blogging workshop

Guest post by Demetrio Fortman

Just imagine that you’ve got a vacation planned or you’ll be out of the office for some time, and you’d love nothing more than for your social media efforts to keep buzzing along while you’re away.

Nobody will do your work for you, and multiple social media accounts need your attention.

How in the world are you going to relax on your vacation?

There’s good news! You can optimize your social media efforts and responsibilities using some of the many scheduling and automation tools available today.  These tools can help fill your queue, quickly sort out and participate in active discussions, as well as simplify the way for others to share your post about your wedding business and from your blog.

By using some of these hacks and tools, you can manage your social media presence in a more effective and less time-consuming way.

If you feel like carving out some extra time for tackling some business tasks or having some free time with your family, use this list of tips and tools to streamline your engagement, automation, scheduling and connection activity in social media.

Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, applies to nearly all areas of our life as long as some priorities and results occur. Your social media activity is no exception.

The idea is that  20% of your audience in social networks drive 80% of your overall social media traffic.

So to increase your productivity, you need to identify which platforms those 20% belong to and invest your energy, time, and budget in them. You can also use the 80/20 rule to prioritize your activity within each particular social channel..

The Right Timing

Have you ever noticed that some of your tweets and Instagram posts get more retweets and likes than others?

It doesn’t necessarily mean that your content is less or more sharable; it could just be your timing.

When engaging with your audience, you should take into consideration geographic and certain environmental factors. For instance, people use Facebook mostly when they wake up, so it’s better to schedule posts for early morning.

Here an infographic showing the best time reach out to your followers on major social media sites.

Upload the infographic image (sized for our site) and include this credit underneath: Courtesy of SurePayroll

Manage All Your Social Media Accounts From One Place

If you’re hopping from network to network to engage with your audience, too much of your time is spent moving around. That’s where social media tools can help you.

Services like Defrozo, SumAll and Hootsuite provide comprehensive sets of tools that enable you to manage multiple online marketing tasks using a single convenient interface.

#1 Defrozo is an all-in-one marketing platform for photographers where you can currently organize your photos, manage your photo site, and create client photo galleries.

This service is updated bi-weekly and among the planned features are scheduling, online print sales, a CRM system, and other tools to help photographers better market their brand. The best part about Defrozo is that it’s completely free and easy to use.

#2 SumAll helps you to track and analyze activities on multiple social media accounts.

It provides post and activity analyses. It currently supports 42 platforms and counting.  It’s a perfect tool for small wedding businesses.

#3 Hootsuite can help you manage your many social channels by monitoring, posting and delegating tasks within your team. With Hootsuite you can manage multiple networks from one place and schedule your updates.

Once you set everything up in one of these platforms, you have just two places to check your updates: your social management tool and your email inbox.

Scheduling Your Posts

You can use services like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many more to be posted without your assistance.

Simply add a post in the queue and it’ll automatically post itself, leaving you free to focus on other tasks that really need your attention. Your updates will be posted at the best time to reach your audience and get the best results.

#4 BufferApp is one of the best tools for social media scheduling.  This free tool allows you to schedule Twitter and Facebook posts, track and analyze your impact.

As the company says, you can save up to one hour per day with this app. You can install a special Buffer extension in your browser to quickly add a webpage to your queue as you’re surfing the web.

#5 ScheduGram is a scheduling tool for Instagram. It’s a paid tool, but this investment is worth making to get the most out of your Instagram account.

It allows you to edit and upload photos on computer, supports multiple accounts and time zones, and grants access to multiple users which is extremely important for a team. (Cost starts at $7 per month with a 7 day free trial.)

#6 Rignite is great for larger photography businesses. This tool is also paid, but it does everything you need in one application.

You just build a campaign and add all the content you want to share, and Rignite will set up sharing for six months. After that you can look through statistics and graphs to see the results of your campaign.

Manage Your Email List Properly

Email is one of the most popular marketing tools in small business. You can send out newsletters, discount coupons, sale offers, and teasers that will end up directly into inboxes of your clients.

Instead of spending a lot of time on Facebook and Pinterest, which might not give you the best results, focus more on your email contact list and the growth of current and prospective clients.

#7 AWeber is a great solution if you do portraits because you as you can take full advantage of auto-responders. These are emails which are sent out automatically at specific times after someone subscribes to your list. Users can also easily unsubscribe and you don’t have to moderate those lists to stay compliant with the laws about email (if you live in U.S.)

#8 MailChimp is  the most popular solution for sending email newsletters. MailChimp’s free plan is great for lists up to 2,000 people. However, you can’t utilize autoresponders with their free option.

There’s also good opportunity for follow up sales. For example, imagine automatically emailing a client about a year after their newborn photo session reminding them to schedule their one year session!

Automate Your Tasks

Most of us are not able to hire an assistant, so you’re the only person responsible for your business and its promotion. We’re not robots, and sometimes it’s better to rely on automation tools for social media accounts and spend free time more effectively.

The most famous automotive tools are IFTTT and Zapier. They both are able to help you automate your tasks in a fun way.

#9 IFTTT (it means If This Then That) connects two services together, so that the action at one service triggers action on another.

You could set up a Facebook post to trigger a tweet, or a tweet triggers an email. Once you set up your IFTTT account, you can create your own recipes of connecting two services or use existing ones.

#10 Zapier works by the same principle.

#11 Onlywire allows you to connect various networks and post updates at the same time.

Just fill in the logins and passwords to each of the social media networks you belong to. After that, add a link to the posts you would like to share to their system and it will automatically find the headline, description and image and post it through your social media profiles.

Optimize the Ways for Others to Share Your Content

The easier you make it for people to share your content, the less effort you have to invest in driving traffic to your site. You can choose from many plugin or share button options.

#12 Social Locker is a WordPress plugin which asks your visitors to pay for your content with tweets, likes or shares. The more likes and shares you get, the more visitors come to your site and the more popular it becomes on Google and other top search engines.

#13 TweetDis will add tweetable quotes to your site and let people tweet not only headlines, but good quotes too.

Over to You

I hope these tips and tools will be in handy in everyday life to save your precious time.

What’s your favorite time-saving tool?  Don’t be shy! Share in the comment field below.

demetrio fortmanDemetrio Fortman is a New-York based web developer and entrepreneur whose passion for photography led him to creating Defrozo, a free marketing platform for photographers, currently seeking support on Kickstarter.