How to Run Your Business and Still Have Time for Social Media
by Ellen Williams, Constant Contact
Social media might be effective, but it can be very time consuming. So how do you find time to keep your social media accounts active and engaging while still running a business? These suggestions can help.
Image source: Photospin.com
As a small business person, I’m sure I don’t have to convince you that time is a precious commodity. So valuable in fact that a Constant Contact survey found small business owners valued an hour of their day at $273. With all the things it takes to run your business day to day it can be hard to find the time, as well as justify the time, to spend on your businesses social media efforts.
But having a social media presence is so important for businesses of all types that you could be missing out by not being active. So what’s a time-starved small business person to do? Luckily, there are ways to have an active social presence, without it taking over your life.
Use social media management tools
Social media management tools are a fantastic asset for the time-starved business person. Instead of jumping around from one platform to another, tools like Hootsuite and SocialCast allow you to engage with all your social networks from one convenient location. Along with saving you the hassle of digging around multiple websites, these tools also have great scheduling features. With scheduling, you can create posts and tweets and then select a time for them to automatically post. This means that with one trip to your scheduling tool, you can set up ongoing social content in advance. Now your social accounts will be actively updated—even when you’re too busy to get to find the time.
Keep in mind that while scheduling tools are great, don’t let them turn you into a social media robot. Remember that social media is a two-way conversation, and don’t forget to monitor and respond to comments.
Share external content.
Not everything you share on social media has to be content created directly by you—it would be a lot of work to create a new blog or video every time you needed something to post on your social networks. Sure, it’s great to have your own content (and you should!), but balance that with a mixture of relevant content from external sources. This is where content curation comes into play. Sound fancy? Don’t be intimidated: content curation is simply the act of finding and sharing content created by someone else. The art of curating content comes in finding relevant and interesting content that your audience will find beneficial.
Curating content allows you to save time by no longer having to create every single piece of content for every social channel you are on. Simply link to the existing content and add a your own short comment on why it’s valuable. You’ll become an “Internet filter” for your readers and could help the SEO for the site you link to!
Stop over-thinking it.
We’ve all been there—it’s easy to overthink things, especially when it comes to your business. One of the biggest advantages to being a small business owner is the authenticity you can give your brand. Be yourself, be real, and be honest; you’ll find social media takes a lot less time when you just share what represents you and your brand. Something as simple as asking your audience a question can do the trick; and it shouldn’t take you longer than a couple minutes to come up with.
Be social on the go.
With most of us owning a smart device these days, you no longer have to be at your computer to create social media content. Use apps like Feedly for curating content, the Hootsuite app to manage your content, and PicStitch to create collages to share immediately with your social networks.
There are also apps like Pocket, which let you store all of the great content you find online in one place, until you’re ready to share it.
Social media is no different than most other things you do. With a little practice, and some time, it will eventually become second nature. The more you schedule posts, engage with comments, and curate content, the faster you’ll find yourself being able to get it done.
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Ellen Williams, Constant Contact Regional Development Director, New York and Southern Connecticut
Ellen has over 20 years of technology and marketing experience and has presented to over 4,000 small businesses, nonprofits, and associations. Her advice on best practices help organizations understand how to build great customer relationships that inevitable grow their businesses.