Poor Alice in Wonderland. She fell down the rabbit hole and it took her days to get out. Not to mention tea parties with weird dudes, a croquet match with a nasty queen and a few conversations with a creepy cat. As a business owner you don’t have time to fall down the rabbit hole of social media, getting all tangled up in conversations and activities that don’t directly support your business. You could spend all day reading Buzzfeed lists, looking at Pinterest ideas or even congratulating people on their LinkedIn accomplishments, but none of that is gonna really do much for your business.
So, like the queen of hearts, I’m gonna issue a command: “Stop this nonsense at once!” I confess, I’m not sure that’s exactly what she said to Alice, but, stopping and lots of nonsense were definitely involved. Instead, think more like a SWAT Team, using focus and efficiency to maximize results of your social media experience.
With that in mind, I offer a few tips on how to get the most out of your time, by developing a few social media strategies:
- Think in blocks, not sprinkles.
A dangerous way to waste time is to keep switching focus. Checking on your Twitter feed while you are working on the fall budget might be a nice distraction. But really, it isn’t the best way to get either thing done. There is a reason why elite athlete’s call it “the zone.”
Instead, block off a bit of time – at the same time each day – and do your social media then. More is always better, but no less than 20 minutes. If you want to increase your reach, try for 2 outlets: Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. The key is, for that 20 minutes, don’t do anything else (and, try not to watch more than one video of a hamster eating a burrito.) That’s right, no phone, texts, email, tooth-brushing, whatever.
If you want to get something out of your social media strategy, you need to be paying attention to it. Really looking at what people are talking about will help you to spot trends, address criticism, find new places where you add value, and begin to recognize who the influencers are in your industry. Sometimes those nuances are hard to catch or handle appropriately when you are checking your Facebook comments in the grocery line.
- Get A Scheduler:
Information sharing is the good part of social media. All that other stuff like logging onto each platform (with a different password no less), uploading a picture and a message to each, clicking who to send it to – that all just slows you down. With a scheduler like Hootsuite, you can focus your energy on the messaging you want to share through all your channels. Sit down and plan your attack, then schedule it all at once. That way you’re spending one concentrated hour a week rather than a bit of time here and there every day, which can really add up and rob you of the focus you need.
Even the use of an email scheduling device like Constant Contact can help save time. Develop a whole campaign and then schedule it all at one sitting. This will free up your mind for all that business stuff you are supposed to be doing.
Most importantly, scheduling does something that’s mission critical: it creates consistency. Nothing builds SEO traction quite like regular communications through multiple channels. Making a schedule, and then using tools to push it through the system will help you to better engage with customers, and also keep you out in front of them, even when you might be busy.
- Hire an Expert (or even better – a team of them):
That whole consistency thing, it’s no joke. If you enjoy spending time in bits and pieces on social media, then do just that. But, hire an expert who understands modern marketing strategy. Even better, a team that has mastered keywords, messaging, hashtags and SEO to manage the “consistent” part, so you can just poke in when you have the chance. Kinda like hiring a gardener to frame the beds, add the soil and fertilizer, hook up the irrigation and plant the right kinds of seeds for your climate. Then all that’s left for you is to check in from time to time and enjoy what grows there. A good social media marketing team has the time to stay on top of trends and tools and keep your audience growing and attentive. That way, when you do have an idea you personally want to share, all the legwork is done, and there will be people there to see your message.
So, while other businesses are lost in the rabbit hole of social media, you and your plan will bring you back to reality, and back to better networking for your business.
Need more ideas on how to make the most of your time on social media? Check out our recent post about making online marketing work for you.