I started out hiring a professional social media agency to get me going. They got my Facebook account to be quite popular. But, growth on my Twitter and Linked In accounts never amounted to much after I paid a hefty bill. So, I started doing my social media work myself for the Twitter accounts and started Google plus as well. I spent about two hours a day for two years. I learned to be very good at both mediums, but found myself spending just too much time.
(1) Social Media is a Distraction
Kim Kardashian and I have something in common. We are checking our Twitter accounts every several minutes all day long to see which tweets were popular and if we got new followers. If you behave like this your account will probably grow. On the other hand, this will be a huge distraction to getting your other work done. Many blog articles published in Harvard Business Review claim that email is a similar distraction where people have to check every several minutes to see if they missed an email. The standard suggestion is to check your email once every day or two, and then ignore it at all other times so you can focus on more meaningful tasks. This is not always a good idea as some people use email to schedule meetings and other time sensitive communications (or requests for refunds for paypal orders that were unfulfilled because you were in Yosemite and didn’t check your email for a week.) I’ll leave the frequency up to you, but you should have set times when you check your email.
(2) Have a Plan; Keep a Log;
If you run a Twitter account for example, you need to login more than once a day. However, you might get addicted like me and have Twitter up 16 hours a day. My suggestion is to pick two times of the day when you will login to your Twitter account. Decide how many minutes you will spend and exactly what functions you will perform. Keep a log of when you logged in and logged out. After your set amount of minutes is over, it is time to go on to your next task. Otherwise, social media can eat up your entire day and you will end up like me!
(3) Use Lists
I do look through my inbox daily on Twitter. However, I don’t dig too deep. Even though I clean out the “bad” members who publish junk and keep the good ones, I rarely find content worth reading or sharing. This is why I have multiple lists for the accounts that I have found regularly have good content. If I get bored of one, I move them off my list. If I find a rising star in my inbox that should be promoted to a list, it can be done in seconds.
(4) Filter Using Klout
You need to know when your company is being mentioned on social media. However, filtering the results to find the most influential people can be a huge time saver. Klout offers exactly this service. Read more… http://blog.hootsuite.com/hoottip-filter-by-klout-keyword/
(5) Auto-Scheduling Saves you from Logging in regularly
It is a generally good idea to publish once per hour on Twitter. It is not recommended to publish more than 30 tweets in a day otherwise the Twitter gods will not introduce your account to as many others. It is hard to login every hour 24 hours a day, so using an auto-scheduler can save you a lot of time.
(6) Quick Scanning for Sharing
Some people feel they need to share far too much on social media. It is really about relevance, and what your crowd likes. As you get more experience, you will be able to guess more accurately what they like. Scan through your lists and be more selective what you share. Don’t spend all day, just scan for two minutes and pick one or two things to share each time you login.
(7) Social Media Marketing Outsourcing companies can help.
Most of us are not comfortable outsourcing our work to India. I run an outsourcing site and am used to it. People at social media companies in America and/or India lack expertise as a general rule. So, don’t expect them to know much. On the other hand, if you can break down your tasks into bite sized simple pieces, and have an outsourcing company perform some of the tasks for you, you will save time. Don’t expect them to be able to manage an entire function or campaign, just have them do a few simple pieces of the puzzle.
Outsourcing companies could create lists of highly targeted people for you to follow which would save you the time of scanning through thousands of followers on other relevant sites. The outsourcing company will need spoon fed directions as to what type of followers you want and where you want them to look for them. So, do the thinking for them, and give crystal clear instructions. There are also many talented bloggers in India. I have sampled their writing on my blog and Abhishek’s piece was the most popular article in 2015 so far on my blog. The grammar and diction needed some cleaning up, but the content was very popular and riveting.
(8) Know when to shut down a dud
If you are running ten social media accounts to promote your business, this is not a bad idea to start off with. However, after you have been on each for a few months, you will see how much work you put in and where your clicks and shares are coming from if you read your analytics reports. Some social networks might be slow now, but might catch on in the future. Other social networks are on their way down. But, for now, stick to who got you the most ROI for the last several months. But, be fair. If you don’t give a network a fair chance by posting good posts and following good people, etc., you were being honest to yourself. Many professional marketers claim that you should invest all of your effort in one social network — the one that gets you the best return.
Personally, I feel you should invest in your top three social media performers, and visit the other social networks sparingly just to keep the magic going. Invest 70% of your efforts into the winning horse, 20% into number two, 9% into the third place network, and the remaining 1% should be spread to all of the other networks combined. You never know when they might start performing. My Facebook network got us a few hundred clicks per month. We were not growing that fast. But, then a few years later, I saw my competitor jumped from 7000 followers to 44,000 followers in less than two years. I became aware that our industry had grown on Facebook and it was time for me to put the pedal to the metal. I did exactly this and my group grew from 4000 to 12000 in a year and a half and our clicks multiplied by 20. So, social networks change over time — be sensitive to that fact and keep your eyes open and keep an open mind!
(9) On the other hand
If you want a network to grow fast, you need to hustle. Networks come and go. Myspace was popular once, and now Facebook is king and is staying king, but only with older people. With kids, oh snap is popular now. Each network seems to have an undetermined shelf life. If you want to get any serious traffic from a social media network, you need to get big, and getting big requires a lot of time. I could spend three hours a day on a single social media account. I could follow 1000 people per day on Twitter, favorite all types of posts, and post very intelligent content all day long. I could spend hours refining the wording in tweets tweeting other people’s top content and get boatloads of shares. If I spent this kind of time on Twitter I could get about 150 followers per day which is 4500 followers per month. My account would be huge after two years of this. If you want to save time and only spend an hour or less on social media per day, you can. But, some networks require a lot of time to succeed.
(10) Choose social networks that are not time consuming
In my experience, Facebook can get great results if you post your top content and promote it. It is not time consuming either. You could spend a few hours per month on Facebook and develop an empire if you have a knack for identifying the most popular content and posting it along with great pictures. Twitter and Google+ are networks that I prefer over Facebook, but they can eat up all of your time. Yes, Twitter and Google+ are better for SEO benefits than Facebook, but they will eat through your time faster than you can imagine. Decide ahead of time how much time you want to spend per month on social media and choose networks that allow you to succeed by being smart rather than by being a combination of smart and dliligent!
The End — good luck!