You’d be hard pressed to find a blog post or article that didn’t contain some reference to resolutions this week, and I’m sorry to say this one’s going to be no different. The start of a new year automatically brings with it the promise of fresh starts and new challenges, and so it should.
Yesterday I posted an article about career based resolutions, given that this time of year is one of the most popular for changing careers or simply looking for a new job. But what if you run your own business? Can you still make career-based resolutions to propel you forward over the next 12 months?
Of course you can, and you most certainly should!
What you decide to focus on will depend on what it is you’re hoping to achieve by the end of the year, but here are my top five tips for things you should resolve to do with social media throughout 2017.
#1 – Automate
Let’s not waste time by discussing whether or not you should be using social media as part of your marketing mix (you should, there is no argument). Instead, let’s look at how to take the hassle out of it.
Many people worry they don’t have a consistent time where they can be online to publish content, and that’s a fair enough comment. However, you can use a wide variety of online tools to help you manage your social media accounts, and allow you to schedule your posts in advance.
Buffer is a great option, which will also help you source interesting content online, and then schedule it for a time that suits. Alternatively, my personal favourite is Hootsuite, as this will allow you to manage multiple social media accounts in one place.
Depending on your requirements (i.e. how many accounts you want to add) you may not even have to pay anything to use it!
#2 – Time Limits
I love social media, both personally and professionally, but it has a dark side – a side that means you can “pop” on for a five minute break, and then realise three hours later you’re still flicky-wooshing and commenting on pictures of other people’s meals! If I get stuck in a YouTube cycle of funny animals, I can be lost for days!
The key to managing your social media is therefore to set strict time limits, so you don’t get sucked in. Whether you want to go on every day to respond and post new content, or you want to schedule everything once a week or month, it doesn’t matter. Pick a time to do it, and decide, beforehand, how long you are going to complete the task you need to. Use a physical timer if necessary or even an alarm clock.
#3 – Reuse content
If you follow tip #2 hopefully locating or creating content to use in your social media posts won’t take up too much of your time; however, any time it does take up is not being used to its full potential if you only use that content once.
Some people hold the view that it’s “wrong” to share content more than once, certainly on the same platform, but that’s simply not true. I assure you, the social media police are not going to come looking for you!
I always try to produce “evergreen” content for my clients, this means it’s not tied to a specific one-off event, and can be useful days, weeks, months and even years in to the future. This way the content can be shared on multiple occasions.
Remember, not everyone on your Facebook page might have seen your original post at 12pm on a Monday, but they might catch it at 7pm the following Thursday.
#4 – Accept not everything works for you
As I said in point one, using social media as part of your marketing isn’t negotiable (not if you want to make any form of meaningful impact). However, what channels you use, is. Just because you have decided to embrace social media doesn’t mean you have to use every network going. Some simply won’t be of any use to you.
The important thing to remember here is what works for one business, may not work for another (even if they are in the same industry). It is vital you find out what does work for you, and you can do this either by trusting your gut or looking at analytics. Don’t be afraid to get rid of a social media account/page if you feel it’s zapping too much of your time for absolutely no return.
Remember, social media is meant to be social, if you find yourself posting content but no one is liking, sharing or interacting with it, then it’s serving no purpose whatsoever. Either see if you are doing something wrong which is impacting on your success, or accept it’s not the right choice for you and try something different.
#5 – Share it and outsource it
While it’s great to have original content, it’s not always possible or practical to create it on a regular basis. That means you have to find content from other people to share. This in itself is no bad thing, as it can still help you establish yourself as an authority in your field.
However, every so often you should create your own content to help express your own knowledge and opinions on a particular industry topic. For some, this might come easily; for others, less so. If you find that writing a 500 word blog is taking up a large part of your day, it may be worth paying a professional writer a fee to produce content on your behalf. It probably won’t take them much more than an hour and will be well worth whatever you have to pay for it, especially if you can keep reusing it.
Social Media Review
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