As a small business owner, you probably already realize the value of social media for your business. And you also may feel that as useful as social media is, it is also another task on your mile-long list. The good news is that there are ways to streamline social media so you are efficient and effective, and it doesn't eat into your productivity. Here are five ways you can get the most out of social media without it getting the best of you.
1. Use a Social Media Management Tool
The fun part of social media is the interaction and connection with others, but there are still some times when automation is the best way to stay current. Social media management tools can be invaluable when it comes to saving time because you only need to check one place to see a compilation of all of the activity on your networks.
2. Schedule Your Posts in Advance
Not all social media activity has to happen in real-time. Compile a list of messages that you want to send out over the next week or two, and use a management tool that includes scheduling functionality like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or Buffer to schedule them. Not only does this keep you active on social media, but it prevents you from scrambling around last minute trying to find content to share.
3. Go Mobile
Mobile apps give you the opportunity to check-in on social media activity when you're on the go, and during downtime in your day.
Use apps on your smartphone so you can reply, ask, engage, and interact at a time when your work productivity won't suffer. If you set your social networks to notify you via email when you have a comment or tweet, you can save those messages until you are checking in from your phone. This type of mobile productivity will help you make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
4. Set Up a Reminder System
If you are browsing social media networks in-between other tasks, you may not have time to act on items of interest right away. Come up with a way to remind yourself later to take action. You can do this by using functions within social platform (i.e., favoriting on Twitter), sending yourself an email reminder, or even using an app like Evernote to keep a running list of social media to-do's.
If you just can't fit social media into your schedule, but know your business will benefit from a strong social presence, it may be time to outsource social media to a marketing company. This won't clear all of the work off your plate since you will still need to share content and other information to make sure all social activity uses your brand's voice, but it can save a lot of your time. If hiring out isn't for you, consider having some of your employees trained on social media so they can maintain the accounts as part of their job responsibilities.
It takes a little time to find a system that works for you, but once you do there are so many ways you can benefit from social media. You can promote your business, network, build relationships, handle customer service issues, and boost your brand's credibility.
If this is all new to you, read these 7 tips for getting started with social media.