Let’s face it, life isn’t easy. In fact, sometimes it’s actually really hard: There’s a lot to remember, and do, and check off the list.
This is okay: It’s healthy to be busy, and have some sort of tension between production and relaxation. In fact, I often believe that the “edge” that pushes you to greater success is the moment in which you feel slightly overwhelmed, but know you need to complete your work regardless. This means you complete more, achieve more, and have a better chance of reaching your goals.
As a businessperson, however, the problem with this busy stage is that social media can often fall to the backburner. I have seen this happen with far too many companies, particularly small-to-midsize businesses with 1 to 2 people running the show. There’s always a lot going on, there’s always events approaching and orders to fill, and there’s always meetings to be had or deadlines to hit.
This is part of the reason you should outsource your social media—because social media is just not going to wait for your busy schedule. There are other people making the time and doing it better, and your business should be too if you already aren’t.
Nonetheless, coming up with new content, monitoring what’s been said about you, and producing engaging conversations with those around you can be tough. I have spent many, many hours throughout my life working to combat that toughness: How can I make my social media work better, more efficient, and easier on myself? How can I spent less time looking for new ideas, and instead, make the ideas come to me?
Here are 3 of my favorite tools to keep in your box that will make your life as a content creator much easier:
Google Alerts: It’s truly bizarre to me that Google has almost cut off this particular service before, because I think it is first, magic, and second, tremendously useful. If your fingers have ever been associated with the word marketing, make sure you are using Google Alerts.
You can set up an alert for a business name, personal name, trend, idea, event, movie, video, or competing business’s name. Google will email you as often as you’d like (I generally choose once daily) with an update on everything new that has been added to Google that day with your keyword. It does not troll social media, but does include news clips or any other multimedia that exists out there in the world.
It’s perfect for monitoring a brand. You can also choose to have the emails sent to you “as-it-happens,” if you really want to keep your finger on the pulse. This also works better for brands with unique names: Stores like “Dog World” will have a tough time sorting out relevancy from all the entries on Google about dogs and worlds…
Subscribe to Every Email Newsletter Known To Man: This may seem counterintuitive. Aren’t we always trying to clear out our inbox, declutter our lives, minimize? Yes, but the fact remains that email newsletters are a major source of completely free information that you don’t have to search for or look for in any way, because they come straight to you.
Skim the headlines of newsletters for associations, groups, and boards related to your brand, so that you’ll not only know what is going on, but will be able to speak about it coherently. If you don’t want to read every newsletter every day, thank your dear friend, the delete button. Speaking of skimming…
TheSkimm: “TheSkimm makes it easier to be smarter,” says the website. I am one of TheSkimm’s huge proponents, and find it difficult to leave it out of posts like this, because I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been inspired by TheSkimm to write a blog post on a topic. The email comes in every morning, with a witty subject line and commentary on world events that you need to know about.
In other words, if there was a school shooting this morning, you may want to cancel your scheduled social media post on happy kittens. There also may be a world event directly related to your field, which happens more often than you may think! Either way, it’s a dear friend for your inbox.
What other tools do you use to increase your social media efficiency?
Image credit: CC by Sean MacEntee