Social media marketing is beneficial for a number of reasons. It improves brand awareness, brings new leads to your website, improves search engine rankings and provides excellent market research opportunities.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that 92 percent of marketers say that social media is important to their business. However, since there are so many ways that you can use social media every day, it’s easy for social media marketing to become unfocused. Instead of benefitting your customers, excessive social media usage can detract from more urgent revenue-generating activities.
Social media is crucial for generating awareness, but a business cannot survive on awareness alone. It also needs sales. If you’re spreading yourself too thin with your social media activities and your business is suffering, it may be time to explore a minimalist approach to social media.
Cutting back on social media will enable you to spend more time on directly driving sales—cold emailing, PPC advertising, etc. Additionally, a minimalist approach forces you to carefully consider the objectives and the execution of your social media marketing—which can lead to greater long-term profits.
Here are some steps you can take for a minimalist approach to social media marketing:
1. Create a schedule.
Because social media marketing is an ongoing process with no definitive start or end point, managing the amount of time you spend on each channel can be difficult.
It’s easy to log into Twitter with the intention of answering customer service queries and find yourself—several hours later—crafting new branded images for Instagram in Canva. Even worse, you might come across some interesting content and become completely distracted with activities that don’t benefit your business whatsoever.
For this reason, it’s imperative to schedule blocks of your day specifically for social media and related tasks. You can achieve more than you think in 30 minutes of concentrated work every day. During this time, don’t answer calls or respond to emails; solely focus on social media. And once time is up, don’t log in again until tomorrow.
2. Pick your channels wisely.
There is no rule that says you must be active on every social media channel. You can achieve much better results by focusing on one or two channels where your prospects are active, rather than trying to cover every platform.
Make a list of the channels you’re currently using, then rank them in order of importance to your business. The level of engagement your posts are getting should play a factor, as should the number of followers on each account. Additionally, Google Analytics will tell you which networks are bringing you the most traffic.
Double down on your top one or two channels and allow the others to atrophy. You can always reverse your decision if things don’t go according to plan after a month.
3. Publish killer content.
If you’re cutting back on the amount of time you spend on social media, your number one priority should be publishing killer content.
If you’ve researched the buyer persona for your business, you should know the desires, aspirations and pain points of your ideal customer. Promoting one blog post per week that provides highly specific, actionable advice for your ideal customer is far more effective than using social media every day in a generalized, unfocused manner.
4. Utilize automation.
Instead of going through the tedious process of logging into each individual account, posting your link, looking for relevant hashtags and resizing images every time you publish a new post, it’s far more time efficient to schedule these tasks weeks ahead of time.
In order to automate your social media sharing, you need to plan your posts in advance. This can be challenging if you have other daily tasks to handle, but it’s worth it if you want to save time in the long-run.
Delegating routine tasks—such as image creation—to freelancers is another way of automating your social media.
5. Track your results.
When you cut back on social media, it’s important to track your results on a monthly basis. If you’ve streamlined your social media activities but are maintaining the same net profitability, congratulations!
In fact, it’s very likely that your profitability will increase as a result of spending less time on social media and more time driving sales.
In either case, base your conclusions on actual data. As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed.”
Aaron Agius is an experienced search, content and social marketer. A version of this article originally appeared on Entrepreneur. Copyright © 2017 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.