Every single time I speak at an event, run employee advocacy/personal training or see mates I haven’t seen for a while, the question always comes up: ‘how the hell do you find the time to do everything you do on social media, along with your job, being a mum, a wife, and all of the other things you do??

Well the first answer is: I think it’s really really important so I make it a priority. I believe in the deepest part of my soul that building a strong personal brand is critical for anyone in business today. I’m not doing it for fun (although I do enjoy sharing knowledge), I’m doing it because I believe in social media and content marketing. I believe in its ability to fundamentally transform how we do business and that it will make the world a better place.

But the second answer is Hootsuite!

It wasn’t until June last year that I decided to take the plunge on a social media management (SMM) tool and after a bit of research between the competing platforms, I decided on Hootsuite.

Immediately, all I could say was – HOW DID I MANAGE BEFORE? Amazing.

Friends and peers – who were equally engaged on social media – looked at me like I was mad. They couldn’t understand how I was doing what I was doing on social media without an automation tool!

In hindsight, I don’t know how I did it either, but I do know that I was tipping over into the edge of madness, especially as I was “owning” a couple of social profiles for brands that needed loving attention every day.

I decided to look into automation when I was about to go on two weeks’ holiday to Vietnam (a country with patchy Internet access). However, more than access issues, for the first time in a long time, I just really wanted to take a holiday and not HAVE to be on social.

That is what Hootsuite gave me. The opportunity to schedule my social media activities in a forward thinking, planned way, and it meant I could go on holiday, knowing everything would be under control in my absence. That felt awesome.

So yes, I’m pretty busy on social media. I have multiple social presences and I do a lot, but my recommendation to anyone who wants to start building a personal brand today is get an automation tool. More so if you work in a highly regulated industry with no social access in the office. You too can be part of the revolution; you just need to do it outside of business hours’/company restrictions.

There are plenty of options but do the research, or just check out Hootsuite. I am a fan. Here’s two articles to get you started on your research.

Hootsuite Vs Buffer – The Heavyweight Social Media Showdown

Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social: Which is Better For Your Business?

Seriously, even if you don’t do as much as I do on social media, this is a must-have tool to build a strong personal brand. It also helps you to carve out time to manage your social profile – and making time is always the greatest concern people have.

My recommendation is sit down on a Sunday morning, with a nice cup of coffee (or your preferred beverage) then find all of the articles that captured your imagination during the week. Take the time to read them properly (never share what you don’t read), and if you love them, schedule them over the coming week into Hootsuite to appear on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or wherever else is relevant to your audience/profession.

If you do this, you get to start the week knowing your presence is managed, but it’s real too. You are sharing information of value with your community, the only difference is, you’re planning it out in advance, rather than sending five bits in one go. Don’t do that. Especially on LinkedIn.

You only need to spend 15-30 minutes a week doing it this way and if you do, you’ll have a cracking social presence in no time, one that delivers value to your community.

A couple of final points. When you share content, don’t just copy the article heading – especially on LinkedIn. Tell your community why you loved the article and what you believe they will get out of it. You will be more successful if you do this, because you’re building your credibility and demonstrating your expertise. People want that from you. We can all read the article titles in the window of the link.

Also, social media is about engaging. You can engage through Hootsuite a lot, but you can’t do it all. So check in regularly directly on your social platforms and engage with your community. We’re in the ‘giving economy,’ so engage and remember it’s not just about you. Celebrate and lift up your community.

That’s it for now. Just thought it was time to share my love and appreciation for Hootsuite. It gave me my life back. (And no, Hootsuite did not ask me to write this. If they did. I’d tell you upfront.)

Cheers

Andrea

And please, if you like this, I’d love a comment, a discussion or a smiley. Of course, please also feel free to share with your communities. That’s what this is all about today – sharing and giving to each other. If you like my style and what I talk about, feel free to follow me on LinkedInTwitter or on Facebook. Thanks for reading.