As small businesses continue to embrace social media as a powerful way to reach their audiences, many small business owners are also discovering how quickly social media maintenance can eat up hours of your time. Social media is important, but when should you say enough is enough? Here’s how to simplify your social media efforts and still be effective.

Get organized with your social media

The biggest time suck for most small businesses who handle their own social media efforts is when they randomly post, like, share, and follow online all day throughout the day every day. Get organized and create a social media calendar! Social media works best when you make a schedule. This is especially important if your social media marketing involves multiple platforms with multiple people managing them. There are many great social media calendar templates to choose from. Find one that works best for your team. It can be as simple as sharing a Google Calendar or using a spreadsheet or Google Docs. The key is to get organized and on a schedule.

Try automating the process

Everyone will tell you that the key to effective social media is true engagement; engaging in conversations with your audiences like a human being goes a long way in your social media efforts being effective. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that you have to be 100% manual in your efforts. There are many great social media automation tools to simplify and automate your social media efforts. Most will allow you to manage multiple platforms from one dashboard, including scheduling out messages, adding images, and giving you real-time analytics on engagement. Automation does not get you off the hook of engaging with your followers!

Don’t try to be on every social platform

Many businesses fall into the trap of trying to be EVERYWHERE, on every social media channel. That can be a big waste of time. Look at your marketing strategy (assuming you have one!) and look at your target audience and ideal client. Where are they?  Where can you find them?  Does it really make sense to be on Snapchat if your target audience isn’t there?  Master a few social media platforms well, measure the ROI, and stick with those. More is not better here. Look at your analytics and see which ones are worth the effort to engage on.

Repurpose content

“Repurpose” doesn’t mean keep posting the same thing. Find a way to repurpose content you’ve posted previously. Learn how to repurpose content and reach more customers by presenting your content in a format they prefer to use when consuming content. Got a few related blogs?  Turn it into a white paper. Got a great article?  Turn it into a video. Many content pieces can live in various formats. Look at your existing content with fresh eyes and see how you can repurpose it. Saves a LOT of time recreating new content every single time.

Engage selectively

engage selectivelyYou can spend a lot of time mindlessly going through all your feeds, looking for good content that you can like, share and comment on. Stop! Make the opportunities come to you by setting up Google Alerts to notify you of selected topics that you should engage with. To set up Google Alerts, simply go to Then select terms you want to be alerted for, and click Create Alert. Now you’ll get alerts when your topics are being actively discussed. You can also use other listening tools like Mention to monitor your brand mentions online.

Have someone manage it for you

There are many small business marketing consultants who can manage your social media efforts for you. Outsourcing your social media may just be the best way to simplify your social media marketing efforts once and for all. Outsource some or all of your tasks, and you’ve just freed up a LOT of time.

Following even a few of these suggestions will go a long way to simplify your social media efforts.

Patty Hughes
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