Social Media 101 for Entrepreneurs
There is no denying that social media are valuable tools to use in your marketing activities. However, the key to success for business owners is smart planning of the time they spend on social media.
You will need to consider the types of social media you will use, what can be announced and how often to post. Reducing social media activity avoids oversaturating the market.
Keeping content fresh can also be a challenge. Ask yourself: Is there a way to fundraise for a worthy cause? Is your office interested in collecting items for the food bank? Maybe you’ve decided to set up recycling bins for items like batteries and light bulbs and returnable beverage containers that your customers can also use. Or maybe your office can run a contest. Maybe your workplace has undergone some improvements or a new mural has been painted on the building. Maybe you can do a project with your contacts. Maybe you can post an announcement about upcoming sales or discounts.
Social media offers a great opportunity for your business to celebrate causes, fundraisers and community events that you are a part of. It’s a great way to support those you interact with as you can also celebrate their successes and contributions to the world. And of course, you can use it to invite networking opportunities to keep the conversations going with your contacts. Additionally, supporting community and charity events tells your staff, suppliers and customers that you care about making a difference.
Quite often, an idea for a social media campaign or a topic you’d like to cover will occur to you, but you don’t have time to follow through on it yet. Write this idea down so you can come back to it later. That way, no opportunity is missed.
Before you rush out with random posts, it’s important to decide exactly how you plan to create excitement for each event and what you expect as a result.
Here’s another tip: Have several documents on your desktop with social media that you and your staff have created during brainstorming sessions. This will keep your social media efforts well organized and make it easy to post items at peak times of the day.
What are the best times of day to post? It really depends on who you’re targeting – their age, their interests, etc. For businesses, the best days to post on Facebook are Thursday and Friday between 11am and 1pm Pacific. 11am will bring more shares, while closer to 1pm you’ll get more likes and link clicks. For Twitter, posting between 11am and 1pm – during the lunch hour – is the best time. However, weekends show 30% more activity on Twitter. Due to typical business activities during the week, the best days to post on LinkedIn are Tuesdays and Thursdays. The best time frames to schedule LinkedIn posts are between 5-6:30am and 3-5pm (Pacific). If you use Google+, posts scheduled on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 7-9am are most effective.
No matter what time frame you decide to work with, and no matter how much social media you want to try, being on social media is rewarding. If you are in many different outlets and find the idea of managing them within a time frame overwhelming, there are several options for you. Appoint a member of staff (or pay your child) to do this duty for you. Another option is to schedule alarms on your mobile phone to remind you to post on certain days. When you’re very busy, there are a number of online services that allow you to schedule posts for auto-publishing much earlier.
How you use social media will vary depending on the medium (Instagram, etc.) and the type of product, service or campaign you’re currently working on and the type of person you’re trying to reach. Consider when your target audience is online, how old they are, what they do when they are online, how long they are online, and when the greatest interest or curiosity occurs. Perhaps a customer survey can help you determine this.
By doing these suggested activities, you will notice that you spend less time on social media and your activities are much more effective. For more business advice, check out Brummets’ book: Purple Snowflake Marketing, which provides valuable business advice for any service, product or book you write.
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