When it comes to social media marketing, one of the biggest fears small business owners have is the time commitment. After all, time is money, right? Here are a few suggestions:
1) Allocate time to be social. In fact, even place a note in your calendar ahead of time so you don’t forget. And, stick to it! Social media can be a major time sink; whether browsing friends’ pictures or reading the online daily news, however a few minutes per day is free and won’t break the bank. And, don’t forget – consistency is key!
2) Use tools to help. Managing multiple sites can make your head swim and cause brain overload. Why not take advantage of some tools that can plan, prioritize and organize your communications:
a. Nutshell Mail – a service that aggregates updates from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Yelp, Foursquare, Citysearch, and You Tube. The service delivers these updates to your e-mail inbox on a regular schedule.
b. HootSuite – tracks your social media networks, schedules updates, and sets alerts if certain terms or phrases are mentioned (if utilizing HootSuite, or even if not, create a calendar of communications a month or so in advance. Then, when the appropriate day has arrived, you already have the communication available and ready to deliver. Even better if you utilize HootSuite’s automatic scheduling option).
Still think that Social Media is a time killer? Consider these statistics:
1) More people visit a social media site each day than read a traditional newspaper (GovLoop)
2) 1 word of mouth conversation has the impact of 200 TV ads (Buzz Agent)
3) Consumers are 3 times more likely to trust peer opinions over advertising for purchasing decisions (Jupiter Research)
Though Social Media is still somewhat in its infancy, the future potential is increasing daily and the boundaries are endless.