How to Spend Your Time on Social Media Wisely

Oct 17, 2011

If you’re running a small business, time is a precious resource you can’t afford to waste. Many small business owners are wasting time by implementing inefficient social media strategies, according to a recent Inc. article.

“To make the most of your social media marketing, you need to have a plan,” Malcolm Faulds wrote. “Social media is about having an ongoing conversation with your customers, not droning on about your business while they ignore you. You have to put in the time to cultivate your existing customers and attract new ones. Yes, this will take a little more time and thought, but that’s why it works. If you ‘set it and forget it,’ you are wasting your time. Guaranteed.”

Faulds offered the following six steps to help small business owner use their social media time wisely.

Choose the right sites.

“What social media sites do your customers use? How do they use them? Where do they turn to research your product?” Faulds asked. “You need to be where they are and where they are talking to each other.”

Write engaging posts.

“Think about the questions you hear every day from customers,” Faulds wrote. “Look at what people are talking about on discussion boards, in blog comments, on competitor sites, and on review sites. Engage with active customers individually by answering their questions and asking for feedback.”

Drive loyalty with special offers.

“Access to offers is one of the biggest reasons people follow brands in social media,” Faulds wrote. “Give them something exclusive. Make them feel special and encourage them to share it with their friends on Facebook and Twitter.”

Spice up your posts.

“Social media is a conversation,” Faulds wrote. “Conversations can be insanely boring if you say the same thing over and over again. Add variety to your posts.”

Set aside time for social media.

“You are making a commitment to your customers and you have to follow through,” Faulds wrote. “This is an important task that is part of your job. If you don’t have the time for it, find someone who does.”

Use social media tools.

“Like any project, the right tools can make the job a lot easier,” Faulds wrote. “The Internet has many free tools you can use to monitor discussion and measure the impact of your efforts.”

To read the complete Inc. article, click here.