Feeling overwhelmed by social media? You’re definitely not alone.
With numerous social networks to choose from — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, the list goes on and on — managing social media can be a daunting task for any small business owner or marketing professional.
However, with more than 2.8 million people using social media worldwide, it’s clearly an important piece of the marketing puzzle to help your brand connect with its target audience.
I can hear you now. “I don’t have time for social media!”
Believe me, I get it. As a small business owner myself, some days it feels like the last thing I have time for is scheduling posts on Facebook or replying to my followers on Twitter.
But, if you’re serious about your business and its success, I challenge you to find just 30 minutes each day to dedicate to growing your social presence.
Before I tell you how to spend those important 30 minutes, let’s review some best practices you should follow to help you achieve social media success.
Before you even sit down to craft content for social media, you have to determine your brand voice.
Your brand voice, or the overarching tone for everything you post across your various networks, is an important element of your content strategy, and should resonate well with your target audience.
Then, you have to figure out what to say — and there’s no worse feeling than sitting down at your computer to post to Facebook and having absolutely no idea what to write.
Avoid the frustration of writer’s block by planning your content in advance.
Plan out topics and themes relevant to your business using a social media editorial calendar and do any necessary industry research ahead of time to ensure you’re sharing compelling content regularly.
Not all social networks are created equal, and your brand doesn’t have to be present on all of them. In fact, if you only have 30 minutes a day to dedicate to social media, it’s almost impossible to be everywhere.
Instead, be strategic about which social media sites you choose to use. You should already be aware of your business’s target audience, so now it’s time to do a little research to find the social network(s) that best match that demographic and forget about the ones that don’t.
Once you’ve narrowed down your social network choices by audience, go one step further to think about the type of content you’re going to share.
Match your message to the platform so you don’t turn off your audience. Plus, now you’re maximizing the time you do have to spend on social media.
Here’s the thing: to be successful on social media, you don’t actually have to be on social media all day. Instead, you need to give off the illusion that your brand is on social media all day.
How? Through scheduling. You can cut down on your daily social media maintenance by scheduling out your posts in advance.
Use a free tool like Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or, for a more robust social media plan, consider a paid platform like Sprout Social that offers advanced capabilities and analytics. Facebook also offers an in-platform scheduling tool.
Since you’ve already planned out all of your content in an editorial calendar, scheduling your posts should be a breeze!
Social media is not a print ad or a television commercial. It’s…social.
In other words, it’s not a place where marketers should bombard their audience with constant “me-centric” messages and sales pitches. (Well, you can, but you probably won’t find success.)
Instead, when crafting your content, remember why social media was created: to bring individuals together and create connection.
A great social media strategy always includes making time for interacting with fans.
If your audience likes, comments on or shares your posts, show them you appreciate their actions by replying!
Don’t forget the brand voice you’ve created for your social media presence as it should carry through every post, including individual replies and shares.
You’ve created an editorial calendar, selected your social media platforms, scheduled out all your posts and interacted with your audience. (High fives, all around!)
Sorry to tell you, but the work doesn’t end there.
Once your strategy has been put into place, it’s time to take a step back and analyze your work. Have your posts been successful? Are you attracting followers, and are those followers engaged?
If your answers are yes, great! And if not, then it might be time to reevaluate your strategy and come up with a new course of action.
Because let’s be real: You only have 30 minutes a day, so best not to waste it on a strategy that doesn’t work!
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be!
Now that you know exactly what to do, you can budget your time effectively to spend just 30 minutes a day building a successful social media presence.
Here’s how we recommend dividing up your time.
Make sure to set aside time a few times a week, to see how your posts are performing. You don’t need to run a full analytics report, but keep an eye out for posts that are resonating well with your audience and what messages are bombing.
This should inform your content strategy on social media moving forward.
Mastering social media for your brand may seem like a daunting task, but if you can commit to just 30 minutes a day and following these five fundamentals, you’ll see results in no time.
If you only had 30 minutes a day to spend on social media, how would you use that time wisely? Let us know on Twitter.