More than half of all companies spend 1 to 4 hours per day on social media management, according to Rival IQ. That's a lot of time each day going to update Facebook posts, respond to customer complaints on Twitter or share new photos on Instagram! Compared with 2014 spend, companies are also investing more in social media in 2015. The 2015 CMO Survey found that marketing spend on social media is expected to increase 126% over the next five years with social media expenditures accounting for approximately 22.4% of marketing budgets, up from 9.5%. Are you getting the biggest bang for your social media dollar - or do you find your business spending more money (and time) without a clear ROI?
Social media is one of those things that all small business owners know the need to be doing, but finding the time to do it correctly can be tricky. On the surface, social media is essentially free. After all, it doesn't cost a penny to set up a Facebook page or Twitter account. But the amount of time involved in maintaining these different social media accounts can come at a pretty penny. Before long, you'll need a dedicated member of your marketing team to manage all your different social media accounts, respond to comments and notifications review analytics, and coordinate campaigns.
Whether your goal is to build brand awareness or increase customer engagement, social media marketing is ground zero for these efforts. The good news is that you don't need a huge amount of money to take the hassle out of day-to-day social media management. By streamlining social media management, you can minimize your time and financial investment while increasing ROI. Ready to make your life easier? Here's how to get started:
#1: Schedule posts in advance.
Showing up is half the battle, especially when it comes to social media. And by showing up, I don't mean posting a few tweets in January and then disappearing until April. Consistency is key! Whether it's sharing an interesting factoid from an upcoming white paper or a quick how-to video, you need to regularly interact with leads or you won't be top of mind when it's time for them to make a purchasing decision. But tweeting every day can be time-consuming. Save time by scheduling these posts in advance. Hootsuite, Lyfe Marketing, Buffer and other social media management platforms offers low-cost tools for scheduling everything weeks or even months in advance. This includes tailoring the timing of these posts for optimal network interactivity.
#2: Match your social media calendar to your content calendar.
Your social media schedule should complement your existing content marketing plan. As Amanda Walgrove writes in this excellent article on content marketing trends for 2015, context matters! For example, if you're rolling out a major white paper, atomize this content into smaller pieces that will be distributed several weeks leading up to the paper's launch to build anticipation and then several weeks after the launch to continue driving download traffic. You'll maximize exposure for your current content and grow your leads. Randomly sharing pieces of information without context or as part of a larger plan dilutes the value of this information.
#3: Repurpose old content.
There's no need to reinvent the wheel or re-write the same thing 10 times. Go back to your old blog posts, white papers, eBooks or even the PowerPoint slides from that presentation you delivered at last year's industry conference. What nuggets of information are still relevant but were overlooked the first time around? These nuggets make for great Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts and will drive more traffic back to your website. Bonus: turn a collection of seemingly boring stats into an engaging infographic for even more social media love!
#4: Drive traffic back to your website.
There's an old saying that really rings true in the world of social media: "Don't build your house on rented land." What do I mean by this? Lack of website traffic is one of the most common problems facing small businesses. You can spend a lot of time investing energy, time and money into growing your social media presence, but at the end of the day, be sure that you're always driving traffic back to the little corner of the Internet that you own: your company's website. Tweets, likes and share are great, but sales are even better.
With hundreds of great social media management platforms available for small businesses, streamlining your social media calendar really can be as easy as picking a platform and scheduling posts to complement your current content marketing plan. Don't neglect your own website, however. If you are consistently engaging with leads and sharing valuable information via social media, but your conversion rates are still low, the problem might be your site. Driving traffic back to a website that's outdated or confusing to navigate is a sure-fire way to lose your lead. Be sure the final destination lives up to expectations.