Managing social media can seem daunting, and I think this is a huge reason that many people avoid social media. I want to make it clear that social media is time consuming, especially if you want to do it correctly and effectively. And beyond being time consuming, it also can be a time suck. (Cat pictures anyone?) But social media marketing is nevertheless necessary, effective, and quite enjoyable.
The idea of real-time is very important in social media, which is both a pro and con. The fact that social media operates in real time makes it special because it means that many customers expect you to respond quickly. According research conducted by The Social Habit, 32% of people who use social media for customer support expect a response within 30 minutes. And 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. While the data on this is unclear, I think it is probably talking about larger corporations like Time Warner or AT&T. A company that large should have a full time customer support team. If your company is not at that level yet, don't worry- you can still respond in a reasonable amount of time and put out any fires.
So how real is real-time? In my opinion, smaller to medium sized businesses should take this survey to heart, but can be more realistic about their response time. By now you probably already know how many responses and mentions you get in a day. This number probably increases when you launch a product or have a sale or even write a blog post. Keep that in mind when taking my advice below. On days that you know you will get higher volume, you might want to monitor a bit more and act accordingly.
On a positive note, 24% of people use social media to share and give credit to companies. And only 8% of people use social media to get an immediate response.
So with that said, you are probably feeling a bit overwhelmed, right? Here are my tips to manage your social media efficiently without getting burned out while still staying on top of what's being said to, at or about you.
This question was asked by one of our readers, @Cbyonline.
HOW TO AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA OVERLOAD
1. Schedule Posts
The number one piece of advice I can give you here is this - schedule your posts ahead of time; a week should suffice. Depending on what you share and what's appropriate for your business, this is fine. Make sure your content isn't too newsy or timely to avoid being out of touch or out of date. Quotes, pictures, product descriptions, upcoming event reminders, upcoming announcements, teasers, links from your website, and even articles about your industry fall into this category. By creating these posts ahead of time you will avoid ghost syndrome (being present one day and then missing for a few days). If you can't be online that specific day, you will be covered. I use Hootsuite, but there are tons to choose from.
While I don't recommend relying on scheduled posts only, this is a good way to keep yourself present and active on days you know that you won't be available online. You should supplement this content with real-time content, news articles, and responses to people who are talking to you. This part requires checking your social media accounts, which I will get into next.
2. Make A Time To Check All Accounts
One of my time saving tips is to make a time to check your social network accounts, and once you’ve made a time, stick to it. The most important and pending ones are Facebook & Twitter because users here expect a more real time response. Usually people will respond to posts around the time you post them, so this could be a good time to do your checking.
3. Allot A Certain Amount Of Time To It Daily
Determine an acceptable amount of time you want to spend on social media. As a business owner, you have a lot of things to do every day. Oftentimes you need to take care of things at the core of the business, and hanging out on social media sites for hours on end can take your day away from you. By allotting a certain amount of time each day, you will be held accountable for what you do. You can determine how much of your time can be spent there. I recommend at least 2 hours a day, but that is up to you to decide.
4. Focus The Majority Of Your Time Where It Counts
As time is precious, I can't stress this enough: Spend your resources where it counts. To see what is working, monitor your traffic. Where are you getting the most incoming traffic? Are you seeing an increase on Facebook? Are they buying things? If so, this is where you should be spending the majority of your time. Stay on top of different referral links and track the value of a lead.
5. Hire A Social Media Manager Like Me 🙂
If you put a lot of value on social media but don't have the time to effectively manage your brand, then hire us. Here at ConvertWithContent, we offer full management packages that fit into any budget. We'll rock it! We promise. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you love Social Media and don't want to miss out on those hot & pending issues, then connect your social media accounts to your smart phone. Twitter is the most important as it is the network that you will want to have the quickest response time.