When you run your own business, you never really take vacation. The business is in your mind all the time. Personally, that is fine with me since I really enjoy what I am doing. There are times though, when I have to shift my focus and let me business go on “autopilot.” Recently, we moved from Maryland to Texas. This was one of those times where I really had to put my head into the game and think about other things than my business. Now, here is the problem: social media doesn’t stop and doesn’t take a break. Your fans/followers notice when you disappear for 2 to 3 weeks. They leave and don’t come back. How can you sustain your social networks in the midst of chaos?
In order to sustain your social networks, you need constant and consistent content and the social aspect. As a social media consultant it pains me to say it, but automation is your best friend for the content piece. I know that Facebook in particular punishes the posts that come in through a third party tool by giving them less reach. My goal was not to disappear. So, I was fine with less reach. People that would find my Facebook page, still would see an active page with new content coming in. Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn don’t have that restriction, so I was fine to use automation with those networks.
If you read my posts, you know my tool for automation is Buffer. I went ahead and got the paid version, so I would have unlimited posts. The paid version also lets you add blog feeds from blogs you author or like. You can see all posts from the blogs you added in a separate tab and can add each one to your Buffer with a click of a button. I call that convenient. So, I added for each separate social network the blogs that I usually get content from.
Also, I made a master list of my social media tips that I post frequently and a master list of my blog posts. Additionally, I made a master list of my favorite quotes. I put all 3 master lists in Evernote just in case things would go wrong with Buffer and I had to post from whichever hotel we were in at night. That way, I wouldn’t have to think about content to post and just schedule the content. Can you see the content engine building? I have now a constant stream of new and relevant blog posts that I can choose from, my tips, my blog posts and my favorite quotes. I think it is beautiful!
The next step was to sit down, decide on the schedule of my posts and then add all the posts in the order I want them to appear into Buffer. Done! It would be nice if that was it (smile), but as you know content is just one part of the equation in social media. The content was taken care of, now what about the social aspect of social media?
Social means you are there in person and talk to people. I made sure that I got all the important apps on my phone (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram). Every night, I took 45 minutes to go through all my networks and liked or commented on things and answered the most important messages. There is no substitute for being there in person.
Do you have good ideas to sustain your social networks in the midst of chaos? Is so, please put them in a comment below the post. I would really like to hear them!