“Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well”

— Lord Stanhope

Social media is a sneaky little time waster. If you’re like me, you’ll log on to complete a task. Next thing you know, it’s an hour and a half later– and you still didn’t do what you meant to do.

I know that struggle, and I’ve pieced together a social media system that works for me. It’s easy. All you need to do is keep it simple, silly.

social media strategy for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs
Pick two
Pick two social media outlets that you are going to do, and do well. For me, it’s Instagram and Periscope. Focus your allotted social media time on growing these outlets.

This step has one caveat. I think everyone should be on Google+. The SEO value is worth it. I don’t create specialized content for Google+. Instead, I use automation to make sure that content from my other outlets is posted there.

Define your why
I recently met with a small business consultant (Liz Griffin, she’s great y’all), and the most valuable thing I learned was something that I already knew: define your why for your social media outlets.

Too many people waste their energy by posting and creating content that doesn’t matter. Defining your why saves you time and energy.

So think about it: Do you want to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter? Do you want to position yourself as an expert? Are you looking to show off your design aesthetic?

Define what your why is and only use content that meets your end goals.

Batch it up
I develop most of my social media content in big batches. It takes hours to research, create, and schedule the content, but then I’m basically done for two months.

Batch processing frees me up to take advantage of the true purpose of social media–interaction. I’m no longer worried about what to post, so I can spend my time engaging with my audience.

Automate, automate, automate
This one is closely related to batch processing. I use a combination of many services such as Latergram, Buffer, IFTTT, and Zapier to let my social media run itself.

Again, this isn’t a hands off approach. Automation actually helps me stay more engaged. My time on social media is spent interacting instead of juggling the management of multiple outlets.

Maintenance
In my first point, I talked about picking the two social media outlets where you expend most of your energy. Most is the operative word.

I still spend time on other outlets. However, it’s in more of a maintenance capacity.  Take Pinterest: I pin my recent blog posts and re-pin content that I think will be beneficial to others.

In essence, it’s more simplification. I do what is necessary to reap some of the benefits of a given social media outlet, but I don’t stress out about the results. My goals and analysis are tied to my two primary outlets.

This post was first published in Party Favors. Subscribe to be the first to get content from Jubilant.