When you’re a small business owner, it can be REALLY difficult to prioritise social media, even if you know that in the long run it will benefit your business. Here’s how you can make your business’s social media channels a priority and to keep up consistency even when you’re super busy, you know, running a business!
1. Don’t attempt to do it all
Even though it’s your business and you’re the boss, you don’t have to be the only one in charge of your social media. Enlist the help of your employees, if you have some, to make sure that there’s always interesting and fun content being shared on your channels. More often than not (and especially if they’re under 35) they find it fun to help. Get them involved by having them take photos every day or respond to tweets when they arrive to work in the morning.
If you’re a one-man-band, then the above isn’t an option, but what you can do is choose just two or three channels to be active on so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.
2. Calculate how much time you’ll need for social media
Social media will seem a bit less daunting if you know exactly how many hours per week you will need to devote to it. You can do this by taking one week to monitor how much time it takes you to get everything done — write it down so you take into account the little check-ins you need to do each day.
Lay it out like this:
It usually takes me….
1 hour/week for creating/scheduling Facebook content
1 hour/week for creating/scheduling Twitter content
10 minutes x3 daily (S-S) for monitoring (30 minutes/day, 3.5 hours/week)
15 minutes daily (M-F) for engaging with potential customers on Twitter (1.25 hours/week)
So in total, social media takes you 6 hours and 45 minutes each week. Now, while it’s good to know exactly how much time you are investing each week (and if this number seems really high, I’ll show you how to lower it later on), I also had you do this so you can…
PSST– I’ve got a free little something to help you out with the above, and more. Keep reading…
3. Put social media in your schedule– and stick to it
Just as you would schedule a time for your daily salon cleaning or to update you financial spreadsheets, you need to schedule your “social media time” and stick to it. This will make it easier for you to stay consistent and to also make sure that you don’t miss any questions or comments from your customers— they expect to be responded to promptly!
Your schedule could look something like this:
(Monday 9am) 1 hour/week for creating/scheduling Facebook content
(Monday 10am) 1 hour/week for creating/scheduling Twitter content
(Daily 8:50am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm) 10 minutes x3 daily (S-S) for monitoring (30 minutes/day, 3.5 hours/week)
(M-F 3pm) 15 minutes daily (M-F) for engaging with potential customers on Twitter (1.25 hours/week)
4. Use (and invest) in time saving tools
There are so many tools out there that will save you tons of time when it comes to managing social media for your small business. Some are free, and some cost money. Here are the ones I recommend for small business owners:
Free time-saving social media tools:
• Hootsuite – it can be used for monitoring Twitter activity, but I actually prefer it for scheduling Instagram posts.
• Buffer – this is my favorite tool for scheduling tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, and Google +posts, all of which you can do on the free version. I pay for the “Awesome Plan”, I’ll tell you why in the next section.
• Facebook’s scheduling tool – you can schedule posts for your small business’s page right on Facebook, did you know that? It’s super easy, instead clicking the “post” button, choose “schedule” from the dropdown menu.
Time-saving social media tools that are worth paying for:
• Buffer – at $10/month (which is nothing for you UK business owners!) I use the upgraded “Awesome Plan” so that I could schedule pins and also add more accounts (I currently use it for two Pinterest, two Twitter and two Facebook accounts)
• Tailwind – another good tool for scheduling Pins, I would argue that Tailwind is a bit better than Buffer because you can schedule bulk pins easier, but I don’t want to pay for two tools when I can just pay for Buffer and still schedule pins. If you are planning on really diving into Pinterest, a scheduler is an absolute MUST when it comes to saving time. I usually take 15 minutes in the morning each day to find a few pins to queue up to Socially Jess, Love and London and The Abroad Guide’s accounts, and since I’ve started scheduling pins, I’ve seen great results.
5. Hire some help
If you really can’t see yourself finding the time to be able to execute a social media plan like you’d like to, think about hiring some help. A freelancer or consultant can create a strategy for you (as in, tell you exactly what you should be doing in order to succeed, and just as importantly what you SHOULDN’T) for you to follow yourself, or you can get them to create content for you on an ongoing basis.
Getting someone to help you might be for you if:
• You are clueless when it comes to social media and can’t bare to think of the time you’ll need to spend to learn how to get your channels started
• You know that there’s a huge opportunity for your business on social media if the proper amount of time is devoted to it, which you don’t have
Some small business owners choose to hire an intern to help with social media. This is only a good idea if you have a strategy already in place, and the intern can help you execute it. If you are not completely sure what you should be doing when it comes to your small business’s social media accounts, don’t hand them over to an inexperienced intern!
6. Monitor and record your social media successes (and failures)
This is something you should be doing anyways, but if you’re feeling unmotivated when it comes to social media, go over what you’ve done the last few weeks and take out the positives. Have you sent some traffic to your website? Has one of your customers commented on your Facebook page saying how great your service is? Focusing on the positives that are coming out of your efforts, no matter how small, will motivate you to keep to your schedule and stay consistent.
On the flip side, monitoring and noting anything that’s not working is important, because just as in business, if something isn’t working for you, it’s better to devote your precious time to something that IS.