Thinking Ahead, Saving Time

This blog post will probably appeal more to those who have experience working as a content creator. Whether you are a blogger, a Youtuber or a marketing officer, you will understand the struggles I am about to talk about. Especially, if you also have other responsibilities on your plate, besides running your own business.

Time management can be hard. Recently, I had to find a compromise because I started doing so much that eventually, nothing was bringing effects anymore. My heart wasn’t wholly in it and I started slipping. I’ve now cut down my work load (more on that on my Facebook page), but I still have quite a lot of tasks to get through within a day - and a 9 - 5 office job to add to that, most days.

One huge part of that is the promotion I do for my social media channels, and the blog / website every single day. Unfortunately, I am in a position where I cannot yet afford a PR expert for myself who will do it all for me. But at the same time, I also don’t believe I exactly need one. Thankfully, I’ve taken the time to know my audience and I know who they are so I don’t need another person telling me which day and what I should be sending in a Tweet.

However, there are tools that make this easier to manage for one person and suddenly, your own social media marketing doesn’t seem to time- consuming or so scary. I have been using Hootsuite. No, this is not a sponsored post, it is just a platform that I fell in love with as a user and I am just going to explain why. I think if there is a good service or product out there, you should only recommend it further. This is how you can help people but also, ‘word of mouth’ is the best form of marketing. This is just going to show you how this scheduling programme (or any) could make your life easier as a freelancer/ business owner going solo.

First of all, they are very simple to use. You get one dashboard for all of your social media channels. There is a free option of 3 accounts and then you can pay a monthly fee starting at £11.99 to get more functions and features. If I am honest, I am still only using the free version because quite frankly, I don’t need anymore. My website software provides all the analytics along with Google so I only really need the scheduling function. You can hook up any social media profile, ever. It is simple to use so you don’t need to spend a lot of time learning how to use it. You simply load your social media accounts, and off you go! You can select up to 10 posts a day – on the free version.

When I first started using it, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Seriously, I would stress so much about managing all of the social media profiles and all of the work at once, but with Hootsuite, it was ridiculously easy.

Do you know another wonderful thing about it? I don’t get distracted with other content on the social media sites. You know, scrolling through my Instagram endlessly rather than posting a post or doing exactly same thing on Twitter rather than put up some content. You can design your own dashboard. I have a few hashtag - content for inspiration from Instagram and Twitter, then I only have my scheduled streams.

It helps you keep track of everything you’ve posted – huge bonus if you are like me and like to bring out some of your older posts back to the game once in a while. It is good for making sure you do not repeat yourself too often so your viewers don’t think you only have one or two good posts.

Figure out from your analytics when’s the best time to post and then set up ‘auto-scheduled’ messaged. Then you won’t need to plan out each post, the programme will do it for you. I’ve saved so much money, time and effort with Hootsuite. The posts are coming out on time, which is generating views and reach on my website and blog which is the ultimate goal for this. I need to raise as much brand awareness as possible, and this is just perfect for that. I know you probably read it everywhere, over and over, but the more you post and the more consistent you are, the more followers and viewers you will gain a month. Systematically it will increase your reach once people see you regularly and get familiar with your content. It has already been happening for me, and it is just a matter of time when it will happen for you.

Although, do not get confused that more means less in terms of quantity and quality. If you cannot post a lot throughout the day, only post when you can and when you are proud of your work or whatever you want to share. Social media is a very dangerous business when one can rise quickly but equally can fall just as fast. Always think about what you are posting and who you are posting for. There is so much content out there that it is really hard to push out new, fresh ideas – I know that. However, I do believe that as long as you stay true to yourself and your personal brand, that will make you stand out.

You can of course schedule posts on the different social media platforms, although I genuinely found that so much more stressful than when just using the scheduling programme. Being somewhat cut off from the craze of new content popping up every other second, it lets you focus more on yourself and what you want to post, without being force-fed ideas by trending hashtags or other people’s visual content.

I use one of these scheduling apps for my PR and Marketing Officer job, at the company I work for. Here I had to set up 6 social media channels. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I found all of that overwhelming, especially in combination with my own social media channels and how different the two industries I work for are (one of them is aesthetics and the other is arts). These scheduling apps allow me to stay sane between the two jobs and still stay active on both sides of my career, no matter where I am. You do not need to be on the platform all the time for it to work for you, you literally just need to schedule your posts and go about your day.

I’ve had the paid version before when I managed Mag’s Media social media channels as well and the features in the paid version were very helpful. There is no limit on posts so I could literally plan out around 10 posts a day, within a week on one sitting over the weekend. It would save me around 5 – 6 hours a week! These days it saves me around 2 -3 but I am looking to upgrade soon so I can just get on with the whole week in one day!

I did fall out of love with it for a while, hence why I am not on the paid version again and so far I was testing the waters to see if I still like Hootsuite or want to try a different app. I have tried a few before, and I honestly have not experienced a better one than Hootsuite. I have seen mixed reviews about it however for me, it works like magic and it is all I really need for a programme like that.

I would definitely recommend it if you do not have the budget to hire someone else to manage your social media for you and / or if you have a lot of work to get done and little time in the day to do it. These scheduling apps can really help you manage your time and not lose your mind when creating and posting content. It will help you be consistent and stay relevant in this scary, ever changing industry that we are in.

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