterest account. This becomes very handy for those people who are building their network, as it allows people to find you on all of your other accounts.
The programs that support Instagram plugins often have a lack of in-depth analytics that simply won’t cut it for those very serious about growing their Instagram following. This is where Iconosquare comes in.
While the service used to be free, most features require a paid upgrade now, but that doesn’t change how powerful the analytics are. This program has the ability to determine your most popular times, analyse your follower’s activity and determine what kind of posts are the most popular. If you’re finding other services are lacking in Instagram analytics and you’re having to analyse yourself, IconoSquare might be for you!
This might be a no-brainer for some, but a lot of people, especially people new to the social media world, don’t fully understand the importance of planning your social media content.
Even with the best analytics, your social media accounts aren’t going to have much success if there’s no theme, no consistent experience or no real message to your account. The real power of social media is the ability of your audience to connect with you, so having content that is coherently planned is of the utmost importance.
There are virtual versions of these calendars, but often it can be useful to have a physical copy of a weekly, monthly or even yearly plan of your content calendar. You don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to post, but having an idea will really help you have a clear message and save you from running out of ideas.
Again, Trello isn’t exactly designed to be a social media tool. However, it’s a great way to organise your ideas, your to-do lists and collaborate with others. The website it set out with ‘cards’ which can be labelled and organised into different categories.
You might want to share this with other contributors to your social media account or simply have a really easy to use and visually coherent to-do list. This can be great for organising posts, collating ideas or sharing your to-do list with others. If you are interested to use trello for your business, check out our trello tutorial.
SumAll is a relatively new program that allows you to collate all of your audiences into one visual. With email updates – that you can set the frequency of – you can stay up to date with your multiple audiences and have an overall look at how large your collated audience is.
There are also paid updates that allow for more in-depth analytic services, but the free version is still a very powerful way to stay on top of your multiple accounts.
Now, you might not always want to use a template for your social media. You might want to instead shake things up a bit, but if you find yourself using many of the same types of post – particularly visual ones – having a template can save you a whole lot of time in the content creation stage.
You can buy, download or create your own templates for almost anything – from blog posts to Instagram visuals or Pinterest images and they can simply be edited slightly to fit your needs. This also helps give a strong brand image and consistent approach, which will help your audience identify with your brand easier across your multiple accounts.
Some of the best ways for creating templates are Canva or InDesign, or if you have the budget you can have a graphic designer create one or multiple templates that fit your business theme well. If you want to learn Canva, here is a free tutorial.
Those are some of my favourite social media time savers, but I’d love to hear yours as well! Creating, building and maintain multiple social media accounts can be extremely taxing on your time, but there are definitely tools and tricks out there to save you a lot of hassle in the long run!