How to Have an Engaging and Productive Social Media Presence

Admit it, you've probably been there, what starts as a quick social media check turns into a time sink. While time and effort do go into making a social media account successful, you can be productive, and efficient while still having an engaging social media presence.

Use Tools and Automate Wisely

Tools are your friend! Take your pick of any of the popular social media management tools from Hootsuite, to Buffer, to TweetDeck. They all have advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to use what works best for you and your own work flow. These tools will help you stay on top of your social media accounts, and to spread your content out over time so that it can be the most effective. Additionally they usually offer analytics to further help you optimize your posting.

Get the most from your tools by also including IFTTT. With this handy app you can easily automate many common internet tasks. From automatically posting your latest blog post to your social media accounts, to changing your user icons and so much more.

Have a Schedule

Scheduling can be hard, but it does allow you to use your time more efficiently. Try to set aside time specifically for working on social media, while also having time for your other tasks. Don’t give in to the temptation to “just check” your social accounts, unless it’s an emergency you are better off waiting until it’s social media time.

Your content should also have a schedule. Not only does it help you coordinate your content across networks, but it also helps to take some of the pressure off you. Plan your posts out ahead of time to avoid the mad rush to find interesting content to post right now when your prime posting time is. Of course your schedule should allow for breaking news and other time sensitive posts that may jump up unexpectedly.

Focus on all of the networks you are on. Don't forget your Google+ or Pinterest account! Spread out your time over all of the accounts you manage. While you may end up spending slightly more time on the accounts you get the most traffic and engagement from you still want to have a strong presence on your other accounts as well. Don’t forget about them! Make sure you include them in your schedules and content calendars!

Reply & Participate

We aren’t talking about auto replies here, but real ones! You should take at least a few moments to reply to a few comments or questions directed at you. If you get many comments or mentions it may be impossible to reply to them all, however, responding to only at least some of them will show your fans and followers that you do care about them.

You should also set aside some time to actually participate in conversations. Remember, social media is all about being social not just promoting yourself. So jump into those conversations and meet new people and exchange ideas, this will also show that hey, there is a real person behind this account and you don’t just automate everything. A little automation is good, but entirely automated accounts are missing out on great opportunities!

Social media doesn't have to take up all of your time. If you balance your use of automation with strong time management you can still have the active and engaging social media accounts you desire while still freeing up time for other endeavors. Do you have any other social media time management tips or tricks? Share them with us in the comments.