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5 Ways Your Business Can Better Leverage Social Media

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5 Ways Business Can Better Leverage Social Media

If your business is not using social media to its advantage, now is the time to start. Social media platforms are free to use and have lots of features to help businesses market themselves. These platforms get a lot of money from the ad revenue they generate from businesses, but you don’t have to give them a dime to see social media make an instant impact.

The truth is that modern consumers spend hours a day on social media sites. They will often use social media to ask about businesses and review their information and content. In addition, by posting content, you can reach new customers who were unaware of your brand before logging on.

That said, social media can be an intimidating space for businesses to get their footing. You might not know where to start or what you should be doing to reap the benefits of social media. These five tips will give you and your brand a helpful nudge in the right direction.

1. Truly Engage With Customers

When just dipping your toes in the water, you might think the obvious use of social media is to promote your new products or deals. You can attach links to your website, with the goal of achieving high click-through rates that result in sales. While this is a great strategy, social media can be used for so much more. These platforms allow you to engage with your customers on a more personal level.

Begin by posting content that addresses your customers’ wants and needs. Keep in mind the tone of voice you use in your writing and make sure that it reflects your brand accurately.

Above all, be consistent with your use of these platforms. You don’t need to post every single day, but your content schedule needs to deliver at a decent enough clip that customers stay engaged.

Another thing you can do is post a poll for customers to respond to. This can give you insight into how customers view your brand and products. Some companies also use social media for customer service. Team members will respond to comments and posts containing issues and complaints and try to come up with solutions. By reaching out to customers, you can often turn negative experiences with your brand into opportunities to build loyalty.

2. Post on Multiple Platforms

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, and more. There are so many social media platforms, each with its specific features and target audience. You can get comfortable with one, but you’ll find more success by using multiple different platforms.

While you will be able to reach numerous customers through Facebook, some users might have migrated to Instagram or another platform. If you’re restricting yourself to one, you won’t be able to reach all your potential new clients. Even posting the same content across channels can help with your brand visibility.

3. Use Integrations

There are plenty of useful tools you can use alongside your social media platforms. For example, Facebook allows businesses to integrate a schedule into their pages. Users who see your content and want to book a time slot at your appointment-based business can do so directly through this integration.

Other integrations such as Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to plan out your posts in advance. You can set up a week’s worth of content in a single workday and let the integration post based on your schedule.

4. Connect With Other Businesses

Especially for small businesses, the connections you make can be extremely valuable now and in the future. Social media puts you in a position where you can network with the right people. Businesses can create partnerships with other brands, sports teams, and even influencers that can increase their visibility and brand reputation.

You might have seen some friendly banter between Wendy’s and its fast-food competitors on Twitter. While this is done in jest, the comments and posts net all parties more viewers on their profiles and posts. This certainly isn’t your typical form of collaboration, but it’s an example of what two brands can accomplish together through social media.

5. Track Data and Analytics

The backend of social media is just as important as what the customers see. Data and analytics show you what posts are working and which ones are falling short. A video you spent hours developing might not have as big of an impact as a simple image. If you’re not tracking data, you might not realize this.

Most social media platforms have a business page where you can view data analytics. This will give you basic information such as number of impressions, likes, comments, and other engagement with your posts. This will help you modify your content to have a greater impact.

The longer you track data, the more information you’ll have to use to improve your business. Collected data will become more reliable over time, so get started as soon as possible.

In today’s digital-driven world, if you’re not on social media, you may as well not exist. To gain the visibility that will attract customers and drive revenue, embrace these five tips to make social media work for you.

Image Credit: Tracy Le Blanc; Pexels; Thank you!

4 Ways to Up Your Social Media Marketing Game

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4 Ways to Up Your Social Media Marketing Game

Let’s get straight to it. Your company’s success relies on social media. Why? Because that’s where the consumers are. Today, there are about 3.78 billion social media users worldwide. And these users have high expectations. 

In today’s ever-changing and demanding world, consumers expect a lot from their social media feeds. They want to be informed, engaged, and entertained. They also want to learn something new from time to time. This puts a lot of pressure on businesses, particularly new ones trying to establish a social presence. 

