6 Super Quick Social Media Productivity Tips + 23 Tools to Help!

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Tammy Kahn Fennell recently wrote a great post here on Maximize Social Business about having a social media productivity plan with plenty of advice on how to build your own. We all know that social media, in theory, is the quickest, most efficient, and most cost-effective way to communicate your message to the world. But at the same time, we all know that it can be a real time-drain, leaving you seated at the desk for hours wondering what, if anything, you accomplished today.  And for us suffering from shiny object syndrome, it seems even worse, as many of our favorite distractions are just a click away.

So are we destined to repeat this time wasting process in the world where time is money? Or can we turn all the technology and research into our advantage and in fact become more productive?  The answer is YES.

I have taken some time to list 6 quick tips, i.e. productivity boosters, which will help you work smarter, rather than longer. These are all social media productivity tips that I have learned to use myself over the years, and while I’ll never be 100% satisfied, I do think they allow me to scale in my use of social media more than the average professional. Most of you loyal readers are already doing some, if not all, of these things, but I do hope this article has some value to even the most experienced social media professional.

1. Use Content Curation Tools

I cannot point out enough how important content curation is – and thus content curation tools become. I’ve already mentioned how content curation is an integral part of a social media strategy, and both content marketing expert Bob Geller as well as myself have blogged a number of times on content curation, including why content curation is important for content marketing, how to curate content like a pro, and how to improve your content curation.

Today’s market offers a myriad of different content curation tools specifically designed to help you out in your pursuit of both finding the most relevant content, with some allowing you to efficiently publish the curated content to your social media accounts. Some of the content curation tools which I have used or presently use include:

  • Swayy – helps you find relevant content based on your selection, community’s preferences and trends
  • Beatrix – helps you find relevant content and makes it extremely easy to schedule
  • Post Plannerkiller Facebook content curation functionality
  • BuzzSumo – find the most shared relevant content on different social networks by topic or user
  • Triberr – join the tribe of like-minded people who write content related to your industry
  • Social Buzz Club – find content to share from a community of content creators
  • Viral Content Buzz – find content to share from a variety of content creators

Also, from a pure content curation perspective, don’t forget:

Note that even social media dashboards such as Hootsuite and Buffer as well as Klout now offer you suggested content to post. The important thing is to find which of these tools 1) finds you the most relevant content and 2) make it easy for you to control when and where you content is posted in the most efficient way.

6 Super Quick Social Media Productivity Tips + 23 Tools to Help!

2. Schedule Your Posts

Automation is a keyword when it comes to post scheduling. Your job is to create the content (I budget about 2 hours per blog post) and set the time when each post will be released. Then, use appropriate social media tools that allow you to automatically publish those posts now and repeatedly into the future. Using RSS it is easy to automate your publishing of new posts through the likes of social media dashboards such as HootSuite, MarketMeSuite, and Post Planner (for Facebook), but there are other tools that you can use here as well:

  • WordPress JetPack Publicize – this WordPress plugin will publish your posts to several social networks, including personal Google Plus profiles!
  • CoSchedule – on a similar note, if using WordPress, you can pre-create social media posts promoting your new blog post and send them out well into the future on a variety of social networks, including Pinterest!
  • SMQueue – will automatically and randomly publish your social media posts after you create more than 100 of them

CoSchedule Editorial Calendar for WordPress

3. Use a Dedicated Browser

Another great way to keep your focus on social media, rather than on everything else, is to use dedicated browsers, i.e. one browser that is set for the social media activities (with tabs automatically opening the important social channels) and the other for all the rest.  This will help you resist the temptation to check your Twitter account every five minutes or end up watching yet another funny video on YouTube. I’d also recommend setting a timer. Once the time is up, you stop whatever you have been doing, and take a break (for five or ten minutes). Many work best in chunks of 45 minutes followed by a 10-minute break, but you will obviously need to set your own pace.

4. Stick to a Daily/Weekly Routine

An extension of the setting a timer idea above is to set social media boundaries that literally control how often you visit social media sites on a daily or weekly basis as part of your overall social media routine. Some social networks are more engaging than others, while others are more strategic than others. Play to your strengths and create a daily routine (check 2 or 3 times a day) for your strategic networks while others check in on a weekly basis for engagement opportunities. You can’t be everywhere at once, so doing this will greatly increase your overall social media productivity.

You can also manage any given social network with a combination of daily and weekly tasks. For instance, on Twitter and LinkedIn you can post and engage daily and perhaps delegate Twitter follower/following management as well as LinkedIn invitations to a weekly routine.

5. Get Analytical

Yes, as daunting they might seem, analytics are there to help you. So why not take a full advantage of them. You can create your own analytics dashboard using different applications, including Cyfe, Sumall, and Netvibes. You can get different relevant data from them to help you out with your productivity optimization.

I find that there is no one over-arching ideal social media analytical platform, so I end up using a combination of the following:

6. Turn Old into New

Old content can be as useful as the new one. Just because it is 6 months old, it does not mean that it cannot be reused again. Evergreen content does not have an expiration date, as the value of it is still relevant.  While you can use the aforementioned SMQueue to ensure that your old content gets discovered regularly in social media, you can re-use your content for a variety of content marketing mediums, including infographics, ebooks, as well as revising them to create new blog posts. You don’t always have to re-invent the wheel!

