While most small business owners are starting to realize that social media is a necessary part of any marketing strategy, as a social media coach, the question I get most often is how to add social media to a day that is already way too full. For those of us working as solopreneurs or small business owners, it may, at times, feel like we are working virtually around the clock so when are we really supposed to tweet, post or blog?
I'll admit creating a social media plan that will stick is like starting an exercise program. You just have to take that leap and do it. You need to look at it, not as a series of social media tasks that need to be done during the day, but more of a lifestyle change that you need to incorporate into your entire way of thinking.
5 tips to make the social media lifestyle change
- Coffee and Twitter: For most of us, a morning cup of coffee is sacred. Without one, our day cannot get off to a good start. Try to incorporate tweeting with your morning coffee, Instead of reading the newspaper, read your stream to find interesting articles to share with your followers. If you still need to read the paper, know that most publications these days are online and make sharing with your networks very easy. In addition to coffee first thing in the morning, take a moment or two to tweet during your mid-morning or mid-afternoon coffee break as well.
- Change the way you look at the world: Instead of walking through your day with blinders on, as most of us do, focused on the tasks we need to get done, try looking at the world with a different set of eyes. Examine everything -- images, articles, conversations you have with co-workers -- and use it as fodder for posts, blogs and tweets. This doesn't mean that you need to be online all day, it just means changing the way you think to include a social media aspect to your day. Taking mental notes to save for your social media coffee breaks.
- Blog on the weekend: We all know that blogging for business is one of the most important factors to getting found online. It improves our SEO, increases our professional credibility and lets our audience know who we are and how we interact. Blogging can also be the most time consuming part of any social media plan. During your busy workday, as your taking in everything that is going on around you, take mental notes and save the blogging for the weekend when our schedule is more open. Most social dashboards will allow you to schedule posts to go live at a later time.
- Set an alarm: In adopting a social media lifestyle, it works to break your social media plan into bite-sized chunks, making it more manageable during the course of a busy day. At first, it may take some time to incorporate the social media lifestyle into your work day so setting alarms to remind you to take social media breaks - which are just as necessary as a coffee or bathroom break, can help at the beginning.
- Be mobile: I can't stress enough how being mobile, whether it's with an iPad, smartphone or laptop, can help integrate social media into your lifestyle. Whether it's waiting in line at the bank, riding the bus or taking a 5 minute water cooler break, being mobile help you to stay connected, with the ability to tweet or post right at your fingertips.
When you decide to include social media into your business and marketing strategy, it is important to be consistent and be present in order to truly engage your audience and increase your online visibility. By adopting social media into your lifestyle, by taking short social media breaks to tweet or post, by leaving your blogging to the weekend and by looking at the world with a "social media eye," it prevents you from feeling spread too thin - a feeling that most small business owners know all to well.