Do you think social media is essential for your business?

According to Hubspot Statistics, over 90% of the marketers believe so.

Needless to say, having a social media strategy is a must for every business or brand looking to grow and expand.

What’s important is to leverage the power of social media productively. By that I mean maximizing the output you get and minimizing the time you spend on Social Media.

Social Media Marketing can do wonders for your company, as Jayson DeMers outlines in his post on Forbes, but lets face it – it’s super easy to get distracted and lose track of time!

Take a look at this infographic from Social Media Today that shows you how much time businesses spend on social media. On an average 43% of the marketers spend 6 or more hours per week on social media.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Buffer

Here’s what takes up most of their time on social media and what is least time-consuming:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Buffer

Source : Social Media Today

Finding and posting content; learning and education; and analyzing efforts seem to take most amount of time on social media.

Combined with the distractions on social media, there is bound to be a significant drain on your time.

What’s the solution?

Take a unique approach and use productivity techniques to effectively manage your time.

Here are 4 ways to use social media productively to market your brand:

1. Automate Social Media posting

Use social media marketing tools like Viraltag, Hootsuite, Buffer etc to save time and increase engagement. With these tools, you can schedule posts for the future and don’t have to constantly spend time on social media. Compared to posting content manually, automated posting saves you at least 4-5 hours a week, so you get effective results with minimal effort.

Features like Viraltag’s Post recycling further save you time by automatically recycling your best performing posts on Social media. Simply add content to the evergreen content library, and they automatically get recycled, boosting engagement and traffic.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Buffer

2. Avoid distractions on Social Media

Social Media is a brilliant place to stay up to date and find relevant information, but it’s a double-edged sword.

It’s just as easy to get distracted by social media for non-business activities, and more distractions equates more room for error. Take a look at this recent study that reveals how frequent interruptions reduce productivity and consequently affect performance.

Here are some tips to stay focused and increase your productivity level :

  • Silence your phone, or switch off notifications so you can direct attention to a single task and finish it faster without getting distracted
  • Use tools like freedom.to or StayFocusd to limit the amount of time you spend on websites and block them altogether for a certain time as well, if need be.
  • Apps like Tomato Timer help you implement the Pomodoro Technique. The process is simple. For every project throughout the day, you work for 25 minutes then take a short 5 minute break. Research shows that this helps keep your mind fresh and focused. You can read more about this technique here.

3. Plan out your social media strategy and stick to it

Allocate time you spend for each step, and follow it through. Social media strategy can be broken down to 4 steps :

#1 Planning & Finding Content (30 mins/day)

Spend half an hour every day to plan content for the rest of the week, and to look for content to share. You can use Viraltag to look for content in the in-built content library itself, without having to toggle between windows.

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Buffer

Tools like Bundlepost help you find more relevant content. Google alerts are automatically saved as drafts, you can go over them and decide which ones you want to share.

#2 Creating Content (30 mins/day)

This process involves implementing your plan and scheduling posts to your social media channels. Grammarly is an awesome tool that you can use to make sure your social media updates and blog posts are error-free. With frequent posting, you are bound to make grammatical mistakes every now and then, just install the chrome extension and you’re good to go.

#3 Analyzing content performance (1 hour/week)

Measuring success from your social media efforts is an important part of your social media strategy. Spending one hour at the end of each week to track how your posts have performed, identifying what type of posts perform well etc, will help you decide what type of content you should focus on, in the weeks to come. Google Analytics is a great way to keep track of how much traffic is being directed to your website from your social channels. There are tools you can use to monitor activity based on individual social channels as well – Agorapulse works well for Facebook, Buffer is fantastic for Twitter metrics and Viraltag gives you a detailed insight into your Pinning activity.

#4 Engaging with your audience (1 hour/day)

Engaging and responding to your customers promptly on social media is crucial for your business to grow.

Bottom-line is, happy customer = thriving business.

Hiring a VA or a social media intern to outsource this task makes sense, because you can cut down the time you spend on this particular step and be sure that the responses are prompt. Alternatively, you can use tools like Engagio that let you track comments on your blogs and social media channels – all through a single dashboard, boosting productivity.

Like I mentioned before, stick to the schedule – Use tools like Time Doctor to measure and monitor the number of hours you spend on social media.

4. Choose social platforms that are relevant to your industry

Don’t be present everywhere as it will take more time to manage all of them effectively even with automation. You’ll find yourself in a Jack of all trades and master of none situation. Here are the questions you should ask yourself before you decide what social channels serve your needs best –

What is my Target Audience?

Consider which social channels your audience is most active on. If you’re targeting influencers and looking to connect with like-minded professionals, LinkedIn is your go-to channel. Pinterest works well for Bloggers, Instagram for younger people and Facebook and Twitter are safe options for all age groups.

What is my Industry?

The answer to this question, combined with the one on top will help you decide which social platforms you should focus your attention on. For example, if you’re business deals with fashion, it would make sense for you to be active on Instagram and Pinterest as these platforms rely heavily on visuals.

Take a look at this post which goes over which social channel you should choose based on the niche your industry is in and your target audience.

Final words

The 4 strategies mentioned above help you use Social media more productively and give your Marketing strategy an added boost: You save time, stay focused, and increase traffic.

What strategies would you use to improve social media productivity? Let me know in the comments below.

This article was originally published at SuccessIsWhat.