Time-Saving Tips for Managing Your Social Media Accounts
Every business person views social media a little differently. Some find it addicting, distracting, or time-consuming. Others find it confusing, hopeless, and difficult. Many love it, many hate it. But one thing is for sure - every business in this day and age needs it. And by business, I don't mean mega-corporations like Amazon and Google (though they most definitely utilize it). I'm talking about business people like bloggers, plumbers, photographers, and consultants. Sole proprietors that rely on themselves for their income. In fact, many of these businesses rely on social media as their sole marketing effort - and rightfully so. It works!
But while social media may work, incorporating it into your daily practices can be hard. Whether you are spending too much time on it, or not enough, these tips will help incorporate it successfully into your business.
Tip #1: Block Out Specific Social Media Time
This rule applies to everyone. If you find yourself spending too much time on social media, then you need to limit. Likewise, if you find yourself pushing this task off too much, you need to make a regular commitment.
The amount of time you spend on social media will vary depending on your business, as well as which social media channels you decide to use. However, because social media is interactive in nature, you really should check into it at least once a day. This doesn't need to be an hour each day though. Even 15 minutes to respond to relevant comments might be enough.
What is most important is that you stick to your commitment - no if's, and's, or but's.
Tip #2: Automate Your Releases
This should be a rule for anyone with a business. It's that important. You will save an unbelievable amount of time by automating your social media releases.
Buffer and Hootsuite are the two most popular tools currently out there. They both have very similar offerings, so the choice will most likely come down to personal preference, with many people opting to use both. But basically, you can designate what you want to release, when it should be released, and on which platform.
This book doesn't just teach you how to cut your 40-hour week down to a 4-hour week.
It will also show you how to cut 10 hours on social media down to 2 hours on social media.
Tip #3: Outsource Specific Tasks
For many small businesses, a marketing budget isn't large enough to hire a firm to handle everything social media-related. In fact, many small businesses don't even have a marketing budget. That's part of the appeal of social media. It's free and easy.
But stop and consider how much time you're spending on social media. Then consider how much your time is worth. What takes the longest? What if you could cheaply outsource that work?
Here are some common social media tasks to outsource:
Content. For anywhere from $5-$25, you can hire a freelance writer to create an article or blog post for you that will be relevant to your line of business. Check out sites like ODesk.com or Elance.com to find a writer that fits your business.
Image Creation. There are quite a few recent studies that suggest that using images increases social media activity. If you aren't a designer or photographer, consider sites like Fiverr.com to link up with a designer for as little as $5. A great image on Pinterest or Twitter can drive a lot of traffic to your site.
The Whole Shebang. You may be surprised to find that social media management firms charge as little as $100/month to manage your entire portfolio. It's an additional cost, but if your time is better spent elsewhere, you may end up with a pretty high ROI.
Tip #4: Change Your Settings
This may be a hard one for the true social media addict. You need to change your social media settings so that you aren't getting real time updates when someone retweets, repins, likes, links, or any of the other social media actions out there. There is one exception - comments. If someone comments on a post, you want to respond in a timely manner.
Tip #5: Focus Your Time
Social media has a crazy way of pulling us farther and farther in. You log on to your Facebook account to respond to some positive customer feedback and next thing you know you're considering a donation to a friend of a friend's attempt at racing in their first charity marathon.
It can be hard, but it is really important to focus your efforts on social media to accomplish what you set out to do. Before even logging onto one of your platforms, come up with a mental or written to do list about what you want to accomplish.