I know some small business owners have the same sentiments about social media management as they do about doing their taxes: complete dread. As far as they’re concerned, they’re already busy doing what feels equivalent to 10 jobs; how are they supposed to learn another one? I honestly love talking to people like this. There are some simple things you can do to gain and maintain momentum on your social media profiles – and it’s easier than you think.
1. Live your life: Yes, I know how incredibly profound this tip is. The thing is that if you live and breathe your brand, you will be surprised at how many social media opportunities become available at any given moment. For instance, people LOVE “behind the scenes” posts. If you make/design/produce something that they already like, try showing them a cool picture of the process involved in creating your product. At any time of day, someone could pick up my iPhone and find 3 apps open and draining my battery: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. My reason? All day I am emailing, resolving conflicts, emailing some more, returning phone calls, ordering marketing materials – and then all of a sudden something will happen, and BOOM; ideas for posts randomly come, and you just have to go for it! Do not be afraid of the tumbleweeds when you post something and it doesn’t work out. That is the only way to learn about your audience. If there is one thing I cannot stress enough, it is that knowing your audience is one of the top factors that defines social media success. When you build a relationship with your audience, your social media posts become organic, fun, and (thank goodness) no longer a chore.
2. Let everyone else do the work: Having a hectic day? Zero time to get creative for your social media? Share something funny on Facebook from another page. Retweet something relevant to your followers on Twitter. The key here is to follow and like other pages or individuals who might have content that would be of interest to your followers and fans. Take two minutes while you’re standing in line at Starbucks and use someone else’s work to your benefit. So what if you didn’t post anything original today? You engaged your audience and most importantly, you kept up your momentum. Once you lose momentum, the ‘unlikes’ and ‘unfollows’ aren’t far behind. Don’t let that happen!
3. Increase your “app”titude: Unless I’m typing something unusually long, my social media posts are all done from my iPhone. I am always looking for ways to save time so I’m not constantly doing my “rounds” and jumping from one app to the next. One way to do this is to link your social media accounts. For example, you can simultaneously post to Twitter as you post on Instagram. As a general rule, this is completely acceptable. However, if you end up falling in love with Instagram like the rest of the world, try not to flood your Twitter every 20 minutes with a new Instagram post. Another absolute lifesaver for those of us with no time is HootSuite. You can use their app or their website to plan out your social media posts for the future, AND they post them for you automatically! Just remember that you don’t want your pages to look too automated; people tend to notice. When you can spice it up with spontaneity, I always recommend it! Also, if you sign up for the upgraded version (9.99 per month), the Hoot Suite folks will actually call you and help you learn how to use the platform if you’re having trouble. Once you’re ready, try having a working lunch on Monday and schedule your Twitter and Facebook posts for the week. When you’re done, you can breathe a sigh of relief because you’ve secured your social media momentum through Friday. What does this mean for you? On Wednesday, when you’ve got four meetings plus dinner with a client, you don’t have to worry that you didn’t touch your social media for the day. Remember to give yourself a break! You’re running a business, and only you know how much running is actually involved.