Social media is a powerful communication tool; it’s networking on steroids and it’s a serious connector. It’s a must-have for leading companies.
Some leaders may be hesitant to join social media because they believe it takes too much time, but it doesn’t have to. The key to being successful at social media is to work smarter, not harder.
Why social media?
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Social media is a set of tools that create conversations, connections and sharing of information.
It is not a fad, or just for the “young ones”, but rather a legitimate marketing and engagement tool.
Social media should be seen as an opportunity, not a risk, and can be used to boost both the profile of the company and an individual.
It is another opportunity to connect with your audience and grow your insight into who they are and what they are looking for in terms of products and services.
With limited time you need to be targeting niche audiences, not talking to a broad cross-section.
Narrow down where you want to have a presence, and choose the platforms that suit the needs of your business and represent your brand effectively.
Here are a few questions you should consider before you join a social media platform: Where is your target audience? Which platform suits your business? How will you use social media? Which platforms are people already talking about your business/industry on?
Commit to frequency
Rather than getting to the end of week and realising that you haven’t posted anything, decide upfront how often you want to post and what type of information you’re sharing on each of your different platforms.
This is likely to be different for each platform. For example, on Twitter you need a higher frequency compared to Facebook and LinkedIn.
Once you have a number, stick to it. It will help you to save time as you know what you are working towards each day, not just flying by the seat of your pants.
Being able to schedule your posts can save a lot of time on social media.
For example if you want to tweet three times a day, take half an hour on a Monday morning (or when is most convenient for you) and use a scheduling tool, such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite, to schedule your tweets for the week.
As you read interesting content online you can add it to Buffer which automatically posts them for you through the day at times you have pre-set.
Tools like TweetDeck you can also create columns of different streams. For example you could have a stream just showing people tweeting about a key term relating to your industry such as publishing, health or transport.
This way you can easily scan the stream, without all of the noise of other tweets, and see if there is anyone you may want to retweet, a discussion you want to join, or customer comment.
Content across all of your platforms doesn’t have to be original to each platform. If you have posted an article on your company’s LinkedIn page, tweet it as well and share it on Facebook.
Tools including TweetDeck and Hootsuite allow you to automatically post across multiple platforms.
Just make sure whatever you’re posting works for that particular social media platform. Something that’s on LinkedIn may not be suitable for Facebook; it depends on the ‘voice’ of your business and why you are using each platform.
The good thing about social media is you can do it anywhere at any time, thanks to technology.
In a taxi on your way to a client meeting? Check your Facebook. Waiting for your morning coffee and see something interesting? Take a photo with Instagram.
Can be very easy to simply say “I don’t have time” for social media without exploring the benefits and the value it offers brands.
Social media gives you an amazing opportunity to brand yourself and your business, and separate yourself from the crowd, but it is a long-term relationship and you need to be able to commit some of your time and resources to it to make it successful.