Small business owners are always hard-pressed for time and resources. They can’t afford to spend hours on social media management each week. They don’t have the budget or time to have quality content created consistently for multiple social media networks.

The good news for such small business owners is the presence of social media management tools that can help automate much of social media management. This post is a straight-up summary of 7 steps to save time on social media management today.

  1. Create a content calendar

When you plan social media posts for a month, you not only save the effort of having to do it every day but also retain more control over quality and consistency.

Create a detailed social media calendar that covers all the activities you plan to execute over the course of a month. Account for important days – festivals, shopping days and other important dates for your business. Hand over the plan to your content creation team, so they can get to work on creating the content.

  1. Create post templates

Most content created by businesses for social media falls into certain patterns. Social media managers can save a ton of time on content creation by creating templates of these patterns. For instance, if you blog regularly and promote your blog posts on social media, you can create blog promotion templates and save them on your social media management tool like DrumUp.

DrumUp is a social media management tool that lets you store posts in-app in content libraries and schedule posts from those libraries easily.

  1. Curate 25% of your content

Not all of your content has to be a 100% original. In fact, there’s a lot of content that is better curated than created. Examples of these posts are news and trends posts. Why rewrite news risking SEO penalties when you can simply curate them for your social media audience. To curate posts easily, you can use a content curator.

Flipboard is a content curator that lets you curate industry-specific news to share easily on social media.

  1. Use visuals instead of text

Visuals are now easier to create than blog posts. Why spend hours creating a blog post when you can put together an infographic in minutes? Infographics are also more successful on social media because they display important information in a concise and attractive form. Infographics are hard to create from scratch but are very easy to create using templates on infographic makers.

  1. Bookmark content on the go

When curating content, why wait until it’s time to post when you can bookmark interesting posts on the go? As a social media manager or small business owner, you probably spend some time catching up on the news each day. When doing this, you can easily bookmark the interesting posts to share with your social media audience at a later point.

Both DrumUp and Flipboard have bookmarking tools that you can use to save posts for publishing at a later point.

  1. Cross-post across social networks

Why restrict the publishing of posts to one social network when you can easily cross-post to others? Many small business owners limit their social media presence to one or two social networks because they don’t have enough time to manage multiple pages at the same time. However, this need not be the case because you can use a cross-promotion tool to share posts published on one social platform to others.

IFTTT is a cross-promotion tool that lets you set up “recipes” that automatically publish posts you schedule on one social platform (say Facebook) to others (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)

  1. Leverage UGC

UGC or User Generated Content is a great alternative to creating your own content. Not only does UGC save you time, but it also has more of an impact on your audience. Over the years, your audience’s trust in companies has been declining. The best source of a recommendation is no more a brand’s social media accounts. Today’s audience is likely to trust more in recommendations provided by other social media users.

The simplest way to collect UGC is by running a contest or listening to your fans on social media.

There’s a lot that social media managers can automate to save time on social media management. The seven tips mentioned in this post, along with scheduling posts in advance (the obvious one) can save you a lot of time.
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