Today, we’re lucky to have a guest blogger – our friend Frances Caballo, an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. Read on for her valuable pointers on how to manage your social media in about 15 minutes a day. Thanks to Frances for joining us!
Social Media in 15 Minutes a Day
You know that to sell your new book you need to be involved in marketing it and in today’s world that means social media has to be in the mix.
If you’ve already been using Facebook and LinkedIn for some time, great! You’re ahead of the learning curve.
But if social media is completely new to you – aside from a Facebook profile you somewhat neglect – then it’s likely that you’ve spent time reading blog posts or attending webinars and social media workshops at writers’ conferences.
What you probably haven’t learned is that you can manage your social media in about 15 minutes a day.
Isn’t that a lovely idea? You’re probably wondering, “It that realistic?”
Keep reading because I’m going to show you how to manage your social media in a way that it won’t dominate your marketing efforts or send you into the vortex of social media time suck.
Four Steps to Managing Your Social Media Marketing
Regardless of the social media platforms you use there are four steps to managing your social media.
- Start with curation. Find content and create content to share. The content can be in the form of text as in links to blog posts by colleagues and experts in your genre or posts you write. Your content can also be in the form of images. Share as many images as you can – at least once daily on Twitter and in every post elsewhere.
- Schedule your social media posts. Once you know what you want to say and share, use a social media dashboard to schedule your posts.
- Find time to socialize. The very nature of social media is that it is social. In the book Twitter Power 3.0 the authors Joel Comm and Dave Taylor write, “Someone who uses social media successfully doesn’t just create content; he or she also creates conversations, and those conversations create communities.” So keep the social in social media and create communities with your readers on the social media platforms that best serve you.
- Review your analytics. Determine which posts receive the highest level of engagement and try to replicate that content every week. You can use the free analytics tools on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (if you have a Pinterest business account). There are also tools (such as SocialReport, mentioned below) available that provide analytics on other social media networks.
Tools to Help You Save Time
There are numerous applications available to help you save time on social media. Here are just a few the tools and tricks I use.
- AllTop – This is a wonderful directory of the top blogs in every category imaginable. You will always find the information here to curate and share.
- Swayy – Once you tell Swayy what your interests are, the app will send you an email each day with the five top blogs in your niche or genre, and you can schedule your post within the same application. This tool will save you a lot of time.
- ContentGems – This application works identically to Swayy except it will send you a longer list of blog posts.
- News feeds and lists: On Twitter, you can create lists of people who post great content and then use that list to curate content you want to share. You can also do the same thing reading through your news feeds on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and other social media networks that you use.
Scheduling your content is your next step. You will need to find an application that has the features you want.
- Buffer – This is a great tool for scheduling your posts. Buffer integrates well with other applications such as SocialBro, which determines your best tweeting times throughout the day. If you upgrade to the Awesome Plan you can also use it to share your posts on Google+.
- SocialOomph – This is my favorite social media dashboard. However, I only use it for LinkedIn and Twitter. You can schedule your Facebook page posts for the week using Facebook’s scheduling tool within the status update box. In addition, you can use a free chrome extension to schedule your Google+ posts. If you’d rather have one application take care of all of your scheduling needs, you can upgrade to a paid version of Buffer (about $10/month). If you’d like a more powerful dashboard, use SocialReport, which posts on every major social media network and provides killer analytics But SocialReport is about $40/month.
- Applications just for Twitter: TweetDeck and Pluggio (Pluggio has great analytics!)
Tools to Help You Socialize (As If You Need Help with That!)
There are some cool apps that will keep you in the know.
- NutshellMail –You can choose to receive an email once or twice a day. Each message will tell you who your new followers on Twitter are, who unfollowed you on Twitter, what’s trending on your Facebook news feed, which friends have birthdays, and what information is trending on LinkedIn.
- Newsle – This application is just for LinkedIn. You will receive an email every day that lets you know when your friends and colleagues are making the news.
- Twitter Notifications Tab – You can also log into Twitter and click on the Notifications tab (or check your social media dashboard) to find out who is following you and sharing your tweets.
- Join Groups & Communities – By joining groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and communities on Google+ you can easily join in conversations, share expertise, and make new friends and contacts.
Can I Really Do All This in 15 Minutes?
Yes. But – you knew there would be a but, didn’t you? – if you can allocate one day each week to spending at least 30 minutes for planning your social media posts.
The rest of the week you will only need at most 15 minutes a day.
And those 15 minutes can be spent while waiting for a friend at a café, sitting in your doctor’s waiting room, or sitting in front of the TV and taking time during commercial breaks to check in and be social.
We all know that social media can be time-consuming. It’s easy to open Facebook, check our news feed and get lost in our friends, fans and followers’ posts. We can click links that take us to another website and spend too much time watching silly videos.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
If you are willing to spend at least 30 minutes once a week planning your social media posts for the week than all you need is 15 minutes a day to spend some fun time socializing with your friends, followers, and contacts, who are mostly the people who read your books and stories.
These 15 minutes a day are the most crucial part of your social media marketing. During those 15 minutes, you are creating relationships with your readers. You are answering their questions. You are allowing them to get to know the author behind the book.
Don’t ever forget how special it feels to know the author of a book you adore. Why wouldn’t you want to spend 15 minutes a day talking to readers who most appreciate your writing?
So as long as you’re willing to spend 30 minutes once a week, all you need is 15 minutes a day to incorporate social media into your book marketing strategy.
I would love to hear about any strategies you use to economize your time and make social media less time-consuming.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers on her website or check out her newest book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.