Utilizing social networks and social media marketing isn’t just an important part of your business strategy these days – it’s necessary and expected. But if you’re just diving into that world, you’ll discover pretty quickly that managing your social networks can be an extremely tedious and time-consuming task. It’s great to have fans and followers, but people have come to expect continuous content and rapid-fire responses from social network communication that just might not be possible for a busy businessperson.
Some companies end up hiring a fulltime employee to handle their social networks, but for those who can’t afford this luxury, it often becomes a decision between their “real” work and keeping up their social media presence. Inevitably, this means that weeks – or longer – pass between blog posts, and Facebook and Twitter accounts get updated less and less frequently. But there are things that can help you keep up with your social networks without taking up all of your time.
It’s all well and good to say you want to write three blogs a week, but we all know that life gets in the way. Unless you’re very disciplined, pretty soon you’ll be lucky to post once a month. Luckily, there’s a way around this. Most blogging programs allow you to write multiple blogs in advance and schedule the day and time for them to be posted. Instead of having to carve out multiple hours every week, pick one day and write an entire month’s worth of posts.
Programs like Hootsuite allow you to connect all of your various social network accounts together. An example of what this means is that when you post a new blog, a message will go out on your Twitter and Facebook accounts letting your users know that a new post is up and give them the title or a short blurb. You can also do many other things with these kinds of services, such as managing all of your comments and contacts from every site in a single location.
I know, I know. Easier said than done, right? But if you build just 15 minutes into your schedule each day to manage your social networks, you’ll be in a far better position than simply trying to do it haphazardly. Get creative in your scheduling. If you’ve got a smartphone, maybe you can use the morning train ride or the time you’re waiting in line for Starbucks to reply to comments and post updates.
There are quite literally hundreds of social networks out there, and most have very niche audiences. Unfortunately, a smaller audience doesn’t mean that it will take less of your time, so make sure you’re only using the ones that are best for your business. Beyond the big boys – Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ – you really only want to deal with social networks that service your specific audience.
Purge your followers and friends
This may sound crazy when you’re trying to build up a business and get your name out there, but think about it this way: when you first started out with social networks, you probably went after any friend or follower you could get. Chances are a number of them are pointless because they’re not active, and some might be causing you more work because they’re just spammers. Get rid of them, and you’ll find it a lot easier to manage your networks. Even better, you’ll have more bandwidth to spend on the people that matter and be able to forge better relationships.