Social media is important for every business, and I hype it a lot on this blog because I know just how effective Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram can be at getting a small brand the recognition and cult like following it deserves if they play the social media game well. Social media presence can lead to a lot of sales, but let’s be honest, if you’re a small business you’re probably not wanting to hire a Social Media Manager just to updated all of your accounts. But if you don’t have a Social Media Manager, you probably don’t have enough time yourself to do it.
It’s a hard situation to be in for a lot of businesses who understand social media can really amplify their voice, but don’t have the means it takes to dedicate time to social media. Rather than spending hours wasting your time on social media sites when you could be playing to your other business strengths, sometimes it’s more important to automate as much of your social media as possible. If you’re one of those companies, here are some tips on how to automate your social media, and get back to selling and contacting leads:
First, Figure out which social networks are most important to your company. Not every company will be successful on Facebook, and Twitter, AND LinkedIn or Pinterest. If you already have a large target audience on Twitter that you’re engaging with, then focus on Twitter rather than trying to catch up on the other newtorks right now.
Second, get automation tools. I live in Hootsuite. It’s missing a few features that other apps have, but it also has a lot of features most apps are missing. Plus, you can manage Facebook and Twitter from one screen, and see all of your information at a glance without having to navigate to @mentions sections, lists, or other streams. Hootsuite also allows you to schedule Tweets and Posts so that as soon as you have a good idea for a Tweet or Facebook post you can go in, draft it, then schedule it for the optimal time. One way to optimize your social networks is to start the day by drafting a couple messages, schedule them to be posted throughout the day, and then you’re done. You can send the same message to all of your social network streams too so you spend less time moving inbetween apps.
Third, schedule updates for optimal times. If you’re business is based in the US, but trying to sell to customers in Europe or Asia, then it makes little sense for you to send updates when those customers are asleep. Make sure you know when your audience is most active on social networks and schedule your updates for those times. Tweriod is a great service that checks for the best periods throughout the day for your account to tweet.
Fourth, tackle everything in 10minutes and forget about it the rest of the day. It might even take you less than 10 minutes to think up some messages and schedule them, but handle your social media in a small block of time and then get back to work. The problem with mixing social media and business is that you can never get enough. You’ll never be able to read all the tweets you need to and find the best Pinterest items to repin. Don’t try to do everything. Automation allows you to focus on what you do best; to generate leads from other means and manage your business. If you don’t have the capitol to dedicate to social media, then do as much as you can through automation until your business gets to that next level.