Social media can become a huge time, energy and money drain for many entrepreneurs, especially when first starting to build an online presence. Sooner or later, many people find themselves asking the same question:
“How do I engage, interact, and optimize my strategy on social media every day, while still focusing on producing high quality and original content for every day at the same time?”
If you’ve ever tried “doing it all” yourself before, you’ve realized that your seemingly basic social media plan can quickly become overwhelming - resulting in inconsistency and/or loss of quality as time goes on.
For a solid social media presence (at a high level), I’d expect to see some, if not all, of the following:
High quality graphics/high resolution photos (for viral sharing content, branding etc)
Outside content (articles, blogs, news stories etc in alignment with your message)
Engagement with audience (liking other pages, commenting, interacting etc)
Special announcements/promotions/special offers
Oh, and remember, you need to post at the right content at the right times of day in order to actually REACH your audience, too.
Tracking, curating, producing, planning, and managing social media can become a full-time job before you know it. So… the question still remains: “How can I do it all, and still focus on other parts of my business?”
Here’s the short answer:
In today’s world, there are thousands of softwares developed specifically to help you solve these issues. It is my aim to show you one of the most robust and effective ways to use these tools to curate + manage your content with the least amount of time and energy, allowing you to tap into your innate genius and do more of what you do best.
We can do all of this by using the OAO Method. In other words, you can Optimize, Automate, and Outsource the entire process.
Let me show you how.
You can’t improve a process without having a basic awareness of what’s already going on. Writing out your process will reveal gaps of inefficiencies and obvious mistakes that you may not notice otherwise.
For example, our process for social media at Less Doing used to go like this:
4 times per week at 8:00AM, I get an automated reminder from IFTTT to “Post to social media”.
Quick! Come up with something relevant and engaging!! (I’m sure you can already see the inefficiencies peeking through….)
Create a graphic on Photoshop to support the content. I like to accompany all information with an eye-catching picture.
Log into Instagram and post it, then share (from Instagram) to our Facebook page and Twitter.
Looking at this process, I can see a few crucial issues.
These reminders, although scheduled, are all urgent. It’s very hard to come up with creative, quality content when you’re told to produce it immediately and urgently.
When you share content from Instagram to Facebook & Twitter, it no longer becomes native. Meaning, it’s not friendly to each platform and therefore, usually isn’t as widely shared or seen by your audience.
There is no specific time that I post the content - I could get around to it at 8:00AM sharp, or perhaps I’d get around to it at 7:00PM that evening. There was no reliability or way to track when the most effective times to post were.
What happens if I’m unavailable or unable to complete the task? Because it relied on my own understanding of the business and graphic design, I was the only one who could do it. This is the biggest mistake of all, because if I couldn’t post to Social media, nobody else could take my place - resulting in a fragile online presence. Not good.
Now, here’s the question. How can you Optimize?
Here’s what we decided to do.
I brought on another teammate to help me manage the social media and showed her all the current processes. Just this step alone allowed me to see issues clearly and get her feedback on how to improve our systems.
I also decided to make sure anyone could handle graphic design - so I used Canva. It’s a free online graphic design application, and also has a mobile app. With an easy drag-n-drop interface, a 10 year old could easily create the same quality graphics that I could using Photoshop.
Batch It Up.
Isn’t it nice to have something ready at the exact moment you need it?
Try sitting down for an hour or two and pump out as many quotes and quick tips as you can on Canva, and you’ll find yourself with weeks of content ready to post whenever you are ready.
For other content, try using the Evernote Web Clipper when browsing the web to save articles, blog posts, and other online content that you want to distribute later.
You’ll soon have a full collection of media to share with your audience, and you won’t have to waste time thinking about it when it’s time to rock and roll.
Okay, so you have a library full of content. But you still have to post it at the right times, in the right places - this means there is still too much room for human error and it depends on your availability to make it happen.
But hey, it’s the 21st century! We have incredible technology at our fingertips at every moment. Let’s have some fun and use it.
Enlist The Robots.
In other words, use automation software.
There are countless tools you can utilize to load and schedule content to go out at certain times. Here are a few of our favorites:
We decided to use MeetEdgar to recycle all of our evergreen content on Facebook and Twitter, and loaded all of our instagram content into Later.
Aside from making time-sensitive announcements/promotions, we really don’t need to touch our social media for the next 2 months.
Don’t Forget To Remember.
2 months is a long time, but it isn’t forever! You still need to set aside a couple of hours per month to make sure all of your content is relevant, engaging, and helpful for your audience, and make sure all of your posts are scheduled ahead of time.
The easiest way to keep yourself on track is to set up reminders using other automation softwares. Our favorites:
You can easily set up reminders for yourself to update and load new content using these. You could get reminded via Trello, Facebook, Email, Text message, whatever floats your boat. I prefer getting a text message, and It only takes a couple of clicks to set up a monthly reminder like that with both IFTTT and Zapier.
Lastly, we come to Outsourcing - the ultimate goal.
Once you have your processes optimized and in place, you can then hire someone else - ideally, a VA (virtual assistant) - to take over the entire thing for you. This allows you to stay ahead of the curve, and focus on producing even more value for your audience.
A lot of people have trouble letting go of managing their social media because they don’t trust a stranger to represent their brand, interact professionally with followers, or understand their processes.
If you want world-class online presence, you need world-class VAs to handle it for you. The Less Doing Virtual Assistants are the only VAs in the world who are trained in the OAO method and can execute the entire process outlined here from start to finish.
If you’d like to get an entire team of highly skilled virtual assistants working on your to-do list 24/7, learn more by clicking here.
Author: Rachel Bell