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How to Manage Social Media for Business in Only 18 Minutes a Day

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Spending under half an hour a day managing social media may sound like a tall order, especially considering that an average user spends approximately two hours per day on social. But if you’re in charge of multiple marketing activities for your company, you may not have that much time on your hands to dedicate to social.

Let’s say you’ve only got a measly 18 minutes—it’s going to be tight, but we’ve got a plan we think can work for you.

In this guide we will go over how to maximize your time on social using Hootsuite and stay laser focused on your daily objectives.

18-minute-a-day social media plan

8 minutes: Listen

Social listening is about catching the conversations happening around your brand. It allows you to improve your customer service, get customer feedback, learn more about your competitors, and find new leads. It’s an essential part of your daily routine.

Where do you start? You can track keywords, hashtags, mentions, and messages for your brand and competitors. In Hootsuite, you can set up specific streams for your social networks.

Learn how to get even more out of Hootsuite with free social media training from Hootsuite Academy.

Here’s what you should take note of each day:

  • Mentions of your brand or product. Scroll through keyword and hashtag streams related to the products and services you offer. Reply to all comments and queries that come up around your brand. With Hootsuite, you can create templates for your most common responses to save time when engaging with people. Pre-composed responses are great if you’re running a busy contest or campaign, but they shouldn’t replace day-to-day interaction with customers.
  • Purchase intent. Fewer than three percent of customers directly “@” mention a brand on Twitter, so make sure that your search streams target purchase intent moments. What does “purchase intent moments” mean? Instead of only listing your brand keywords in streams, for example, list words that customers might use when they’re looking for a solution that your company solves or they’re evaluating your product. For example, a hotel brand could target and engage with consumers getting ready for a last-minute vacation by setting up search streams for specific destinations and keywords such as “travel” and “vacation.”
  • Industry news and updates. In your streams, follow trending hashtags, industry keywords, Twitter chats, and relevant people to make sure you’re on top of the latest news. You can also set up RSS feeds in Hootsuite.

Pro tip: You can geo-target your searches if you’re looking for customers or conversations in a certain location. Master geo-targeting in our free Hootsuite Academy course (go to module 2.3).

Bonus: Download a free guide to discover how to get more sales and conversions with social media monitoring on Hootsuite—no tricks or boring tips.

5 minutes: Engage

For brands on social, engagement is key. According to a study by Edelman, nine out of 10 customers say they want to have meaningful interactions with brands on social media, yet fewer than one in five believe that brands actually deliver. There’s a lot of room for improvement.

If you’re set up for effective social listening, then reaching out to your audience on a day-to-day basis should be fairly straightforward. You can quickly filter through the chatter and make sure you’re engaging with customers, influencers, and relevant content. Here’s what you should focus on:

  • Replying (remember, you can create pre-composed responses)
  • Liking and commenting on tagged content
  • Following back relevant followers (such as influencers and thought leaders)
  • Reposting user generated content

2 minutes: Analyze

In order to develop an efficient content plan, you need to know what content performs best on your social networks. To do that, you can use analytics tools that show you the performance of multiple social networks.

Hootsuite Analytics gives you a clear snapshot of your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram performance with a comprehensive overview, which lets you monitor campaigns, identify trends, and track follower growth. You should check in once a day to track activity and generate reports over a timeline that makes sense for you.

Learn how to get even more out of Hootsuite with free social media training from Hootsuite Academy.

Not sure exactly what you should measure? We’ve got a guide dedicated to social media metrics that matter.

3 minutes: Schedule

When you don’t have time to revisit your social channels multiple times a day, scheduling is an absolutely essential part of your daily routine. If you’re scheduling across multiple channels, use different content for each one. Save time by using a tool like UpContent, available in the Hootsuite App Directory, to help you find quality content to share.

Learn how to get even more out of Hootsuite with free social media training from Hootsuite Academy.

Here’s what you should think about on each network:

On Facebook, you can tell longer stories and use visually rich messaging. Limit your posts to once or twice per day.

On Twitter, if you schedule Tweets, make sure to space them out to avoid being perceived as “spamming” your audience. Include Tweets with different formats—switch up photos, video, and link placement—to test which ones perform best. If you are sharing content from an external source, include the appropriate hashtags and @mentions.

On LinkedIn, share content with a more serious tone, oriented to a professional audience, through LinkedIn’s publishing platform. It’s an excellent place to share thought leadership from an executive in your company.

On Instagram, if you have a campaign or a product release coming up, schedule a photo or video to spread awareness. Instagram also presents a great opportunity to give your customers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at your business and the people who run it.

Whether you spend 18 minutes a day managing social or much, much longer, Hootsuite can help you save time—schedule posts, engage with your audience, measure the success of your efforts, and more. Try it free today.

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This is an updated version of a post originally published in October 2014 by Olsy Sorokina