Building an engaged and involved social media following takes time. Setting your social media goals is a true first step in establishing your social media game. With goals, you have a clear sense of direction for your company’s brand. Not to mention, you also have a plan for you and your team to get behind and work toward. 

Read on for four ways to give your social media marketing a boost. 

1. Post Consistently 

This is arguably the easiest but also the most fruitful way to gain more followers. Posting consistently creates a rhythm to your platform. It helps create a sense of reliability and continuity. Your users will start to expect content at certain times of the day, month, or year. 

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re managing a new restaurant’s social media. Users will be looking for food content at times they are hungry. If you post a special menu photo at 5 p.m. each day, that will resonate with users who want to try the restaurant for dinner. The next time users are looking for a place to eat, they may return to your social channels. 

However, if you only post that menu photo once and then don’t post anything for another week or two, users will quickly forget about your original post. Your audience won’t be engaged and will be unlikely to return to your feed. 

Maintaining a consistent social media schedule may seem daunting at first. Luckily, there are tools such as Hootsuite and Agorapulse that can alleviate the stress of scheduling social media posts. 

Struggling to create content in advance? Seek out special holidays and observances such as Freedom Day (February 1) or Retro Day (February 27) for some inspiration.

2. But Also Post Consciously 

Social media users are constantly sharing and reacting. Sharing and reacting to world events. Sharing and reacting to other posts. Sharing and reacting to a brand’s stances. It’s you and your company’s responsibility to stay up to date on what is happening both on and off social media. 

For example, June 2020 was a monumental month for the social world. The Black Lives Matter movement grew significantly and steadily due to social media. Businesses that reacted sensitively in the moment retained their loyal followers. On the other hand, companies that posted inappropriately worded content or ignored the movement altogether took a major hit. 

So, what does this mean for you? While there isn’t one right way to handle any situation, there are wrong ways. Be conscious of what is happening — even while you’re on vacation — and pivot your planned social tactics accordingly. You don’t necessarily need to be the very first company to react to something. However, you should create a strategy when major events surprise the social world.  

3. Be Flexible and Adaptable

Setting up a new social account or taking one over can be intimidating. What works one day may not work the next. However, think of social media as a world of opportunities. If a company is stuck in the past, it won’t be moving ahead. This opens up the door for newer ones to take up space in a crowded field. 

Consider this example. Just recently, Instagram announced it was no longer just a “photo-sharing app.” The platform will be focusing on video content and entertainment in the months to come. Why? It’s likely because the app is looking to compete with popular video platforms such as TikTok and YouTube.

This news could shock a lot of businesses, particularly those that focused solely on posting photos and copy. Instagram’s algorithm will make it harder for users to see these brands in their feeds. Therefore, companies need to adapt, and so do their social media feeds. By posting Instagram Stories, Reels, and IGTVs, for instance, businesses can better stay ahead of the game. 

4. Tailor Your Posts to the Platform 

What works on Instagram may not necessarily work on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, or LinkedIn. Users adapt their needs to where they are. So a cute cat photo on Instagram won’t really be appropriate for LinkedIn, for example. 

Getting to know your customer is part of tailoring your posts effectively. Keeping an eye on your social metrics can also help you determine what kinds of posts work best for your business. 

Let’s go back to the restaurant example. If a Facebook post introducing a new menu item doesn’t resonate, look at what the call to action is. Could you make it clearer to the audience that this item is “back by popular demand”? Could you say the item is “available only for a limited time”? Using these types of words could help. 

If you’re still not seeing the traction you want, try another platform. The same photo could work better on Instagram and garner more attention if that’s where your foodie audience is. 

These four tips aren’t the only ways to up your social media marketing game. They are, however, strategies you can start to implement today to meet your goals. Be aware, though, that it takes time. Just like your business wasn’t built overnight, neither will your social media presence be.

How Social Media Can Land You More Appointments

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How Social Media Can Land You More Appointments

With social media, the world is, quite literally, at our fingertips. With just a few taps, we can connect with friends, plan our next meal, or get inspired. 

