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Are you finding there is simply not enough time in the day to keep up with all of the tasks associated with your social media marketing strategy? Too many posts to get out, too many messages or comments to respond to, etc? If so, you're not alone. Social media is a powerful tool, but before you know it, you have opened so many accounts that you're overwhelmed and don't know where to turn next.

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to lighten your load and simplify your social media marketing. Here are 5 of those you can begin implementing right now that will not only simplify your social media marketing, but also free up some time in your busy schedule and improve efficiency at the same time:

Only Go Where Your Target Audience Is

There is no point in wasting your valuable time on a social media network where your target audience isn't actively engaged. That is the whole point of social media, right, to engage with your customers? So before you even begin signing up on social media networks, you should do some research. Facebook and Twitter are likely going to be included in your social media strategy, so beyond that, check out a few other social media networks where you think your target audience is and first check to see if your key competitors have accounts there. If they aren't actively spending their time on those networks, chances are it's because there is no ROI to be had there.

Check out some hashtags that apply to your industry, as well, to see what people are talking about. Do you get a lot of results for those hashtags? If so, that's a good sign there are people on those networks who are going to be interested in what you have to say. Also, take the time to listen to your customer base - see which social media networks they are actively talking about, or outright ask them on Facebook, Twitter, through email marketing, etc., and flat out ignore other networks they don't bring up.

The time you invest in this initial research will be well worth it, as it will save you lots of wasted time that you may potentially invest in a network where no one is actually interested in what you have to say. The key here is to keep the number of social media networks you sign up on manageable, meaning the number you feel you feel you can comfortably remain active on and invest the needed time to post content, actively engage with customers, etc.

Identify Trending Topics

Familiar with the old saying "work smarter, not harder"? Instead of struggling to come up with content ideas, or posting content that your target audience has absolutely no interest in, identify trending topics and use that as a basis for your content generation. One of your main goals on social media is likely to generate likes, comments, shares, grow your following, and extend the reach of your posts, right? Well, one of the most effective ways of accomplishing that is by posting content that is interesting and engaging. Content that makes people want to stop scrolling through their news feed, interact with you, and click through to your blog to read what you have written.

Of course, you can share content you find on other pages that is relevant to your industry and performing well, but you also need to generate your own content in order to drive traffic to your website. To help you form a basis as to what to write about (versus writing blindly and hoping the blog performs well), use a service like BuzzSumo, which enables you to see what content is performing best on social media based on keywords. For example, when we type in "social media marketing", we get these results:

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That content is obviously performing very well on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks, so naturally, we would want to check it out to see why, then produce something related to the same topic, because people are responding very well to it. You could also use Google Trends to track search data and see which keywords are garnering the most search results to generate content ideas. Just remember the idea here is not to mimic this content, but simply use it as a basis for interjecting your own, fresh opinion into the same subject area. 

Recycle Your Content

Recycling your old content is one of the most effective ways of simplifying your social media marketing. For starters, it alleviates the need to constantly be coming up with fresh content, which it extremely time-consuming and often one of the most difficult aspects of social media. If you're thinking recycling your content will annoy people, think again. People are exposed to so much content on social media that they likely will not even notice, as long as you are not reposting the same content on a daily basis.

But as you build up your library of content for your recycling program, you'll be able to extend the length of time in between repeating each post, thus exposing it to a new target audience every time it gets posted, generating more traffic for your website and reaching new followers. You can also test different copy each time you repost the content to see which post performs the best, which can then help you with your other social media marketing efforts. 

To be blunt, content recycling is a no-brainer for many reasons, so as long as you're creating valuable content, put it to work and get as much out of it as you can! You are leaving so much potential engagement on the table otherwise. To learn more about the benefits of recycling content on social media, check out this blog post we wrote: https://www.socialreport.com/insights/article/115000666846-The-Benefits-Of-Recycling-Content-On-Social-Media

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Use A Social Media Tool To Schedule Your Posts & Post To Multiple Networks At Once

Manually pushing out your posts throughout the day can take up a significant amount of time and interfere with other work you have to get done. Depending on how active you are on social media, you don't want to be responsible for having to manually jump onto Facebook to post a couple of times a day, Twitter several times a day, and so on. Looking at the posting schedule below, no work would ever get done if all of those posts had to go out manually!

The better option is to use a social media management tool where you can simply set up a posting schedule and then use an "add to queue" feature, where you can spend a few minutes in the morning scheduling all of your posts, and the tool will go ahead and post them at each time slot on your schedule for you. Even better if that tool will automatically take your recycled content and post it for you at any empty time slots on your posting schedule where you haven't scheduled fresh content. Imagine how much time that would save you?

Then using that same social media tool, assuming this feature is available, post to multiple networks at once. If you are going to be pushing the same message out to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., don't do it one-by-one if you don't have to. Using a social media tool enables you to simply check off the networks you want to schedule to, and it does the heavy lifting, posting to all networks simultaneously for you. That is a significant time saver for you throughout the day, especially with a posting schedule like this!

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Batch Social Media Tasks Together

Let us start off by defining what batching really is. According to Michael Hyatt, the definition of batch processing is "the grouping of similar tasks that require similar resources in order to streamline their completion." In other words, batch processing is basically a time management style enabling you to maximize your focus on a particular focus. In this case, that focus is social media marketing. Do you find that you're scrambling throughout the day to fit social media in when you can, or that you're spending far too much time on it, and neglecting other tasks? 

Then batching your social media tasks together is the perfect solution for you. The thought process here is you only work on social media when your schedule says you're supposed to and that's it. Unless there is an emergency, like a customer support issue to deal with, then all social media tasks are worked on during the time you have defined on your schedule. This enables you to cut out all other distractions, focus solely on social media, and accomplish far more than you are by just scrambling to fit it in throughout the day when you can and switching back and forth between different tasks.

Each day, create a to-do list based on what you need to accomplish on social media, such as generating post ideas, scheduling posts, engaging with people, finding people to follow, creating images to use, etc. The list is truly endless given the complexity of social media, but you'll be surprised what you can accomplish in an hour or two when you focus on a single subject with all other distractions removed, and you'll probably end up incorporating batching into the rest of your schedule!

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