In previous posts, I've talked about answering emails being a huge distraction, but there’s a bigger distraction lurking about 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. Yes, I’m talking about social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest, it’s easy to get sucked into the virtual social world. Who hasn't checked into Facebook to check to see if there is anything that needs to be answered and find an hour has passed and we are someone's page we don't know looking at family pictures of a family we've never met.
While there can be plenty of benefits to using social media for your business, it’s important to evaluate the time you spend on social media. As I mentioned above it can be easy to get carried away and waste time. As a general rule, social media shouldn't require your constant presence. Think about it, your website doesn't need your constant presence to thrive. Neither does your mailing list, but it sure can bring in a lot of profit. Why should social media take over your working day? If you've got yourself into a trap where social media does require your constant presence, it may not be your most effective marketing strategy and you may want to reconsider how you’re participating. Once you've figured out how much time you really need to dedicate to social media, it’s much easier to come up with a plan to keep up with things in the summer. Here are a few approaches you might take:
• Schedule Social Media in Down Time: I mentioned this a few posts ago, but if you've got limited time to work in the summer, keep that time focused on your core business activities like email marketing, content creation, product development and promotion. Use downtime to catch up on tweets and work on your Facebook Page.
• Share Responsibilities with Your Business Partner: If you have a partner in your business, create a schedule that helps make sure social media is covered while one of you is busy. Also, having both of you participate creates even more interesting experience for your followers. If you have an older teenager you may be able to enlist their help during the summer and use it as a learning experience for them.
• Hire an Intern or Social Media Assistant: If you don’t have a partner, and your budget permits, there’s still no reason you can’t hire a helper or have a small social media team. Make sure you set up a very detailed and clear social media policy so that anyone posting on your company’s behalf knows exactly what’s expected. I would recommend that you never have anyone post as you.
• Preschedule Your Updates: You can also automate your social media using a tool like Hootsuite or any other service you prefer. You can preschedule your updates, but make sure you drop in to keep the conversation going and respond to comments. I use Hootsuite because I find it easy and inexpensive.
Whatever approach you take, it’s important to realize that social media is simply a small part of your business and it should be managed accordingly. Scheduling your time, enlisting some help and even automating some of your social media can help you achieve the right balance. I'd love for you to stop by my Facebook page and let me know if you have some of your social media automated, have a staff, or maybe one person to handle your social media. Just go here: Kim's Facebook page.