While social media is entertaining, it can also be a powerful tool for business. If used with intention, social media can help you foster client engagement and even increase the number of appointment clients book with your business. Here’s how you can use your social media channels to help you land more appointments.

Post Consistently 

Today, having a social media presence for your business is non-negotiable. It’s also one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics around. Creating content and posting it regularly gets you in front of potential customers and builds trust. You can create standard posts, host a livestream, and add posts to stories that will live for 24 hours.

The problem is, posting engaging content can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have anything planned prior to sitting down to update your pages. Fortunately, this last-minute stress can be eliminated through the use of a social media calendar. By leveraging a social media calendar, you can create relevant content ahead of time and schedule posts all year long, holidays included.

A social media calendar will enable you to post consistently and build credibility for your brand. Not only that, but you’ll make your own life easier and will have more time to focus on your clients.  

Engage With Your Clients 

Sharing photos on your social media stories can help boost engagement, and you can make those stories interactive. With many social media stories, you can include polls for your followers to participate in. Instagram, for example, allows you to include polls, quizzes, and Q&A forms. These features offer a great way to get feedback from clients or answer any questions they have about their appointments. 

Many social platforms want you to go beyond the regular photo posts, and you should use this to your advantage. Your social media content needs to be engaging and memorable. One way to achieve this is by posting video content on your social pages. Try a how-to video, an animation, or even an interview with a thought leader from your industry. And when potential clients see videos of the services your business offers, they will be more likely to book with you. 

With appointment-based businesses, cancellations are inevitable. If you have a last-minute opening, social media is good for that, too. Announce any available time slots on social media so they can still be used productively.

Brag About Your Business

Don’t be shy when it comes to sharing your successes on social media. People want to have confidence that they’re making the right choice when it comes to spending their money and precious hours. So that means it’s time to boast and be bragged on. 

Most consumers make their purchasing decisions based on the reviews they read and the recommendations they hear from people in their circle. Including reviews and testimonials from past clients on your social pages can help future ones feel more secure in their decision to choose you over competitors. 

You can also share photos and videos of your satisfied clients. This will help your future customers imagine themselves in your current fans’ shoes. Including real clients will bring a touch of humanity and emotion to your brand. This makes it easier for clients, old and new, to support your business. It will remind them that they’re interacting with real people and not a robot that posts every day at noon. 

Make Booking Appointments Easy for You and the Client

Let’s face it, with technology, we’ve been spoiled. With just a couple taps, we can have whatever we want (almost) whenever we want it. When clients are ready to book an appointment after scrolling through your pages, they want to schedule theirs quickly.

You can share links to your website to book appointments or include a booking button on your social media pages. Adding this button is a snap, and you can even connect it to an automated program that moves the request along to staff for approval. This functionality will help you strike while the iron is hot, turning audience interest in your social content into more appointments in your (digital) schedule book. 

When you plan your next campaign to bring in more appointment bookings, don’t forget about social media. You can interact with your clients and answer their burning questions. You can provide updates in real time. And you can share the stories of your current clients and bring your brand to life.

Social media is a powerful business tool, and it’s only growing. If you plan your content with intention, you can use social media as an inexpensive marketing tool to land your business even more appointments.

Think Before You Post: Don’t Let Social Media Bring You Down

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Think Before You Post: Don’t Let Social Media Bring You Down

We all know that social media has become a part of daily lives and will continue to be controversial. Recall the many stories about how social media takes people out of the moment, and instead of enjoying a concert or sporting event — people are preoccupied with taking selfies. Most of the time, I say, “so what?”

I’ve also come across stories about teachers losing their jobs because they shared a picture of themselves on summer vacation with a glass of wine in front of them. And, more recently, Facebook and Twitter have banned the President of the United States of America. Obviously, this has sparked a debate on everything from free speech to tech regulation.

Advice from Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben

When it comes to social media, we may want to heed the advice that’s usually attributed to Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

If you don’t play by social media rules, aka their terms of service — that’s all on you. If you receive blowback because you shared a sexist or homophobic meme, well, that’s probably well-deserved. I mean, even Parler, which has described itself as “the last place for free speech online,” has rules that users have to play by.

