One of the biggest objections to engaging with social media marketing is time - usually, not having enough of it. It's an objection I've heard a lot over the last few years, because there is a widely-held perception that effective social media marketing takes a huge investment in time and energy for it to be worthwhile. And whilst any marketing activity obviously requires effort, energy and a time investment, it's all relative.
It's also important to remember that one of the biggest benefits of social media marketing is the simple fact that delivering online content can be the most cost-effective and time-effective part of the marketing mix. So, if you're new to social media marketing, or are finding yourself spending hours on it without seeing much return on your investment, try my top tips for time-saving on social media engagement:
Use common sense.
There is a temptation to try to be everywhere, on all social media platforms, spreading the word. Why not try using common sense instead, and create a stronger online presence on key platforms, where you know your target clients or customers are hanging out? Engage with solid social media strategy before jumping on any social platform for the sake of just being there.
I spoke to a new client this week, who has been struggling to keep up with social media engagement - but they weren't using technology to help them to save time. My personal preference for saving time and pre-scheduling social media content is via HootSuite. It's a simple, intuitive, and results-focused content management platform, which also delivers brilliant analytics.
There are lots of businesses out there spending hours on social media platforms, but they aren't "doing" anything resembling effective social media marketing. They're just there, observing, posting random stuff and wasting their time. Don't be one of them - use restraint. Value your time, your audience and especially value the social media content you deliver. It makes a difference.
Any marketing activity needs to monitor and measure itself, to see how effective it really is over a period of time. Social media marketing is exactly the same. Use analytics, via Google, Facebook Insights, Social Flow and HootSuite to monitor and measure what works and what misses the mark in terms of social media engagement. Adapt it. Be flexible. Be smart. This also saves time.
Use the clock.
Thanks to Hootsuite, and rigorous time-keeping, I ensure that my social media marketing (outbound content) takes no longer than 30 minutes per day to deliver, with 15 minutes for monitoring, and a further 15 minutes to engage and assist new prospects online. As with any marketing activity, if you don't time limit yourself on social media, you're watching its profitability slip away.
Use your blog.
An effective blog is also an excellent tool for giving structure, substance and social media content across the whole mix of platforms you're engaging on. I use my blogging schedule as an invaluable way to keep my time-saving on social media marketing in the front of my mind and relevant to the entire range of outbound content. Remember to drive traffic to your blog daily.