There are a number of strategies you can employ that make the most of your time on social media. For many folks this may mean choosing the types of social media that really work for them, and letting go of the others. (For the purposes of this conversation, I am thinking of social media as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and Pinterest.) You may also decide that you want to simply make the most of your Hand in Hand Instructor Bio page and email and not participate in social media at all.
Once you decide on the social media platforms that work best for you and the community you want to reach, here are some suggestions to keep that work from taking over your time:
1. Decide how much time each day/week/month you will budget for social media work.
2. Divide that time in half so that one half of your daily/weekly/monthly time is spent on the same day of the week and at the same time. (10:00 AM every Tuesday, for example) Move the other half of the time around so that you are connecting with different parts of your audience at different times of the day or days of the week.
3. Use social media scheduling features so that posts are made at times when you aren’t available to social media. If you only work on your social media on Tuesdays, set up posts to happen on the other days of the week when you aren’t online.
4. Use the content Hand in Hand provides. Go to the Hand in Hand Parenting Facebook page (Links to an external site.) and choose a few things to Like, Share, and Comment on. Or join the Facebook group Parenting by Connection Info to Share (Links to an external site.). These can be shared on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. not just on Facebook if you prefer another platform.
5. Use the content and posts written by your fellow instructors. Share what they have written or posted and engage your audience in a thoughtful question or two about that content. You don’t have to come up with all the content yourself!
6. Cross-post. If you decide to use more than one form of social media, post content to all the platforms you use at once. (Hootsuite and Sproutsocial are two tools we have tested to do this.) If you are sharing something that is of interest to the parents who follow you on Facebook, what are the chances that the folks who follow you on Twitter will also be interested? If the audiences are similar, post to both feeds at the same time.
7. Go for quality, rather than quantity. It’s much better to build an audience who looks forward to one really helpful and well thought-out post each Tuesday than to shower your audience with a barrage of posts that they could just as well have read on another feed. YOU are the most essential part of the information you share, but a little bit of you in the content, or add your thoughts on someone else’s content and that authentic voice will bring readers back again and again.