Small businesses can’t ignore the growing importance of social media.
But if you’re reading this, you don’t need to be convinced of the importance of social media, you already know. The problem that faces many small business owners is a lack of time and budget constraints, which prevents them utilising social media properly or outsourcing to someone who can.
The fact is, social media can grow your business. The exposure it provides can help a previously invisible small business attract and retain business. As we explored in a post at the start of December it’s also the area where small businesses are furthest behind big business.
It’s time to close the gap and, whether you believe it or not, you don’t need a huge budget to battle the big boys.
But social media can be severely time constraining for the amateur, but the pros have plenty of tricks of the trade aimed at making their online efforts more time efficient. So we caught up with five top experts from the world of digital and asked them the same question many clients ask us:
How can small businesses make their social media more manageable?
How can #SmallBusiness streamline their #SocialMedia? Four experts provide the answers.…Click To Tweet
Cody McLain, CEO NinjaPartners.
Tip 1: Have a plan
Make sure that you start every week with a clear cut plan on what you are going to do for the next 7 days on each platform.
How many followers would you like to gain? How many new people would you like to engage with?
Think about the above questions every week and you’ll soon create your own vision (and voice) that will suit your brand and audience.
Tip 2: Administer your social media with one leash
Although it’s usually an afterthought, keeping up to date with all your various social media account passwords is a nightmare. By downloading a free desktop app like Dashlane, you can have one password, and never need to share your social media passwords with employees—simply send it to them via dashlane and keep things clean.
The next thing is a Social Media Management tool; I like to use SproutSocial for Twitter, and natively utilize Facebook et al.
Twitter can be incredibly connective, but distracting. In order to remove that element of “I wonder what’s viral,” I use SproutSocial to stay on the mark with my weekly plans.
Tip 3: Make each platform unique and engage with followers
There’s nothing wrong with synchronizing your Instagram and Twitter, so that every picture will share directly to the latter. Cross-pollination between platforms becomes a problem only if you are not posting original content to each platform.
Each platform has to have an original voice, but it has to be unique to your company.
When followers support your product and talk about it, thank them.
Neil Patel, Founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and Quick Sprout
If you have the resources I’d hand the work off to an agency. The best approach is to find subject matter experts to do the things you aren’t proficient in. If your main area of expertise is in digital marketing then conduct it in-house, otherwise focus on other duties.
Greg Strandberg, Founder Big Sky Words
The easy answer is tools.
I’m not going to give you that answer, however, because I think it’s silly. Why would you want to add in more things you have to understand if you’re trying to make your life easier?
Pen and paper – that’s all you need. Figure out a schedule. That takes a plan. To form a plan you have to sit down and think. Sometimes adding in other people and talking helps too.
This is how you’ll develop that strategy and posting schedule and message that everyone says is so important.
I personally believe a lot in trusting your gut and forming your content around what’s happening now. I also don’t like the idea of automation, as I’ve seen it go wrong so many times.
No, to streamline your process you need to sit down and have clear goals and a vision of what you want. I think too many skip this step.
Tim Fargo, Founder of Tweet Jukebox
Well I’d certainly recommend automating your evergreen content with a tool like http://tweetjukebox.com. There’s far more valuable things to do with your time on social than poke around scheduling posts.
1) Most of your audience will never see it. That’s just a fact. By recycling content you give more of your audience a shot at seeing it.
2) Time spent scheduling is wasted. Nobody cares how your tweet gets there. They only think about whether they like it. You add no value by working hard to get tweets out.
3) Time saved can be used to engage with the audience. Get to know people and create a connection. That’s the most important piece of social media. The most important things to consider regardless of platform are:
- Authenticity – it’s almost cliché, but people still blow it with overly manufactured social media images.
- Quality rocks the house. – Nothing helps you like helping others with what you share. Whether it’s helpful or entertaining people show up for great content.
- Visual is super important. The days of text only are largely gone. A great graphic gets much more attention. That’s it. Hope this helps.
If you still need help why not sign up to one of our bespoke digital marketing workshops.