April 15, 2020

9 Time-saving Tips for Social Media

Edie Melson     @EdieMelson

Social Media Director for Southern Writers Suite T

Social media can be a time drain if we’re not careful. 

We can spend hours and hours without seeing results that justify the effort—unless we pay attention. It’s time to work smarter, not harder. 

9 Time-Saving Tips for Social Media

1. Use a scheduling program. If you’ve spent any time at all reading this blog or following me on social media, you’ve heard me say this. It doesn’t matter which program you use. My personal favorite is Hootsuite, but Buffer is just as good. By using a scheduling program, you can multiply your presence on social media without being tied to it all day and all night.

2. Set a timer. After thirty minutes on social media, your return on investment goes way down. It’s easy to get lost on a network, scrolling through what others are posting, but that’s not working smarter. Do what you need to do, have a few conversations, then get off the Internet.

3. Pick three. Pick three social media networks, that is. None of us can have a consistent—meaningful—presence on more than that. If you follow my advice and use Twitter and Facebook, you’ll reach almost one hundred percent of your audience. After that, pick another one you enjoy or want to try out. Don’t try to follow all the newest trends, no one can keep up with them all.

4. Don’t play fair. I used to think that I needed to spend the same amount of time on all the networks I used. But that wasn’t working smart. Each of us has a social media sweet spot. For me, that’s twitter. So, when I spend thirty minutes a day on social media, that’s the network where I spend the most time. I still do Facebook and Instagram, but by spending my time where I’m most effective, I multiply my efforts. 

5. Promote others ahead of yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have so little time; it must be about you. Stick with Edie’s 5 to 1 rule, (For every 5 social media updates, you’re only allowed to then post 1 promoting yourself). Putting others ahead of yourself—unless it’s release day for a new book—will always get you farther faster when it comes to social media.

6. Vary your updates. By not being predictable, people will be more interested in what you have to say. I share four types of updates to keep my social media feed fresh:
  • An inspiring quote or Bible verse.
  • Something funny.
  • An open-ended question.
  • A link to something I find valuable.

7. Remember to be authentic. It’s easy to get caught up in only sharing the best of life with those you hang out with online, but none that’s not realistic.

8. Be safe. Authentic is good, but so is being safe. Remember to not advertise the fact that you’re away from home or check in at places. Always use a different password for EVERY single thing that requires a password. Don’t store those passwords on your phone or computer, unless you use a special program like LastPass. And never enter credit card information or a password on public Wi-Fi.

9. Engage with those who engage with you. If you post an update, especially a question, be sure to stop back by and comment on those who’ve taken the time to answer. It’s the very height of rudeness and self-centeredness to ask a question to generate a conversation and then ignore those who participate.

These are the ways that I streamline my social media time. These may seem like small things, but together they really save me a lot of time.

Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, including the bestseller Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Social Media Director of Southern Writers Magazine and board Member of the Advanced Writers and Speaker Association.

Visit Edie on and through social media.


  1. Great advice Edie. Thank you. I am taking your advice for sure and especially on timing how long I am on social media.

    1. Susan, I've found using a timer invaluable to keep me on track. I can get pulled down into a hole and waste hours on social media if I'm not careful! Blessings, E

  2. I'm going to implement #6. It will help keep the posts from feeling like an advertising board!

  3. Resources or tutorials weren't as widely available that could help speed up the learning curve. tiktok