1. Make a plan. Whether you write a blog or post status updates on Facebook, you should have some sort of plan for what to talk about. Spending the time on the front end to create an editorial or messaging calendar will save you time later. Also, just because it’s on the calendar doesn’t mean you have to post it if there’s something else that has captured your interest; having a list of ideas just keeps you from getting stuck.
2. Automate as much as you can. Now, social media is a relationship-building tool and a big conversation, so you can’t automate everything – the interaction part is what makes it work. However, you can do a few things to help yourself.
- Use a tool like Hoot Suite or Social Oomph to schedule a “Tip of the Day” or other daily update. That way, if you don’t have time to spend online one day, you won’t suffer from total radio silence. (I prefer Social Oomph because their advanced tools are, well, more advanced.)
- Connect your Facebook business page to your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts so that you don’t have to post the same thing in several different places.
- Use Networked Blogs to automatically update Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with your blog posts.
3. Take advantage of waiting time. Put your social media tools to work on your smart phone so that you can use them when you would otherwise be wasting time – at the doctor’s office, on the train, or under the table at a boring dinner party. Just kidding.
4. Listen more than you talk. Read and share what other people are saying rather than always pushing out your own ideas. Commenting on a clever tweet will do more to build a relationship than composing your own will.
5. Outsource content development. Don’t be afraid to hire a ghost writer who can put together content in your voice. As long as you are approving what goes out there, using a consultant can be a great way to save time. Not that I’m biased or anything. Also, for routine or research tasks, consider using a virtual assistant. My VA of choice is Time SVR ; they can do almost anything, and it’s only $69 per month!