Your social media pages serve many purposes: a way to connect with potential and existing customers, advertise new products and services, and increase awareness of your brand. Even with its many benefits, social media is often overlooked when you’re strapped for time.
However, your online presence doesn't have to take a hit during the busy seasons. Here are four ways you can spend less time online by working smarter – not harder – on your social networks.
Stick with what works
Social media pages need your attention to thrive, and unfortunately, there is no shortcut for tender loving care. If you find that you’re having trouble dedicating quality time to all of your networks, you may be spreading yourself too thin.
Instead of trying to keep up with Tumblr, Flickr and all other social media options, take a moment to identify networks on which your customer base is active and focus your efforts on those channels. A good place to start is with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, which were recognized as the top social networks for business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers in a 2014 BI Intelligence survey. By devoting your time to fewer networks, you will be able to deliver more thoughtful content to an audience that cares about your company.
Plan your posts
Once you've decided which networks are worth utilizing, it’s important to regularly update your pages with interesting content. However, you will quickly realize that pushing out daily content on each of your social media pages can be a bit cumbersome. Fortunately, in 2008 that burden was lifted with the creation of HootSuite, a free social media management tool that has become a staple in the social networking world. Instead of logging into separate social networks to post your updates, HootSuite gives you the ability to view and interact with all of your pages in one place. HootSuite – which is compatible with popular networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and YouTube – also allows you to schedule your page posts in advance. You’ll save yourself time by planning and scheduling your posts for the week instead of stopping by to update your networks each day.
A picture is worth 1,000 clicks
If you aren’t already using images in your posts, it’s time to start. Research shows that posts that include images garner more engagement (comments, likes, shares, favorites and retweets) than links, statuses, albums or videos. And, thanks to online stock image galleries, you don’t have to be a great photographer to use quality images on your page. Another easy way to increase engagement and make your posts more “shareable” is to include teaser text on your photos. By adding a short headline or a call to action, you give your readers immediate context of what they are about to click on in a way that is visually pleasing. One free tool that can help you with text overlay on your images is Canva, an online graphic design suite that is so easy that non-creative types can create masterpieces. Learn more atwww.canva.com.
Use your website to find friends
Growing an audience on your social media channels is one of the hardest aspects of social media marketing. Fortunately, there is a way to get new followers who are interested in your company with little effort on your part. Simply add social media buttons to your website and reap the benefits of passive page promotion.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have developed "follow" buttons that can be easily embedded into your website. A quick Google search can help you locate the HTML code for the buttons that you will need to add them to your website. Make sure you place all of your networks' buttons in a spot that is high visible to people visiting your website, but don't be come a follow button fool. Only add buttons for the networks on which you are active.
Don't give your social networks the cold shoulder when sales start to heat up. Instead, use these tips to maintain your pages more efficiently and get the most out of your social media efforts.