Your time is valuable. Wasting time is like throwing money directly into the trash — not ideal!
In the world of social media marketing, it’s easy to get lost in an endless newsfeed scroll or finding the perfect meme — whether you’re new to the game or an established social media agency.
So how do you ensure that you’re using time efficiently?
By clearly defining goals and how to measure social media KPIs for clients, it will be much easier to plan your workday.
In general, marketing experts agree that there are four primary ways to improve the efficiency of your team and save time.
These processes focus on:
For a more detailed understanding of these time-saving tips and processes, we asked the owners of our favorite marketing agencies to share their insights.
Reducing Repetition with Systems-Thinking
Systems-thinking is one of the best ways to tackle the complexity of working with multiple customers while managing their social media platforms, driving creative concepts, and executing campaigns.
Says Pamela Curran, Principal and Owner at Stratos Global Marketing,
“Systems-thinking is a way to manage the complexity of customer information and deploy resources to have the greatest impact on customer outcomes. It is a powerful way to ‘collect the dots’ and connect them more efficiently, driving better results for key goals. It is a way to move from only a tactical approach to a strategic approach, applying the appropriate tactics which drive focus, thus saving time.”
Curran felt the need to implement systems-thinking in her business to “see through the fog” and adopt new principles to old processes to keep up with the continuous change in technology and customer demands.
“The conventional approach to marketing is not good enough,” she adds.
Says Lukemire, “As a digital marketing agency, we have ALL processes detailed out; this eliminates repeating ourselves or re-explaining something that's already been defined to new team members or simply someone who may be new to a task or project. Also, heavily repeated tasks (i.e., responding to reviews, social media comments, and even onboarding emails) have outlined templates created that can easily be modified and save HOURS vs. creating from scratch each time.”
If your processes and systems are well built, they're likely to be repeatable, right? That's where automation can come into play. Our experts touched on how automating your frameworks can be a game-changer for saving yourself time.
Automating your Marketing Agency
Says Tom Fanelli, CEO at Convesio, “The best-run marketing agencies focus on process and automating repetitive steps. Although it can be a challenge for creative leaders to focus on process, automation can help reduce time and costs, leading to a better final product.”
Fanelli offers some examples of how marketing agencies can start creating such processes:
- Develop a standard repository of client information, project information, logins, and other related documents.
- Automate client onboarding by creating forms and processes for clients to fill out, storing resulting data directly in this system.
- Use automated processes to kick off things like billing. When a billable task is completed, it should automatically trigger a notice for relevant team members.
Fanelli wasn’t the only person on the automation bandwagon. Vito Peleg, Founder of WP FeedBack, was also on board.
Peleg points out that by automating follow-up sequences after sending a proposal, a marketer can start adding value rather than pushing for a hard sell.
Peleg says, “Once a potential client receives his proposal, a series of emails are triggered to help guide them through the decision-making process while positioning me (the agency owner) as the expert. Integrated into the CRM (customer relationship management tool), every email and response (or lack of) will automatically move the prospect to the relevant position in the sales pipeline.”
The bottom line is that communicating with clients can cost lots of time if you don’t have a system and structure in place.
Truth be told, automation will only be as effective as the tools used to implement the process (and the people configuring them). Fortunately, there's a wealth of marketing solutions out there to evaluate and start using that won’t break the bank.
Time-Saving Tools for Marketing Agencies
Says Corey Northcutt, CEO of Northcutt, “Dozens of best in category cloud applications get tied together with Zapier. Every trigger event results in a dozen or two things happening elsewhere. At our agency, the human side gets piloted using Process.st and Slack.”
Josh Krakauer, CEO of Sculpt, also praised Slack as a time-saver.
Says Krakauer, “Routing everything through Slack. ⚡️With its constant pings and ease of off-topic sharing, Slack can zap time, but it also zaps problems and gets things done faster.
“At Sculpt, Slack has been the single source of communication since we opened an account in 2014 (they didn’t even have pricing tiers yet). Staying in one app for all types of work saves countless time switching between apps. As an agency, we bring select clients, collaborative agency partners, and all freelancers into shared channels to speed up progress and avoid delays from miscommunication.”
With Social Report, you can save time by setting your clients up with a social media posting schedule and automate publishing via syndication or the republishing of evergreen content and the high performing assets from your content library.
Creating Purpose for Meetings (or Skipping Them Altogether)
Communication between clients or your own employees is essential to get right but often results in wasted time and avoidable inefficiencies.
A poorly planned or superfluous meeting can be the ultimate time-suck.
Says Sagar Sheral, Marketing Manager at WisdmLabs, “Our agency swears by 15 minute scrums in the morning. We limit strategy meetings to 30 minutes (though they sometimes get extended)”.
Sheral suggests making quick decisions by asking these five questions:
1) What are we doing?
2) Why are we doing this?
3) Is it in alignment with the mission?
4) How would this help achieve our goals?
5) Will this get us into trouble?
With those answers in hand, you can then break activities into small tasks with sensible deadlines attached to each of them.
Nils Thorson, Brand Strategy Manager at Transamerica, also pointed out that efficient short meetings were a great way to save time. Thorson says that meetings should require an agenda, have recaps, and be kept to 15, 25, or 45 minutes depending on the needs of the meeting.
Thorson also offers the sage advice of avoiding meetings completely when a quick phone call will yield the same results.
Final Thoughts: Experts Share Time-Saving Tips & Processes to Help Marketing Agencies
Implementing time-saving tips and processes is essential to the growth of any marketing agency. The reality is there is just too much to take care of otherwise.
By developing a systems-thinking approach, you can take full advantage of the best marketing and planning tools for creating automated systems to improve how you communicate.
You can also ditch those long meetings.
Over to you: What are some of the processes you’ve developed to help save time in your agency? Any tips of your own to share for creating efficiencies?
Tweet your thoughts at @TheSocialReport, and we’ll share our favorites!
Maddy Osman is an SEO Content Strategist who works with clients like AAA, Automatic, Kinsta, and BigCommerce. Her background in WordPress web design contributes to a well-rounded understanding of SEO and how to connect brands to relevant search prospects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website and read her latest articles on Twitter @MaddyOsman.