How to *make* (NOT find) time for your language school social media

Finding time for your language school social media
Social Media School Marketing

How to *make* (NOT find) time for your language school social media

Finding the time to manage a language school’s social media seems to be a real struggle for a DOS, language school owners and ELT professionals. Understandably, you all have many plates to spin and social media ends up having little or no attention although you all recognize how powerful it is. What to do then? 

Personally, I think that if you expect to “find the time” you are never going to put your hands on your school social media. Instead of thinking about finding the time, think differently and put your focus on how to MAKE time for your language school social media.

If you are fully aware of the importance of social media marketing for your ELT business then you need to recognize that doing it poorly can be costing you. Therefore, you will agree with me that making the time (not finding the time)  to plan and manage your social media can make a positive impact on your course sales, school reputation or personal branding.  In this article, I will share some ideas and strategies that will help you carve out, optimize and maximise your time for your school social media management. 

How can you MAKE TIME for social media marketing in ELT?

Personally, I believe that there are three main areas that you need to focus on to help you make the time for managing your social media:

  1. Mindset
  2. Time Optimization Strategies
  3. Time-saving Tools

1. Mindset

It might be that mindset isn’t the right term, however, I chose it because the strategies I will share are about your attitude about handling time and your perception of time. I have learned these strategies throughout my ELT career and they have helped me keep on top of things in my craziest times. So let’s get started:

1.1 The Eisenhower Matrix to make time for social media

The Eisenhower Matrix is a technique that allows you to prioritise tasks by importance and urgency. Here’s a chart that illustrates this amazing time-management technique:

To make time for your school social media, I’d say this is where you need to start from. By prioritizing and arranging tasks by their order of urgency and importance you will be able to free precious time to devote to tasks that really matter such as planning, creating content for the social media marketing of your ELT business.  What’s more, this simple, yet effective technique once completed will give you clarity about what really is important to get done first.

Copy the chart here above and work on it. It is the foundation to free your time for what really matters! You will feel less pressed for time and more aware of how you are spending it.

1.2 Less is More when making time for social media

You have probably heard this a thousand times and let me tell you that Less is More is also applicable in social media marketing. How? The idea of having to be on every single trendy platform is a myth! Fewer platforms managed well is the way to go!

It can be easy to start various social media channels but it is overwhelming to keep up with all of them especially if you are the only person in charge of it. It is far better and more effective to be on the right platform than being everywhere. If you need to decide which is the best platform(s) for your ELT business then read Which social media should you use to market a language school?. Once you have narrowed down which platforms can work for you then you will probably have to decide which one(s) are vital based on resources available. Remember, less is more! You can get excellent results just from one or two platforms you can do well rather than from various platforms you hardly have time to take care of.

2. Time Optimization Strategies

Making the time (not finding the time) for social media will free some precious slots in your timetable which you need to use well. So now let’s look into strategies that will help you optimize the time you have gained to work on your school social media. 

2.1 The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a strategy invented by an Italian, Mr Francesco Cirillo, that can really revolutionize and optimize your busy schedule. 

It is about using a tomato-shaped timer to break your time into slots of 25 minutes during which you concentrate on a single task. After that time, you have taken a “Pomodoro” so you take a small break and work again for another 25 minutes. After four “Pomodoro” you take a longer break. It is all explained really well in this video. After watching it you will be able to maximise the time dedicated to social media for your language school (and not only!)

If you don’t have a kitchen timer then try this digital version called the “Pomofocus” which will do the same job from a device. (Put the audio on!)

With the Pomodoro Technique, you will gain concentration and focus, getting more done in the available time. In other words, you will work more efficiently and manage to fit in time for social media management in your busy schedule without overworking.

Check it out for yourself! 

2.2 Planning

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” 

Benjamin Franklin

In the same way you plan lessons you can plan what you will post about and when you will post. If you don’t plan lessons, well let me tell you that social media needs planning based on your objectives! The last thing you want is to find yourself posting random pictures at the very last minute just for the sake of posting. Yes, it will keep your feed and stories going, yes you might get some likes but…will you get closer to your goals? Will you attract the right students? Probably not.

Planning ahead means that you will at least have a plan for the following month, the next trimester or even the semester. Alternatively, you can plan ahead for longer periods of time like the summer break or for back to school. 

Think about how you would like to divide your year in terms of planning ahead and then focus on that period. 

This strategy will help you enormously on having a focal point and get more juice flowing so as to produce the right relevant content and perhaps more content than expected.

Next, you will think about what to post about (content) and when to post (scheduling).

3. Time-saving tools for social media

In view of making the most out of the time you have carved out to look after your social media, I’d recommend using time-saving tools for planning, creating content and posting on your social media networks. So here are 3 essential time-saving tools that you can use to maximise your precious time in social media marketing.

3.1 Scheduler

A scheduler is a tool that will allow you to schedule your posts in bulk and across platforms. If you use Facebook then you have the built-in functionality to schedule posts ahead and also crosspost to Instagram.

If you are using other platforms then you can consider schedulers for social media like Buffer, Later, Hootsuite or Canva

3.2 Designing posts

If you are not a graphic designer then you will find Canva enlightening and really time-saving when it comes to creating your posts. It has tons of ready-made templates divided by social network size that you can customize with your font and school colours. If you switch to the paid version Canva can save you extra time as it allows you to resize a post into all the other formats with just one click! It is pure bliss! Remember you can post directly from Canva too!

3.3 Organizing& Saving ideas

When brainstorming ideas for content you will need to save them somewhere. Stop spreading post-its all over your office and keep notes in one single place accessible from all your devices. There are two easy ways of making this come true:

Google Keep

Google Keep is one of my favourite apps. It allows you to keep, organize, edit and record notes. It is accessible across devices through your Google account. I like it because it allows me to capture ideas on the go and also save links on it. Then it is simple to find your notes as you can colour code them or through the search functionality as well. Find it among your Google Apps.

Bookmark on your browser 

It is very easy to waste a lot of time searching for a link, an article, video or image we have seen online and would like to share on social media for content curation. One good way to avoid this is to save links to your browser. Go to the page where the content is and bookmark it so that it is easy to track it later! It seems pretty obvious but how long is your list in your Bookmark?

Still no time for social media? Then outsource!

Finding the time to do social media should be reframed as making the time to do social media. It is very much about your mindset and healthy time-saving habits and not about overworking and overthinking.

However, if for whatever reason, you cannot make time to work on your social media, then why not consider outsourcing that part of your language school marketing. If this is the case, do get in touch! I will be happy to help you with your school’s social media strategy, planning and/or management. All you need to do is to drop me a line through the contact form. Click here to send me your enquiry to see how I can help you!

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