“Is Social Media taking too much time out of my business?” – I’m sure that’s a question we have all asked ourselves at one point or another.
Social media has absolutely transformed how most photographers run their business.
There can’t be many successful photographers out there who don’t feature it somewhere in their marketing strategy.
For some photographers, social media might actually be their entire marketing strategy, with many running their entire business on Facebook for example – some with not even a “traditional” website.
However, that marketing playground has been continually tightened by Facebook. In order to ensure your audience definitely sees your message, you need to pay to play in the form or advertising or boosted posts.
All is not lost of course, and proper use of social media can still give you free marketing access to your customers, and potential customers – you just have to be very savvy about how you do it.
But here’s the thing – social media sucks time out of your business. Hours and hours and hours!
You need to keep thinking of things to say, and how to say them.
You need to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and whatever the latest social media platform that comes along.
You visit those sites and before you know it you’re distracted and checking out your latest friend’s post about their dog, the latest chocolate cookie recipe that someone posted, and that hilarious video of the cackling woman with the Chewbacca mask.
I am sure you know exactly what I mean.
Social media sucks time out of your business because it sucks YOU in.
Want to know exactly how much time? You’ll be surprised!
If you don’t want to depress yourself you can skip this section – but it you are curious about how much productive time you actually spend on your computer install the fabulous little free utility called RescueTime ( http://www.rescuetime.com )
The utility basically keeps a log of your computer activities and you can teach it what is “productive” and what is not.
Take a look at this graph from a day of social media distraction.
I spent 34% of my time at the computer on Facebook! Isn’t that crazy!
So how do we go about being more productive?
Well, it’s very straight forward, you need to get someone else to do it – and in our case we use a Virtual Assistant called Edgar!
MeetEdgar.com is the Social Media salvation that saves us hours of time posting updates on social media, by making those posts for us on our behalf, and on a time schedule that we have agreed.
So how does it work?
Well basically MeetEdgar.com works on a library of “content” – i.e. a list of your social media posts – you build this library of content up over time, but the best thing is you can re-use it.
Let’s face it a post advising brides and groom’s the best time to hire a wedding photographer is a post that you can repeat often. Similarly, that link to your portrait or wedding portfolio can also be posted on a fairly regular basis.
Essentially what you are looking to do here is to build up a library of “evergreen” content that isn’t date specific, and is useful to your audience at any time of the year.
But it goes further….
Not only can Meetedgar.com maintain that library, it can also automatically add your new blog posts to the library as you publish them.
You can also incorporate RSS feeds from industry news website into your social media posts as well – MeetEdgar will automatically pull these into a “Pending” queue and you can either approve or delete them. For example, you might see a list of “Ten Great Wedding Venues” published by a Wedding Blog – well that information is fantasic to share with your audience no matter what time of year, isn’t it? That is the type of content that you could add to your library to be shared with your Facebook fans.
MeetEdgar.com also categorises your posts into helpful segments and you can actually build your posting schedule around these segments, so that your newsfeed isn’t just full of self-promotional material.
For example, you could create a Category for “Wedding Wednesday’s” which posts a Wedding Image of the Week every Wednesday.
The scheduling system also ensures your information is going out to your audience at the best times of day.
The best part about tools like MeetEdgar.com is that just a small amount of time per week is required to maintain and build up your library – and you can still post one-off content whenever you like.
MeetEdgar.com is currently “invite only” – but the company seems to get through their invite queue quite quickly, so you usually hear from them within a couple of weeks.
The service costs $49 per month and this includes up to 10 Social Accounts.
The system currently supports Facebook (Profiles and Pages), Twitter and LinkedIn (Profiles and Company).
If you want to extend your reach to other platforms it’s relatively simple to setup an automated process using IFTTT.com to add sites like Pinterest and Google Plus to the mix.
There are other similar auto-posting systems out there like Buffer.com and Dlvr.it – these are also great services and also less expensive – but we have found MeetEdgar.com to definitely offer the best combination of power, flexibility and ease of use.
$49 is a small price to pay to potentially free up hours and hours of unproductive time surfing Facebook 😉
Here’s how productive you could be!
Go on – take control of your time back.