Overwhelmed by social media?
You are not alone.
As business owners, we are often told that we cannot afford to ignore the beast that is social media.
And especially if we operate an online business, these unsolicited-advice-givers are mostly right.
Social media offers your small business a tremendous opportunity to directly connect with your potential customers and gather a following that will propel your business forward. It really is a wonderful thing.
Except when it starts to take over your life.
The first thing we need to agree on when it comes to using social media for business marketing purposes is that it is not free.
Sure, there may not be a dollar amount attached to utilizing these tools in the same way there is with traditional advertising, but social media can still be expensive in that it can take up a lot of your precious time. Time with which you could be working on other areas of your business – areas that would make you money.
So if you want to save yourself the expense of using up all of your time, but still want to garnish the benefits that social media offers your business, there are a few things you can do to simplify your overall strategy on this platform.
For starters: recognize that you do not need to be everywhere.
Whenever there is a hot new social media platform, everybody starts to talk about it. The media is all abuzz, and the business blogs are highlighting some fantastic success stories of sellers who have “made it” because of this new platform or other, and you think to yourself, “Great! Now I need to sign up for that one too.”
But you don’t have to sign up unless you want to. Or, alternatively, you can sign up to get a feel for the place and change you mind shortly thereafter. You’re not signing a contract with any of these services stating that they own you for the rest of your life. So go ahead and give Instagram a try if you want to see what all the buzz is about, but don’t feel like you have to stick with it if you feel that it’s not the best platform to reach your Ideal Customers.
Secondly, look at the ways platforms can be linked together. For example, there are apps that you can utilize that will post whatever you put out on Twitter to your Facebook page, or you can send out each of your Instagram posts to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr just to name a couple of the options available to you. That’s like hitting 5 birds with one stone!
Finally, you can save yourself a crap-ton of time by pre-scheduling the majority of your posts by using a service such as Hootsuite or Buffer. I’ve personally been using Buffer for awhile now, and as a free service where I can schedule up to 10 posts ahead of time: it has been a life-saver.
Side note: even if you are going to schedule out your posts in advance, I still recommend that you pop into your actual networks to make sure you aren’t ignoring anyone’s comments or inquires. No one likes to be part of a one-sided conversation.
Extra bonus tip: keeping an updated file with pre-set posts can be a huge time-saver. If you save a Google Doc or Evernote file with a continuous list of status update ideas, then you will never feel stranded for what to post or say. Plus, you’ll only have to spend a few minutes on your social media accounts a week, filling up your schedule and checking in for a quick moment before you’re done.
Social media simplified = less overwhelm and more time for you!