Excellent Social Media Takes More Than an Hour a Day
Last month, Dendrite Park, a marketing agency, came out with an interesting instructographic that advised how small business owners could do social media marketing an hour a day. While the article does give credit that small business owners are busy, I think it gives the false impression that a good job for social media marketing can be done an hour a day, which in my honest opinion it can’t.
Here’s the harsh reality in the world of marketing, advertising and social media, most of the time is not spent on executing social media, most of the time is spent on researching and planning out an excellent marketing strategy.
When starting any social media plan, you want to make sure that you have a solid strategy behind it.
You want to know who your target audience is and what type of social media networks they are on. This may incorporate only a limited amount of social networks such as Tumblr and Pinterest, or this may include all the social networks.
But excellent social media planning, whether it’s for one network or for five should not be rushed.
An Hour a Day Works…If You Don’t Care What You Post
If you feel that sending out any old status, tweet, or pin will do, and that somehow it will gain you a community of loyal followers, then you might as well not be on social media.
Part of being on social media is to be able to provide valuable content and insight to your audience.
This week I was really blessed, Mari Smith, a Facebook guru, shared my guest blog post from Oh So Pinteresting on her Facebook page, and it resulted in the post going viral with over 400+ shares within 48 hours, and a big part of that was because of Andrea Vahl who shared that with Mari.
But finding such great content requires time and effort. It means reading other blogs about your industry, and keeping up with the ever changing world of what’s going on. And the people who keep on top of their industry are the ones that will be able to provide fresh content that is relevant to their social media community.
Relationships on Social Media Take Time to Build
For most of my clients that I have worked with, only one of them has ever had a previous relationship with another social media agency. Almost all my clients I work or have worked with were personally managing social media accounts.
One of the biggest hurdles that small businesses face on social media, is the lack of time to authentically connect with their customers on social media. And for any business that starts using social media, whether it’s Pinterest for business purposes, or Linkedin for lead generation, you have to spend time building those relationship.
It’s no different than a customer walking into a hotel the first time. If you take time to engage in conversation, care about their trip and try to make their stay as enjoyable as possible, then chances he’s going to be coming back.
You have to spend time to create a list of people you want to connect with who you may be able to do business or form strategic alliances with. And what you’ll find is that some of them will become good friends of yours too because you both share the same passions.
If you’re a local business, you need to spend more than 5 minutes a day checking messages. You have to engage, and if you don’t have time to do that, then it’s best to hire an agency, or freelancer that can.
This is why it’s vitally important to choose the right social networks for your business instead of going after all of them. Focus o the ones that allow you to create relationships with your customers on deeper level.
Social media hasn’t changed the way we do relationships, as a matter of fact it reminds us that little small acts of connection, taking an interest in what people are saying, and providing great resources for them is more vital today than ever. Why? Because everybody is doing it, and if you don’t do it, your business will die off.
Scheduling and Curating Content Takes Time
Almost everybody I know that has made it big on Twitter has scheduled tweets. Very few do real time interactions all the time, and that’s understandable. The world is a 24/7 place.
And even scheduling tweets to reach those people can take an hour a day. Imagine scheduling for tweets a day (again it should be something valuable to your followers) and then you need to schedule some status updates on Facebook, and then jump over to Pinterest to schedule some pins for the next week.
Scheduling can take a lot of time, but what’s even more important is be able to select the relevant information for your followers.
Some great tools to help with social media scheduling is Hootsuite for Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook. If you’re looking to schedule pins, Hello Society is a wonderful tool that’s free to use. My friends from the U.S. adore Buffer as a scheduling tool for Facebook and Twitter.
Quality Blogs Take Time and are Worth the Effort
Blogging itself is a huge time consumer, and on my good days I can crank out a draft out within 45 minutes. That’s just a draft. The final copy, including getting the right photos that are pinnable and making sure that it’s done. By the time it’s all said and done, a good quality post that has a great headline, great content, and a pinnable image will take anywhere between 2.5-5 hours to finish. But when it’s all said and done, it can help drive so much traffic and establish your business as THE business in your industry.
Other blogs may report that they finish earlier, and that’s because they don’t understand how powerful Pinterest is in driving blog traffic and tend to use any stock photo, I strongly advise against that.
Always take time to create a blog, and blog at least once a week.
Properly Integrating Social Media Networks into Your Marketing Campaign Takes Time
No social network should ever work alone. This is why it’s important to plan out how to cross promote your different social mediums to get people to not only to be a Facebook fan, but also an Instagram fan, and so forth. The more places that you’re able to communicate with your customers, the more that they’re going to remember you. It’s that simple.
Even though I love Pinterest, I make sure I share some wonderful articles on my Google Plus group on Pinterest marketing. This way it helps to reach out to another community of potential leads and influencers.
And if you’re able to create engaging and amazing content, that’s consistent with your brand and strategy, across your social media then all the better.
Measuring and Taking Action with Your Analytics
It’s very important to spend your time understanding how social media affects your marketing and sales goals. Taking the time to analyze what’s going on with your social media traffic, and understanding what type of content is being shared is vital in deciding what type of action or content to provide next.
Analytics alone can take up to an hour a day depending on how much data is coming in, and what you’re measuring. Tools such as Google Analytics can tell you which social networks are driving the most traffic, while Pinterest analytic programs like PinLeague can tell you what pins are pinned the most as well as who your influential followers are.
I’m not here to tell you how much time you should spend on social media, but I will tell you that if you want to make your social media campaigns work, then you need to work very hard at the start, and you need to invest time into your online social relationships, and I guarantee you, if you want to do this right, it will take more than an hour a day.
Photo courtesy of Bill Erickson.