Yesterday I had to opportunity to present on a panel at the BIG Council: “Social Media Strategy” – An Interactive Program which included an all-star line up of Charlotte’s top social networking marketers including; Scott Hepburn, Fred Sexton, Brian Hamlett, and Mike Granetz.
One of the social media topics we we’re asked by the crowd was how do you manage your time with all the social networking sites out there? To answer this question I wanted to put together some helpful tips to maximize your time and get the most out of your online marketing efforts.
As Ivan Misner points out in a recent article in Entreprenur:
The key to success with social media is to outline a strategy which considers the amount of time you can realistically dedicate each day to your online marketing efforts. If you plan your activities, use time-saving tools and make sure your ROI expectations are reasonable you’ll be in a good position to succeed at social networking.
Finding the right social network
One of my favorite quick-tips is simply, “fish where the fish are“. Sometimes this means twitter, moreover it means Facebook, but sometimes it’s the small niche social networks that you will benefit from the most. Ask your customers which networks they hang out on, and start slowly on listening and engaging when the timing’s right.
Creating a content strategy
This is one of the many pitfalls companies fail to lay-out ahead of time. Map out a monthy/weekly schedule that outlines the specific days and times you will spend on social media. Figure out what’s realistic and what makes sense for your company and go from there.
Use social media tools
Everyday new tools are introduced to the community which save time and energy (and expenses). Take advantage of the various social media tools that are designed specifically to save you time. Some of my favorite time saving tools are as follows:
- Threadsy – The beautiful part of Threadsy is that it pulls together your existing accounts and enhances them with relevant information from social networks and the public web. The effect is a brand new flavor of communication harmony. This aggregation tool allows you to consolidate accounts and manage your time more efficiently.
- Grader – This family of tools from Hubspot, helps measure all that matters in inbound marketing. From the Website grader that helps with your SEO efforts to the new Square grader which helps you get the most out of Foursquare.
- NutshellMail – This site allows you to receive one-four email(s) a day updating you on multiple social media accounts– including Myspace, FaceBook and Twitter saving you the time and stress of clogging up your email box.
Check your metrics
So you’ve crafted your strategy, and are anxious to start seeing a return on your social media networking investment. It’s very important to remember one thing: Networking takes time. Rather than expecting to see a surge in sales, you should hope to see people interacting with your brand.
Building relationships with people and credibility for your brand doesn’t happen overnight. Rather than a big pool of followers, it’s important that you create a network of depth and meaningful relationships. You do this by being visible and engaging in conversations. Over time, these activities give you credibility; which in turn leads to building your brand and your sales.
Hopefully you can take this post and apply what you’ve learned what you should do to carry out an effective and profitable social media campaign for your business. If you still have questions please leave a comment or contact me regarding social media consulting.