It’s very likely that the social media for your organisation will be looked after by one person. If you’re reading this, It’s probably you! Even larger companies might only have a small digital team looking after the social media, website and more all at once.
If you are the sole person responsible or part of a small team, there’s only so much you can do with the time you have (especially if it fits alongside other responsibilities), but there are some things that you can do to make the most of the time you have. To help, I’ve come up with a few pieces of time-saving advice.
Don’t take on more than you can handle
If you’re doing it all solo, you need to prioritise and make best use of your time. Having more than one active social media channel is something to consider carefully as it’ll take double the time. It’s best to focus on one or two well than devote a fraction of time to three, four or more – the content will suffer because of it. Only focusing on one or two channels also means you can spend more time developing meaningful engagement amongst customers and potential customers.
Use user-generated content
Look to see what your followers are posting. Are there opportunities to ask them for content? Using content generated from your followers will save you time you would have spent creating new content. This can be done by asking people to share photos using a hashtag or you could always create an email address for people to send in photos. By creating good Twitter lists and monitoring your supporters, you may also discover great stories or testimonials which they may be willing to share.
The British Heart Foundation are great at using user-generated content. With the hashtag #BoughtAtBHF they can easily find and use the photos shared of people enjoying items bought from their shops.
Recycle and Reuse
Content can be used more than once, in fact it’s highly encouraged, especially when people might have missed you posting it the first time. Content can also be reused in different ways. A blog can be turned into a twitter thread and a GIF can be created from a video for example.
Some more tips for reusing content:
- Create things that have a longer life to them by not including anything that dates it such as a calendar in the background of a video.
- Keep an eye on trending topics, national events and occasions being marked where you can reuse video or graphics.
- Remind yourself regularly about older content that’s still usable. Don’t forget, older videos can be refreshed with a quick re-cut which will take less work that doing a whole new video from scratch.
- If the content is really old, post it as a throwback and make something out of its age. For example, you could talk about how much has changed since you last posted it. The Maritime & Coastguard Agency compared then to now with this great post:
Then & now ⏪ water rescue/training. ?
Did you know…? As well as water rescue & search techniques, our Coastguards are trained in rope & mud rescue depending on the area, dealing with thousands of incidents around the UK coast each year. ?? #ThrowbackThursday #999Coastguard pic.twitter.com/VgtktPmwfM
— Maritime&Coastguard (@MCA_media) October 10, 2019
This post from St Bart’s NHS Trust managed to combine an old photo with a call for user generated content showing how easy it is to combine the two!
✨ PHOTO COMPETITION✨
Who’s got a good #ThrowbackThursday pic at one of our hospitals?! ??♂️ ?
— Barts Health (@NHSBartsHealth) September 26, 2019
Keep Content Simple
Large companies have huge budgets at their disposal for creating high quality social media content. Whilst it’s a good idea to see what they are up and and collect inspiration from them, it would be impossible to duplicate what they make on a fraction of the budget. Even short videos can take longer than you might think to create. To make the most of your time, don’t overcomplicate your content. Content can be simple whilst still being effective and simple doesn’t have to mean boring or safe.
I particularly like this post from charity ChildAid who created a simple GIF thank you message. It’s bright and catches the eye without being too over the top.
A Big thank you to @teamthirdbridge for another generous donation. Thanks to your kind donations we are able to expand our work with vulnerable children, orphans and children living with disabilities, to improve their lives and give them hope for the future.#charitytuesday pic.twitter.com/hRi90VqTUK
— ChildAid (@childaidrr) October 8, 2019
Stick to the plan
It’s often the case that it’s the extra unplanned work that takes up a lot of your time. By planning carefully, having a content calendar and being strict with what social media content you will produce, it will allow you to work more effectively. It’s also important to plan in some contingency time just in case things out of your control force the schedule to be pushed back. Save any additional ideas you have for future projects or campaigns rather than shoe-horning them in to your current one.