How many hours did you spend on social media marketing last week?
Let me guess. A lot?
Well, you are not alone. According to 2016 63% of marketers spend 6 hours or more per week on social media, 39% spend 11 hours or more per week, and (this is interesting) 19% spend 20 hours or more per week!
Recently one management ‘guru’ said, “Social media marketing is easy. 3 simple steps: create a good piece of content, repurpose it and promote it. Oh! and one more thing, make sure you do email marketing, podcast, eBook, ads, infographic and webinars. Thats it.”
I thought to myself, “Thats it?! Have you tried worked on any of this? Do you have any idea how long it takes to work on each piece on this list?”
It is one thing to guru-speak and say it is all simple, but it is a whole different thing to execute and make it happen. To create a valuable piece of content, edit, package, optimise and promote it on social media takes time and discipline.
Social media marketing efforts can be rewarding, but it does takes time. And in the process, if you don’t want to get stressed, you need to figure out efficient ways of making it happen.
Real experts know the one big secret:
In the last couple of years, I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with social media influencers and experts in conferences like . And these are people who create a ton of content on a regular basis and promote them in all possible ways.
And I noticed something unusual about these experts. Unlike many of us who are constantly preoccupied with task lists on our mind – they are cool, composed, relaxed and fully present during these events.
How are they able to do it?
In talking to them, interacting with them, following them online and learning from them, I realised that the difference is in the way they approach their workflow.
One common factor in every expert’s workflow seems to be ‘preparation’ before ‘action’.
Yes, preparation is the secret sauce for social media efficiency. If you spend time preparing for your campaigns, you can save time executing them.
Benefits of spending time in preparations before a social media campaign
How to Save Time in Social Media Marketing: Spend Time Preparing
The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck – Tony Robbins
Prepare your message
Before you start creating your social media campaign content, whether that is in written form as a blog post, or in a video form, or a podcast, spend time preparing your core message. Give it a shape and form in your head; create an outline on a piece of paper (or in an online document) roughly creating the introduction, problem being addressed, solution, call-to-action, conclusion, etc.
Most importantly, prepare yourself to deliver the message to your audience; gather all relevant information on the topic and spend time thinking deeply about the subject. With new promotional formats like LIVE social videos, it is important for you to be fully confident and knowledgeable about what you are conveying. Read articles and books if necessary to support your thought-flow. Collect references, statistics and quotes to support your stand.
Prepare your audience
You can prepare your audience for the message well ahead of time:
Prepare your workflow
Think about the step-by-step process involved in creating your social media campaign and prioritise tasks. You can use a tool like Trello to help you plan and create checklists for the workflow. If you are already using a project management tool then use that to design a workflow.
I personally start planning my workflow with my mind-mapping tool, then I break it down into individual tasks, group them and prioritise them.
Prepare your response
Think about the outcome of your social media campaign in advance. Prepare your response for your campaign based on the desired outcome.
For example, let us assume you are running a social media campaign to increase subscribers to your mailing list. And you plan to do that by a webinar and supported by an eBook give away which offers great value to your audience. Before you start promoting it, imagine that your campaign produced a great impact, resulting in 100s of people clicking on the call-to-action link and landing up on your landing page. Now think about these questions:
Anticipate all the possible outcome and preparing your response to each scenario.
Preparation not only saves time but also reduces stress. If you are working with a team, this becomes even more important. Lesser the uncertainties the better, specially in social media where there are many moving parts. So take time to prepare and you will see a difference in the way you execute your campaigns.
How do you prepare for social media? Do share your thoughts and experiences. If you have any specific question on this topic of preparation or if you have any challenge, please ask using the comments section. Happy to help!