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 Social Media Marketing Industry Report 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 SMMW. 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
- Reduces time spent in correcting mistakes and reworking on tasks.
- Reduces time spent in coming up with solutions to last-minute challenges that you failed to anticipate and prepare for.
- Increases efficiency because you selected the right tools for the job ahead of time.
- Helps you communicate your vision to your team ahead of a campaign. Thereby reducing time spent on meetings and explanations during execution.
- Helps you prepare your probable response to campaign results.
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.
- Think about what you wish to convey
- Think about the purpose of your message
- Think about how best to convey it
- Think about the medium that suits the message
- Think about how to structure and package your message
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:
- Running a teaser campaigns to raise the expectation
- Conducting a survey on a topic – As a reward for participation you could send them the result of the survey along with other analysis for free
- Using events to announce your campaign and prepare the audience
- Adding a sentence is your regular email campaigns stating that you are working on this specific campaign and they can expect it to see it soon
- Asking your audience if they have extra question on that topic
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:
- Is your landing page well-optimised for conversions?
- Is your integration with email client working well? Is the user experience (UX) optimised?
- What happens after they subscribe? Are you going to send them a thank you email with a special offer or an automated drip email with useful information?
- How are you going to retain the attention of those visitor?
- How else can you add value to your visitors and move them down the sales funnel?
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!