I have tried all of the tips presented above and have found that they work well for me. I estimate they have both saved me hours on average per day as well as allowed me to maintain a robust social media presence that allows me to focus my time on content creation and engagement with other social media users.

I would love to hear what tricks you use in order to be more productive. Are they the same as mine? Or do you have something completely different that you would recommend? Start chiming in!

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer


Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness & @socialtoolssmmt | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker
Man Poses as Target on Facebook, Trolls Haters of Its Gender-Neutral Move With Epic Replies http://t.co/TPZmvMd1x9 via @Adweek - 4 hours ago
Neal Schaffer
Social Tools Summit


  1. says

    Very pleased to see a social media expert at your level advocate content curation Neal. The CC tools you reference are all premium and useful apps. Curious why you didn’t include Scoop.it CC engine?

    With 1 million+ registered uses suggests its also a premium CC platform for your readers to consider?

    • says

      Hi Neil, thanks for the comment! You are right in that Scoop.it is a useful tool to help you find information. The problem is in that it all content you curate is published to a summary page of your own brand, which means it takes one more click for a reader to actually view the content. While the branding benefits for content curators are inherent, I don’t think you need to go that far with branding everything you curate. I think of the end user experience, and I’m not sure if it’s a pleasant one. Would love to hear your experience on the matter.

      On the other hand, if you could use Scoop.it to simply curate and publish the content as is (i.e. without creating a summary landing page), it would be on par with the other tools listed and certainly one that I would post.

      That’s my POV – yours?

  2. says

    Hey Neal,

    Totally agree with the productivity tips, thanks!

    Are you familiar with Oktopost (www.oktopost.com), is a social media management tool that has a bunch of the features mentioned (Content Curation, Scheduling and Analytics)..


  3. says

    Great tools Neal! I thought I had a lot of tools covered but some of these are absolute gems – particularly to find trending content for audiences instead of going through RSS feeds to manually curate (time consuming)!

  4. says

    Thanks for the information, I wasn’t even aware that there was a way to get help with curating content. I have been doing it the hard way with my mind!

    • says

      Glad the info helped! Indeed, over the last few years the development of content curation tools has been on the increase – and I’ll be sure to update this post when I see new ones that I would recommend as well!

    • says

      Indeed Sharon … even if you use Chrome as I do, you can have separate browser windows open and still gain the increases in productivity while using the same browser.

  5. says

    I believe in the world of Online Marketing Tools are real friends which help us to do marketing more smartly with great productivity. Content curation tool is one of the most essential tool for finding the best relevant content. Rest of tools also plays vital part specially in social media marketing.

  6. says

    Hello Neal,
    Very interesting and complete article! Good tips, we like it 😉

    I do have a little question thought, I saw some good measurement tools for different platforms, but 0 for Instagram.

    Have you checked Iconosquare.com ?

    • says

      Thanks John, and you bring up a good point that I did not list an Instagram tool – my bad! If I had to list one, I would list Iconosquare, formerly called Statigram. Thanks for adding value to my post through your comment!!!

  7. says


    Awesome post. I totally agree with scheduling and most importantly, getting a good social media schedule. I used to ‘jump in’ into everything I do but I find myself being more productive if I have a good calender. So, well said my friend!

    Keep it up.

  8. says

    Neal, Just a great post. I am very happy to see the list of content curation tools. I am using most of the content curation tools you mentioned. I would like to explore Swayy, Socialbuzzclub and Buzzsumo. Also I want to mention about Plumlytics, a cool social media listening tool for social media management with comprehensive listening and predictive analytics built-in. Thanks for the share

  9. kdhungerford says

    Very nice roundup. I meant to comment months ago… my how time flies.

    So two tools that are incredible time savers that aren’t on this post (but perhaps will make it to the next) are Paper.li and Content Gems.

    Paper.li’s email roundups are great time save for getting information to teams so they don’t have to look for the content. Very useful.

    The other is Content Gems. It’s under the radar but I’ve found some lesser known sources through the service and it’s proving valuable.

    For both services I appreciate having the content delivered to my inbox. It allows me to stay offline and focused longer in the mornings :)

    Thanks Neal!

    • says

      Thank you so much for adding to the conversation!

      Yes, you are correct, Paper.li is an excellent way of curating content – I should have had them on the list the first time!

      Haven’t heard of Content Gems – will check them out. Thanks!

  10. says

    Hey! what about us?) onlypult.com – the cool tool for scheduling Instagram posts!

    Onlypult allows you to upload pictures from your computer, schedule Instagram posts, work with up to 20 accounts simultaneously without having to log in and out all the time, automatically add hashtags, and name location. Onlypult also gives you Instagram analytics, including follower growth charts, location of followers, number of likes and comments, most effective posting time, and popular hashtags for your account.

  11. says

    I always knew there was a better name for it than ADHD! Shiny Object Syndrome is my kryptonite–and it’s exactly how I found your piece. I am now more than 2 hours away from working on my novel–away in the wrong direction, that is– because I was watching a televised bull riding event, and tweeting, and received a tweet from Rodeo Country Radio, who forwarded this article! Sometimes being a magpie has its benefits. This is highly useful information for my somewhat wonky social media effort; thanks. Now my followers won’t have to tell me what I should be doing (or not doing).

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