One question I often hear regarding the implementation of social media for a business or organization is, “Who has the time?” It’s true that carving out time for tweeting and Facebooking and all the other tasks associated with social media is a big challenge for businesses regardless of size, but that shouldn’t hold you back from utilizing such a powerful (and free!) tools.
At SocialNicole we have made it our business to effectively manage social media channels for customers in the most time efficient manner so they do not end up paying an arm and a leg for management. We know that keeping up with social media can be difficult which is why we have built our social media management services to meet the need of our customers. But to build this part of our company out in a way that is cost effective has meant coming up with a lot of ways to save time and money.
Here are some simple tips that can help you or your business “find the time” for social media.
1. Provide Your Social Media Community Manager With A Smartphone
Yes, you heard me—buy their smartphone and pay for their service. I know you are on a budget and that providing employees with phones seems excessive, but the person managing your online community should be available to tweet, post, and respond to customer service questions at all times—even when they are in the dentist chair.
Providing a smartphone and incorporating it into both your social media plans and their job description will indeed pay off. Your community manager is now able to manage anywhere and anytime—and they will use that ability to your advantage.
2. Create A Social Media Plan And Follow It
The number one mistake that businesses make with social media marketing is not having a plan. Without a plan that identifies your goals, audience, content strategy, and tools, you are operating in the dark, hoping to eventually hit a target. That’s not a great idea if you are trying to get a return on investment (ROI). Regardless of your organization’s size, you need something written down. And once you get it written down you need to follow it.
At SocialNicole we create a plan and we also create system to implement the plan. Our work is to ensure that customers are actually doing social media, not just thinking about it. And we don’t want them to just “do social media” we want them to get results. This all comes back to the plan.
3. Get Help! Leverage A Social Media Consultant To Help You Setup A Plan and System That Will Work
Social media and digital technology are ever changing fields, and to stay on top of trends and know how to best use every tool is a challenge—especially when you are managing many other tasks. Having a digital strategist on retainer to answer questions, provide assistance with your messaging, and help with troubleshooting will make things easier, and in the long run you will find you have more time.
Start with bringing a social media consultant into your business to help you create a plan and a system to get you started. And consider closely whether you want to try to manage all this yourself or you want to engage an experienced company to do the work for you so you can focus on what you do best. It is often much more cost effective to simply bring a qualified company in to manage your social media than for you to try to do it from within. These are all things for you to consider when crafting your plans.
4. Consider Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing
Ideally, someone on your staff can incorporate social media into their job, dedicating two or more hours per day to community management. No one will do a better job as the voice of your company than a dedicated employee. Unfortunately, the reality is that not every business has these resources, and tacking social media management onto the job description of an overworked employee uninterested in the task is not an effective approach. Oftentimes at SocialNicole, we work in tandem with a point person at the organization to ensure that when we assist in community management we share an insider’s voice and maintain a consistent presence.
5. Be Disciplined When Managing Your Social Media
Schedule 15–30 minutes 2–3 times per day to check in and be present on your company channels (usually less time for a small businesses). Make this a part of the job description, and make sure it gets done. I tend to manage my own company social media first thing in the morning. This is when I am most focused and can get a bunch of work done. I then come back to my channels throughout the day to reply to comments and talk to people. This happens every single day.