Updated: Feb 16
As a small business owner, you don’t have hours a day to spend on marketing, yet everyone is telling you that you need to stay on top of your social media. As someone that runs a marketing business and is partly responsible for engaging with our social channels and generating the content, I feel the pain of every small business owner.
As marketing people, we’d love it if everyone spent days and days on marketing but we understand that this isn’t realistic. We have a plan ourselves to ensure we maximise our marketing potential whilst not taking hours out of our days when we should be working with amazing companies like yours.
Over the years we have refined our internal processes to ensure we make the most of the time we have, stripping away wasted time, effort and money.
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS
99% of how to successfully manage your social media without it taking over your life is about having an ideal customer that you are targeting. We always say that if you can understand your ideal customer as well as your best friend, then marketing is easy and efficient.
You know what channels to find them in, meaning less wasted time in places they will never see you
Coming up with ideas that will interest them is second nature and frankly, it is much easier
You’ll be able to respond to their posts, comment comfortably and engage with them
It also stops you from falling for the shiny new toy syndrome. We’ve all seen it (or done it) we have a plan and then see a new idea, start reading about it and wonder if that’s the silver bullet we have been looking for.
Tik Tok was a perfect recent example. It is growing exponentially and can be a great addition to your marketing strategy - but it’s not for everyone. You can quickly make a decision if it is right for you by looking at the ideal customer. Assess if they would be interested in Tik Tok and then move on or learn more.
PREPARATION, PREPARATION, PREPARATION
This blog is about how to spend your day efficiently using social media for your business and the truth is that to do that you are better doing the harder work beforehand and then this makes your daily management of social media so much easier.
Come up with content ideas in chunks. Spend a couple of hours at the start of the month deriving ideas for the next 30 days, then you can save that time each day and you’ll be more efficient in generating ideas, it’s much harder to dip in and out of idea generation, better to have a couple of hours dedicated to it.
The same goes for posting your output. You MUST use a tool to plan and schedule your social media, it’s so much more efficient, very low cost and allows you to get this out of the way in one go. Again, you shouldn’t be wasting time dropping into the channels constantly to post fresh content, schedule it and let the platform do the rest. Your daily time should be spent engaging with social media, replying to people, commenting on other posts etc…
ONLY 30 MINUTES A DAY
We have literally written (sorry, are writing) the book on how to do your marketing in 30 minutes a day. This means that by having in place the work we have talked about previously, you should be able to stay current, interact with customers, generate interest and ultimately create leads without spending hours a day on social media.
LinkedIn is a prime example for me. We meet a lot of our potential clients on LinkedIn and I’m considered by most as a frequent user of the platform. When I’ve been at networking events, people have accused me of having no work to do because of how long I seem to spend on the platform.
I take this as a massive vote of confidence in the process because I’m not on the platform very much at all. I spend 10 minutes a day on LinkedIn, yet people assume it’s a lot more. Let me show you how;
I break my time up into two 5 minute sessions. One first thing and another mid-afternoon, depending on other meetings I have going on
If I plan to post that day, then I will have scheduled it to go at 7.45 am as I’ve realised over time this gets me the best responses
I log in between 8-9 am and quickly check for connection requests or messages. I deal with them immediately
I then spend the remaining time scrolling through my timeline and identifying stories that I can make a contribution to. I set myself a minimum target of one post to comment on, alongside a couple of likes.
The comment has to be meaningful, grab the attention of the poster and either (a) enable me the opportunity to reach out and connect (b) allow me the chance to engage in conversation
In the afternoon I repeat this exercise - this means I generally comment on 10-15 posts a week
My posts are planned in advance. I maintain a separate internal document and whenever ideas pop into my head, I write them down. This way, I’m never lacking ideas. I generally post 3 times a week
I mix up my posts between personal, informal, business and direct selling. I find if I post a sales message once a fortnight then people respond well and don’t get turned off my posting
My personal posts are the most engaged, which is fine. They are there to build relationships and allow a smaller percentage to react to what I actually do
Let me explain a recent example of this in action. I posted about my efforts to get back in shape for a new marathon (classic humble brag) and asked the good people of LinkedIn to be my accountability audience to who I reported back to on training progress. A simple post that got a lot of engagement but you would assume very little business benefit.
However, one of the people that commented on the post was an old connection that I had lost touch with and who I had tried unsuccessfully to re-engage with. After his comment, I was able to exchange some messages and set up a meeting to discuss his current plans, something I’d been trying to achieve for months.
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
My social media interactions won’t be the same as yours, what works for you won’t be the same as me. So what do you take from my daily interactions?
Well to start with, I can tell you I also spend around 5 minutes on Twitter and 10 minutes on a few other marketing areas we use, meaning I don’t go over my 30 minutes a day. Your platforms might be different but the principles should be the same.
Focus only on the channels that matter. As a small business owner, if that is greater than 3, then you might want to review your ideal customer again
Plan content ahead of time. Don’t wake up and try to dream up ideas each day. Have a bank of content ideas and then release them at the appropriate time - here are some tips on doing this
Engage with your audience. 10% of social media is about what you post, 90% is how well you engage with the audience
Small and often. If you find yourself spending hours a day reviewing our social feeds, interacting with forums or Facebook groups, then you are not being efficient enough. You don’t need to interact with everything, just the things that matter
Mix up your content. Too much selling puts an audience off, too little and it’s a waste of your valuable time. Know your customer and you’ll understand the right balance for the
If you are struggling with any of this, then we have a free 30-minute webinar for you. It takes you through how to build that ideal customer, discover where to find them and how to come up with your content ideas.
Most of all, try and enjoy your social media engagement. If it’s a chore, this will come across in your communications. Have fun with it. If you understand your ideal customer then talking to them will be easy and who doesn’t want marketing to be easy!