Social Media for the Time-Poor Small Business

Business facebookLast month, we launched “The Social Media Club”, the world’s first. We had a great night of laughter and connection, and most importantly, brainstorming with like-minded business owners where we got to find out that every small business owner is in the same boat. When you’re a crew of one, you have to work smarter not harder, be savvy and efficient, whilst standing on one leg and singing la-la-la-la-lahhhh, in tune. So on this night, all “Clubbers” discovered that they were not alone, and that there are better ways of doing things… especially in the world of “Social Media”….

“The Social Media Club” is being held on the 4th Thursday of every month and at each “Club” meeting I will be giving a short talk on the hottest “Social” topic of the month, as well as answer your BURNING QUESTIONS that have been concerning you, in your world of Social Media.

Last month, the topic on everyone’s lips was “How do I manage my Social Media when I am time poor?” Do I hear you screaming too?

I thought I’d blog the talk I gave, in case you missed it, and the champagne, and the fun…. but come and join us for the next “Social Media Club” coming up on Thursday 25th October 6.30-8.30pm, and join in the fun, in person……

So here’s my Top-7-Tips on “How to manage your Social Media when you are Time Poor” (READ: How to Save your Sanity whilst riding the Social Media Train)….

  1.  Choose 1-2 Social Media platforms and DO THEM WELL. There is no point stressing about jumping onto all the social medias. There is simply no point being a jack-of-trades and master-of-none. It’s not going to help to brand and position your business in the market-place if you “do” a Social platform badly. I recommend to my clients to choose the one or two that will best suit their business, and focus on those. (If you need some help selecting these, reach out to me, I can help you get clear on what social platforms will best suit your business). The key here is to give your customers “some” way of  “connecting” with you on one or two of the Social platforms. But don’t worry about meeting all customers on all the platforms. It’s simply unrealistic in the real world of small business, to be everywhere. In my extensive research in writing my book Novice2Ninja, I discovered that Facebook is THE ONE platform that just about every business needs to be on (which is why I wrote a book about it). It’s very powerful, and THE platform that 1 billion peeps spend, oh, only 3 billion hours on, DAILY. And once you get the hang of Facebook, only THEN look at a 2nd platform. Perhaps Twitter, or LinkedIN or Pinterest, but this would depend entirely on the type of business you’re in and what your “personal strengths” are. For example, if you don’t like to write, then there is no point starting a “written” blog. However, you may consider starting a “visual” blog, if you like to take pictures, and if a visual blog would suit the aims of your business! This is part of the “Social Media Strategy” that I can help you define and get clear on in a 1-on-1 mentoring session….
  2. Add “Social Media” to your DAILY ROUTINE. Yup, good ol’ fashioned, “if it’s not in your routine, it won’t get done” trick. You know, like your mama always says. So when you’re sitting down to do your emailing or phone calls, your ordering or processing your enquiries, just add 10 minutes to that routine for Social Media management. Until you get the swing of it, it may take longer than 10 minutes a day, but once you get your head around it, 10 minutes a day is achievable. The key here is manage your Social Media DAILY. So whatever you do every, tag your Social Media management onto the end of that routine. Then you know it will get done. Consistency is key here.
  3. SCHEDULE your posts. There are some Facebook features that are “take it or leave it”, but every once in a while, Facebook actually add a function that is really, really neat. And the “schedule” button is one of those functions that I ADORE. It is a life-saver really.  I have written a separate post about how to use the “Schedule” function here, but bottom line is that it allows you to “calendarise” your Facebook posts. So if you wanted to release a particular post at 7pm tonight but you’d rather be watching the latest episode of “How I met your mother” with your teenager, then you can schedule the post to be released at this time. I have found this function to be the most-time saving of all functions because I can quickly type my posts when it is most convenient for me, and I am not tied to my PC when I would rather be having a life {shock horror}. Also don’t use Hootsuite or any other “External” programs to post to Facebook.  Yes you can use these programs to post to Twitter and other Social Platforms, but not for Facebook. It will affect your Edgerank, and not in a good way. I have written a previous blog post about what Edgerank is here, this is crucial to understand for Facebook Business Success, but in a nutshell, you need to be “inside” Facebook when you post. So don’t be tempted to post from an outside program to save you time, instead, the best time-saving function available to you within Facebook is the “Schedule” function. Use it to your heart’s content.
  4. Take the pressure off ORIGINAL CONTENT and supplement your posts with CURATED CONTENT. I do recommend in my book “Novice2Ninja” that posting about 2-3 times a week is ideal. If you wanted to read a more detailed guideline on how often to post and when to post, to suit your business, you can get my book here. But many business owners say to me “I don’t have time to write a post every day“. You don’t need to. Yes you do need to COLLECT your own ideas and write your own posts based on what is happening in your business, a couple times a week. This is so that your story is seeping through to your tribe of loyal fans. But for the other 4-5 days a week, just CURATE content instead and take the pressure off yourself! This means, share posts from your news feed! This will save you loads of time, and hopefully dispels the myth that you need to post something original every day. I don’t have a blog post about this topic as this subject area has many implications and can not be simplified in a blog post, however the best advice I have about HOW TO COLLECT & CURATE CONTENT, is in my book. In fact I have dedicated half the book to this topic, which should signal to you that the topic of content is of vital importance to your online success, on any Social platform platform, not just Facebook. TIP: When you share a post from your news feed, make sure it’s relevant to your business though. I talk alot about what is “relevant” to a business, and what is not, in  my book as well.
  5. REPLY to comments. On some days, this is all I have time for. But it’s SOMETHING. It is an activity that WILL get your business into the news feed of your Fans, and remember, the more eyeballs that see your posts, the better (more fans leads to potentially more sales. This is grossly over-simplified, again, the full process and cause and effect, of how to make money in your business using the platform of social media, is fully explained in my book). Many businesses ask me “should I reply to comments?” My reply always is “would you ignore someone that  walks into your shop?” You get the picture. Don’t ignore your Fans. If a Follower has taken the time to visit your Facebook Page (which is essentially like your shop, but online), then take the time to RESPOND to their comment. It’s good business practice, it may lead to sales, and it also gives you a “quickie” social media “burst” in the news feed of your Fans, if your plate that day is like a juggling act. Hey, we all have those days where 37 hours is not enough, right?!?!?!? Therefore replying to comments is a quickie solution on days like this…
  6. Don’t see Social Media AS A PAIN. If your head-space towards Social Media is that it’s a thorn in your side, and the bain of your existence, then you are not seeing the true potential of Social Media and how it can really work for you. If you can find a way to use Facebook as market research, your mindset towards Social Media will shift (towards the positive). Imagine being stuck on which product to launch but knowing that you had a place where you could take your products to the market place, ask your target market their opinion on which product they liked, and then only launching the product that is most well received? Imagine how much money and time you could save by not being sucked down the rabbit hole of bad product-launch choices? Weeeeeeelllllll. Facebook is one such place! I encourage all my clients to “test” their products before launch, on their Facebook pages, to ensure their Peeps are into what they are doing. I advised my client to do just this, and to test her 2 x book cover choices on her Facebook Page. Check out Dani’s form here at this link….  This “market testing” is giving us valuable data that we otherwise would never have had access to! This is Market Research being streamed straight from the market-place!!! THIS IS GOLD ! You can’t PAY for this sort of market research. Well, you can, but it would cost you thousands. On Facebook, you can do all your market testing , FOR FREE.
  7. Get some Training. Social Media is just another platform for you to sell your products for your business. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN –> these are all just systems that you need to operate to win these sales. And like all systems, you need some training to ensure you are avoiding the pitfalls and maximising the benefits. This is especially true for Social Media. I highly recommend reading a book, getting a mentor or doing a workshop in Social Media. And rather than begrudge this as “another thing you have to do”, see this as an investment in tech-proofing your business for the future. After all, there is no point building a Facebook page for a year and sucking at it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to hit the ground running, know what to do and what not to do? My November Workshops are just about sold out, so jump in and grab your seat now while’s there’s one waiting for you. But if group-love is not your ‘thang’, then 1-on-1 mentoring might suit you better if you prefer to learn at your own individual pace. Or if book-learning floats your boat, then my book Novice2Ninja starts you at the beginning, and takes you through to mastery level of Facebook. However you like to learn, I’ve got the support you need covered to help you get your Business cracking on Social Media…..

Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here

Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca

Grab your seat to the November Facebook Business Workshop here

RSVP to “The Social Media Club” here

Either way, I look forward to answering your BURNING QUESTIONS at the monthly “The Social Media Club” and connecting with the brilliant and committed business owners that make up the very savvy and very smart, small business sector!

And I would be as happy as Larry if you shared this page with all your friends in your favourite online playground just here….

With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Specialist, Author, Speaker & FaceBook Business Specialist

 

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About Francesca

Francesca Esposito-Rose is CEO of SummerHills.com, a successful Australian Retreat. Also Digital Strategist, Business Mentor and Facebook Business Specialist. With extensive experience over many years in corporate and public management and private business ownership, a past life as a geek and too much internet experience to admit in public, she translates Facebook for Business into understandable language that others leave you wondering about. Francesca has a fresh and straight-talking style in both writing and management, getting the job done, quickly, efficiently and successfully.

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