Each week, I receive tons of e-mails and phone calls where people helplessly proclaim, “I am so busy”, “I am up to my knees in deadlines”, “this has been a crazy week”, or my personal favorite, when people just push the “ignore” button. Let's face it: we've all been there because we're all insanely busy. And among a big handful of tasks, social media is something that tends to fall through the cracks during busy times. Now I'm warning you: you can continue scrambling for social media content like a chicken with his head cut off—nobody's going to stop you. But there are some great ways to putty the cracks to insure you're staying sharp and current on your social platforms.
Create Pre-Packaged Posts: Spend a chunk of time creating a collection of pre-packaged posts, pictures, quotes, article links, that you can pull from when you're really busy. Here at FSM, we like to create a library of quotes and posts to draw from when we need fast content.
Use social media aggregation tools: There is a medley of great social aggregation platforms to schedule content for all of your social platforms in one easy place. TweetDeck and HootSuite are among our list of favorites. Sign up and save hours of time.
Create an editorial calendar: Editorial calendars are an awesome way to map out your entire social media marketing strategy. They not only help you strategize your content, they also promote continuity between different social platforms and ensure that everyone (associates, guest contributors, etc.) is on the same page.
Hire an intern or delegate responsibility: Social media should be a collaborative effort. If you're the only one managing the social media operations, you might consider rotating the responsibility between others in the office. As long as your brand's voice is consistent, this is a great way to keep ideas fresh and evenly distribute the load.
Guest Contributors: Having guest contributors—especially when it comes to the blog—is an incredible time saver. Not only that, but it keeps your blog fresh with creative voices. Find a list of people and publications that you can exchange content with. Chances are they're scrambling for posts too, so it'll be great opportunity to build a mutually beneficial relationship rooted in sharing content.
Use your phone: We all have times when we're waiting in the grocery line or at the DMV—use these opportunities to post to your social networks on your smartphone. Who says you can't kill two birds with one stone?
RSS Feeds: RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it is a great way to keep a constant stream of posts on your platforms. Because it's automated, you don't have to worry about posting or visiting the website. To set it up, all you have to do is visit a website/publication and select an RSS feed that parallels the interests/needs of your target audience. From there you can select how often you'd like the feed to appear on your platforms.
Google Alerts: Google Alerts are e-mail updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries. All you have to do is enter a search query you wish to monitor and select how often you'd like to receive updates. Google Alerts are great for monitoring a developing news story and keeping current on a competitor or industry trends—all of which are great springboards for blogs, videos, tweets, and Facebook posts.
Personalized Content: So you can't seem to find and/or develop interesting content today? Try taking a step outside of the norm and posting something personal, such as pictures from your last vacation, your daughters graduation, or your latest speaking engagement. There is nothing wrong with sprinkling personal touches onto your social platforms. As financial advisors, this is a great way to save time and build trust with clients, leads, and prospects.
Daily Social Workouts: Daily Social Workouts offer some great routines and guidelines for daily posting on your social networks. It not only takes away the think-work associated with posting and engaging, it also teaches you a great deal about how and when to engage.
While the latter options offer some great tips for saving time, remember that social media is personal and “in the moment”. Your audience will really appreciate seeing real, genuine posts from your business, for they are interested in you more than anything. How do you save time and increase efficiency with social media?
Amy McIIwain is the president of Financial Social Media, a Denver, CO-based firm that teaches financial services firms the best way to combine social media and traditional amrketing techniques. Follow the firm on Twitter @InsuranceMktg.