A guest post by Nina Radetich / Social Media Strategist, Trainer, Speaker
One of the biggest reasons small businesses hire an assistant or agency to help them with social media is time. It’s not because they can’t do it themselves, it’s just because their time is better spent on other tasks. But not all small businesses have the money to do that. If you’re a one-woman or one-man show in your business, this post is for you. Here’s my 5-step plan for streamlining social media in your work week, so you take advantage of the opportunities it has to offer, but don’t let it completely monopolize your time.
- 1. Plan Your Content Calendar. Start on Friday and plan for the following week. And don’t make this complicated – just use the calendar on your computer or smart phone. Take a look at what’s going on in your business for the following week, and start making a plan for social media posts. Are you announcing a new product? Have you created a new program? Is there a special national day this week (Memorial Day, Valentine’s Day, etc)? Do you have a high-level meeting scheduled with someone who will allow you to take their picture? Or maybe you’ve got some fun family news to share (don’t forget to keep it human!).
- Write Your Content. Leave the content calendar over the weekend and revisit it on Monday morning. At this point, you’ll have a better sense of what’s going on in your work week. I know Monday is an administrative day for many of my small business friends. So take some time today to write up your posts for the week. If you are on Twitter, curate some interesting content using tools like the Zite app or ContentGems.com.
- Schedule Your Content. While it’s crucial that there’s a real-time element to social media, that doesn’t mean you can’t schedule most of your posts in advance. Once you’ve gotten your posts written on Monday, take a few minutes to schedule them for the rest of the week. Hootsuite and Buffer are great tools for this. And Facebook allows you to schedule right from your timeline. So after you’ve planned your calendar for the week, get as much content scheduled as possible, making notes to remind yourself of real-time content yet to be shared.
- Monitor & Respond. Just like we all have to book time to exercise in order to actually make it happen, you’ll need to book some time in your day to monitor your sites and respond to the people who are engaging with you. And by booking time, I don’t mean popping in every time you see a notification on your phone. While it’s true that people do expect a quick response on social, this is just simply not possible all the time for a small business owner. And to truly make sure you don’t get sucked into the vortex of the Facebook news feed (’cause we’ve all been there), you should schedule time at regular intervals to check your sites. 10 minute intervals three times a day will allow you to answer any questions people might have, like any comments, and re-tweet or favorite any mentions on Twitter.
- Network. This is a crucial step missed by most on social media. Remember, it’s not all about you! At least a couple times a week, make time to be social. This is the fun part! Are you involved in any Facebook groups? Contribute if you can, see what others are sharing in the group and comment on what they’ve shared. Look through your Twitter feed to find re-tweetable content for your audience. If you’ve spent some time on your Facebook business page liking other pages, you’ll have a news feed that’s separate from your personal news feed. Is there content worth sharing or commenting on in that feed? Support and chat with others in social media, and it’ll do wonders for the growth of your own community!
What do you do to streamline your social media activities every week? How do you make sure you stay active on social without letting it take up all your time?
Leave a comment, let us know.
Social Media Strategist, Trainer, Speaker