In short, if you misbehave on social media, don’t be appalled by the consequences. But, these “little” rules only scratch the surface when it comes to our reliance on social media.

A few issues with social media.

Getting banned or facing backlash is nothing to balk at. While undoubtedly frustrating, it can damage your professional reputation, have financial implications, put your privacy at risk, and can affect your personal relationships. But, these consequences are far from the only concerns with social media.

Becoming ingrained in the very fiber of our daily lives — social media has come with the following negative side effects.

It wastes your time.

“On average global internet users spent 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media per day, though trends differed widely by country,” writes Katharina Buchholz for Statista. “In many of the markets that Global Web Index surveyed, social media use had shrunk or plateaued in Q1 2020 when compared with 2019 and 2018 figures – the 2021 report will reveal if the coronavirus pandemic has reversed this trend.”

However, I think most of us can agree that we’ll continue to be spending a lot of time on social media in 2021 and beyond.

Why’s this a problem? Well, 2 hours a day may not seem like a while. But, if this is a daily occurrence, that can quickly add up. I mean, that would be 10 hours each week that you’re devoting to social media.

Personally, that’s time that could be better spent. Whether that wasted time could be better spent reading, exercising, engaging in a hobby, or connecting with friends or family, only you can determine that. Remember, time is your most valuable resource. Time really shouldn’t be squandered on something that can cost you your livelihood, ruin relationships, and drain you emotionally.

Impacts your mental and physical health.

Numerous studies have found that frequent social media use disrupts sleep, reduces physical activity, and physical health effects like eye strain and poor posture. It may even alter your appetite.

Time and time again can contribute to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression. Why? You can thank factors like cyberbullying, doomscrolling, and comparing yourself to others.

While this won’t be the case for everyone, one study did find that those who decreased their regular use of social media by limiting it to just 30 minutes a day reported reduced levels of depression and loneliness. And, they even felt better after just three weeks.

Affects communication skills.

“Social media has some damaging effects on communication skills and unfortunately lasting damaging effects when social media is used in excess or obsessively,” says Colette Lopane-Capella, M.A., LMHC, LPC.

“One, it affects the ways individuals react to emotions, social cues, or nonverbal cues, as it erases this important aspect of the basis of communication,” explains Lopane-Capella.

“Secondly, it often elicits this normalized lessen social activity face to face interactions, as individuals will associate social media communication as effective communication and then in hand lessen the likelihood to have face to face interactions.”

“Lastly, self-esteem and self-confidence are negatively affected often through social media, unrealistic expectations that are viewed.” How does this impact communication skills? Well, it leaves “individuals with negative feelings about themselves and hindering there communicating with others, as internally are struggling and not feeling adequate.”

Accelerates groupthink.

“Social media encourages groups of people connected to each other online to share similar ideas and beliefs,” says psychiatrist Alex Anastasiou, DO. “Basic human psychology suggests that people have a tendency to conform to their ‘group’ so that they can fit in and be well-liked. Over time, the values and beliefs shared by a group become more similar.”

Moreover, social media can further groupthink.

“Like-minded groups assemble with remarkable ease on social media platforms, which can also cloud our judgment,” clarifies Nick Wolny over at Fast Company. “In groupthink, the quest for unanimous opinion can override our ability to objectively consider other opinions.”

What exactly is groupthink? Irving Janis defined it in his 1972 book Victims Of Groupthink as “a deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment.” Eerie how that was written 30 decades before social media was a reality.

What’s more, a 2015 YouGov Omnibus survey “found that 57% of Americans who use social media have posted or texted something that they regret afterward,” adds Wolny. And, “one in six of those respondents claimed to regret a post at least once a week.”

“There’s also a mountain of research that connects increased screen time with a reduced capacity to regulate self-control or finish what you start, particularly in young people,” he states.

It makes you worse at multitasking.

To be real, multitasking can get hairy. For instance, it is possible for you to be on a conference call when doing a mindless or repetitive task, like folding laundry. However, only a very small percentage of people can do challenging activities at once. In other words, it’s not possible for you to be on an important video call while engaged in deep work.

