I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
How to Improve Your Social Media Productivity
Social media can be a time suck, we know! If you’ve ever gone to post an image to your Instagram feed, or Facebook Page – there is no doubt you’ll end up scrolling mindlessly for hours before you realize what you were there to actually do!
There are a plethora of productivity improvement tools and hacks to help maximize your time spent marketing your business and increase your social media productivity so you can get back to doing what you love (that is – running your business). The Ampjar team has been long time lovers of a bunch of social media tools, as well as tips to save us time when writing blog posts, designing graphics and writing and scheduling our social media content.
What is batching?
In a nutshell – setting aside time each day/ week or month to work on the same types of tasks.
When it comes to social media – basically you take each step of content creation and create multiple items at the same time. Instead of jumping between desktop windows, to phone, and jumping between programs – batching will see you complete one task at a time.
There are a few ways to go about batching, and you’ll try a few to find what works best for you, in what order. If you’re more of a visual person, sourcing imagery may be your first step, if you’re a wordsmith, writing captions/ content may come first!
Whichever way you do it, we’ve outlined below how the Ampjar team using batching to streamline their productivity.
What are the benefits of batching?
Not only will batching will save you time, but it will also make your time spent on social media more efficient and productive.
Let’s paint a picture… You spend 5 minutes writing a couple of captions for Instagram, then you switch tabs and read an article about marketing, then you’ll create an image in Canva (while also checking a text message on your phone), then you’ll check emails while listening to a podcast.
Continually switching between a bunch of different projects and tasks is a serious time killer. Batching is the opposite to multitasking and we all know multitasking kills productivity and wastes time.
According to the late Clifford Nass, a psychology professor at Stanford University, multitasking is a misnomer – it’s actually “multi-switching”, the human brain doesn’t have the capacity to focus on several tasks at once. If you are multitasking, you are just switching back and forth between tasks very quickly, which almost always results in a loss of productivity and creativity.
Of course, you can still be spontaneous and creative when batching. You can always plan ahead and schedule – and then if something crops up, you can rearrange as you need! It means you can be less stressed each week trying to come up with content ideas, and more time to be social, network and work on your business.
How we do it at Ampjar:
Here at Ampjar, we find that by batching content/ processes it keeps our mind focused on individual tasks and keeps creativity at a high too because we’re constantly not switching gears all the time.
We’ve got a number of team members, all who work remote to each other – so productivity is important to ensure we all meet deadlines and treat each other with respect.
As the Social Media Manager at Ampjar, every single week I’m using a batching framework to complete a bunch of tasks to save myself time, and my teammates. Here’s how I plan out Ampjar’s social content each month/ week:
- Guided by Ampjar’s social media strategy, and content pillars as a framework, each month (and then each week), I sit down and plan out a range of content. Starting with content pillars as a guide I search for imagery first to plan out our content.
- Then it’s time to source images (yours may be from a brand/lifestyle photo shoot, product/ studio shots, stock photo library or shared social content (always credit others’ work!)
- After sourcing imagery, then it’s time to create graphics. If there are gaps in sourcing images and photos, I’ll then jump into our Canva account to use a set of templates (created by our Graphic Designer, Jodi) to make graphics for our Instagram feed. Bonus tip: Set up templates in Canva to save yourself extra time!
- Generally, there will be more graphics and video required – and it’s at this stage I create a brief for Jodi to create extra content. This is also a time I plan out any videos I’ll need including Instagram stories (so I can brief our designer). Instagram Stories does work a little differently (please be more spontaneous with this content), however, if you’re filming product demonstrations/tutorials, you could film different versions of this for different platforms and/or edit for each platform.
- After imagery is planned, I gather and write copy and content for the week ahead using a range of sources. While I do plan out all this content – we still remain flexible and can interchange and add in content when required.
- After all images and content are written I schedule content for the week ahead using Sked Social. By doing this, it allows us as a brand to focus on Instagram Stories throughout the week, and connect with our community – and love bomb our customers (i.e. genuinely commenting on their posts and stories!)
I asked Jodi, Ampjar’s Graphic designer how she uses batching to improve her productivity. “Working on a freelance basis, it’s always important to prioritize tasks and manage my time effectively to support the marketing, development and social teams and encourage Ampjar growth.
I tend to keep things simple and have a running to-do list as a Direct Message to myself in Slack as that’s how we all communicate daily. #allthegifs By starring important messages I can flag them for later as needed.
For our socials, I’m always creating dynamic templates with Illustrator, Sketch, After Effects and Canva and building on the various elements of the Ampjar brand identity. This ensures we can create fresh, new, content quickly, especially for our social feeds.
Whilst I create most of our ad creative, gifs, and graphics, if it’s a relatively simple tile, I create a template (with locked elements) in Canva so other team members can jump in and create graphics on the fly. We’re a collaborative bunch, so I’m all for making creative content as accessible as possible”.
Hot tip! Remember to use the ‘Use a template’ function’ or Duplicate your “Master” tiles so you always have a fresh template to use as your base. This ensures your feed remains consistent at all times which helps build trust with your audience.
Tools to make marketing your business easier
Batching wouldn’t be possible without tools to help us increase our social media productivity, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites from the Ampjar ‘office’:
1. Automate your social posts with Sked Social
Scheduling Instagram and Facebook posts have never been easier with Sked Social. It has a great multi upload post feature too – so you can log in, upload a bunch of images at once, and then go and write your content, and then add in hashtags.
There is also a great feature called ‘Template Manager’, where you can store groups of hashtags or other content that you commonly use in your captions.
Whatever social scheduling tool you use – make sure you check out all the features, you just never know what can save you time!
2. Make your different apps work together with IFTTT
If This Then That (also known as IFTTT) is a free web-based service that gets your apps and devices working together when they don’t have their own integrations. You can set up a bunch of processes (called applets) to help you automate tasks – and save you time.
Here are a few of our faves that we use and some we think you would love too:
- Automatically share new Instagram videos to Twitter
- Share your new blogger posts on Twitter
- Share your Youtube videos to Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook Page
- Tweet your Instagrams as native photos on Twitter
You can try IFTTT here.
What we love about Canva is our ability to create templates for all sorts of social media graphics, and to easily optimize them for each platform. At Ampjar, our design process starts off with Jodi–our talented designer–crafting templates for various social media platforms.
She uploads the templates to Canva so that anyone in the marketing team can edit the images and post them straight to Instagram. We obsess about staying on-brand, and this workflow allows us to do so.
Using Canva is a no brainer for Instagram posts or stories that are image based but require text and additional elements.
We can’t write a blog post about social media productivity without featuring Ampjar! It’s a no brainer to add Ampjar to your toolkit to improve your email marketing frequency along with helping to grow your business by collaborating with like-minded brands.
Creating Fast Emails
Ampjar Fast Emails works differently to other email service providers. Ampjar helps brands to engage their customers through our simple email builder that automatically creates email campaigns for brands using their most popular social media content.
Emails are fast and easy to send and because the content is so engaging (and not just trying to hard sell), they get great open and click rates.
We’ve built a community at Ampjar to help you grow your customer base. Amplify makes it easy to create ads in seconds – we use your best performing social content to produce relevant ads that audiences of like-minded brands will love.
On the flip-side, it’s easy to host brand ads so you get paid and help other, like-minded brands grow. Plus, hosting can improve your campaign sends and keep your customers engaged. You can create ads for brands using their social content or search our ad library. Once approved, their ad will automatically show in your next email.
We hope you find our batching tips useful for your social media productivity! If there’s anything else you’d like us to blog about, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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