A lot of small business owners’ fears about social media stem from not having the time or the availability to constantly be posting, commenting, and replaying in real time. As business owners and entrepreneurs, their days are filled with driving to meetings, dealing with clients and customers, and managing their personnel, not to mention checking and responding to thousands of e-mails and phone calls. There seems to be little room in their day for tweeting every 10 minutes or waiting for the perfect minute to post that Facebook status.
Good news: You don’t have to!
Consolidate and conquer– The same way that you schedule time into your day for your first cup of coffee, your jog on the treadmill, or your lunch, set 15 minutes aside for scheduling tweets and posts. In fact, you can even schedule your posts during your cup of coffee, your jog (that one might be difficult), or your lunch! You can plan an entire day’s worth of posts in 15 minutes and have peace of mind knowing that you will be heard and your accounts will not go stale as you drive from meeting to meeting and run from place to place.
Integrate your marketing plan– At the beginning of every year (or month or quarter), you and your team sit around and map out all of the important dates coming up. Holidays, events, big media pushes, and you (hopefully) plan and coordinate each piece of marketing that is going to be prepared in time to coincide with the event: flyers, press releases, e-mails, direct mail pieces, print advertisements, and website updates. This is also the time to be planning out your social media. You can write exactly what your tweets are going to say weeks, even months in advance. Why risk forgetting or being rushed in the heat of the moment and making a mistake? Add it to the list of marketing tools you use on a regular basis and plan it in advance as you do everything else.
Set It, but Don’t Forget It- While this strategy certainly alleviates some of the stress people associate with social media, it still would not please Ron Popeil. The reason for this is while you can schedule your tweets and posts at the beginning of each day and you can coordinate your marketing efforts across all different channels for major milestones, you cannot abandon your channels after that. As I’ve said many times and will continue to emphasize, social media is meant to be social. It requires interaction and engagement; otherwise, you’re just talking at your followers and not to them. You don’t have to be monitoring for comments in real time, or even responding every hour, but you have to understand that it is your responsibility to check back for comments, questions, or repostings, and be sure to respond to those people who are trying to interact with you.
Do you schedule your posts currently? If so, what platforms are you using and what do you base your schedule on?