However, switching between various social channels could make you even less effective at multitasking. According to a 2018 review published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, frequent social media multitaskers didn’t perform as well as lighter media multitaskers when it came to a variety of cognitive domains.

Can lead to information overload.

I have said this before, but the simplest definition of information overload “is exposure to excessive amounts of information or data.” And, that definitely includes the amount of content you’re absorbing from social media each day — remember, that’s over 2 hours daily.

Why’s this problematic? Well, information overload can make us more stressed, impact our health, and fracture personal and professional relationships. As if that weren’t enough, it can make us less productive, impair decision-making, and might make us stupider.

It’s distracting.

And, last but certainly not least, social media is distracting. In fact, social media is the fourth biggest distraction at work, ensuing emails, pointless meetings, and interruptions.

The reason? We’re constantly pressured to post updates, as well as like, share, and comment on other’s posts. And, we’re also expected to reply to social media messages instantly.

How to keep yourself in check with your social media use.

I know that I might have come across as too anti-social media. But, there are positive aspects to it. These include:

  • Being able to communicate and stay up to date with friends, family, and customers.
  • Connecting with new friends and groups.
  • Promoting and spreading awareness about worthwhile causes.
  • Providing you with a creative outlet.
  • Discovering and sharing information.

But, to reap these benefits, you need to keep your social media use in check. And, that’s possible if you use these four tactics.

Refresh yourself on social media 101.

I get it. There’s always a learning curve when it comes to new social media apps. For new users as well. I mean, my mom joined Facebook and is still getting the hang of it.

But, for a majority of us, let this sink in. Facebook and Twitter have been around since 2004 and 2006, respectively. At this point, we should have a solid grip on social media etiquette.

What does that mean? Well, for starters, no matter your settings, whatever you share on social media isn’t private. Furthermore, even if you delete a post, it truly never disappears. If you posted something repugnant and offensive, you can bet that someone will grab a screenshot of it.

Additionally, whether you realize it or not, you’re not just representing yourself. You’re also representing your family, friends, community, business, or school. Why let them receive backlash because you couldn’t control yourself on social media?

I’d also suggest that you block out some time to reacquaint yourself with the following do’s and dont’s.


  • Complete and update your profiles — primarily checking your privacy settings and keeping your profiles current.
  • Share thoughtfully. Ask questions like, “Does this provide value?” or “Is this something that grandmom would be ashamed of?”
  • Prioritize your networks. You might not have to be on Twitter if your audience isn’t. Or, you may just want to stick with LinkedIn if you’re using social media for professional purposes.
  • Post regularly and keep it positive and meaningful.
  • Interact with others and encourage conversations. It would be helpful to have pre-written“rules” that are posted on your social media accounts.


  • Never bully, spam, complain, or abuse hashtags.
  • Post anything that will offend others or violates the TOS.
  • Share or publish anything with grammatical errors or from questionable sources.
  • Avoid being “that” person. You know. The individual who seemingly is on social media 24/7. When it comes to promoting your brand or business, stick with the following formula: post one promotional post for every four non-promotional posts.
  • Share too much information or be too opinionated, like why your political candidate is the best choice.

In the words of Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, “Read each tweet about 95 times before you send it. Look at every Instagram post about 95 times before you send it.”

“A reputation takes years and years and years to build and it takes one press of a button to ruin it,” added Watt. “Don’t let that happen to you. You’ve done so much work; you’ve put in so much effort. Don’t let one moment ruin your entire life because you wanted to be funny or you were mad or because you had a mood.”

“If you use it properly, you can use it unbelievably. You can interact with your fans and share with the world what you’re doing. Just be smart about it.”

Think twice before commenting and posting.

“Don’t respond to a post or comment out of emotion,” communications expert Leslie Shore told My Domaine. “Take time to process what you have read or seen, and allow yourself time to reflect on your thoughts before commenting out of anger or frustration. Remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinions.”

I’d also add that you avoid social media when you’ve indulged in one too many adult beverages. Nothing can ever come good from social media when mentally impaired — even if you think you’re not. Thankfully, apps, such as Drunk Locker or Drunk Mode, can prevent you from making this mistake.

