Running a business is stressful enough, not to mention keeping up with the changing social media networks and technology. But time spent investing in conversations and attention to customers on these networks can certainly pay off. Here are a few options for making social media management easier for your small business.
Make it a group effort:If everyone in your company gets behind social media, it not only increases your visibility on the web, but the responsibility of updating and maintaining can be fairly shared. Asking for every employee to rotate a day that they will keep an eye on the company's social networks creates ownership and interest among employees. If you're looking for ways to easily manage a company blog, think about group blogging. Not only does it alleviate the time budget issue, it allows for fresher content and a compilation of perspectives that will speak to a greater audience. Ann Handley of MarketingProfs recently commented in a Twitter chat about group blogs that "In-house-penned blogs nurture leaders throughout the org(anization)."
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Keep a schedule:Setting aside a few minutes a day for a quick scan of trending topics and customer reactions will help you keep on top of the social media newstream. If you enjoy reading the news headlines in the morning with your cup of coffee, tack on a few more minutes to scan Twitter, Facebook and other networks. NFIB's made it easier for you by compiling the Top Daily Must-Reads for Every Small Business Owner. When thinking of what to say on social media seems like a huge deterrent, try keeping a schedule. Tory Johnson, founder of Spark & Hustle, advised business owners during her NFIB webinar How to Generate Sales by Executing Free Visibility Strategies to create a content grid. She said this will help with the "What am I going to write? What am I going to do?" that can be daunting to those just starting out. She explains that "the grid will essentially look like a weekly or monthly calendar with the spaces filled in with specific ideas for content. Planning ahead alleviates the pressure to generate constant content. And by all means, you can still be spontaneous and comment or share the latest news of that day, but the structure is what is important." Tory gives ideas for a creative way to organize topics: "Themed days can help you plan and have some fun. Like asking poll questions on Tuesdays, or sharing your favorite quote or resource of the week on Fridays."
Prioritize networks:As most small business owners find themselves overwhelmed with learning and maintaining multiple social media technologies, try focusing on the networks that make the most sense for your business. If most of your customers interact on Facebook, take the time to build out your page and information on Facebook so that you can join the conversation. As Tory Johnson of Spark & Hustle told NFIB webinar attendees, "Don’t: Be 'on' Facebook...Do: Be 'engaged' in Facebook." It is better to have one or two strong social network profiles than mutiple accounts with minimal followers and zero content. If you're looking for a alternative network that may be a better fit with your organization, check out these 3 Lesser-Known Social Media Sites for Small Businesses You Probably Don’t Know (But Should).
Use a social media management dashboard:Services like HootSuite and TweetDeck were created for the busy social media user. Platforms like these allow you to post, reply, and schedule comments for all of your company's social media accounts in one easy format. The dashboards they use to lay out all the different feeds and messages on all your networks is easy to navigate and allows you to have a pilot's view over all your social media. You can also assign roles to people within your company so that everyone uses the same account, but can delineate the work.
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Outsource your social media efforts:
If spending a few minutes each day on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like gives you anxiety, consider completely outsourcing your social media efforts to a vendor. With so many networks and social platforms, specialty vendors have formed that are focused solely on managing and perfecting your business’ social media presence. NFIB's preferred provider for social media services, Web.com offers customized Facebook company pages on top of hosting and tracking all online marketing efforts.
RELATED: Outsourcing Your Social Media Presence