It can be such a challenge being consistent in your Facebook marketing efforts. You know social media is important, but as a busy business owner you have higher priorities for yourself or your team…priorities that bring in revenue or are important to the immediate operation of your business.

It’s a juggle, managing the short-term importance of creating cash flow and managing operational issues, and the long-term benefits of building a strong community and presence on social media.

The following 7 tips help you save time in managing your Facebook page so you can maintain a consistent presence without spending hours clicking and scrolling.

TIP 1: HAVE A CLEAR STRATEGY

Have A Clear Strategy

One of the reasons Facebook marketing (and social media in general) takes up so much time is that many businesses are using the tool without a clear strategy. With no structure or guidelines, it’s easy to waste time trying to think up what content you’ll post, or what time you should post it. It’s also easy to get sucked into the never ending stream of information that is at your fingertips.

A strategy defines the purpose of you being on Facebook, the goals you wish to achieve and the target audience you’re trying to reach. With this valuable information at hand, you can develop a content creation plan that supports your business goals and directs the use of time and resources dedicated to that plan. It stops you from scrambling for ideas and not knowing what to post next. Instead, a clear strategy provides a filter through which you can run ideas to make sure every post you create is of value to your audience and your business.

TIP 2: DEVELOP A WEEKLY CONTENT RHYTHM

Have A Weekly Content Rhythm

A weekly content rhythm lets you allocate a theme, subject or content type to each day, providing guidance for the message or style of post to be shared on any particular day.

A weekly rhythm takes the guess work out of what you’re going to post. It also makes it easier to plan ahead and create your content in batches, because you’ll know which types of posts you’ll need over the next week or month. Having a rhythm makes it easier to delegate your Facebook marketing as there is a guideline and pattern in place. And your audience comes to recognise and expect certain types of content, which helps to build trust via consistency.

Your weekly content rhythm shouldn’t be set in stone. I recommend having a flexible rhythm – one that can adapt if you find yourself with timely content you want to share quickly.

TIP 3: SCHEDULE YOUR POSTS

Schedule Your Posts

Once your weekly rhythm is established, you can schedule your posts in advance to make sure your Facebook activity is consistent regardless of the challenges your business throws at you during the week.

There are various social media scheduling tools available (such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Viraltag and Edgar to name a few), however the Facebook algorithm is believed to penalise content scheduled via third party apps. Also when you use third party tools, your followers can see this on the post itself. [find image of via buffer].

So I recommend scheduling your posts within Facebook itself (and saving the third party tools to schedule your other social platforms). Your Facebook Page has a good scheduling option available, and it means that all of the activity is taking place within Facebook (which Facebook prefers). This means that you can set aside time once a week and schedule out the content for the week.

But please note – I’m not recommending scheduling and forgetting. My preferred process is to schedule the posts in advance, but set aside 5-10 minute once or twice a day to jump in and engage with my followers, answer any replies and engage on other people’s pages. By doing it this way, you’re making sure your content publishing is consistent, but still engaging in real time in an authentic way – but at a time that suits your business.

TIP 4: CREATE CONTENT TEMPLATES

Create Content Templates

If you are creating a similar style of content regularly (e.g. tips, tutorials or quotes), create templates so it’s quick and easy to adapt them for the next post. Not only does this save you time, it also leads to consistency in your brand presentation.

If you’re not confident in your own design abilities, have a graphic designer create these templates for you so the design is professional and eye-catching. Or you can also use the templates within Canva, and choose one which will be the basis for that content type.

TIP 5: BATCH CREATE YOUR CONTENT

Batch Create Your Content

For each piece of content you create, you need to decide what you’re going to post, source the elements (e.g. images or designs), write the copy and save it ready for use.  When you create your content in batches (or “batch create” as the social media peeps call it) you get momentum and you’ll have all of the tools and apps ready to go – plus you’ll be in the right mindset to get it done. It’s more efficient and effective than creating the content as you go.

TIP 6: SET UP PROCESSES FOR CURATING CONTENT

Set Up Processes for Curating Content

A good Facebook strategy is a combination of your own content, and sharing valuable content from other people who are relevant to your target audience. Another time-saving tip is to have a clear process for curating this content. Whether it’s checking your Facebook Page’s Page Feed (the feed of content from Pages liked by your Business Page), using a tool like Feedly.com, or having a list of articles that you have Saved on Facebook ready to share, having a clear curation system in place means that it’s just a few minutes to review the content and share, rather than spending a lot of time trawling through social media and the internet looking for relevant articles or items to post.

TIP 7: CREATE SAVED REPLIES

Create Saved Replies

More and more customers are sending messages to businesses via their Facebook Page, and expecting a quick (if not immediate) reply. Thankfully Facebook has a couple of tools that can help you manage your Messages in a productive way.

Firstly, set up an AutoReply within Messages which lets the person sending you a message know that you have received their message, and gives them an indication of when you will reply. By sending this AutoReply you can manage expectations that you might not reply immediately, but that you will get back to them in due course.

I also recommend creating Saved Replies in answer to the most common questions that you receive. Within your Facebook Page Messages you can create these message templates in advance (or whenever you realise a question is coming up more than once), and then it’s an easy cut-and-paste to reply.  This will not only save you time, but make it easier to delegate Messages replies to a team member.

TIP 8: MANAGE YOUR NOTIFICATIONS, DON’T LET THEM MANAGE YOU

Manage Your Notifications

The endless beeps, buzzes and messages of social media notifications can drive you crazy and divert your attention from important work. So it’s worthwhile setting aside a few minutes and setting up your Notifications to serve you, not disturb you.

The Notifications you’ll need to have turned on will depend on the nature of your business. Some business owners will want to know about comments and interactions on their Page, other will just want to know if a Message has been sent to the Page. Some won’t want any notifications at all.

To change your notifications (on your computer), go into your Facebook Page and click on Settings (top right) and then Notifications (in the left sidebar). you can choose whether you get a notification whenever there is activity or just once every 12-24 hours. You can also turn On or Off notifications depending on the action taken.

As an example, I have all of the general Notifications turned off except New Mention of Page (which will alert me if someone mentions my Page on Facebook). I do choose to get a notification each time my Page receives a message.

On your mobile Facebook App, to set up the notifications go to your Page and then click the ellipses (the …) in the bottom right hand corner, scroll down to Page Settings and click on Push Notifications. Again you can choose whether they are on (so you receive a notification on your mobile whenever actions are taken) or to receive a Digest, or to turn them off altogether. You can also select notifications for specific actions.

The way you use Notifications will depend on the strategy for your Facebook Page, however to save your time and sanity it’s good to minimise the interruptions they make to your day, while providing the best possible customer service to your followers.

Implementing each of these tips will shave time off your Facebook marketing efforts and enable you to be consistent and efficient.

ACTION: Put at least one of these tips into action this week, and let me know the impact it has on your time and resources.