Time. It’s the one thing that always holds you back and gets in the way of creating your picture perfect business.
When time is a factor, we all tend to drop the things we don’t enjoy. Or drop the things we feel like we don’t have enough information to do it the right way. And for many of us, that’s social media.
Sure you’ve opened up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts. But where do you go from there? So your Facebook account becomes neglected, and your Twitter account sits dormant month after month.
While taking the “out of site, out of mind” approach is something we all fall into naturally, by doing so may actually hurt your brand down the road. A non-active account signifies to a potential customer that your business may not be running efficiently. If you can’t keep up with your social accounts, will your customer service really be much better?
The good news is you don’t have to be a social media expert to expand your presence with minimal effort. Here are six ways you can appear like your social media savvy … even when you’re not.
1. Only speak when you have something to say. Social media is a learned task. If you sit down and quickly try to decide what’s relevant in your life and how it pertains to your customer base, you’re likely to hit a brick wall. Start out small and think about what you’re followers would like from you. Make it relevant to your business – what you had for lunch will never motivate a client with a new baby. Talk about things important to them, and include things that will help them get to know you as a person and as a business owner.
2. Be responsive. The only way to connect online is to connect. If they comment or ask a question, answer it in a timely manner. Address every legitimate comment you receive and keep the conversation going from day to day.
3. Create a posting calendar. Everyone always asks what the key ratio of posting should be – should you post once a week or once a day? There really isn’t a correct answer. Instead, you should create a calendar that’s right for you. Can you post once every morning at 8am without much trouble? Then do it. Can you post several times per day with your mobile? Do that. Just make sure you are consistent from week to week, giving your audience exactly what they expect.
4. Automate your activity. While consistency is important, there are ways to automate the process, giving you even more flexibility in when you post. Tools such as TweetDeck and HootSuite allow you to feed in posts to all of your social accounts, and calendar them for a date and time that is beneficial for you. I love these tools because they allow you test your market without having to work 24 hours a day – maybe you’ll have more success by posting at 10pm on Thursday nights. You’ll never find out until you give it a try.
5. Find great content. The easiest way to post great content is to find it first. In every industry, there are a variety of sites that can provide you with things to talk about. Find active sites – chambers, portals, associations and news sites – that post content all the time. Then browse through them on a regular basis to gain ideas or links that you can spread through your own account. Remember, you should never self-promote all the time. Instead, you should be an information site that provides ideas and resources that are meaningful to your followers.
6. When all else fails, hire it done. As a sole business owner, there are only so many tasks you can complete in a day. Don’t think of it as a failure to hire someone to take over a part of your responsibility. Instead, look at it as hiring someone to help you grow. While you should always have a thorough understanding of what they are doing for you and monitor it along the way, keep in mind that an extra set of hands really can help you gain the business you are looking for.