Hey, small business owners out there. Does gazing at a screen and scrolling through a perpetual list of dumb opinions and bathroom selfies sound like your idea of a productive morning? If you answered “no,” I’m afraid you’re mistaken, because social media is an innovative platform that merges a range of audiences together in an interactive environment that redefines the way businesses do…stuff…and furthermore, blah blah blah.
Let’s be real for a second, folks. To many people, social media seems like a trivial time-suck. Not everyone is googley-eyed over its alleged awesomeness. In fact, I argue there’s a large band of preoccupied business owners out there living in fear of being labeled as unhip by the youngins’ who have deemed social media the coolest thing since Fun Dip.
So here’s the big question: besides the fact you’re “just supposed to,” why bother devoting a portion of your hectic day to your brand’s social media accounts?
“There are so many people on social media, and you have to go where the people are,” says Lakeland public relations expert Lorrie Walker. “Plus, you can receive instant feedback, and it’s easy.”
Simple enough, right? Whether you like it or not, having a social media presence is necessary to connect with your consumers. It’s where they are. And despite what you may believe, engaging in social media doesn’t have to be totally miserable.
There are a handful of tips and tricks to prevent you from aimlessly trolling through the digital realms in search of relevancy, and none of them include spending two hours liking your followers’ profile pictures. The key is to social media smarter, not harder.
Check out these four easy things the anti-social media business owner must do:
Focus your efforts. If social media marketing isn’t your life’s calling, accept your weakness and stick with the basics: Facebook and Twitter.
According to Facebook’s newsroom (yes, they have a newsroom), the king of social networks boasted 890 million daily active users in December 2014. CBS reports there are more than 240,000,000 active Twitter followers. Staying present on these two platforms will ensure your brand is seen and your precious brain power isn’t divided between other platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Keep it simple.
Check your accounts once a day: Despite your lack of interest, many consumers find Facebook and Twitter to be a fantastic way to communicate with their favorite brands. Don’t miss out on a potential new customer because you didn’t have enough time to answer a tweet or Facebook comment (even those tricky negative ones). Plus, it looks bad when you leave an inquisitive follower hanging.
Carve out a few minutes in your day, every day, to check your social media accounts, make a post (if possible) and respond to questions. (Check out this great article from Hootsuite to learn how to cut your daily social media routine to a few minutes!)
Schedule posts in advance: Speaking of Hootsuite, use it for your tweets. It’s awesome. Hootsuite allows you to schedule tweets in advance so you can spend more time doing what you love most – not being on social media.
“I don’t buy into the notion that people don’t have enough time to schedule posts or tweets,” says Walker. “Take a few minutes to do so and move on with your life.”
(Editor’s note: We recently wrote about scheduling Facebook posts, and whether your posts get punished if they’re scheduled from a third party site such as Hootsuite. In short, they are. Please come back Feb. 23 to read about it. Once it posts, we’ll add a hyperlink to this post.)
Advertise on Facebook: Ambitious, I know. But no social media prowess is required. Facebook makes it super easy to stretch your advertising dollars and get seen by your target audience. No but really, you can target what users see your ads (gender, age, area, etc.). Just follow some simple instructions.
“If you took what you’d spend on phonebook advertising 20 years ago and put it toward Facebook advertising today, you’ll get a much greater return on investment,” Walker says. “The results can be significant.”
And if there’s one thing social media zealots and haters can agree on, Facebook and Twitter are better than phonebooks. So attend to those accounts, you savvy small business owners, and don’t let the bathroom selfies stop you from reaping the excellent rewards of maintaining a social media presence.