November 14, 2014
Part of running a successful business in 2014 is being connected. Something I struggle with is the balance between having a presence online and connecting to clients and networking with others in the industry, and having a life not connected to my phone. The internet can be a huge time suck, and I’m as guilty as anyone (and probably more so) of spending hour after countless hour staring at my phone while life quickly flies by in front of me. Since I have a limited time each day in the office, I rely on a few different programs to help me organize, schedule and post my images and blog posts on social media without having to do it myself. I feel like a infomercial, but there is a way to “set it and forget it” on the web. Here are a few tools I use to streamline my workflow.
Hootlet – The Hootsuite “Hootlet” extension for chrome is an invaluable part of my business, it allows me to share posts online instantly, or schedule them for later. I can also chose which outlets the posts will be going to (In my case, I send them through twitter and google+, as my facebook business account is linked to my twitter account). For blog posts, I typically write them the day before and set post reminders the next day in the morning and in the early evening when people are most likely to view them. This extension is totally rad and its free for a limited amount of social media accounts. The only limits I’ve found is its access to instagram, but hopefully that will be an option soon! For now, I post instagram photos as they happen and don’t worry too much about sharing them throughout all my other social media pages.
Hashtag Responsibly – Nothing makes me giggle more than writing a ridiculous hashtag. I honestly still think they are kind of silly, but they are really awesome for finding things. I have custom hashtags for a lot of my personal photos, then I click on them and get sad that my kids are growing up so fast. I can quickly organize my photos to create albums at the end of the year by creating a custom hashtag for the year. The same can be said for your business tags, you want to focus your hastags on the person you want to market to or things that you and your customer both like (like #anthropologie or #jcrew or #starbucks). Creating a unique hashtag just for your business is a great way for potential clients to view work you’ve posted on instagram and facebook. Keep it simple and targeted, and you will find you and your clients will have a lot more to talk about because you are interested in the same things!
Don’t Forget to Engage! – Be mindful that even if you are scheduling posts for hours or days in advance, in order to gain a good internet following, its important to also engage and make sure to comment back to people who take the time to comment on your Facebook thread or Instagram feed. I try to check into my accounts once or twice a day and answer any replies or questions that might be on my social media accounts. It only takes a few minutes and goes a long way. If you have steady office hours, schedule a time into each day thats dedicated just to social media. It will take a little bit of the pressure off to be online all of the time and still gives you a chance to browse instagram, pinterest and facebook, because while they may be a time suck, they are still fun!
P.S. This post was written a few days ago, and already scheduled to automatically post and then post to my social media pages a few different times, cool eh?