Talk to any SEO expert and they’ll say you need social media. They’ll tout the fact that social media is building brands and helping companies reach their customers in new ways. What they may not tell you is that to do social media productively takes a lot of time. Time you may not have. We monitor about a dozen Twitter accounts and about that many Facebook fan pages. We post often for ourselves and our clients. For us, social media is just another function of what we do to help our clients and ourselves do more in e-commerce. For our clients who undertake the management of their own social media, they often find it very time consuming with limited return. Let’s discuss some ways to make social media more productive and less of a burden for small businesses.
Schedule Your Time
It may sound counter to the purpose of social media, but we find it best to schedule specific times during the day to review what is happening on our social media accounts. You can seriously lose productivity watching Twitter and Facebook all day long. Basically, you have two functions when interacting with social media: watching what your followers and those you follow post, and posting your own content. Start by setting aside a few minutes at the top of each hour to glance at your Twitter and Facebook. You can configure these to notify you when someone mentions you on Twitter or one of your friends post to Facebook. However, these can be disruptive because you’re eager to see what they posted. Turn off the notifications instead. Check on your social media one or less per hour, or during down times during your day. For posting new content, you can employ one of several services that will post to your Twitter or Facebook at future times. For instance, if you want to provide regularly scheduled content to your social media (and please don’t repeat postings; make them different and fresh), you can spend a few minutes at the beginning of the day laying out your social media campaign for the day and scheduling the postings to hit all day long — even when you’re asleep. Check out SproutSocial for a social media posting service that’s very affordable and easy to use.
Don’t Follow Everyone
We know people who believe that the more people you follow, the more people will follow you. While that might work to some extent, we never follow people who don’t interest us. In fact, we find it more attractive to follow others who we know really care about their time and effort because they don’t follow thousands of people. Who in the world has time to read all those Tweets? If you have meaningful content, you’ll get followers. If people really like you, they’ll “friend” you. Don’t go begging for connections.
Re-tweet and Repost
On the other hand, if you find online content and tweets that you feel would be beneficial to your followers, by all means repost the content. You’ll find that many of the people you repost will end up following you, as they consider you to be more of a colleague.
Make it Meaningful
We’re not saying that your posts and tweets need to all be dry and business-like, but we are suggesting that you ask yourself before you click “Send”:
- It is useful to my followers?
- Will anyone enjoy this?
- Does it support my brand?
If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then click away.