Six Time Management Tactics
to Market Your Business on Social Media
For the past seven years, I have taught small businesses how to use social media as a marketing tool to help promote and grow their businesses. The number one obstacle I hear from every business owner is, “I don’t have the time to use social media.”
Work Smarter, Not Harder
So how does a business owner find the time? By working smarter and implementing time management strategies, business owners can overcome the obstacles that keep them from investing in using social media. This can be done by implementing the following six tactics:
1. Stop Being All Things to All People
The first question to ask is – who is your best client and what social media platforms do they use? Many business owners think that everyone is their customer so they spread themselves too thin by trying to use all social media (usually poorly without results) or they opt not to use it at all. Yes, potentially anyone or everyone may buy from you, but basic marketing starts with identifying your target market and then marketing to them. It’s great if others outside of your target market buy from you, but you need to focus on the customer that will give you the best return on your investment. Once you have specified your target market you can specify which social media platforms will help you reach them. For example, if you market to older women and your product or service is very visual, you may want to use Pinterest. If you are selling professional services, you may want to use LinkedIn. The key thing is you don’t need to be everywhere, just be where it counts.
2. Focus on Your Goals
When using social media, you need to review your overall marketing goals and determine how social media can help you achieve them. You may be looking to build brand awareness, position yourself as an expert, or generate leads. Each of these goals aligns with different strategies and messaging on social media. Pick one or two (no more!) goals to focus on in your social media and keep your message related to those goals. Keep this in mind as you 30,000 foot view for all tactics used in social media. They should all relate to the goals you’ve set – and thus be able to be measured against those goals.
3. Plan Your Content in Advance
Once your goals are set, you can create content based on meeting those goals. If you are looking to position yourself as an expert, you will want a mix of your own expert content (i.e. blog posts, articles you’ve written, white papers, tips and lists) as well as content from other thought leaders that complement your work.
Your content mix is posted strategically by using a social media editorial calendar. This calendar will help you to organize your content and specify the platforms to use and frequency of posts in advance. This tactic will save you time and allow your business to have a consistent presence on social media. For most platforms, you should be posting at least once a day – but you can decide what you want to post each day up to a month in advance.
4. Schedule Your Content Postings
Using the social media editorial calendar, you can then post to the specific platforms using scheduling tools. If Monday afternoon is a slow time in your business (or whenever you have down time), you can schedule up to a month of posts all at once! If you are only using Facebook, you can use Facebook’s scheduling feature. If you are using multiple platforms, you can use third party applications that will allow you to post to all of the platforms. Visit Hootsuite, Buffer, Social Oomph and Sprout Social are a few of the many tools available to manage and schedule social media accounts. Some have free options, but all have paid features as well.
5. Monitor and Follow Up
If you put most of your posts on auto pilot by using scheduling tools does not mean you set it and forget it. Social media has the word “social” in it, so you need to monitor and engage with your audience on the various platforms. One way to manage this is by setting your notifications properly in each platform. Many times we set up our accounts without looking at this feature. Notifications (either by email, text and/or on the platform) allow you to monitor activity and respond and engage to comments and shares.
6. Don’t Try To Do It Alone
While business owners need to understand the strategy and return on investment of social media, they don’t necessarily need to manage and implement the tactics for involvement. Business owners can set the goals, identify the target market, platforms and messages, and then hire help to execute the plan. Solutions include having a current employee take on the job, adding a new position for the job or outsourcing the job to a consultant or agency.
It’s Not an Option Anymore
Including social media in the marketing mix for businesses is not an option anymore. Business owners can overcome time management issues with strategic planning and forward thinking.