Like most things in life, we know that there is a bunch of stuff we should be doing to improve ourselves and things around us. For instance, we all know we should probably spend a little less time snacking and a little more time eating healthily. If you’re like me, a TV box set junky (how did we manage before Netflix and Amazon Prime?) binging on series after series of new TV shows. It probably is time to spend a little less time watching TV on the sofa and a little more time keeping in touch with family and friends. But before that, maybe I can squeeze in one more episode… I’m nearly at the end of series 3 after all and I only started watching it last week lol!
So when it comes to our businesses, the same is true, we have a bunch of ideas with good intentions that are just begging to be looked at when we have 5 minutes’ spare. But like most well thought ideas, they often get neglected in pursuit of those tasks which actually keep the cogs turning and make sure the lights stay on!
Over the years, Social Media has had its ups and downs, from the *ahem* steady heights of MySpace (Hey Tom! How’s it going?) to the emergence of Facebook and Twitter, and other Social Media websites over the years all carving their own little niche action online. All looking to grab your limited time and attention. A quick look at most company Social Media profile links will show a telling sign of well intended ideas of signing up for accounts, which are then abandoned within months. Sometimes staying active for as little as a few weeks or even days after signing up!
The problem is, most businesses know they should be doing something on Social Media, if not for marketing efforts to attract more business, just simply to show they are a modern business engaging with technology. Who would have thought that email would become such a large part of our businesses? I’m sure if you asked somebody in 1986 if they would switch from Fax and Telephones to sending electronic mail messages. Many business owners would have been sceptical about that!
So you know you want to have regular updates on your Social Media profiles, but you don’t always have the time to spend writing updates throughout the day. And even if you did manage to find some time, what would you even write about and share? It’s certainly a difficult task for many busy business owners. So below I’ll share some of my favourite productivity tools…
What’s not to love about Buffer? If you have a few hours a week where you have some free time, you can literally schedule a daily or weekly (or if you’re feeling braver, monthly) list of Social Media messages across all of your Social Media profiles with ease.
Your customers and followers will literally think you have spent hours online throughout the day sharing updates from your business and interesting content that you find online.
This is often seen as a bit of a spammers tool for mas spamming Twitter and other social networks. But that doesn’t mean you have to run a mile from using it or even being associated with it. Much like with Buffer, if you want to schedule content for your Social Media profiles ahead of time so you can focus on other tasks, this makes life far easier for you and your business.
One of the most annoying things about having so many Social Media profiles is keeping up with the conversion across so many platforms. There aren’t many businesses that can safely say that they can ignore all Social Media websites except for Facebook or Twitter, etc. For most, ensuring they’re active on all of the platforms is key.
The problem is, who has the time to have multiple windows open to be able to login to all of your Social Media profiles, let alone spend time checking them all? This is where Hootsuite comes in handy because you can keep track of everything from one handy window
If you only use Twitter or spend most of your time engaging in conversion on Twitter, Tweetdeck may be a better option for you. If you ever follow along with a Tweet Chat for instance using Hashtags, it can make it far easier to see what is going on and follow the conversion than using the Web Interface for example.
If you’re looking for content to share, or even as a basis of what to write about yourself then Buzzsumo is one of the places many people head to for inspiration. Sure if you’re in a really boring industry, you may find it more difficult to find stories to share or write about yourself. But with a little creativity, anything is possible,
There are lots of tools out there for you to use, but what I have done here is try and focus on tools that are either free to use or have a low entry point. Although many people will often say that Social Media is a must for all businesses and will help with your SEO and Marketing. There are just as many other people who will tell you otherwise…
Regardless of your thoughts on Social Media usage in your business. If you find a way of integrating some of these automation tools into your marketing mix, it would be silly not to at least try them and see how well you get on with them.
Just remember the 80/20 rule… You should not spend too much time promoting your own business on Social Media. Although it may seem counterproductive to put so much time and effort into sharing and promoting content from others, it will help you in the long run as people will be far more willing to follow you if you do not spend most of your time talking about your own business.
Of course unless you’re a huge global brand, in which it would be a given that people were following you for your brand message and not because of the interesting content you were sharing.