How do I use social media effectively in a limited amount of time? That is the question.
As we all know, devoting time to social media marketing presents a challenge for many businesses. It’s one thing to set up a social media account, but then to also create a content strategy and regularly post on social media — well, that’s more of a challenge. So here are some tips for how to stay active on social media without feeling like you are wasting time.
1. Have a plan: Did you launch your social media page without a clue as to how you’d run it? Well, first take a step back and evaluate some things:
- What are my social media goals?
- What companies or individuals am I trying to reach?
- What social media sites make sense to start using, given this audience?
- How often do I need to post to my social media sites to see results?
- What are my competitors doing on social media?
- Who from my company will handle social media marketing?
2. Automate some of your social media marketing: Using tools like Hootsuite, set some of your social media updates to automatically post while you’re away. This will give you the illusion that you are “always online,” even when you’re not. Posting links to original blog content that you create would be perfect for this type of automation. However, I caution you not to abuse the automated feature, as you need to remain reactive to things going on around you in the social media networks to which you belong, or you will appear one-sided.
3. Create a Content Calendar: Think about the type of content it makes sense to share with your social media audience. Don’t make it all promotional, but rather a nice mix of conversations, Q&A, quick tips, educational articles, articles or posts shared from others online, product- or service-focused pieces, community involvement, PR, and more. Try to vary content so that your posts are not all promotional or all conversational to make your social media more appealing to your fans.
4. Decide how much time is enough for you to spend on social media, and schedule it: Good intentions are, well, just intentions, until you follow through with them. Many business owners plan to devote time to social media, but the business of business gets in the way. That’s why I recommend building social media marketing into your weekly and daily to-do list. Spend no less than one day a week on social media — in addition to the time you spend planning, analyzing and creating your social media content strategy. Ideally you should be spending 4-5 days a week on social media, or 30 minutes daily if your time allows for it. If you spend too much time on social media, just remember that you may be neglecting other areas of your marketing/communication.
5. If in doubt, hire some help. As a small business owner, sometimes you just can’t wear all the hats (even though you want to try). If social media just isn’t your thing, or you just can’t seem to find the time to devote to it. don’t be afraid to outsource your efforts to a social media marketing firm that can help you keep your campaign consistent or supplement your own efforts.