Sara works at My Indie Life Blog where she helps makers and creatives turn their hobby into business.
Social Media for Small Business
When you are running your small business online, it’s incredibly important to be active on social media, as it really helps you build better relationships with existing customers and broaden your brand’s awareness.
The number one complaint I hear from small businesses is that they just don’t have the time.
There are a number of tools out there that will help you automate content so that you can be active in posting a consistent message with little effort, and this allows you more time for the conversations you are hoping to start.
My streams are active throughout the day posting fresh content, but I personally spend less than 15 minutes each day on those streams tackling my individual interactions (unless I join a Twitter chat hour). Beyond that, I spend an hour each week creating content to automate. Yet my stream might to the untrained eye look like I am constantly working live on my social networking from 8 am to 10 pm.
How do I do it? I automate!
Why Should I Automate Any Social Media?
Automation allows you time, and time is always well spent on creating and delivering our business’ products and services.
Automation also helps you to continuously market your brand while you are working on other things. So automation is an important part of your marketing planning.
What Sort of Social Media Can I Automate?
You can automate anything except those personal interactions. So, for example, I choose to automate:
- Links to my blog posts, or podcasts
- Links to curated content from reliable sources that will interest my customer but not move them away from my business’ products and services.
- Behind the scenes photos, or stories
- Tips and advice
- Occasional direct links to products and services
- Launch information for new products and services
I do not choose to automate personal responses to customers and prospective clients. Customers need to feel that they are getting a personal service from you, so deal with them one on one.
5 Social Media Content Ideas You Can Automate!
- Tip of the day
- Product of the week
- Behind the scenes story
- A question (something that could help you understand your customer better)
- Links to a freebie newsletter opt-in that drives traffic to your site
Make sure that all of your ideas are consistent with your business message and are content pieces that people will want to engage with and share.
Try Hootsuite for Social Media Automation
I have been using Hootsuite for about four years now, and so it's something I feel I can recommend trying.
It's a social management tool that allows you to schedule and monitor not only your content, but the contents from your feed, or keyword searches.
There are a number of price plans, and I use the free option. The free option allows me to connect to 3 social accounts, and while this can be limiting if you have a number of streams, it has helped me focus on the networking sites that work for me and my business.
I can set up views for each of my networks for things like; looking at my posted content, post schedule, mentions, or messages. Or set up screens to view several social accounts at once. I can also monitor hashtags or keywords.
All of this saves me time, the one thing I always feel short of! And it also gains me research insight . . . it's a great way to "socially listen."
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.