How to prevent the social media time suck
“What’s your social media strategy?”
This question is inevitably asked any time a small business owner talks to someone about marketing. It seems to be a given that you need to have a presence on social media. But what exactly does that mean for your business, and how do you leverage it without wasting your time?
You have a business to run, after all. You can’t spend your day glued to your phone posting to social media. So let’s run through some common questions to help your business set a social media strategy.
Does your business even need a social media presence?
The answer might seem like a resounding yes, but it really depends. While most businesses should be on social media, some types of businesses are a better fit for it than others.
A local boutique or a real estate agent should definitely be on social media. But what about an accounting firm?
That’s not so clear. An accounting firm could gain a lot of business if it invests significant resources into social media to become a thought leader. But if you’re a CPA targeting local clients, your efforts might be better spent elsewhere. Perhaps you add a Facebook page and LinkedIn page because those get picked up in search results, but don’t spend time posting TikTok videos about tax returns.
If yes, then which platforms should you use?
There are dozens of social media platforms and you probably haven’t heard of all of them. The number of platforms is still high if you look at the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, SnapChat, and LinkedIn. Some would add YouTube and Pinterest to that list, too.
It would be a lot of work to post consistently on all platforms, so you need to whittle down the list. Even if you have a presence everywhere, you will want to focus on one or two platforms.
Consider who your business is targeting and what type of content works best.
If your business targets young people you probably need to be on TikTok. But does your business lend itself to video?
The same goes for image-based platforms like Instagram. Thinking back to that accounting firm, what in the world would you post? Yet that clothing boutique or real estate agent can leverage Instagram to post photos of new clothing arrivals or homes listed for sale.
The accounting firm might be better off focusing on a business-minded social network like LinkedIn. Or it could participate in online knowledge forums like Quora or contribute business advice in small business forums.
What should you focus on?
Some companies take a scattershot approach to social media, posting everything and anything that comes to mind. The thinking is that every post provides some media reach. But posting banal posts (or worse, ones that might be offensive) can actually hurt your reputation instead of helping it.
Think about what you would be interested in seeing on social media that relates to your business. Don’t just post pitches for your business. Be sure to post things that might be helpful or entertaining for your followers. And take the opportunity to amplify (share, retweet, etc.) others’ social media accounts, which might help you grow your own following.
Above all else, focus on quality and consistency. You don’t want to post several times one day and then nothing for a week.
How can I make this easier?
Managing social media can be a time suck even if you’re posting to just a couple of platforms. There are tools to make it easier, though.
Social media managers allow you to post from a central platform rather than opening up each app or website. They also allow you to post to more than one social media site at a time and schedule posts for future publication.
Namecheap offers RelateSocial to make managing social media easier. Schedule posts, get analytics, and post to multiple networks.
How do you measure results?
Even if you’re smart about it, managing social media will take some time out of your day. You need to make sure you’re getting a return on investment for the time you spend on it.
The easiest way to measure social media is to check your reach. You can measure this by the number of followers you have or the reach metrics social platforms provide.
Reaching a lot of people is one thing, but you need to also make sure that it’s helping your business. If you’re a service business, have any of your new clients found you on social media? If you sell products, are people clicking through some of your posts and buying stuff (or visiting your physical store)?
The metrics are different for every business. Sit down and think about what you want to get out of social media and then measure if it’s working.
Put it into action
What’s your social media strategy? Take some time to answer the questions and then pencil out your plan.