How To Simplify Social Media
You can simplify your social media strategy with savvy hacks that will uplift your message, grow your reach, and help you take more time back to focus on your big goals and creative projects.
As a busy mom and entrepreneur who loves social media to interact and connect with my global community, I understand the need to know the best practices and how to minimize one's time online, for efficiency, productivity and sanity.
I've also recently realized how people who see my social media activity and postings, think that I am really busy posting online, or that I'm always off in some fabulous nature setting or activity each day, when really I'm pre-planning.
I spend just a few minutes posting each day, often in my leggings, in my bed, on my laptop or phone, in short moments in-between focusing on my main work - my clients, business planning, my personal creative goals - and of course my family and self-care!
Now that I am pregnant with a new baby, I am feeling even more strongly the need and desire to simplify my online media connections, yet while still maintaining and growing my online community in the best way.
I seek to focus upon the creative projects coming forth both with my body and mind, as motherhood motivates me to want to create more effective change in the world - for the future of all the children and people to be well, happy, safe and abundant.
This week, a client commented on how active I had been posting things on social media even though she knew I've been feeling queasy and tired for the past month with persistent morning sickness. I realized that it was working! I was online way less, but it wasn't noticeable that I was doing much less!
My desire to simplify my social media time was working, because I've spent WAY less time on social media in the past month, and only wrote one blog post, but I was still sharing content and connecting, just in more concise and creative ways.
I often hear from my holistic business coaching clients, that they want to learn how to use social media better without having it suck all their time away from their life. This is how.
Here are my top tips to simplify your social media:
Plan Your Content:
In a business meeting, we were discussing social media, and a colleague commented on how I was always doing exciting things in beautiful places. I had to share with everyone, that actually I was mostly working on projects on my laptop or phone with clients on most days, and I took my photos for Instagram and Facebook mostly in batches, and then shared them staggered over several days or weeks. Just because they saw a picture this morning online of me hiking in nature, doesn't me that's what I was doing this morning - I may have been doing that yesterday or last week.
Batch Your Photos:
Batching your photos for social media makes it so much easier to know what you're going to post each day, and plan how all your photos are going to look together, then to think each day of something new to share. I love to go on photo adventures, and create photo shoots for flatlays and concept ideas, once a week or a couple times a month. By batching your photos, you always have pictures to share, even if you woke up with a bad hair day or it's dark, gray and drizzly outside, or have a full day planned.
Batch Your Posters:
I also will create batches at a time of images through Canva.com with photos and words together in inspiring posters or word quotes. Canva is a great free online graphic design tool with easy templates for making your own social media images. Rather than having to design a new image each day, I find it much easier to create several at one time. I also reuse posters that I've already created, so once you've created it, you can keep it in your library and re-share it every few months or so.
Keep an Idea List:
I also batch my written content. I'll keep a running list of ideas of short written ideas to share. Often many will come in a creative burst, so I open my list and write down several ideas, then later when I want to post something, I check my list for an idea that fits.
Save Links and Videos:
As I am browsing through Facebook, I also save interesting links and videos. This is a great function of Facebook for often I get a couple minutes to look at my phone while in between activities and I don't have time to watch a video and read a whole article. Or I may have just posted something and then found a great link, and I want to wait to post it at a later time, this is a great way to save links for your optimal sharing times. Whenever I want an inspirational or educational video or link on my Facebook page, I can go to my saved list and see if there is an article that fits.
Have you been blogging, creating content, and posting on social media for months or years? Then you already have a wealth of resources to look to for post inspiration. I look to already published blog content for new content purposes all the time. Rather than writing something new, I will excerpt parts from my published writing and share them with new fresh images, posters or photos on my Facebook page. You can also copy and paste the whole blog post into a long Facebook post, and find new traffic for your content that way. Facebook prefers native content over outside links, so this is a great way to help make sure your social media followers read and follow your content, even if they didn't see the blog post link in the past, or are new followers since you published that post first.
Share on Multiple Platforms at Once:
Do more with one post than just a single post. I love to post on Instagram, because it's easy to snap a photo, edit and share, or to share a ready photo, and then click share to Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. I alternate between sharing photos from Instagram to both my Facebook page and profile. If I post a short text post on Facebook, I'll also be sure to share that on Twitter. If I post a video to Youtube, I'll also post it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and maybe take a snapshot or short clip to share on Instagram too. There are many ways to share between platforms! So instead of having to create content for every platform you can adapt your content for multiple channels at once.
Prepare to be Spontaneous:
It's so much easier to prepare for several posts at once, when you are in your creative flow, then to try to think of new things to post at several times of the day every day. Think ahead and you'll find that posting on social media only takes a minute, because you will already have content ready. You can still and definitely should post spontaneously thoughts, updates, news, and photos from during your day, but you don't have to force creativity to strike upon demand.
Let the Schedule Go:
I'm not a big fan of scheduling your social media posts on third-party apps because Facebook shows posts that are scheduled less than content that is directly posted. Thus, I don't use social media management software for scheduled posts, just for monitoring activity and statistics. With Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all having algorithm based feeds now, showing the most interesting or relevant content first, I believe that direct posting gives our posts an advantage to be shared more to our followers.
I find planning and batching helps me to be ready to post quickly throughout the day and leaves room for the spontaneous and timely sharing. I also let go of any ideas of how much I should post - somedays it may be once and other days it may be a whole bunch! So is life - being authentic on social media is also essential, you don't need to post 8 times a day, or every two hours on the dot. If you don't post anything today, you can post tomorrow. It's all good. There are no rules. Let it be simple and in the flow and soon it will become habit.
I've let go of the idea that I need to always post at optimal traffic times, and have opened to the idea that inspiration strikes often right when it's the perfect time to share it. Then that late Sunday afternoon post, in sleepy social media hours, may end up generating the most responses of people saying it was synchronistically exactly what they needed to read right at that moment. Trust your intuition whether to post now or later, the most important thing is to do it.
Beware the Newsfeed Vortex
The biggest time suck to social media is when you start scrolling through the newsfeed and it's a never-ending river of entrancing pictures, headlines, click bait, memes, baby photos, smoothie pics, kitty photos, funny stories, and life announcements. This is really where people lose time on social media, not planning and posting content, or responding to comments from friends and followers, but browsing.
When I go to social media, I go to my profile or page first, rather than my newsfeed, so as to maintain focus on my goals for posting. Otherwise I could start browsing and ten minutes later I'm wondering what I came there for, and I'm all fired up about some political article, planning some crafty project to make for my 4 year old, or distracted by videos of babies laughing. Pay attention to how much you are consuming social media compared to creating and posting social media, and choose the path that will lead to the most productivity.
The increased relaxation of knowing you've simplified your social media planning and posting will actually create more space and time in your life and mind for the lightning bolts of creative inspiration to strike - which can lead to those super inspired posts that go viral or attract your ideal clients straight to your inbox wanting to work with you.
Social media is about connecting, meeting new people, engaging in conversation. Focus on interacting more than posting. It's not a competion, it's not about numbers, it's about using this amazing global communication tool to find your peeps, share your message and follow your passion.
Try to find ways to share what you are naturally doing, glimpse of your life, your work and who you are, and let it be a natural expression of who you are.
Be creative, take time for you, and let social media be a tool that simplifies your ability to connect quicker and better with people worldwide.
Enjoy the connections!