How to Use Social Media in Less Than 3 Hours Per Week

The number one question (comment) I get when people find out that I’m an inbound and social media marketing specialist is, “Susan, I know my company should be on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn/InsertLatestSMFadHere but, who has TIME for it all?”

My question is “How can you not MAKE time for it?”

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-bend-arrow-sign-upward-image16627191Ok, ok, now I realize coming from me that’s a little silly, being that I have 15 tabs I toggle between at any given moment. But, seriously, you gotta figure out a way to make social media marketing work for you. After all, if you don’t ‘like’ it you’re gonna lose it. (Get it?)

I’m going to give you a little help with how to use social media marketing for your business….. in LESS than 20 minutes per day!

1. Pick and Choose
You don’t have to be on every social media network. But, you do have to chose 2-3 carefully. Are your products and services visual? Then, focus on Pinterest? Does your website rely heavily on SEO? Then, lean your focus on a Google+ Page. Maybe you like to post quick snippets? Twitter is for you.

Also, just because EVERYONE is on Facebook (well over one BILLION!) does NOT mean you have to be on Facebook. In fact,  I think there are many service-based businesses that should put their efforts elsewhere (but I’ll save that for another blog post.)

Once you have chosen 2-3 social networking sites, spend some time in the beginning optimizing them for success. You can do this by making sure there is consistent branding across all platforms; completely fill in all the required information such as contact info, adding photos and links. (You are missing out on traffic if you do not fill in this info.)

After you have made sure the words and images are consistent across the board, then you can move on to the next step.

*TIP: Set up a Google Alert for the sites you are using, that way you can be automatically updated to platform changes.

*DOUBLE TIP: Don’t stop there! Set up a Google Alert for your brand, your competitors, and your keywords, too! Having these emailed to you regularly will give you plenty to post about.

2. Use Tools
There are MANY, many low cost social media monitoring tools out there. Here are a few of my favorites. You could decide to use one or all three.

  • Hootsuite
    HootSuite is a social media management system in the form of a dashboard that supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress and Mixi. Additional integrations are available via HootSuite’s App Directory, including Instagram, MailChimp, Reddit, Storify, Tumblr, Vimeo and YouTube. I like Hootsuite because it offers the most robust and integrated platform. Plus, it’s very easy to use.
  • Sprout Social
    SproutSocial is an online brand management service that publishes to a variety of social media channels. SproutSocial offers a beautiful and visual analytics program.
  • Plugg.io
    Plugg.iois fairly new on the social media management scene. It began as a Twitter management suite but is quickly adding other integrations such as  Facebook and LinkedIn. I like the Friend Finder feature; simply input a keyword and Plugg.io’s Search Agents suggest friends that match keywords. Makes growing your audience quick and easy.

TIP: Research your keywords in any of these platforms using the popular hashtag (#). Repost relevant content often.

3. Create a Posting Calendar
Take some time to think about your sales cycle. What are your seasonal offerings? Does your company have ongoing special events? Start with the basics; holidays, seasons, trade shows, then fill in from there.

*TIP: Structure your blog posts around these events, then schedule them to blast out to your social media sites through one of the above mentioned tools.

*DOUBLE TIP: Tie all your social media posts in with all of your other marketing efforts. If you’re running traditional ads, online ads and/or email campaigns. Have a consistent message across the board.

4. Choose Your Time
Once you have decided on your 2-3 social media sites, set up your alerts, created a posting calendar and pre-scheduled posts for the foreseeable future (weekly works best for me.) Set time aside EVERY day to check in on your sites. I like to check in for few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the evening. If you miss a day, it’s not the end of the world!

TIP: Have a smart phone? Take advantage of “down” time (such as sitting in waiting rooms, standing in line or while stuck in traffic – though, DO NOT POST & DRIVE!) to check in. All social media sites and monitoring platforms have user-friendly apps.

In short: research, schedule, check in.

See how easy that was?

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