As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You’re engaging with customers, running operations, managing employees, and handling sales and marketing activities. Time-off and social media automation may be the last things on your mind.

With so much going on, it’s easy to put marketing (and your vacation) on the back burner. Trust us – halting marketing is the wrong move even for a short time. If you want to keep bringing customers in the door, it’s essential.

As for your downtime, that’s equally important.

So, what’s a harried business owner to do?

Learn some practical tools and solutions to help you maintain your online presence, whether you’re in or out of the office.

Social media is one way to help you connect with and build more loyal customers as well as expand your reach to attract new business. However, it requires creating quality content and consistent and frequent posting and monitoring. These tasks may seem daunting, especially since social media never sleeps, or goes on vacation … but that doesn’t mean that you can’t!

With a little bit of pre-planning and automation, you can make your social media marketing work hard for you even when you take the day off.

What is Social Media Automation?

Social media automation refers to pre-planning, scheduling, and monitoring social media content with the help of an online tool. In addition to saving you time on a day-to-day basis, there are many other benefits:

  • Organizing your content to ensure consistency of messages and frequency
  • Increasing engagement by posting on the best days and times for your followers
  • Boosting your online presence by posting easily across multiple social channels

Here’s how to get started:

  • Set up an editorial calendar
  • Create evergreen content
  • Utilize scheduling tools
  • Outsource it

Creating an Editorial Calendar

Set aside time to map out your social media calendar for a few months in advance. Think of monthly themes, based on the time of year, or business activities or events you want to promote. With your social media marketing goals in mind, craft posts that reflect the monthly theme and goals.

You’ll want to plan for a mix of messages that include both informative posts and those that are more promotional. Allow for some flexibility in your monthly calendars in case something topical or trendy comes up that you want to comment on.

Leverage Evergreen Content

While you want your social media messages to be timely and on-trend, you probably already have a lot of content that you can repurpose to fill your editorial calendar. Think of whitepapers you’ve written, older blog posts that are still relevant, or client testimonials.

A Content Marketing Institute study found that webinars are in the top five effective content marketing tactics. While they can take a lot of time to organize and promote, if the information stays relevant, you can record them for future use. Click here to read more about creating evergreen webinars that you can record once but use over and over again.

Use Scheduling Tools

Once you have your calendar set and your content drafted, use an online scheduling tool to set up content to go live on specific days and times, and across multiple social platforms. Doing all of this in advance will allow you to continue to have a social media presence while focusing your time and energy on other things.

One big benefit of social media automation is that posts can continue to go live while you might not be working, for instance, on weekends or while on vacation. There are dozens of scheduling tools available with different features to help you maximize your campaigns. This helpful article from Small Business Trends reviews some of the more popular tools, breaking down their benefits.

Outsourcing your Social Media

If you feel that even with automation tools, you’re too busy to manage your social, then outsourcing it is another great option.

One Part Social specializes in creating social media marketing strategies as well as impactful social content for small businesses. We can help you generate more likes, shares, and re-tweets and grow your organization. Learn how we can work together.

As a small business owner, your time and productivity are essential to the success of your business. Social media automation is a great way to organize your marketing efforts and free up some valuable time. By following these steps to pre-plan, create and schedule content in advance, you can rest assured that your online presence will stay active and that you can continue to engage with customers, even while you’re out of the office.

Now go enjoy a break this summer!