If you think teenagers spend a lot of time each week on social media, that's nothing compared to how much time business owners devote to grooming and maintaining their social presence. Depending on who you talk to, companies spend an average of ten to twenty hours a week on marketing across social media channels. That's on top of a myriad other tasks and responsibilities to keep things running smoothly.
How do you stay on top of your social accounts without risking burn out? Read on to find out.
Do your research
The best content in the world won't mean a thing unless you know your target audience and a few other key metrics to help maximize the power of your social accounts. Good research and fact-finding saves you hours in the long run by helping you target your messaging effectively instead of fumbling around hoping something works.
Take some time to learn what your customers and fans are talking about so you can engage them on their favorite topics. Find out what's important to them by checking out the accounts your customers follow -- you never know what helpful nuggets you'll discover.
Regularly review your social analytics and stats to see when your posts get the most shares, favorites, and likes. Learn what times and days of the week your updates get the most traction so your most important updates get the most views. Remember, ideal times vary from platform to platform so what works best on Instagram may fall flat on Tumblr.
Make sure to also pay attention to the type of content you publish. According to an informative infographic by SurePayroll, Facebook posts that contain an image get 53 percent more likes and 104 percent more comments.
Plan it like you mean it
If you organize your social media strategy as an afterthought that you'll get around to when you have time, you're pretty much guaranteed to fail. When you open your Facebook account after a week away and see dozens of unanswered questions and comments littering the page, you'll feel overwhelmed before you even get started. A regular account maintenance schedule for your social platforms is as important as a maintenance schedule for your car. Both save you loads of time and headaches because you know exactly what needs to get done, and when.
Schedule daily social media tasks the same way you tackle other important responsibilities you must complete every day. Log them into your calendar, create a daily checklist, or write it on your arm. It doesn't matter what system you use to track your social media planning, as long as you follow through.
Build a safety net
If you're always rushing to post content at the last minute, you're running a high risk of burnout and social fatigue. Instead, build yourself a safety net in case of emergency or when you're simply too busy to give your social media accounts the attention they deserve.
Some social platforms allow users to schedule posts that automatically push content at a pre-determined time in the future, but not all social sites have those features built in. Third-party social media management apps like Sprout Social, Buffer, and Hootsuite help you plan ahead and schedule content to run in your absence.
Use these tools sparingly, however. It's fine to keep a few social posts "in the bank" to keep your timeline fresh if you're unavoidably absent, but don't rely on them to endlessly churn out content so you can ignore social media for weeks at a time. Your fans and followers will notice.
The best use for these kinds of social tools are to keep a few posts on standby. Then spend some time each day lining up your daily content so it publishes at the times your research shows are optimal. With that out of the way, you're free to check in on social media throughout the day to answer direct messages and notifications at a more leisurely pace.
Bring in the big guns
Sometimes the best defense against social media burnout is a good offense. Outsourcing your social presence frees you to focus on the details of running your business while remaining confident that you're also meeting the social needs and expectations of your customers.
Social media management can be a full time job in itself and, for some business owners, letting a team of pros shoulder that particular burden is the key to avoiding burnout. Consider delegating it to professionals who will make sure your company is always cast in the best light. Social media is a cost of doing business in today's internet-oriented world, but you don't have to manage the load by yourself.
Image: William Warby