Time. It’s always in short supply. Finding time to devote to social is a serious issue and a valid business concern. That’s especially true when having to prove the ROI of time spent on social. How and when, you implore, can I possibly fit this in? How can I streamline it? Take heart; there is good news. There is indeed a way to maximize your effort. To get the most mileage out of what you post. It just takes careful planning. I’ve included several scenarios to give you some ideas.
You should be able to plan an editorial calendar so that you can use the same information in multiple platforms in the manner best suited for that platform. Here’s an example.
- Write a blog post
- Tweet a link to it in the morning
- Share it on your LinkedIn status
- Add it to your email newsletter
- Post it on Facebook later in the day
If you plan all that ahead of time, you can get quite a bit of mileage from one item. If you’re just writing and tweeting randomly, you’re wasting time. That said, I don’t recommend posting the same exact information (for instance, a tweet in Facebook and LinkedIn). You still have to vary the message to fit the platform.
For bloggers, I think you have to be everywhere. That’s why it’s so important to plan content and how and when to distribute it. You really need to stretch those postings as far and wide as possible.
Let’s say that you don’t have a blog, but you want to build your professional reputation nonetheless. Here are some ideas for you.
- Answer a question in a LinkedIn group once or twice a week – but not more than once per day. And not in the same group. You don’t want to overdo it in LinkedIn. Don’t be a know-it-all in the groups or take over your connections’ newsfeeds. While it’s important to be visible in this platform, be careful so as not to wear out your welcome. Make each post worth people’s time. Don’t put anything out just to have something. Be picky. Would you rather be known as someone that talks relentlessly and aimlessly just to be heard, or do you prefer to have people listen in when you say something because you don’t always do so, and when you do, it’s great info to help them as well as their companies or followers. To me, this is an example of perhaps having a better ROI by not posting all the time. While you might need to be everywhere on multiple social platforms, you don’t have to be everywhere all the time. That saves you time right there. It’s not all-or-nothing on all platforms.
- Read blogs relevant to your industry and periodically leave thoughtful, helpful comments. Bloggers usually make their posts and comments available via RSS feeds, so your comments may be shared that way. If a blogger has an email newsletter, they likely include their blog posts. I’ve also seen people tweet that they’ve commented on a post and provide a link to the blog post. That also benefits the blogger, and not just for traffic. It shows that their blog is worthy of review and comment. Look for ways to make your various social postings a win-win for multiple people. Do you want to post just anything, or post something that potentially helps someone else as well?
- Tweet articles of interest to your followers throughout the day. Focus on the morning, though. Post your best content then and include a hashtag. That way, you’re more likely to be included in someone’s daily Twitter paper. Find one that you’d like to be in periodically and see when it publishes. Then post your best links at least an hour before it publishes. Catch all the time zones for your topic or industry, but find out the best times. You can schedule these ahead of time. So set aside an hour or so a week to research and find articles to tweet. Look for share-worthy content. Find content that others will want to RT: help make them look good to their followers. You can find all these and schedule tweets to go out automatically at a time and day you specify. So, are you going to tweet just anything, or find something of value that people can share or perhaps get you visibility in someone’s paper? Twitter, I think, benefits from daily work. This one is worth putting time into each day.
- Post the best of your best tweet content in other platforms such as Facebook and Google+ several times a week. Sometimes I’ve added recap posts in Facebook. You can add an item and related links in the comments. I see comments as opportunities to share information, not just talk about something.
If you are just randomly tossing information up on the web, you are likely wasting time. Be smart. Be strategic. Plan, analyze, and then plan some more. Then start implementing your strategy.
I have more thoughts on this topic. You can find them in these posts: