Recently I spoke at a conference about social media for local business owners. In this question and answer session, a very busy businesswoman emphatically threw up her hands and said, “But, who’s got time for all this?” With all there is to do in a business, from payroll, inventory, training new employees, providing customers with great support, and finalizing the ad for the local paper, you may be asking yourself the same thing, “How can I be successful with social media in my business?”. How can you keep all the existing stuff going and have time to use social media too? This is perhaps the most popular question I hear when talking to owners, that they just don’t seem to have the time to do it well.
I could sense her frustration. It seemed to her that you had to spend hours on every platform and do nothing but be on Facebook or Twitter all day to be successful. Really, though, you only need to devote no more than thirty minutes a day to be successful on social media. In this post I’ll share with you how you can be successful in social media in only 30 minutes a day.
Before I do though, I want to be clear about something. You may need to dedicate more than 30 minutes if you’ve never set up your accounts or need to get started. This post assumes that you have one or more social networks already started. And, social media is a marathon, not a sprint. Being successful is something that takes work, time, and effort.
First, reply to everyone who has sent you any messages. 5-10 mins
Did anyone tweet you a question or comment? Did you get any messages on your Facebook page? Check your social media channels for anyone who’s contacted you. Doing so frequently is a great way to build those relationships and that know, like, and trust factor. It’s a great way to provide customer service, and it’s a fantastic way to stay active on social media.
Second, check for keywords. 5 mins
Wait, whats a keyword? A keyword is nothing more than a word that you’re interested in. You might be interested in wine, in law, in technology, art, etc. These terms are things that you might sell or a service you might provide. It’s a way to keep you abreast of things in your industry, possible ways to chime in and talk to people (don’t sell immediately), and know what’s going on. You can use this time to answer questions people ask in this topic, follow people you might think would be interested in what you do or sell.
Third, schedule your updates. 10 mins
Whatever posts, tweets, or updates you want to make schedule them now. It could be a lunch special at 10am, happy hour tweet at 4pm, or clothing sale starting on the weekend. But, don’t make everything sales driven. Ask a question of your audience to get others talking. Show your followers your human side. Peel back the curtain a little bit so people see more about your business than normal. Be personable.
Fourth, follow others who have followed you. 5 mins
The various social media channels handle following differently. Twitter is 1-to-1, Facebook is 1-to-many. Meaning that you can follow back on twitter, but you can’t follow back on Facebook. On Twitter, look through your new followers and follow them back if you think it’s a good idea to do so. On Facebook, write a post thanking your new followers for joining you!
Finally, connect with one new person. 5 mins
The last thing you should do is connect with a new person, either find a new follower on Twitter, or send a message to one of your facebook fans. This is a great way to increase your followers. If you followed one person a day, in a month you’d have roughly 30 new followers, and at the end of the year you’d then have roughly 365.
Yes, you can get sucked into the social media world, seemingly never to return. However, if you spend only 30 minutes a day replying to messages, checking your industry keywords, scheduling your updates, following others, and connecting with a new person every day, you’ll be successful on social media.
Question: How can you succeed with social media in only 30 minutes a day? What will you start or stop doing on a daily basis?