Keeping up with all of the social media buzz that’s out there can feel a bit all consuming. If you aren’t careful you can actually spend too much time on your social media marketing efforts.
Now I know some of you are thinking – but everyone is talking about it. We hear these stories of people who miraculously have a million Instagram followers and they’re making thousands of dollars off of it.
But let’s be honest here. No one running a business has the time, no matter how well-versed they are, to write all of their social media posts “off the cuff”. The goal is to get the word out about your business, share good content from others and engage with followers.
There’s just one problem you can’t afford to do this all day. You’re too busy working with paying customers. But we have to remind ourselves, as small business owners, that we are running a business and that means customer service, sales, taxes and marketing.
Social media is an affordable, accessible marketing tool that, if you invest some time into, can help you expand your visibility, your reach and lead to sales. Here are 5 things you can do to help manage your social media accounts better. Oh and by the way. . .I am not an affiliate with any of these companies. The opinons here are mine and mine alone.
Plan Your Posts
If you ask any marketing strategist they’re going to tell you that in order for social media to be effective, you should post frequently. But figuring out what to say takes time – something you’re in short supply of.
A better way to handle the “What am I going to post?” blues is to block out some time during the week and write a series of posts at one time.
You’ll most likely need some sort of editorial calendar, to keep up with what you’re writing – so you don’t keep repeating yourself. You can search for them on Google or you can try this editorial calendar from Michele McGraw.
Keep in mind that you want to be strategic about this – it is after all work. You’re marketing your business and you want to keep track of how many posts you’re sharing from others versus promoting your own products and services.
Whatever, you do decide to talk about or share, remember that you are not there to pitch people over and over again. You’ll just sound like a broken record and people will block you from their news feeds, you won’t gain any traction and all of your work would have been for nothing.
Post Smarter Not Harder
Planning what you’re going to talk about in advance is beneficial, but posting them one by one can be murder. But don’t fret, there are several apps that can help you auto-syndicated or schedule your posts.
HootSuite even allows you (for a monthly fee of $29/month) to upload posts in batches via Excel and you can do this across multiple platforms.
I’m trying out Post Planner at the moment, it’s a good place to start if you’re on a budget, but I’m personally a big fan of HootSuite because they have integrated with nearly every social media platform from Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook to YouTube, FourSquare, Tumblr and to even more stealthy ones like Reddit, Yammer & StumbleUpon. It’s like a one-stop-shop for nearly ever social media outlet.
If you’re really active on Instagram, Bulk.ly is about to become your new best friend. They’ve got a great post on how to schedule and recycle your content on Instagram, without pulling your hair out.
If you already have a Buffer account, Bulk.ly can be integrated with it as well. You can get all the details about Bulk.ly’s features and pricing here.
If Pinterest plays a big role in your social strategy, you may want to consider using a separate app for them. Not all automated software options include Pinterest, but two popular scheduling apps for Pinterest are Viraltag and Pin4Ever. I wrote a previous post about Pinterest for Small Business here.
Choose Your Platforms Wisely
By the way, you don’t have to be on every platform, choose the platforms that work best with your marketing and communication style. For example if you’re looking for business pros you may want to consider LinkedIn over Tumblr which tends to be much more casual and social.
Remember it’s better to be consistent and share high-quality content on just one or two social platforms, than to stretch yourself out too thin on too many of them.
Hire Outside Help
If you don’t have time to figure out all of this “techie stuff”, another option could be hiring someone to do it for you.
You can hire a Virtual Assistant that has a strong technical background or a social media managing service. I just met someone from Likeable Local.
The great thing about this company is that they’ve managed to figure how to make social media manageable and affordable for small business. For a small monthly fee, they will help you set up your social media accounts, create and post content for you.
This is one of the best services I have seen in a long time and a good option for those of you who shy away from working with just one person.
Monitor Your Feed
Just because you schedule or hire someone to post for you, that doesn’t mean that you never have to engage with it live. Once you get a system in place to manage your social media, you want to still actively monitor what is going on in your feed.
Social media accounts are a great way to answer questions about your business and your products or services. Ideally, you should only be checking in to monitor what’s going on, for no more than 20 to 30 minutes a day or less (that’s a coffee break).
Remember, a social media page isn’t a marketing plan in and of itself. It’s one of the many affordable tools out there, that you can use as apart of you overall marketing plan.
Question: How much time do you spend on social media for your business everyday? Do you schedule everything or do you like to go live? Share you comments and questions below.
Note: This post was last updated on August 7, 2020.
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