There’s a HUGE distraction lurking about 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. Yes, I’m talking about social media (and I bet you knew I was!) Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest, it’s easy to get sucked into the virtual social world. (And you should!)
While there can be plenty of benefits to using social media for your business, it’s important to evaluate the time you spend on social media. It’s easy to get carried away looking at pictures of mouthwatering food on Pinterest or reading clever graphics people post on Facebook, but is it growing your business?
As a general rule, social media shouldn’t require your constant presence. Think about it, your website doesn’t need your constant presence to thrive. Neither does your mailing list, but boy, it sure can bring in a lot of profit. Why should social media take over your working day? If you’ve got yourself into a trap where social media does require your constant presence, it may not be your most effective marketing strategy and you may want to reconsider how you’re participating.
Once you’ve figured out how much time you really need to dedicate to social media, it’s much easier to come up with a plan to keep up with things in the summer. Here are a few approaches you might take:
Schedule Social Media in Down Time: If you’ve got limited time to work in the summer, keep that time focused on your core business activities like email marketing, content creation, product development and promotion. Use downtime to catch up on tweets and work on your Facebook Page. That stuff is meant for fun-time, not work time. Make sure you aren’t wasting valuable hours!
Share Responsibilities with Your Business Partner: If you have a partner in your business, create a schedule that helps make sure social media is covered while one of you is busy. Also, having both of you participate creates even more interesting experience for your followers. Hopefully you already share a calendar so you know when the other is going on vacation. This way you can make sure the other person knows that they need to respond, post and be there on social media.
Hire an Intern or Social Media Assistant: If you don’t have a partner, there’s still no reason you can’t hire a helper or have a small social media team. Make sure you set up a very detailed and clear social media policy so that anyone posting on your company’s behalf knows exactly what’s expected. A savvy VA (virtual assistant) would do the trick here, too. And they’re good for other tasks as well!
Preschedule Your Updates: You can also automate your social media using a tool like Hootsuite or any other service you prefer. I also like Buffer and SocialOomph. You can preschedule your updates, but make sure you drop by now and then to keep the conversation going and respond to comments.
Whatever approach you take, it’s important to realize that social media is simply a small part of your business and it should be managed accordingly. Don’t waste time looking at every post of your friends, or reading every link people share. Scheduling your time, enlisting some help and even automating some of your social media can help you achieve the right balance.
About our Guest Blogger
Jessica Kupferman, Vendio’s Guest Blogger (and winner of our Blogging Contest) is a creative and engaging expert branding specialist, speaker, and gifted social media strategist and designer. Always plugged in to the latest developments and best practices in the industry, you can read more about Jess here.