Additionally, restrain yourself from sharing every aspect of your life. “Keep your personal conversations personal,” Shore says. “There is no need to take your private life public. Posting about your partner’s choice of a birthday present for you or gossiping about your S.O. are communications best left out of the public eye.”

In the same vein, you may want to have separate channels for various facets of your life. For example, you could have a personal account and another for your business. Just keep in mind that there are a lot of sleuths out there who will find out these accounts belong to the same individual. But, it may provide a buffer between your personal and professional life.

Reduce screen time.

Finally, you can’t get yourself into trouble if you aren’t spending as much time on social media. And, if you recall, this will also enhance your health, wellbeing, and productivity. But, how can you realistically make all these “better options” happen?

In a previous Calendar article, Choncé Maddox recommends that you do the following if you want to limit your time on social media.

  • Utilize your phone’s alarm. “Set a timer or alarm each time you get on social media so that it goes off just a few minutes afterward,” she says. “If you usually spend 30 minutes scrolling on Facebook each morning, try to limit this by setting your alarm to 10 or 15 minutes.”
  • Delete your apps. Perhaps the easiest solution is to delete these apps from your phone. Since you have to log in from a browser, it won’t be as easy to access your accounts, which in turn will reduce the time browsing social feeds. Also, this removes the temptation to overshare.
  • Leave your phone in another room. Another easy trick? Just leave your room in another room when you’re working or spending quality time with your family.
  • Block apps and websites. There are plenty of apps out there that will either block or limit the time spent on social platforms, such as Forest.
  • Engage in healthy distractions. It’s easy to be tempted to scroll through your feeds when you’re watching TV. So, find healthier alternatives like going for a walk, cleaning your workspace, decluttering your home, or learning something new.
  • Designate tech-free zones. Don’t allow your smartphone into certain locations, like your dining or bedroom.
  • Change the layout of your phone. If you don’t want to uninstall your social media apps, then you can move them off your home screen so that they aren’t front and center.

Batch your social media efforts.

How can you still active on social media and thwart FOMO if you aren’t connected 24/7/?

Give batching a spin.

“For those unfamiliar with this productivity hack,” batching is “where you simply arrange tasks in set groups,” my Calendar co-founder John Rampton explained in Entrepreneur.

“Spend two hours Monday morning (or whatever time is the best for you), creating and curating social content for the week,” he states. “This time may be spent brainstorming your content calendar with your team for the entire year. Or, your goals may require and include engaging with influencers or customers twice a day.”

“By grouping similar tasks together, you’ll avoid multitasking and frequent distractions — and you’ll likely find that batching makes you feel less stressed,” John adds. “Most importantly, the times that are set aside give you structure and boosts your productivity.”

However, to avoid feeling anxious about missing out, research conducted at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight “found three to be the magic number.”

“The researchers found that three batches of notifications are perfect,” says Rampton. “They recommend that your first batching timeframe should be during your morning commute or right when you get to work. The second batch takes place at the end of lunch. And, the final batch, block, or timeframe — you’ll schedule — will be when you’re heading home for the day.”

Getting started with social media batching.

  • Determine the best times to batch and brainstorm content ideas.
  • Create a content calendar so that you aren’t “scrambling around every day trying to create or find material to publish.”
  • Figure out the best way to batch. For example, you could do this by platform, topic, or calendar days.
  • Schedule and monitor your content using SMMS tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social.
  • Block out specific times to work on social media. “Finally, reserve specific times in your calendar exclusively for social media, just as you would for any other important task,” John advises. “In my calendar, every Monday from nine a.m. to ten a.m. — I block an hour and schedule my posts for the week. I also block out 15-minutes every morning, midday, and late afternoon to check-in.”

Final words of advice.

How you decide to run your social channels is totally up to you. Just be aware that if you’re going to have a social media presence, be careful and consider your words and reputation.

And, to sweeten the pot, you won’t be wasting more time on social media than you have to burn. In turn, you’ll be healthier and more productive — it’s a win-win.

