How many times a week (or day) do we complain, “There aren’t enough hours in the day!” When operating a business, time is a precious commodity and maximizing it is key. So, let’s talk about how to have that same perspective about social media. The #1 time-saving and productivity-maximizing tip we have for your content strategy is to embrace social media batching.
What is social media batching and why you should start now
The idea behind social media batching is very similar to that of meal prepping. For example, you might find it a wise and helpful practice to set aside a few hours on a weekend afternoon to prep food for the week. This allows you to focus solely on the task at hand and saves you time the rest of the week. Instead of preparing individual meals multiple times a day, your food is already there waiting for you—you simply need to heat it up and keep an eye on its quality and freshness.
The same can be said of social media batching. Instead of looking for new content to post on a daily basis, social batching allows you to set aside a block of time and schedule out content to post over the next week, couple weeks, or month—whatever works best for you and your business.
This is beneficial for various reasons, but the top reason is to save time. Social batching allows you maximize the posting process by getting ahead, eliminating the need to repeat the manual posting process on a daily basis. This can add hours of time (and lots of creative energy) back into your week to focus on other things, in addition to establishing a consistent content cadence on your social channels. Win win!
How to start batching your social content
If you’re convinced social batching is going to be your new, time-saving best friend, let’s get started! We’ll walk you through the whole process. We’ve also included some tips and experimental approaches at the end of the post.
Step 1: Set aside a block of time
Take a look at your schedule and see where you can add in a 2-3-hour block of time to focus solely on social media. Are you the most creative first thing in the morning? Schedule your time block accordingly. Are you in meetings all day and only have quiet time in the evenings? Take your schedule into consideration when choosing a time that works best for you.
Step 2: Take inventory of your content
Alright, you’ve scheduled a block of time for social batching and now you’re staring into your computer screen wondering where to begin. It’s simple: Take a quick inventory of your content. Scroll through your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any of your other profiles and ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my top-performing posts?
- Are there certain times of the day when my content performs the best?
- Am I posting a variety of content that people are engaging with?
Use these questions to help guide your upcoming social posts. If certain content is performing super well, lean into that. If it’s clear that a specific type of content is not resonating with people, scrap it and try something new. If posts at 8pm on Wednesday nights consistently perform well, always schedule posts in that time slot. It’s all about experimentation and learning what formula works the best for your business.
Step 3: Schedule your posts
Now that you have an idea of what to post, start scheduling! Look at a calendar and determine the following things:
- What days you’d like to post. Is it every day? Maybe multiple times per day? Determine these things so you’ll know when to place the content.
- What times of day you’d like to post. Use your top-performing post times to inform when your content will go live.
Some social media sites have native ways to schedule content, such as Facebook. Others, like Instagram, require the use of a third-party social media scheduler. Here is a variety of social media scheduling tools that our team members have used and loved:
Step 4: Monitor and evaluate your content
After you’ve scheduled out all your social content for the foreseeable future, all that’s left to do is monitor it! Keep an eye on your social pages to make sure that everything is posting properly and to engage with your audience in the comments. Continue to take note of what content is working and what is not, as everything you learn will help strengthen your social strategy as you move forward.
Step 5: Repeat!
You’re now a social batching extraordinaire and all that’s left to do is schedule a recurring block of time to repeat the process. How far in advance you schedule content is totally up to you and may be different for every business. Maybe you’re only able to schedule content for a week at a time. Or maybe you prefer to get really ahead by scheduling out for a whole month.
Either way, find the groove that works for you and lean into it. It will continue to save you time and energy and might even help you get ahead on other parts of your business, such as planning for special promotions or sales. To maximize your social batching, here are three bonus tips:
Tip #1: Keep track of your content ideas
To save yourself additional time and energy, begin to build out a content library. If you see an excellent consumer testimonial, screenshot it and save it to reference later. If you’re able to capture a variety of photos or videos at one time, organize them in a folder so they’ll be readily available when you need them. This can help not only you but your entire content team stay organized, and can be as simple as a shared iPhone album. No need to get fancy (unless you want to)—just stay organized!
Tip #2: Create content rhythms and variations
Think about the categories of content you post, and how to share a variety of posts that will keep people engaged. For example, if you own a gym, you wouldn’t want to share only photos of the workouts. You’d also want to supplement that core content with healthy recipes, motivational quotes and client testimonials. Do you want to have a recurring #MotivationMonday, #TransformationTuesday or #ThrowbackThursday? Go for it! The key is to work toward building out a well-rounded social strategy that provides value with variety.
Tip #3: Test out different ways of social batching
Social batching is not a “one size fits all” solution. When batching, think about what kind of organizational approach works best for you and your business. For example, you can batch posts by topic, by calendar date or by platform. Is it easier for you to schedule out all posts of a certain topic before moving onto the next one? Or maybe you’d prefer to batch all Facebook posts before moving on to Instagram posts? We encourage you to experiment with these different approaches to find the best fit.
Ultimately, social batching can give you hours back into your week and help maximize your business’s efforts for short- and long-term planning, content creation and strategy, and overall time management.