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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. They all said that in order to grow a business, constant use of social media was important. I wanted to spend less time on social media. I wanted to spend more time focusing on my business. For me, I didn’t want to be tied to my phone and computer all day, every day. I knew there had to be a better solution.
With managing all of my social media profiles, 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, on my terms. One of the first steps was to automate my social media without sacrificing the engagement that I had with my audience. I’m glad to say that I’ve achieved that mission! Let me share with you how I’ve done it.
SmarterQueue is the best social media scheduler I’ve found that offers a robust and user-friendly system at an affordable price. In my opinion, it’s a great mix between Meet Edgar and Recurpost. At $21/mo (for the plan I’m on, there are options to spend less), it has filled in all of my needs, and even goes above and beyond.
I can schedule evergreen posts (posts that post on a consistent basis). I can schedule one-time posts. It allows me to tag other businesses easily. I can schedule certain timeframes that I want to post. And my favorite part, it has categories! This allows me to keep everything separate, from my blog posts, to my products, to the blog posts I find around the web. That way, I’m sharing the most important links, while also keeping track of the content that I put out. It’s changed how I schedule content, and how often I need to schedule. Plus, I never have to worry about getting all of my content out there, because all of my blog posts recycle. That means I’m sharing content year round, and don’t have to worry about remembering to post my favorites!
Time spent on SmarterQueue: A little under an hour every week, which consists of me just adding my newest content, and content from my favorite websites.
Side note: Other options for social media schedulers are out there. The system you decide to use is based on what you need, what you want, and what you can afford. I suggest trying them all out with a free trial, and deciding what works best for you before committing. Besides, you can always adjust later.
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.
I wrote a whole post about Planoly, but I wanted to talk about it again, just so I can share how incredible and easy it’s been to use.
Planoly is the ultimate Instagram scheduler, and it’s changed my Instagram game for the better. 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 Planoly. I’ll add my captions and hashtags, and even schedule my Instagram Stories in advance as well, depending on what I have to share. If you haven’t noticed, the easiest way to spend less time on social media is to schedule everything in advance.
With Planoly, I try to schedule a full month in advance. I leave a few days open for random pictures. But for the most part, everything is scheduled. From there, Planoly will automatically post my graphics, and I don’t have to do anything extra. Easy peasy!
Time Spent On Later: 2-3 hours a month. Time includes taking, creating, and sizing photos, captions, and scheduling.
Tailwind is the only app I recommend for Pinterest! Pinterest experts recommend that to stay visible, you should be pinning consistently (at least 10-20 time a day, 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 SmarterQueue. 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.
Another unique tool that Tailwind offers is looping, which basically just means that any pin you submit to a specific board will be added to other boards in your “loop”, so you can always have some of your content floating around. This is such a helpful tool for me because it offers me the chance to consistently push out my best and most viral content, without spending extra time on it. Once I’ve added that content into one of my loops, I never have to touch it again. Tailwind will do all of the work for me!
Time Spent On Tailwind: 1 hour a week.
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 once a day. I comment on other Instagram photos when I first start my work. I also take 20 minutes a day to network in my favorite 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. I’ve also can’t 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 authentic. 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.
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 that 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 15 hours on social media a month. This may still seem like a lot to some of you, but before I started this process I was clocking in about 10 hours every week. Using this method, I’ve been able to save so much time and energy!
I am still working on ways to shorten that time, but for now, I am super happy with that number! Freeing an extra 25 hours for my business has been wonderful, and I don’t have to sacrifice or neglect my social media.