If theres one question I get asked all the time by clients regarding Social Media Marketing it's Where will we find the time?.
Its a fair question because, from the outside, the myth is that practitioners of Social Media Marketing spend all day twittering their time away. This article hopes to bust that myth and share 7 time-saving tips & tricks for Social Media Marketing.
Social Media is certainly worthy of some attention. With its high consumer usage, strong growth, ability to connect with your biggest fans and put word-of-mouth on warp speed its a revolution in our collective media habits thats worth investing in. But the fact of the matter is that its higher up in the marketing funnel than search engine marketing for example and, hence, the ROI isnt as directly measurable. That leaves businesses " particularly smaller or medium-size businesses " with a choice: either put it off to when we have more time or take the risk and hope it pays out.
Theres a third option. Invest in it but limit your time.
Heres 7 ways how:
1. Multi-Purpose Your Content Unless youre a big business with lots of resources, it doesnt make sense to create unique content for each channel. While understanding how best to present content on Facebook vs. Twitter vs. eMail, you can and should take content that youve already developed for one channel and re-use it for another. Or dust off content you developed for a popular speech a year ago. You can tweet about your blog post then roll 4 weeks of blog posts into an effective email newsletter. To some aficionados this is sacrilege but most regular people are blog readers or email readers or twitter followers.
2. Alerts! Whether its a keyword-based Google Alert, a social media monitoring tool like HootSuite or just email notices of Facebook comments, alerts are gods gift to time-starved marketers. Once youve set them up you can go about your day job and let them draw you back in on your own time.
3. Dont Overdo It. Theres all sorts of wisdom on how many tweets you need a day but the real learning is that its quality, not quantity. So if you have interesting stuff, share it. If not, dont. Just be able to know whats interesting to people and dont under-estimate the value of your companys knowledge. While fans need to believe they can depend on you to provide regular content, a tweet a day, a blog post a week and an email a month is enough.
4. Discipline Thyself! Lets be clear. Social Media is really good at being a distraction. Set yourself a time limit for checking in and engaging. Then TURN AWAY FROM THE SCREEN!
5. Dont Be Afraid To Share Whats On Your Mind? Collaboration is one thing Social Media does really well. So dont be afraid to share whats on your mind. Am I right in my belief that the average person has at least one interesting thought on their business each day? Share it. Recent research tells us that being able to have a say is one of the reasons people follow a brand. And your idea gets stronger. Marketers in a big company have to be very careful in doing this but for smaller businesses with a personal focus, its a great way to create engagement.
6. Skip The Course This Year Another way of multi-purposing your time is to look at your time on social media as professional development. Most of us read some sort of material on our profession each day. It could be a newsletter, a blog post or an industry trade paper. By sharing it via social media youre being generous to your followers and because we get to hear what you value, it widens your authority. So skip the 2-week training course this year and learn and share daily.
And last but not least
7. Hire Someone To Do It The consumer usage numbers are there to justify it. Slice off part of your traditional marketing budget. Set some very clear goals. And hire an expert to show you how its done.
Using these tricks " particularly the last one " you should be able to limit your social media time to 30 minutes a day.
Hope this helps.
Now get back to what you were doing.
Do you limit your time on social networks or is it an ongoing thing?
Bob Nunn is an Internet Marketing Consultant in Toronto and the founder of BrandMechanics. Bob has a successful track record of helping companies fine-tune their online marketing and getting their brands revved up. He has won over 40 marketing awards for his work in advertising, new media, email and more for clients such as Yellow Pages Group ‘The Find Engine’, Blockbuster ‘Guaranteed To Be There’, FutureShop ‘You’ll like what the future has in store.’ and 3M ‘Innovation’ among others.