Business today is rarely conducted without some kind of engagement with, or use of, social media. Social media is an impactful tool that enhances one’s visibility to as wide an audience as there can be. However, broadcasting yourself through the various networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more!), and “staying connected” on each of them, requires a certain devoted skillset. Social media requires time, too.
Balancing your daily work tasks in spite of social media’s omnipresence and persistence can be a challenge, for sure. And when your schedule is already full, social media can sometimes feel like a chore. So, how do stay on top of it?
Here are my Top 3 Tips for how to incorporate social media into your busy schedule:
1. Use tools to streamline social media activity.
Many apps, programs, and websites are available to help you streamline your diverse social media activity. You can use existing platforms such as Buffer (https://buffer.com), SproutSocial (http://sproutsocial.com), Hootsuite (http://signup.hootsuite.com), to schedule events and postings far in advance; monitor your direct messages as well as board and group communiqué; and assess your analytics on micro and macro levels, among other social media activity for both novices and the most prolific Social Media Managers. Costs are modest considering the alternative: driving time and attention away from running your business towards to something you don’t understand all that well anyway.
2. Know your own limitations and boundaries within the social media universe.
Many business people fail to engage with social media because they feel “out of their league.” Yet staying away entirely is as bad as frittering about with no real social media abilities. If you do not understand how to blog—let alone know what it stands for—you may be wasting your time and lessening your social media impact. Think of what you could stand to do every day instead feeling obligated and incapable of composing insightful, of-the-moment, and share-worthy social media content: you could repurpose, repost, and re-gram everything you think is worth sharing while giving credit to someone else.
3. Hire a “social media guru.”
See #2 for why you may be in over your head here. Hiring a virtual assistant to work on social media is not uncommon these days. The VA can work on specific tasks, e.g. responding to messages, as well as cover a broad range of social media activity, from setting up connected accounts to building a following. As I mentioned above, to be truly good social media requires a unique skillset; ensure your VA is not just talented but creative, too!
I recommend that business owners begin by allocating 20-30 minutes each day to “do social media” themselves. The truth is that engaging in socially doesn’t have to be time consuming. Once you create the accounts and pages, your involvement can occupy your time as you want it to. Of course, it is important not to fall down the rabbit hole and lose track of why you are using it in the first place.
Know your social media objectives and with these 3 tips you will be closer to accomplishing your goals!