Time management is something we freelancers and bloggers work hard to master in order to maintain a healthy workflow and a high standard of work. The busier you get, the more ways you learn to manage your time effectively with little hacks that work for you. Social media batching is one of those life-changing hacks I’ve uncovered.
Figuring out this handy hack has allowed me to spend less time staring at a screen to upload social posts and more time doing what I love—traveling!
Like many, the current pandemic has restricted my ability to move around, leaving me with the wonderful pleasure of exploring the hinterlands and beaches of my own Aussie backyard. I think you’ll agree from the photo below from one of my recent van trips that it’s a pretty wonderful place to be.
What is social media batching?
The art of social media batching involves regularly allocating time to complete every aspect of your social media schedule in one sitting, from curating images, designing graphics, writing captions, and getting hashtags together. This might seem like a lot of work initially, but by focusing on batching all at once, you will actually become a lot more efficient and creative.
Why use social media batching?
Firstly, it’s more efficient. Batching can help you accomplish way more in much less time as you won’t be continually switching your brain from task to task. It takes about 15 minutes to fully get into the groove of a new task, and with batching you can be more productive by cutting out this wasted time.
Secondly, it increases creativity. Seriously. True creativity rarely happens in sporadic 30-second increments. By utilizing a batching strategy instead of scrambling every day to conjure up a new post you’ll be able to create a well-structured and perfectly flowing social media strategy. Think about the difference in your work when you can sit and focus for an extended time, and compare it to your work when you spend two minutes smashing something out.
Every week I allocate some time to sit down to content batch my social media posts. Here’s how I do it.
1. Content creation session.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be done weekly, but I’ve found that this is a good amount of lead time to preplan my content calendar. During this content creation time, I set out to complete all of the intricate details of each post. I’ll plan out the graphics or photos that I need, the captions for each post, any sponsored posts or brand partnerships to be aware of, and finally, schedule each completed post so that it will automatically be shared right when I want it to be.
2. Engagement session.
Having a successful social media presence isn’t just about scheduling pretty posts and then leaving them to do their thing. Engaging with your audience is important in creating value, so allocate 15-20 minutes each day to check in on your accounts and answer questions, respond to comments, talk to people, and be present.
3. Handy scheduling and planning tools.
I schedule all my social media posts through a third-party tool so that I don’t have to worry about logging on each day and doing it manually. There’s a lot of different software options to choose from but Later, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite are all great ones. Using these platforms, you’ll be able to schedule content for several platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, making it much easier to cross-post or repurpose content on a few different platforms. You’ll save time not having to manually create each post on separate platforms, so in my opinion scheduling tools are a must.
Because I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, I also use a free app called Unum (you can also try Planoly) to plan my Instagram feed. Each week I load all my new content into a mockup of my Instagram feed and move them around freely so that I can create a look and aesthetic that I’m happy with. Typically, I do this during my content creation stage each week so that I know what order to schedule and publish my posts.