Social media is an increasingly crucial tool for businesses that really can’t be ignored anymore. If your business isn’t investing heavily into social media, then you are missing out on countless opportunities and letting your competition get a head start that will be hard for you to come back from.
There’s really no excuse for any company not to be investing heavily into social media now then and yet many businesses are still putting it off. Why? Because it takes a lot of effort.
Not only do you have to learn the basics of social media and the myriad of different platforms in order to get started, but then you need to be constantly thinking of new ideas for posts, taking the time to write them and responding to comments.
Sometimes, social media can seem like a black hole that sucks up all of your time and is never ‘done’ (like washing the dishes). Seeing as having an abandoned social media account is often worse than having no social media account at all, it might well seem easier to just forget the whole thing and carry on putting it off.
Of course this is not a particularly healthy response. What would be much more productive, would be to sit down and assess the reasons that social media takes up so much time and then to come up with optimized strategies to address those issues. By optimizing workflow you can minimize the time you’re putting into SEO and nevertheless maintain an active and effective social media presence.
Set Up Your Workflow
Tim Ferriss is the author of ‘The Four Hour Workweek’ and practically invented ‘life hacking’9 for small business owners and entrepreneurs. He’s always talking about ways you can be more productive in less time, which involve optimizing workflow and leveraging the right tools. This isn’t so much a tip as an approach. You can learn more about this style of working here.
Use Mobile Apps to Make Life Easier
With the right apps installed on your smartphone, you can make it a simple matter to share photos and thoughts while you’re on the bus or out and about. When updating your Instagram and Twitter is as easy as snapping a photo and hitting share, you’ll find it’s much easier to do.
Use Your Staff
Now, imagine you empowered every staff member on your team to do the same – you could have several Tweets or Instagram photos a day very quickly and easily.
Tools like IFTTT and Buffer require just a little time up-front in order to set-up, but from there can save you countless hours. IFTTT allows you to create relationships so that posts to one social media account (or even your blog) get shared across the rest, while Buffer lets you create hundreds of posts and then ‘drip feed’ them gradually to ensure a constant stream.
You don’t always have to create original content – sometimes retweeting or sharing posts that other individuals or companies have made is a faster way to provide value and stimulate conversation.
Likewise, you should encourage your fans to get involved by asking questions, running competitions and more. This is called ‘engagement‘ and it’s a very powerful tool.
Best of all though, is simply to outsource your social media management to a third party with a good track record. This way, you can increase the quantity and quality of your posts while leaving yourself more time to do other things. When you consider the ROI offered by social media, you know this is simply a logical move!