Silence on social media is no longer an option. Every year, finding a business that isn’t on social media becomes less and less likely, probably because so many of us have accounts for personal use, too. Social media is fun after all – it’s a great way to network online and create noise about your business.
But keeping up a presence on social media can drop down the list of priorities for many businesses, especially if it begins to feel like a chore. Keren Lerner, founder and managing director, Top Left Design shares five social media resolutions that small business owners should be making to ensure they make time for perfecting their social media strategy.
Plan how to incorporate social media into your schedule – even when you’re busy
Introducing social media tools to do the work for you can seem like an obvious time saver. But in order for your social media strategy to really fit in with your schedule, it needs to firstly mean something to your business, while complementing other priorities of the working day.
For example, you might set aside half an hour each week to add in the next few days’ content. Most people schedule their tweets in advance, but remember the less automated they sound, the more engagement they’re likely to get!
Make final curation a priority
There are a number of tools for curation: Flipboard for your smart phone and Feedly for your desktop, for instance. These tools allow collation of all your favourite blogs in one place – with them you can get into the habit of skim reading headlines and opening only those posts you feel would be interesting to your followers.
When sharing these – through Buffer, for example – clicking one button opens up a pop-up, allows you to confirm a picture, prewrites your headline and shortens the URL. From there, you can choose which channels to send the article out to, add your own comment and, if sharing on Twitter, a couple of hashtags too.
While it’s using automation, it’s still personal – you have chosen the article to share, and you retain control over what was written to accompany it.
So, you have now scheduled a lot of your content, but being truly active on social media doesn’t stop there. Make a habit of interacting with the content of others, too. Look at your social channel activity while waiting for the bus or in between meetings to see what others are sharing.
Look at who is commenting on your posts, reply to them and interact with their content. This allows you to intercept some of your shared content with the ‘real you’. The idea is, eventually, you’re going to start meeting some of these people and having real life conversations with them about business!
Become a pre-planner
It’s an obvious one but actually very few people do this effectively. If you get help, make sure you have the final sign-off on what gets put out there. Create a two-week calendar that includes all planned pre-approved images, blog shares, publishing dates and event-related activity, and stick to it.
Once you have all these things in place, you will see that many of your image shares and blog posts can be prescheduled. Then, make sure you repeat step two – check in and see what the reaction has been to your pre-planned content.
Inject the human factor
Even with all our tools for scheduling posts and measuring stats, social media activity really only works for those who acknowledge there are people out there behind the social profiles who both follow and interact with them. It’s not about getting ‘likes’ and retweets, it’s about making a connection with others – and bringing them into the real world whenever the time feels right!