When you’re running a small business, it’s hard not to get swamped by everything you need to have a firm handle on. You’re the one they rely on to make sure every loose end is tied, every ‘i’ is dotted, and every ‘t’ is crossed.
With all of the things you need to take care of, maintaining a strong social media presence is probably the last thing on your mind.
But even though it falls behind on your list of importance, engaging with your community through social media is a great, cost-efficient way to build brand-awareness and create better customer satisfaction for your company.
And, if you decide against outsourcing your social media to an external company, there are steps you can take to maintain your business’ social media presence yourself.
1. Plan (weeks) in advance!
Planning is probably the most time-consuming thing on this list, and even then it won’t take more than a few hours a month. Before you start posting on social media, take a minute to brainstorm what you want to say, and how often you want to say it. Maybe you want to post 3 times a week – maybe 5. Maybe you want to be personable, or maybe you want to solely talk about your products. Finding out what works for your page will take a little trial and error, so don’t be afraid to flounder a few times.
After you have the basic skeleton of what you plan to do, it’s time to flesh it out. Create a monthly calendar that outlines all of the posts you want to make, and when you want to make them. Having a detailed plan for the month ahead saves you from worrying throughout the month if you should post something, and what that something should be about.
2. Schedule your posts ahead of time
Instead of manually posting everything online, most social media channels have a very helpful loophole that allows you to schedule posts ahead of time. So, after you have planned for everything you want to say the upcoming weeks, schedule the posts so that you don’t have to think about them for at least another month’s time.
Facebook, unlike most of the social media platforms, allows you to do this without the help of a second-party website. All you’ve got to do is choose ‘schedule’ instead of ‘post’, and Facebook will manually post them at the proper times throughout the month. Other social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn, however, can be scheduled through websites like Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
When should you schedule your posts for? Facebook Insights provides you with the days/ times that your page is most likely to get traction on your posts, and there are general guidelines you can follow.
3. Connect your social media channels to your phone/ tablet
If you always have your phone on hand or your tablet on deck, connect your social media profiles to whichever platform you use to stay connected. This will help your overall response rate, and will help you keep your messages, comments, reviews and more in check.
4. Set up an autoresponder
Let’s face it: sometimes you’re so bogged down with deadlines that even if you have every notification sent straight to your phone, it doesn’t mean that you will be able to get to them all in a timely manor. In that case, setting up an auto-responder across your social media channels is the perfect solution.
Nothing jilts a consumer quite like getting no response from a company can. It can turn people away for good, and even worse, it can lead them into the hands of their competitors. If you are too busy to respond to inquiries right away, Facebook and Twitter allows you to set up an auto-responder to help ease the blow of feeling ignored. With it, your customers will know that you are not by the computer, in the office, or in a position to check.
Maintaining an active social media presence demands a little bit of your time, but not as much as you may think, or be giving it. It’s something that, with a little bit of planning can be put on auto-pilot until further notice, while getting your brand name out there for people to see.