Social media is the digital phenomenon taking over people’s devices – and their time.
According to GlobalWebIndex:
Social networking now accounts for more than a quarter (28%) of the time spent on the internet every day
Users are now spending up to two hours every day on social media. The report also found that, on average, people have over 5 social media accounts and actively use over half of them.
As a small or medium sized business owner, however, you may not have the same amount of time to dedicate to your social media platforms each day. If time is tight, there are steps you can take to make sure you’re managing your chosen social networks effectively, engaging with users to develop positive relationships and reviewing your activity to develop your online brand, all within your already hectic schedule.
By nature, social media relies on the “real-time” and user interaction, but by co-ordinating your activity to best suit your business you can ensure your presence still packs a punch!
Don’t head out into the social storm without an umbrella – or, in other words, make sure you have a plan. Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your social media platforms, how you plan to get there and the type of content you need to develop. Logging in to your accounts without a thought for what you’d like to accomplish in that time could see you waste 30 minutes just scrolling and staring idly at the screen. Understanding your objectives will enable you to better plan the activity you will undertake and allocate appropriate time to it.
Once you have determined the type of content you will share, assign a regular amount of time every week or fortnight to producing posts that can be scheduled in advance. This will help make the content curation time a consistent feature in your diary and ensure you always have a bank of material that can be used. Although real-time or ‘live’ activity is a key feature of social media, you can’t always commit the time or resources. This scheduled activity will ensure you always have a variety of content being shared to keep your brand active online, even if you’re not digitally present. There are plenty of free, easy-to-use scheduling platforms such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Buffer, which can help you to co-ordinate a forward plan of social media activity.
Monitor and Engage
Allocate a time every day to monitoring, listening and engaging on social media. Keep up to date with social media discussions and trends to discover any opportunities you may have to get involved in conversations. It is also important to respond to any comments or interactions you receive from your followers and customers. If possible, try to allocate just 5 minutes every couple of hours, or even just twice a day, to review your comments or mentions. The Social Habit reports that 42% of users who attempted to contact a brand, product or company through social media for customer support expected a response within 60 minutes. Although it may not be realistic to offer such rapid response rates for all customers, it’s important to respond in a timely, personalised manner to ensure your communications are nurturing positive, long-term customer relationships.
As you become accustomed to your pattern of managing social media activity, you should factor in time to review how well users and customers are responding to your content and whether this activity is helping you achieve you objectives. By analysing your social presence, you can ensure your brand remains up to date on the platforms, is sharing the most effective content and that you are not wasting time on activities that aren’t showing any return on investment.
Once you have become confident with your social media schedule, you will be able to effectively work your social media development, scheduling and monitoring time into your daily routine and over time, help to grow your business with more targeted engagement.