BEFORE YOU BEGIN… get into the habit of noting down ideas as they come to you. Inspiration is all around you, from questions that you’re asked by clients or followers to conversations that you have and ideas that are inspired by things you read or listen to. Capturing these ideas on the go will allow you to hit the ground running when you sit down to work on your social media content because you’re not staring at a blank screen and trying to pluck ideas out of thin air.
Some weeks you might have loads of ideas and other weeks not so many – but that’s absolutely fine!
With that habit in place, here’s how you could make the most of that 1 HOUR of desk time:
25 – 35 minutes: Write up the ideas you’ve jotted down during the week – if you want a number to aim for, 5 or 7 would give you one post a day (depending on whether you’re going to post over the weekend).
Time-saving tip: practice speed writing. This eliminates the opportunity to overthink or procrastinate. Since you already have a list of ideas, you can simply pick one to start with. Then spend just 5 minutes writing that idea into a coherent post. You can come back and proofread it later. It might seem inconceivable right now that you could write a post in 5 minutes but you’ll be surprised at how much your writing will speed up with practice and a timer to work to.
5-10 minutes: If you’re going to use an image with the text now is the time to create those images – Canva is a brilliant FREE tool that you can use to create images for use on social media. There’s even a free Canva app so you can also create images on the go when you’ve got little pockets of time in your day.
Time-saving tip: Before you begin, spend some time creating templates in Canva so that all you need to do is change an image and / or text and the image will be ready to go. No wasting time faffing about with designs AND you’ll keep a consistent look and feel to your posts. You could even buy a set of pre-made templates! Vicki Nicolson and Amy Newlands are two talented designers who both sell beautiful social media templates – go check them out!
5-10 minutes: Batch schedule your posts in – this simply means that you arrange in advance for each of the posts you’ve prepared to be published at a date and time of your choosing. This will save you stacks of time compared to posting manually on social media every day.
Time-saving tip: Facebook has a built in scheduler so you don’t need to use a third party tool to schedule your posts. For other platforms you can use ContentCal (great for Twitter and LinkedIn) and Planoly (fab for Instagram).
5-10 minutes: Keep your content safe! Every piece of content that you create is an asset and can be used again in the future (unless it was a time sensitive post). Once you’ve finished creating and scheduling, take a few minutes to save the content that you’ve created somewhere safe (Trello and Milanote are both handy tools for this but spreadsheets, word documents, google docs or dropbox folders also work absolutely fine for this). This collection of posts will become a content library that you can return to and select posts to reuse and repurpose in the future.
Time-saving tip: if next time you sit down to create content you find you haven’t captured many ideas since last time OR you have but you’d like to add some additional posts into your schedule, have a look at your content library and pick out some posts that you can use again. This would mean that rather than 5 minutes writing a new post, you spend 5 minutes re-wording an old post and / or creating an image to go with it.
So, there you have it! Even if you only have ONE HOUR to spare in your week, you can use that time productively to get your social media off the ground. Feel free to bookmark this article so that you can refer back to this simple process each time you sit down to sort out your social media.
Social Media Content Planners
Kiss goodbye to hours spent staring at Facebook with no idea what to post next, merely willing inspiration to strike! These clever content planners will help you put together a weekly content schedule with ease.
Use these printable planners for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. There’s also an example content planner included, so if you find yourself completely stuck and you don’t know what to post, you can take inspiration from this example.