This is the second in a series on effective social media marketing, by travel industry consultant Sophie Bujold.
Everyone is busy. I get it. I’m busy too. So, how do you manage to fit creating an engaging social media presence into your daily schedule?
It’s not always easy. But if you want social media marketing to succeed, consistency and attention are key, so you need to make the time.
Luckily, there are a few easy ways to be smart about how you spend your social media marketing time. Include these in your plan, and you are bound to improve your online engagement – and save your schedule from a social media takeover.
1. Don’t spread yourself thin
While it’s true that you can expand your reach by being on more than one network, it’s also true that you will not get any reach at all if you spread your attention too thin.
So think about your audience and where they like to hang out online. Then prioritize the networks you think you want to be on based on which are most important, somewhat important and not important for your audience.
Spend the majority of your time on the most important networks first, and only add in others if you feel you can handle it.
2. Schedule your time
The most effective way to ensure a consistent and engaging online presence lies in scheduling daily time for your online activities.
Whether you set aside 30 minutes in the morning or split your time into 10-minute increments spread throughout the day, dedicating specific times to your efforts will ensure that things get done.
3. Build a calendar
Social media marketing is most effective when it dovetails with your other marketing campaigns and activities. The best way to do this without drowning in information is to start a content calendar. In it, identify what will be happening in your agency, such as an upcoming cruise night, and determine what kind of content you can generate based on the event.
Can you find destination links, photos, videos, quiz questions, updates from the road, or anything else? From there, all you have left to do is gather content – on the web or via internal resources - that will fill each slot in the calendar.
You will soon find yourself searching for content to post much less often, and your social efforts will be much more in sync with your agency activities.
4. Focus on producing rather than consuming
Social media only becomes a time-sucking vortex when you shift your focus from producing content that will help your business to consuming whatever your eyes fall upon when you’re online.
But let’s face it. There is always a cute kitten video or a comment-worthy photo lurking around the corner, so staying focused can be difficult.
The best way to avoid social distractions is first to stick to the schedule you have set for yourself. Then whenever you are online, ask yourself if what you are doing will benefit your business. If the answer is no, or you find yourself without enough time to finish what you set out to do, you need to re-adjust and re-focus.
5. Use smart tools
Don’t go at this alone. There are great tools available, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, among others, that can help you find great sharable content, manage your accounts and even automate parts of your efforts. (See sidebar for my favorites.) Use them to become more efficient and focused on interacting with your audience. You will then be able to squeeze more activities into your available time.
Always keep in mind that the whole point is to have conversations and interactions that help you build your best audience.
Sophie Bujold is a social media coach who specializes in helping travel professionals achieve online success. She speaks at industry events and works individually with travel agencies across North America. For more insights from Sophie, visit her website and sign up for free weekly email tips.