Social media can be a huge time suck. I'm not saying it's not valuable, because I would never tell you that. In fact, I'd tell you the exact opposite. It's one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to build relationships with your current and future customers. It brings a personality and a voice to your brand and does it like no other medium out there today.
The real question is, how do you manage your time on social media? I get this question all the time and it's a good one. The answer is simple and it comes down to two important things—knowledge and discipline.
Knowledge Is Power
Cliche—I know—but it's true. Before you set a schedule for yourself on social media you need to know what works for your brand. You'll hear me say this time after time: find what works and where your audience hangs out and spend the majority of your time, resources, and money there. This could be your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Google+, or any other niche social site.
How Will You Know Where To Spend Your Time?
The first thing you need to do is get some sort of analytics set up on your site. I use both statcounter, which I like for that quick fix, and Google Analytics, for a more in-depth look. To measure which of your social efforts are working best in terms of visitors, you should simply note from which site you're getting the most visitors. This is a good start and, at the very least, a good measurement for where to spend your time.
Visitors are not your only goal, of course, but they are still important. Simple analytics are limiting in that they give you enough information to judge where your traffic is coming from, but you don't necessarily know what happens to this visitor. Did they result in a sale? Did they sign up for your newsletter? What did they do? And lastly, what is the lifelong value of that one social media lead? For this type of knowledge, I recommend using a marketing automation tool, and something more powerful, like Infusionsoft. This type of information is important to track, because Facebook could be sending you most of your visitors, but Twitter could be floating you the visitors that are buying more. You might have to readjust your strategy accordingly. A tool like Infusionsoft will let you see all this data. But we'll get to that later.
Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not your website is converting. You can bring all the traffic in the world to your site with killer content, but if your website is poorly executing then you have another issue. It's very important to prove your social media prowess is working and if your website isn't doing its job, then your efforts will go unseen.
This is just common sense, but it takes a lot of will power. Dedicate a few hours a day to social media and stick to it. No, seriously…stick to it. Separate out a time each day in the morning and evening that you check your social media sites for pending issues. Keep in mind that people will typically respond to you around the times you post something, so it might be a good idea to keep your posting times constant as well.
Another great tip is to get the tools that make your life easier. BundlePost, which aggregates content in tweet-ready format, cuts down on the time you spend searching for content. Use a scheduler, like Hootsuite, and schedule your posts out for the week.
Lastly, create some time for yourself to check social media for non-work related stuff. Social media is fun—keep it that way. And hey, you never know, you might just see a new trend that your business needs to hop on.
I'm Socially Stephanie, signing off.
This is an excerpt from my Socially Stephanie column.