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When I started my blog, I didn’t want to spend all day on social media trying to grow my following. But every single blog post seemed to not agree with me. Some blog posts went as far as giving me a timeline of when, how, and why to be on social media throughout the day. I wanted to spend less time on social media, and more time focusing on my blog, but I found it difficult at first.

Between managing a Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, I thought I would lose my mind. One day, I decided I would get my biz together, focus on what was important and grow my business the way I wanted to. One of the first steps was to automate my social media without sacrificing the engagement that I had with my followers. I’m glad to say that I am finally starting to achieve that mission! Let me show you how.

HootSuite

Hootsuite is one of the best schedulers that I have found for multiple social media sites. Not only do they offer a free plan (which is what I use), but it also offers paid plans.

For Facebook, I use Hootsuite to schedule posts from the blogs I follow throughout the week. I set Hootsuite to post on Facebook 3 times a day, and this keeps me in the eye of those that follow me.

I have noticed an increase of engagement since switching to 3 times a day (I used to post once a day manually), and I can also see if anyone mentions me on Facebook as well.

For Twitter, I also schedule to post for 3 times a day. Twitter is my least used and least favorite platform, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. To me, the great thing about Twitter is that you can connect and network with brands in less than a minute. Using Hootsuite with Twitter also helps gives credit to amazing bloggers, and brings traffic to both of our blogs.

For Instagram, I use Hootsuite to comment on photos. I choose four hashtags that I follow regularly, input them into Hootsuite, and it shows all of the pictures with that hashtag. From there, I comment on photos that resonate with me! I’ve been able to connect with some amazing women, increase involvement on my photos, and gain an average of 10-15 followers a week. While that may not seem like much, it is a significant increase from 2 people a week.

Time spent on Hootsuite: A little under two hours 2 hours every week. 1 hour for scheduling posts, 20 minutes every other day commenting on Instagram.

Recurpost

Recurpost is great for rescheduling posts that I want my followers to see fairly often. I use the free plan, and I am able to have 100 recurring posts every month. For me, that’s plenty, but as I grow I know I will need to upgrade.

If you have opt-ins, posts with affiliate links, or regular affiliate programs that you promote often, Recurpost will make your life SO much easier. All you have to do is add the post once, set it to recur, and you are good to go! It’s a great way for me to spend less time on social media because I am not constantly typing out tweets or posts that I want my followers to see or use.

You can also use the one-time use setup if you have a series of posts you want to share for an upcoming course, webinar, or meet up. I haven’t had to use this feature yet, but I’m sure I will use it eventually. 

Time Spent On Recurpost: 1 hour for initial setup, 10 minutes a month adding posts if needed.

Social Warfare

I love Social Warfare*. I was hesitant to buy a plugin (as all of the plugins I use are free), but it has been wonderful! What’s great about social warfare is that I can insert in multiple photos for social media, and create descriptions for them. That way, when people schedule anything from my blog, they don’t have to do any extra work, and neither do I!

Another great thing about Social Warfare is you can choose how your share buttons show up, and its setup is super easy! It took me about 10 minutes to install and configure everything I needed.

Time spent on social warfare: 10 minutes to set up, 5 minutes to add photos once I’m done writing my blog post.

Later

I wrote a whole post about Later (you can check it out here), but I wanted to talk about it again, just so I can share how incredible and easy it’s been to use.

As with the other scheduling systems, I use the free plan for Later. This gives you the option to post on each social media platform a total of 30 times a month While Later also offers Pinterest and Facebook scheduling, I solely use it for Instagram.

I take and create most of my photos in batches at the beginning of the month. From there, I take all the photos I have on hand and schedule them for specific days and times on Later. If you haven’t noticed the easiest way to spend less time on social media is to schedule everything in advance.

With Later, I try to schedule a full month in advance. I leave a few days open for random pictures, meme’s, or anything else that may come up, but most of my pictures are scheduled. From there, Later will alert me once it’s time for my picture to go live, and I will copy and paste my caption and post it. Easy peasy!

Time Spent On Later: 2-3 hours a month. Time includes taking, creating, and sizing photos, captions, and scheduling.

Tailwind

Tailwind is the only app* I highly recommend for Pinterest! Pinterest experts recommend that to stay visible, you should be pinning consistently. By consistently, they mean a few pins every hour, and more pins during peak hours. I’m sorry, but most budding entrepreneurs don’t have that kind of time to spare.

Tailwind eliminates this problem by scheduling your posts in advance and pinning them to your boards during peak times. This allows for maximum exposure and gives you the opportunity to have a viral pin.  I schedule whatever coincides with my boards and it takes just a few seconds to schedule with the Tailwind extension.

I also schedule pins on Tailwind as I’m scheduling them to Hootsuite. This helps me spend less time on social media and keeps me from wasting time on Pinterest. Everyone who knows me knows I can spend hours on there at any given time, and using Tailwind will keep me from wasting my day on it.

Time Spent On Tailwind: 1 hour a week.

Non-Automated Schedule

For anything that I can’t automate on social media, I have set times that I can use to network. For example, I only reply to comments on my blog and social media between 4pm-6pm (I never need to use the full two hours). I comment on other’s pictures when I first start my work, normally around 9 or 10. I also take 20 minutes a day to network in Facebook groups.

Overall, I don’t spend a lot of time day to day running my social media. As an introvert, I find it hard to connect with people and be someone that I’m not. I don’t have an exuberant personality, and people aren’t drawn to me because of my charm. While there is nothing wrong with that, I do know that I can’t be a hermit if I want my blog and business to grow. So while I am authentic in my approach to social media, I’m also pretty real. I try to connect to people on a deeper level than just “This is awesome!”. Spending a few minutes on my social media platforms helps me to do that. Plus, I’ve been able to meet some cool and incredible new friends.

Time Spent: 40 minutes or less every day, not counting the Instagram commenting as it is calculated for Hootsuite.

Spend Less Time On Social Media

Do you want to know the biggest reason I am able to spend less time on social media? I just do it! That may not be what you were expecting, but it’s true. I just tell myself I don’t need to be on social media all of the time. It’s hard because I know I am not in the normal group of people who love using social media, but I find that I am able to build true and meaningful relationships without it.

The fact is that these platforms that we use now may not always be here. They could disappear, you could get your account shut down, or it may just be that you don’t like certain platforms. Most of us have become so dependent on using social media platforms because we are told that we should in order to grow a successful business. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can spend less time on social media and still build your business. All it takes is a little planning ahead of time, a few nice tools and systems, and a lot of determination to not get sucked into it. Once you have all of those in place, you’ll be good to go.

Time Spent Not On Social Media: Priceless.

Using these tools has really helped me see consistent engagement and follower growth since I’ve started using them. In all, I spend about 18 hours on social media a month, or 4.5 hours every week. This may still seem like a lot to some of you, but before I started this process I was clocking in about 1o hours every week. Using this method, I was able to cut my time in half!

I am still working on ways to shorten that time, but for now, I am super happy with that number! Freeing an extra 5 hours for my business has been wonderful, and I don’t have to sacrifice or neglect my social media. So what about you? Are you ready to spend less time on social media and more time growing your business?