Small Business Owners and Social Media: How Much Time to Spend Online

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Small Business Owners and Social Media: How Much Time to Spend Online

Are you running a small business or offering freelance services? One thing you’ve probably heard by now is to establish a strong social media presence and start marketing yourself online.

It’s true, many entrepreneurs have been able to make a name for themselves and grow their customers and client list by effectively utilizing social media. Social media is free, but it can also cost you quite a bit in terms of your time. Social media was designed to help people connect online, but its algorithms today are often geared toward keeping people scrolling mindlessly all day long. So how much time should small business owners spend on social media truly?

Are you spending too much or not enough time on social platforms or do you even need social media at all? Here’s how to consider the right amount of social media for you.

Setting Social Media Goals

If you’re going to get on social media for your small business, it’s important to set clear goals that you’d like to achieve as a result. For example, most people just go online to see what they can find or gain some new followers. However, you’ll need to get more specific than that if you want to make the most of your time.

Do you want to post 5 promotions per month for your products or services? Do you want to gain 500 followers organically during the first 90 days? Is your goal to build yourself up as an authority figure and lead people back to your website to do business with you?

Narrow down what your true goals for social media are and how they contribute to the success of your business. Having a clear focus can help you eliminate time wasted browsing on social media or getting stumped on what to share.

Decide Which Platform You’ll Start On

I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t try to be on every social media platform if it doesn’t serve a purpose for your business. If you’re selling clothes, you may not find a ton of value on Twitter but find that Instagram helps you communicate with your target audience.

Look at the type of business you have and the services you offer. See how certain social media platforms might fit in with your offering and goals is key. If you’re wondering how much time small business owners already spend on social media, a Vertical Response survey indicated that 43% spend 6 hours per week on social media marketing.

If this fits in with your schedule then great, if not or you find you’re spending a ton of hours on social media, try to limit the numbers of platforms you’re on to only the ones that serve you best.

Allow Extra Time to Implement a Launch Plan

Realize that actually getting established on social media may take up more time than maintaining your profile and scheduling posts. Allow extra room in your schedule to complete and optimize your social media profile(s) and create some cohesive branding.

For Facebook, you may want to create an offer or make sure your phone number and address are added to your page details. For Instagram, you may want to create a bio link that leads to some of your top content, advice, or service pages on your website. With Pinterest, you’ll have to set aside time to create images for your content and write all your board descriptions.

That said, small business owners may spend much more time on social media in the beginning stages until an effective strategy is determined.

Spend Less Time With a Social Media Strategy

So now you know the good is that you don’t have to spend more than 1 hour per day on social media if you don’t want to. Yet, you can still get some great results from having a social presence. Small business owners don’t even have to get on social media each day if it’s not the main driver of profit for the business.

Instead, develop a proven strategy based on your goals and what works. Find out who your ideal follower or customer is and what they’d like to see on your social profile. Track analytics to see how much traffic or business you’re already getting from social media, then make tweaks and test out new strategies.

One thing I enjoy doing to save time is scheduling out my posts on social media in advance. This helps me stay active on the platform and continue to provide value to others without spending too much unnecessary time on social media.

Allocate Time Fairly Among Other Marketing Efforts

Small business owners and social media can be a great mix but realize that social media is often just one aspect of a marketing plan. Sure, adding social media to your marketing tasks may help you save money, but you should always diversify your marketing and test out other strategies.

If you’re marketing in several places, you won’t be limiting yourself to certain clients or customers who will find your business another way. Take email marketing for example. Some people are actually more responsive to emails than they are on social media. In fact, email marketing converts better for some business genres and unlike social media, you actually own your list and can’t get kicked off the platform.

Summary: Small Business and Social Media

In summary, I wouldn’t spend too much time on social media unless it’s returning sizeable profits for your business. Even 5 hours per week is 260 hours per year. If you calculate the value social media has added to your business, you’ll have to determine if that time is worth it to you. I would ramp up social media efforts as business leads and profits grow as a result, but get clear on your goals and narrow down a specific strategy first.

Find ways to work smart while establishing your social presence and don’t neglect other forms of marketing as well.

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