Every business needs a social media strategy. That’s right, I said EVERY business. Even if you are so busy that you are turning away customers, you still need one. A social media strategy and online presence are vital to your long term success as a business. Don’t take it for granted that your business will always thrive. Every business goes through slow periods. Competition will arise. Changes in business, technology, and the economy are inevitable. Always plan long term.
Social Media Can Be A Waste of Time
When business is slow, a large blog following, email list, and social media following can be used to increase sales. That being said, using social media for business without a strategic plan can be a HUGE waste of time.
You need a social media plan that is consistent, strategic, and based upon your business goals. The goal of social media should be to drive people to your website where they can make purchases. The social media plan that you create, implement, and monitor should be specific to your business.
Customize Your Social Media Strategy
Lets consider the scenario of how two independent service professionals would use social media. One business has an established clientele with a large blog and social media following. The other business is new. They don’t have an established clientele, blog readers, or social media following. While both businesses need a social media strategy, the new business would need to focus more on attracting customers through social media. They would spend more time on social media activities. They might need to focus on networking in social communities such as Facebook groups. Overall, they would have different goals and actions than the established business. The established business has many repeat customers. In fact, all of their new clients come from word of mouth referrals. Their social media strategy could have less focus on gaining followers or service sales. They would be busy working with clients and would have less time for social media engagement.
Social Media Strategy Tips For Everyone
Despite their differences, there are time saving social media tips that would help both of them (or you) to develop and improve their social media strategy. To save time while growing your following on social media:
1. Schedule Your Social Media Posts
To save time, the majority of your social media posts should be scheduled using a social media scheduler. There are many social media schedulers available, but most of the free options are limited.
You need to post frequently and consistently for your social media strategy to work. If you are serious about growing your business, you might want to invest in a paid version of your favorite social media scheduler as soon as you can.
Personally, I am using Edgar for social media because it has a social media queue that never runs out. I have not found any other social media scheduler that has this! (No, this is not a sponsored post. I am just a raving fan.)
It has literally shaved hours off of my social media scheduling (which I hate to do) to Facebook and Twitter. If you are familiar with other social media scheduling platforms, you will quickly see the power of Edgar’s categories, library, scheduling, and social queue. (Go ahead and check it out. They have a free trial.)
Like all social media scheduling tools, it does have some limitations. The biggest limitation is its lack of social monitoring and listening tools. Also, it does not have Pinterest capabilities (I am a Tailwind fan).
However, I am hoping (with my fingers crossed for luck) that Edgar expands their features. I would love to use only one tool for my social media activities. However, the time I save, the ease of use, and its never ending social queue makes Edgar the best choice for me.
2. Batch Your Social Media Updates and Images
Batching things in your personal or business life can increase your productivity. Batching requires more time upfront but saves you time in the long run. An practical example of batching is when I cook for my family. I batch meals for several days by cooking large amounts that can be eaten as left overs or be frozen for meals later on. Not only is dinner already prepared, clean up is much easier. The same premise can be applied to your business. Blog posts, social media updates, and creating images for marketing are just a few of the things that can be batched. You can create more in less time which enables you to work more or take a day off.
Recently, Neil Patel wrote a detailed blog post about batching and how to apply it to blogging and social media. (If for some reason you are not familiar with him- get ready to find a goldmine on his blog.)
3. Set a time to check your social media and stick to it.
Between Edgar and Tailwind, your daily posting to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest is done. The only thing that left to do on a daily basis is to engage on social media. If you are constantly checking your social media in real time, stop it. When I stopped doing this, I magically had more time. Trying to personally respond to social media as it occurs is almost impossible. Instead, think of social media like email. I check email (every 24 hours) and then forget about it. Likewise, I check social media twice a day. I ignore it the rest of the work day. If you are unable make yourself log off of social media (the internet can be so addicting), set a timer or app and log out when it alarms.
Strategic Social Media Is Not A Waste Of Time
Ultimately, the strategic use of social media can bring traffic to your website and increase sales. Make the return on your social media time investment worth it by “working smarter not harder”. Remember to develop a strategy that is customized for your business. Don’t blindly follow someone else’s blueprint. Review the results of your plan. Did you meet your social media goals? If not, determine how your strategy can be improved. Implement your improvements, and continue to repeat this process on an intermittent basis.